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Rose
11-02-2008, 04:10 PM
Here is a different take on interpreting this much debated verse: all comments welcome.:pop2:


Rom 11:25 'For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.' This 'Mystery' that Paul is speaking of is 'the Gospel of Salvation that came through Jesus Christ is for everyone'. This 'Mystery' has been hid from every age and generation, until this first century generation when it has been revealed to the Apostles and Prophets by the Holy Spirit. Paul then goes on to say that unbelieving "Israel" is blinded in part to this "Mystery' until the fullness of the Gentiles is accomplished. God has allowed their blindness to this 'Mystery' to remain because of the hardness of their hearts (Messiah came unto His own and His own received Him not).

I propose that this fullness of the Gentiles is the 'Mystery of the Gospel' going out to all nations (that means salvation is made available to all who hear), thus bringing the Gentiles into, and completing Gods plan that all peoples should be saved. Then all those who remained in unbelief because of their blindness, God will have mercy upon. I think that has been accomplished.



Eph. 3:3-9 'How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: .......... that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: "

Col. 1:26 "Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:"

Eph. 6:19 '"And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,"


Rom. 11:30-32 'For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.Rose

joel
11-03-2008, 06:00 AM
This 'Mystery' that Paul is speaking of is 'the Gospel of Salvation that came through Jesus Christ is for everyone'.

Rose, is it any surprise that I do not see this as you see it?

A "mystery" is something not previously disclosed. You cannot find prior stated scriptures which disclose the truth.

Until God decides to reveal it, the truth concerning it remains a "mystery".

You are saying that in the verse you quoted (Romans 11:25) reveals the mystery that "the Gospel of Salvation that came through Jesus Christ is for everyone."

The "mystery", however, to which Paul is referring is......"that blindness in part is happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in."

To be blind, in this case, is to be covered with a thick callus, or skin.

Salvation to the nations was not a secret. Up until the time Paul wrote his letters and verified that God's saving work was at that time going to the Gentiles direct, and not through the nation of Israel, because of their blindness (which was clearly foretold), it was the "mystery" of the duration of the blindness that I see Paul is revealing.

The duration of the blindness will continue....."until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in."

Joel

Rose
11-03-2008, 09:09 AM
Thank you for your input Joel, it gives me food to chew on.:pop2:

To better understand Rom. 11:25 I first focused on the things that I know, like what was the blindness that happened to part of Israel?

The blindness was because of the darkness of their hearts.....they couldn't see Jesus as their Messiah, let alone accept the Gentiles.

Then I asked myself what was the reason this blindness was allowed to remain?

It was allowed to remain until "the Good News that Salvation is for the Jew and Gentile alike" (the fullness of the Gentiles) was preached to the world.

Jesus came to the Jew first, only part of them received Him the rest remained in darkness, God used the darkness of their hearts (their blindness) to shine a light to Gentiles as was Gods plan from the beginning "the Mystery" now revealed to the Saints, that "Salvation is for all".

Rose

joel
11-03-2008, 09:52 AM
Rose,

I understand how you may have arrived at the conclusion that you stated.

Please consider that the blindness that came upon Israel when Jesus arrived, when the Gospel of the Kingdom began to be proclaimed, throughout the ministry of Jesus to Israel, followed by the apostles after His ascension, and followed by Paul and his fellows throughout the book of Acts, fell upon ears that would not hear, and was seen by eyes that would not see.

There is a pivotal prophecy in Isaiah which I ask you to consider. In Isaiah 6, the prophet Isaiah is given a vision of the majesty of God. He sees that he is unclean, and the people of his nation with whom he dwells, are unclean.

An angel with a tongs of fire touched his lips.....and told him that his iniquity was taken away, and his sin purged.

Isaiah then offered himself to God to go to the people. When he was sent (vs. 9), he was clearly told that they would hear his message but would not understand. They would see but not perceive. (vs. 10) The hearts of the people would be made fat, their ears would be made heavy, their eyes would be shut..........."lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed."

And Isaiah then inquired......"how long?"......and, in that case, to that particular people, the Lord said, ....."Until..........(the conditions of vs. 11,12 & 13).

