Romans 9

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Dr. Walter, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
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    1 ¶ I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,
    2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.
    3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
    4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
    5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen
    .

    Paul has a deep desire to see his kinsmen according to the flesh come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ - vv. 1-2

    His desire is so strong that if it were possible, but it is not, he could wish himself accursed if that would bring them to salvation - vv. 3-4

    God has selected Israel to give special blessings to above all others even the nation through which Christ was incarnated in flesh - v. 5

    Hence, no one can deny that Israel is a special nation that God has given special benefits.

    It is true therefore, chapter nine deals especially with the nation of Israel but as we shall see what is true of Israel and applied to Israel is not restricted to Israel as Romans 9:24 clearly states.

    24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
    25 ¶ As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
    26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God
    .

    The central truths applied to Israel are not restricted to Israel but applicable to distinguish "the children of God" whether Jewish or Gentile.
     
  2. Dr. Walter

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    What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of Spirit is spirit....Marvel not that ye must be born again

    6 ¶ Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
    7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
    8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.


    God promised a "seed" out of Abraham's own loins that he would bless. The question here is does the rejection of Christ by Israel demonstrate God's promise failed? In other words, would not this promise require that God bless all the physical descendents of Abraham. However, Jewish history is full of those who rebelled against God and now Israel as a nation has rebelled and rejected the promised "seed" or Christ. Does this rejection make God's promise to Abraham void?

    Paul's response is that not every physically born descendent of Abraham is the promised "seed" of Abraham. This is clearly true at the time of Abraham. Ishmael was the son of Abraham. After Sarah died, Abraham married again and had many children. However, none of these physical decendents were the promised "seed". The promised seed are not merely physically born but supernaturally born of God as was Isaac.

    So likewise, not all children of Isaac are the promised seed. There are Jewish children of promise among the natural born Jewish children of Isaac just as there was the promised seed Isaac among Ishmael and other physically born children of Abraham.

    There are Promised Jewish children among the physical Jewish children of Abraham. Not all physical descendents of Abraham are the promised children. Only the double born Jews are children of Promise.
     
    #2 Dr. Walter, Jul 30, 2010
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  3. billwald

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    >There are Promised Jewish children among the physical Jewish children of Abraham. Not all physical descendents of Abraham are the promised children. Only the double born Jews are children of Promise.

    Does this please you??????
     
  4. Gerhard Ebersoehn

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    The thrust of Romans 9 is that ALL men are accursed; that Israel is no better than everyone else. And that God saves only whom He will of accursed man, none other; no some who may be better than the rest.
     
  5. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Why would it not be true that IF this passage can be directly applied to individuals, that God would be the epitome of a respecter of persons? Why could not one properly assume that if any man is evil, God created them evil for His purpose, showing God clearly as the Author of all evil? If what you are saying is true, and that God has power over the individual clay, forming some to save and some to evil, and that God also punishes man for evil, that God is the epitome of an unjust creator, punishing those for an end they have absolutely no control over? Why does not such an interpretation of this passage, as you apparently place upon it as I understand you, show God as utterly and absurdly wicked, punishing men for failing to do that which even God cannot do, avoid a necessitated end???

    I hope to show shortly just how you are creating a philosophy whether you like or admit to it or not, based not upon wisdom nor the Scriptures, but rather on a flawed interpretation of this passage. You need to ask yourself some simple questions. Does the possibility exist I am not understanding this passage as I should? Does the possibility exist that some of the verses that I am applying to individual salvation in reality be limited to the manner in which God bestows special favor on the nation of Israel, and in reality have nothing whatsoever to do with the manner in which God chooses us to salvation? (Remember, I am only asking if the 'possibility exists' that the interpretation of this passage could in fact be wrong.) Does the interpretation you are placing upon this passage agree with or stand at antipodes to the first truth of reason, i.e., in order to do anything blameworthy or praiseworthy, man must have a choice? Choice not simply to do as one wills (for one can ONLY do as they will) but rather to be the first cause of thier actions which are deemed praiseworthy or blameworthy by God?
     