This same prophecy was affirmed by Jesus in Matthew 13. He spoke to the multitudes in parables, but, revealed to his disciples, that the parables would serve the same purpose as the message delivered to Israel by Isaiah in Isaiah 13. Jesus said; "...because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not percieve: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them (vs. 14,15).

John the Apostle cited the same prophecy in his gospel, Chapter 12; vs. 37-41. "But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him; that the saying of Esias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart: that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things sais Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him".

And, again, the prophecy is referred to Paul in the last verses of Acts when he is speaking to the Jewish leaders in Rome concerning his ministry; Acts 28:25-29. "And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, Saying, Go unto this people and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it."

Paul, in Romans 11, is explaining part of the mysteries revealed to him. The duration of the blindness would continue until a significant event, the fullness (pleroma) of the the Gentiles would come in. The pleroma is that which fills up the body (in this case).

Joel

Rose
11-03-2008, 10:31 AM
Paul, in Romans 11, is explaining part of the mysteries revealed to him. The duration of the blindness would continue until a significant event, the fullness (pleroma) of the the Gentiles would come in. The pleroma is that which fills up the body (in this case).

Joel

One of Strongs definitions of Pleroma is "that which fills or a thing which is filled". A good example of that is in:

John 1:6 "And of his fullness (Pleroma) have all we received, and grace for grace."

So the "fullness of the Gentiles" is when the knowledge of the Gospel has filled the earth. As it says in:

Hab. 2:14 "For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea."

Rose

joel
11-03-2008, 03:29 PM
One of Strongs definitions of Pleroma is "that which fills or a thing which is filled". A good example of that is in:

John 1:6 "And of his fullness (Pleroma) have all we received, and grace for grace."

So the "fullness of the Gentiles" is when the knowledge of the Gospel has filled the earth. As it says in:

Hab. 2:14 "For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea."

Rose

The "fullness of the Gentiles" is not "when the knowledge of the Gospel has filled the earth". I am sorry, but, I respectfully disagree.

"His fullness", when referring to Christ Jesus, is all which "fills him". It is not the knowledge of Him that fills others.

Jesus is the "pleroma" of God, the Father.
The body of Christ is the "pleroma" of Christ.
The woman is the "pleroma" of the man.

Another word for "pleroma" is "complement", which is that which fills.

A new piece of cloth is the "pleroma" of the garment when placed over the tear. As pointed out by Christ, the mismatch will cause the tear to be worse, not better.

Joel

joel
11-03-2008, 03:51 PM
I forgot how to edit posts. I wanted to add something more to the last statement;

The reason why the pleroma of cloth is harmful is that the two pieces of cloth, the old, and the new are incompatible. The same is true of the new wine in old wineskins. In that case as well, the "pleroma" new wine could be damaging to the vessel of the old wineskin.

In other cases, the pleroma is not harmful or negative. The pleroma of Matthew 8:20 is the mass of fragments that filled the baskets at the miracle of the loaves and the fishes.

A very meaningful application of "pleroma" is in Romans 13:10, where "love is the pleroma of the law.

The pleroma causes a fullness in the vessel. Without the pleroma, there is an incompleteness.

Joel

Rose
11-03-2008, 05:02 PM
A very meaningful application of "pleroma" is in Romans 13:10, where "love is the pleroma of the law.

The pleroma causes a fullness in the vessel. Without the pleroma, there is an incompleteness.

Joel

In the same sense as "love is the Pleroma of the law" we can say "salvation is the pleroma of the Gentiles".


Rom. 11:10-12 "Rom 11:10-12 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?"


Through their blindness they fell, and salvation was given to the Gentiles. The diminishing of them (loss of salvation) led to the riches "fullness" of the Gentiles. If their loss led to the salvation of the Gentiles, how much more will their fullness be?


Rom. 11:15 "For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?"


Rose

joel
11-04-2008, 04:54 AM
In the same sense as "love is the Pleroma of the law" we can say "salvation is the pleroma of the Gentiles".


Rom. 11:10-12 "Rom 11:10-12 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?"


Through their blindness they fell, and salvation was given to the Gentiles. The diminishing of them (loss of salvation) led to the riches "fullness" of the Gentiles. If their loss led to the salvation of the Gentiles, how much more will their fullness be?


Rom. 11:15 "For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?"


Rose

The fulness of the Gentiles, as compared to the fullness of Israel.

Paul is contrasting the two groups.

Israel (Group I) fell. (not "ptaio" leading to a "pipto").....but their fall (paraptoma) led to salvation (soteria) to the Gentiles (Group G)....for to provoke them (Group I) to jealousy.

For if the fall of them (paraptoma autos.....Group I)......provided an overall benefit to the kosmos (the riches of System k),...

and, the diminishing of them (hettema autos, Group I)....provided (ploutos ethnos) riches of the riches of the Gentiles, Group G). The diminishing of Group I is a loss.....but...it is not permanent but will be followed by a future restoration.

The question is..........how much more their fullness (pleroma of Group I)?

You have; the fulness of the Israelites (pleroma autos) in verse 12.
the fulness of the Gentiles (pleroma ethnos) in verse 25.

I can't see how you can force "salvation" into these verses as being the "pleroma". To me, Rose, you are making it say something that it does not say, however well meaning you may be.

In this section of Paul's letter, he is concluding the process of God in his dealing with two distinctly separate groups (Group I, and Group G).

It proves that God has not finished with Israel (Group I).

Joel

Rose
11-04-2008, 08:42 AM
The fulness of the Gentiles, as compared to the fullness of Israel.

Paul is contrasting the two groups.

Israel (Group I) fell. (not "ptaio" leading to a "pipto").....but their fall (paraptoma) led to salvation (soteria) to the Gentiles (Group G)....for to provoke them (Group I) to jealousy.

For if the fall of them (paraptoma autos.....Group I)......provided an overall benefit to the kosmos (the riches of System k),...

and, the diminishing of them (hettema autos, Group I)....provided (ploutos ethnos) riches of the riches of the Gentiles, Group G). The diminishing of Group I is a loss.....but...it is not permanent but will be followed by a future restoration.

The question is..........how much more their fullness (pleroma of Group I)?

You have; the fulness of the Israelites (pleroma autos) in verse 12.
the fulness of the Gentiles (pleroma ethnos) in verse 25.

I can't see how you can force "salvation" into these verses as being the "pleroma". To me, Rose, you are making it say something that it does not say, however well meaning you may be.

In this section of Paul's letter, he is concluding the process of God in his dealing with two distinctly separate groups (Group I, and Group G).

It proves that God has not finished with Israel (Group I).

Joel

Thank you Joel for continuing this discussion with me. :yo:

I do not see it as forcing.

If you ask yourself the question....what is it that diminished Israel (Group 1), and was gained by the Gentiles (Group 2)?

The only answer that can be applied is that the "riches" that the Gentiles (Group 2) gained from Group 1 was the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the diminishing of unbelieving Israel (Group 1) was the loss of their Messiah, thought not permanently.

Then it goes on to say how much more their "fullness" will be when they do what? The only answer to that is when they receive back their Messiah and so then in the same way as the Gentiles (Group 2), Israel (Group 1) will be saved, it will be for them as "life from the dead".

The whole message that Paul is talking about is "Salvation". What was taken from one, thus diminishing them was given to another, thus increasing their riches, and causing their fullness.

God Bless,

Rose

gregoryfl
11-04-2008, 01:17 PM
Briefly, the way I understand it is you have the physical Jews as a part of Israel. They, the physical Jews, are blinded until the fullness of the Gentiles comes in. The Gentiles, coming in, become Israel as well, grafted in the same tree. The tree itself is but one tree. Then, after that fullness of Gentiles comes in, God will take away the blindness of the physical Jews, and they will subsequently be saved. Thus, in all, everyone ends up included as sons and daughters of Abraham, both Jew and Gentile, in the one stock, or tree, of Israel, in Christ.

I see the mystery as being that the Jews never thought of the Gentiles ever being anything more than people on the outside who could become proselytes. The thought never occurred to them until it was first revealed to Peter, then more fully, to Paul, that Gentiles would be fully included in Israel as full-fledged sons and daughters of Abraham, and thus recipients of the promise, not merely on the outside being blessed by it.

Ron

joel
11-04-2008, 04:38 PM
....grafted in the same tree. The tree itself is but one tree.

Ron, are you saying the tree represents "salvation"? If so, then the grafting in and grafting out must mean that God takes some out......putting some in?