    #5 Heavenly Pilgrim, Jul 31, 2010
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  6. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    DW, I might also simply ask, by what foundational principle of truth are you absolutely certain that the manner in which you are in understanding this text to be true is in accordance with truth? Is it an infallible method?
     
  7. Dr. Walter

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    HP we are not on the same page. What in the world do your posts have to do with Romans 9:1-8. You are taking off in a rocket and landed somewhere in outer space. I am dealing specifically with the first 8 verses of Romans 9. I thought we were going to look at the scriptures in an expository manner???????? Where are you????
     
  8. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Present:smilewinkgrin:
     
  9. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    DW, I simply cannot set aside foundational principles of truth at any time, whether dealing with day to day life or the expository examination of Scripture. It is embedded in my inner most being by God Himself, and to set such basic God-instilled truth aside for even a moment is to cavil at truth itself.
     
    #9 Heavenly Pilgrim, Jul 31, 2010
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  10. Dr. Walter

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    Are the statements I made of the first five verses contrary to the text or fundemental laws of common sense? Are the statements I made of the next three verses contrary to what the text is saying or contrary to fundemental laws of common sense?
     
  11. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Comments are useful, but conclusions are king. If you are going to ascribe verses 18-23 as apllicable to the manner God chooses those to salvation I would have a clear problem. Am I wrong in my estimation of the end of your comments?
     
  12. Dr. Walter

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    I was not basing this upon my own philsophical speculation but upon Paul's own explicit and unambiguous application in regard to "my people" and "the children of the living God" in regard to the promise of Abraham and the promised seed:

    24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
    25 ¶ As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
    26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.


    I never wrote the above words. I am not the one who said "not OF the Jews ONLY, but also OF the gentiles" God has a people as he promised Abraham that through him all nations would be blessed not merely the nation coming out of the fruit of his own loins in regard to Israel.

    However, I should not have jumped ahead to Paul's application but rather just stayed with the first eight verses and see if we can agree on what I commented on those first eight verses and then proceed step by step and follow the contextual development as we go.

    Will you just go with me from the beginning and lets just let Paul develop his argument as we try to follow it? I believe that I have done that in the first eight verses. Forget about the application Paul gives for the moment, we will come to that as we work through the context from the beginning.
     
  13. Dr. Walter

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    8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
    9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son.
    10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;
    11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
    12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
    13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.


    They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed - There are Jews after the flesh - natural born Jews and there are Jews after the spirit - natural born Jews who have been born again. It is the latter natural born Jews that are the children of promise - v. 8 - Isaac is a type of natural born Jews supernaturally born. Thus supernatural born Jews are the children of the promise. Hence, here is one distinctive characteristic between the children of promise and others. The children of promise are SUPERNATURALLY born while others are only NATURALLY born.

    For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son Verse 9 demonstrates that the supernatural birth is God's timing not man's. God appoints the time of their birth. God waited until Abraham and Sarah could not have just a NATURAL birth. He waited until after their NATURAL faculties for child birthing were "DEAD" (Rom. 4:18-19) so that which was born were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. Here is the second distinctive characteristic between the children of promise and others. The children of promise are born without the participation of parents according to the promise and power of God.