Joel

gregoryfl
11-04-2008, 05:51 PM
Joel,

It seems to me that the tree is Israel, not Israel after the flesh, but the Israel of God, consisting of both natural Israelites as well as non-Israelites. I see the grafting in and being broken off as having to do, not specifically with salvation itself, but of being considered as the Israel of God. Yet it would seem that salvation is related in some way. Have to think more on that. Thanks for the question bro.

Ron

joel
11-04-2008, 06:59 PM
Ron, thanks for joining in the discussion.

We have approached this from different vantage points on the forum before. It is a profound issue, and is surely worthy of our sincere attention.

Joel

Rose
11-04-2008, 09:01 PM
Joel,

It seems to me that the tree is Israel, not Israel after the flesh, but the Israel of God, consisting of both natural Israelites as well as non-Israelites. I see the grafting in and being broken off as having to do, not specifically with salvation itself, but of being considered as the Israel of God. Yet it would seem that salvation is related in some way. Have to think more on that. Thanks for the question bro.

Ron

Hi Ron, glad you joined our conversation. :yo:

Being a part of the Olive tree does relate to our position in Christ. The Gentiles who were once the wild branches and outside of Gods Covenant, are now able to be grafted in and become a part of the natural tree (the Israel of God) which is equivalent to being saved, for we can't be in Christ and not be saved.

It does say however that God is able to cut those out that have been grafted in, the same as those who were part of the natural tree and were cut out because of unbelief....so it does appear to be saying that we can be cut out of the tree, thus losing our salvation, though it does go on to say, that those who do not abide in unbelief will be grafted back in.

Rom. 11:21-23 "For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again."

Since unbelief is the reason the branches were cut off, salvation seems to be what is lost by being cut off, or gained by being grafted into the olive tree.

Rose

joel
11-05-2008, 07:58 AM
Rose, does it mean anything to you that;

1.) the natural branches were grafted out because of unbelief. As they remain grafted out, they remain in unbelief (apistia).
a. the natural branches[in the olive tree]-------grafted out------[in apistia]

There are those natural branches that remained in the natural olive tree;
b. the natural branches[in the olive tree]---faith----[remain in the olive tree]

The natural branches that were grafted out of the natural olive, as in 1.),a., may be grafted back in as long as they do not remain as in 1.), a.

2.) the unnatural branches were grafted in among them, and with them that remained in the natural olive tree;
a. [ natural branches that remained.....the unnatural branches grafted in] the olive tree as it now appears.

Paul says that the current condition; 2.),a.
should result in a proper attitude concerning the branches that were cut out, and the branches that remain. And what do we say about them?

Those He grafted out were the result of their unbelief concerning Christ, the root of the tree which makes all branches holy (separated for service to God).

He can graft them back in when they exit their position of unbelief.

As to the unnatural branches grafted into the tree, which are now holy (separated for service to God), the root (holy) bears them, not the other way around. Be in fear (:20).

If God did not spare the natural branches, take heed (vs. 21), He will not spare you.

Behold, therefore, the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shall be cut off.

2.) The Olive that now is;
b.; [the olive tree]------[the grafted out unnatural branches that failed to remain in His goodness]....[the grafted out natural branches that were grafted out due to apistia]

The grafted out branches that failed to remain in His goodness are not grafted out due to apistia (no faith).

They are grafted out because they failed to remain in His goodness.

As I have said before, the olive tree is not about "salvation".....it is about "service to God". The saved serve, or, don't serve.......lack of service renders a believer unfruitful in the work of the Lord.

An unfruitful servant who is removed from service may always be reinstated because the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance.

Joel

gregoryfl
11-05-2008, 09:24 AM
Joel,

I understand you to believe that being grafted into the tree has to do with service to God, and not being saved. How is it possible after Christ came to serve God without being saved?

Paul links salvation in with being grafted to the tree in two statements:

1) After the fullness of the Gentiles gets grafted into the tree, he says that the hardening will be taken away, resulting in [as I would understand it] all fleshly Israel coming to faith in Christ and thus being grafted into the tree along with their fellow fleshly Israelite brothers and spiritual Gentile Israelite brothers. Paul speak of this in this way:
a partial hardening has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the
Gentiles has come in, and so all Israel will be saved. Rom 11:25,26
Here, salvation is linked with the full grafting into the tree of all the Israel of God.

2) For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things. To him be the glory for ever! Amen. Rom 11:36

While the word salvation is not specifically mentioned here, it is the high point of what he wrote in verse 26, and is thus speaking of the same thing. All things will eventually come back to Him again. This speaks of salvation in it's grandest sense. Only those in Christ, as believers, are in God through confession of faith in Christ.

1Jn 4:15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him, and he in God.

Col 3:3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Joh 3:21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his works may be revealed, that they have been done in God.'

These few examples show me that being in God is related to salvation, being born from above, having come to the light, Jesus Christ.

Rose
11-05-2008, 09:27 AM
I don't believe there are two categories of positions in the Olive tree/ one is either in communion with God, partaking of the root....hence a believer, or out of communion with God, cut off/walking in unbelief.

The Olive tree is about believers and unbelievers; nowhere in all of Romans 11 does it talk about "service to God". It's not about works. Carnal Israel was not walking in blindness because of "lack of service to God", it was because of refusing to accept their Messiah.

If the natural branches were cut off because of unbelief, the same holds true for the wild branches that were grafted in. I don't see how you can say there are 2 sets of criteria for being "cut off", one for lack of faith, and one for lack of service. All are one in Christ, there is no division or respecter of persons.

Rose

gregoryfl
11-05-2008, 09:35 AM
Rose,

I do see what you are writing about. The reason I have had difficulty in seeing the tree as explicitly being salvation is because I have come to believe in the salvation of all. This is one set of passages that I am currently trying to understand from that viewpoint. Although last night, as I thought more on what you said, I began to consider the possibility that [and I know this is going a bit off the subject] a person can in this life, through unbelief, throw away his salvation, can be grafted out of the tree, and even if he dies in that state, will still be, when all is said and done, saved. He will though be one who has his works burned up, and in shame, be punished with few or many stripes, depending on his works, yet still be saved, returning to his senses, like the prodigal son did.

I, for most of my life, believed in being able to fall from the faith and not be saved. When I came out of Jehovah's Witnesses though, I came to believe that one could never lose his salvation, and that God would see it through from beginning to end. I have always had those other verses from my previous view nagging at me though, and perhaps it isn't a matter of either/or, but both being true. I will continue to consider this more.

Thanks Rose, :ranger: <---replace coffee with coke :lol:

Ron

joel
11-05-2008, 01:18 PM
When the blood of Christ covers us, through the faith in His blood, we are justified. No longer under sin, but under the blood.

Once under the blood, a justified person is no longer subject to the wrath of God.

This is Paul's clear teaching concerning the reckoning of righteousness. Once reckoned righteous, a justified person cannot be reckoned unrighteous, and, therefore, "unsaved".

This is the erroneous teaching of the tree being representative of salvation.

The initial portions of Paul's letter to the Romans clarifies the issue of the justification portion of salvation. We are discussing Chapter 11, the final chapter of a three chapter section that deals with the fate of Israel as a nation.

The mixing and matching, apples and oranges, practice common in modern Christianity has produced a weak and tenuous faith. People worry about "falling from salvation" as if it is a moment by moment struggle.

Joel

gregoryfl
11-05-2008, 02:53 PM
Ron

I, too, find it sad of those who worry about losing their salvation. That is so like western thinking to try to analyze all the how's and reasons that would cause one to not be saved.

I look at a healthy family relationship as the physical type of the spiritual. In a healthy family, there is no daily struggle to remain in the family. There is no daily worry from kids as to whether they will lose their relationship with their mother and father. They concern themselves with how to please mom and dad. They focus on the fact that they are loved and cared for by mom and dad.

That to me, is what relationship toward God is. I may do things that are wrong that have consequences, but I am ultimately still loved by my Father. Our focus is on how to please our Father and Lord.

If Paul did not have salvation in mind regarding being grafted into the tree, then how would you understand him saying "by this all Israel will be saved."?

What salvation is he referring to there?

Ron

joel
11-05-2008, 04:24 PM
If Paul did not have salvation in mind regarding being grafted into the tree, then how would you understand him saying "by this all Israel will be saved."?

What salvation is he referring to there?

Ron

Salvation, in its common place limited definition, is a ticket to heaven.

However, salvation represents the overall, all-inclusive restoration of humanity from the sin and death brought into the creation through Adam, to the obedience and life brought into the creation by Christ.