    And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; The birth of Isaac by Sarah as one supernatural born is not the only characteristic of true children of promise. Also the birth of Jacob and Esau by Rebekah furnish other characteristics that distinguish between the Children of promise and others. The children of promise are God's chosen people before they are born. God's choice of them is not based upon foreseen good or evil they might do after their birth but upon the elective Purpose of grace. For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) That is, prior to their birth God determined who would be the child of promise. Before they were born, God told Rebekah whom He had chosen: It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. Jacob and Esau were representative to two types of people - the children of promise and the children after the flesh. Through Jacob came those called the children of Israel - who are types of God's chosen people. Through Esau came a nation that despised and hated God and chose to marry into idolatry and sin, who are types of children after the flesh. As such Jacob represents the object of God's redemptive love - the promised children of God - whereas Esau represents the object of God's wrath -the seed of the Serpent. Here is the third and fourth characteristics of the children of promise in distinction to the children of the flesh - (1) They were chosen before birth not based upon forseen personal merit or demerit but upon the basis of God PURPOSE OF ELECTION. (2) They are the ultimate objects of God's redemptive love whereas the children of the flesh are the ultimate objects of God's eternal wrath.

    Obvious then, God's purpose of election is not based upon foreseen merit or demerit but is based upon something else. So the idea that election is according to prescience contradicts verse 11 as well as Eph.1:4 and 2 Thes. 2:13 as in each case election is the cause not the consequence for holiness in the elect.
     
    #13 Dr. Walter, Jul 31, 2010
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  14. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: I could comment on other remarks in the post but here is your bottom line. You say you do not believe in double predestination, but here again you spell it out to a tee. Some are predestined to redemptive love before they were ever born, and others were the objects of eternal damnation, which again has to be determined before they were ever born according to they way in which I understand your position. Nothing could be or is further from the truth presented by this passage. For you to deny that you believe in double predestination is less than convincing to this reader, for you state in no less clear terms than the best of the Calvinists who at least are intellectually honest enough to understand and accept the logical ends of their stated positions on election.
     
  15. Dr. Walter

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    The Test of Interpretations

    Romans 9:16-24 consists of answering objections to what Paul teaches in Romans 9:6-15. Paul has labored to show that God has not failed in his promise to Abraham to provide him a promised seed from his own loins. He has argued that being a natural born seed from the line of Abraham has nothing to do with this promise of a seed. Instead, the promised seed through the loins of Abraham is like unto Isaac - supernatural born Jews. Born without human aide or participation. Chosen by God before birth not due to foreseen merit or demerit but according to God's eternal purpose of election which is not of works.

    Now, that is my interpretation of Romans 9:6-15 and I believe it is faithful to the text. However, suppose you disagree and take another view. Can we test which view is correct in this very context? Yes, we can.

    Paul anticipates an opposing view and opposing arguments and plays the devils advocate to his own position by presenting those objections and then answering them in Romans 9:16-24.

    You can know if your interpretation is correct or incorrect by how it conforms either to the anticipated objections or to the provided answers given by Paul to those objections.

    For example, if your objections to my interpretation mirror the objections Paul anticipates you can know for sure your interpretation is wrong. On the other hand, if your interpretation would call for the kind of responses given by Paul to such objections then you can know for certain your interpretation is correct and is what Paul intended to be understood.

    I contend that my interpretation would call for the exact objections that Paul anticipates and voices and thy Paul's response to those objections perfectly align with my interpretation.

    Would you care to put your interpretation to the test with mine by this contextual objective test provided by Paul???
     
  16. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Would you care to be intelltually honest enough to admit that the position you are espousing does in fact necessitate double predestination just as Calvin was honest enough to admit?
     
  17. Dr. Walter

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    (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

    In my last post, I provided an objective test of interpretations provided by Paul in this very context. You are free to compare your interpretation to see if it fits the objections anticipated and voiced by Paul in Romans 9:16-24 or with Pauls responses to such objections.

    However, in regard to verse eleven, did I say anything that is not literally stated in plain English in the text? For example:

    1. Does not the text state unequivocally they were yet unborn

    2. Does not the text state unequivocally that before they did anthing "good" or "evil"?

    3. Does not the text state unequivocally that the purpose of election is not based upon "works"?

    4. Does not the next verse state unequivocally that God chose Jacob BEFORE he was born over Esau.

    5. Does not the text state unequiviocally that the basis for this choice was not due to foreseen "good" or "evil" not due to "works" but due to "the purpose of God ACCORDING TO election?

    So, what you don't like is what the text says as I did not say a single thing contrary to what is literally and unequivocally stated by Paul in Romans 9:11-12. Your battle is with Paul not me.

    If you want to contest my conclusion then I challenge you to test your own interpretation by the objective test provided by Paul between the anticipated would objectors to what he said and his answers. Do your objections to my interpretation match the objections Paul anticipates? Does your interpretation call for the responses that Paul gives to those objections?

    Can you be REAL HONEST with yourself and put your views to this contextual Test? I think not! I think you are afraid to do so. I think you will NEVER be objective enough to test your objections and interpretations by this objective test. I am not afraid to do so and I will. I ask of you no more than I ask of me using the very same Pauline criteria.
     
  18. Dr. Walter

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    Would you care to be intellectually honest enough to admit that the position you are espousing cannot possibly pass the very objective test provided by Paul in this very context?

    Would you care to be intellectually honest enough to admit that my interpretation passes this objective test both ways. It passes the objection test as the very same objections anticipated AGAINST PAUL'S words in Romans 9:6-15 are the very same objections you oppose my interpretation. It passes the response test as the very same responses Paul gives to these objections would be the very same responses I would give to your objections?

    Are you honest enough to apply your own objections and interpretation to these two Biblical tests provided by Paul????? I think not! I have nothing to fear to test my position but you do.
     
  19. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Many able commentators have commented clearly on this text, and would clearly take issue with the conclusions of DW. What would my arguments have to offer seeing you consider your own opinions far superior to these men as well? Take Adam Clarke for instance. One thing he does point out of interest is word that appears in the text that is not in the original text, like the word 'children' in verse 12 which he says would be better translated 'nations.'

    DW, you have presented your notion of the text and I believe for one your conclusions are unfounded by the Word of God. If you cannot even be intellectually honest enough to admit to the clear necessitated ends of your own arguments, what possible hope would I have of anything I have to offer being treated fairly???

    I care not how educated the response, or how intellectul on the surface it might appear, or if one has a Dr in front of their name, if the end is far gone from the truth as is the double predestination of the position DW presents, one does not have to understand where or why he goes astray. The end result of his presentation is absurd determinism. His stated end makes a mockery out of any praise or blame God puts upon man for his choices, and makes God out to be the very cause of all evil as well as good, an absurd conclusion that paints a horrible blight upon the Just and Holy character of God.
     
  20. Dr. Walter

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    First, I do not deny the "nation" application. They are the source of two nations. From Jacob to Israel comes the twelve tribes of Israel or "the children of Israel." From Esau comes the edomites. However, both in this context are mere representatives of the two primary contrasting people introduced in verse 6 - children according to the flesh - once born; children of promise - twice born. Remember, Rebeckah is brought into this discussion because Paul is distinguishing two kinds of people - Children of the flesh versus children of the promise. Jacob and Esau and their unique birth, as the unique birth of Isaac provides additional distinctions between the children after the flesh and the children of promise.

    Second, you assume others are right and I am wrong. However, I assume nothing. I put both to an objective contextual based test.

    If their interpertations are right and mine are wrong then this objective test will demonstrate it. The test is easy, simple and straight forward and contextually based.

    If their view is right, the same objections that Paul anticipated against his presentation will be the same objections opposing their position. If their view is wrong their objections will be the same as the objections Paul anticipates.

    If their view is right, it will call for the same responses by Paul in defense of their interpretation as it does for Paul's interpretation.

    Nothing can be more objective, contextually based and clear as this.

    However, would they or you or anyone who opposes my interpretation, and would condemn it, be intellectually honest and objective to submit to the very same objective tests that I will submit my position to? I doubt it. Why? Jesus gives the reason as follows - for every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. The principle is true for those who embrace "evil" or "wrong" interpretations. They will not submit them to the light of an objective test.


     

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