It is a process of restoration. It includes Israel, as a people, as part of the process. When Paul says.....all Israel shall be saved.....he is saying that, in God's plan of restoration, Israel must be restored.....not as the end of the process.....but, as a means to the end when He "saves" all.

The tree, as I see it, represents the functionality of the earthly office that Israel was chosen to operate within. In this era, Gentiles operate in the grace of God to bring the saving work to the nations. But, Israel must also be restored to accomplish its calling. The saving process is that they will be grafted back into the natural tree that characterizes them as the natural branches.

Joel

Rose
11-05-2008, 05:34 PM
The tree, as I see it, represents the functionality of the earthly office that Israel was chosen to operate within. In this era, Gentiles operate in the grace of God to bring the saving work to the nations. But, Israel must also be restored to accomplish its calling. The saving process is that they will be grafted back into the natural tree that characterizes them as the natural branches.

Joel

The Olive tree is a metaphor of the Body of Christ, consisting of both the natural branches (1st century Jews only who were part of the Old Covenant), and all the rest which are the wild branches (Gentile believers). It represents an image of all who are In Christ.

Israel has been restored....it's called the New Jerusalem/the Bride of Christ, and its calling accomplished.....those who brought forth the Messiah.

Rose

joel
11-06-2008, 04:55 AM
Being In Christ is being in the new creation.

The Olive Tree is symbolic of being in service to God while the Old Creation still remains. Israel is not in service to God now. The nations are.

All distinctions of differences disappear in Christ; male, female, bond, free, nations, nationality......all of those things of the old which categorize humans.

But, if your viewpoint continues to see Israel as having passed away into oblivion, then you see things as you do.

Paul is the apostle to the Gentiles who explains what being in Christ means. No where do I find that he likened the olive tree with being "in Christ". First you say it represents "salvation".

The oil of the olive supplied fuel to light the lamps in ancient times. The olive tree supplies the oil. In God's plan of restoration.....not from the old, back to the old......but from the old, into the new....he will use the old until it is time to eliminate it for good. That time is yet future. You see the time as 70 A.D. when the temple was destroyed.

At present, the temple of God is bodies of individuals who are primarily called out from the Gentile nations. Paul says that "all Israel" shall be saved. If there were no continuing distinction why would he make it?

God is causing His saving work to be expressed in both heaven and earth. The body of Christ is clearly linked with the heavenly realms throughout Paul's writings. Earth is but a learning place for us.

Israel, on the other hand, has a distinct, unchangeable calling to the nations of the earth. The gifts and the calling of God are without repentance. This was shown to Paul, for our learning.

Joel

Rose
11-06-2008, 08:53 AM
How can the old remain, when Paul said in the first century that the old was vanishing away. Paul was speaking of things that were happening then. They were in the last days as Peter confirmed in Acts.

Acts 2:16-17 "But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:"

With the destruction of the Temple, the ability to legitimately be under the Old Covenant (keep the Law) was destroyed.

Just because the Jews of today practice part of the Law (because they can't possibly keep it all) does not mean they are under the Old Covenant. All people today are either under the New Covenant or outside the New Covenant. There is no Old....it has vanished away.

God Bless,
Rose

joel
11-06-2008, 09:27 AM
How can the old remain, when Paul said in the first century that the old was vanishing away. Paul was speaking of things that were happening then. They were in the last days as Peter confirmed in Acts.

Acts 2:16-17 "But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:"

With the destruction of the Temple, the ability to legitimately be under the Old Covenant (keep the Law) was destroyed.

Just because the Jews of today practice part of the Law (because they can't possibly keep it all) does not mean they are under the Old Covenant. All people today are either under the New Covenant or outside the New Covenant. There is no Old....it has vanished away.

God Bless,
Rose

The old remains, and recedes, while the new expands.

The major difference in our points of view is that;
Your view......the old ended in a finality. The new began as an entirety.

My view....the old began to recede, and will eventually find a finality.
The new was brought in and will always remain....eventually it will fully displace the old.
At present God is expressing His grace through the church which is His body.
Israel is displaced.
The Kingdom of God is like a householder who takes out of both the old and the new in the administration of his household.

The New Covenant that will be made with the House of Israel and with the house of Judah.......you see as having been already made.....and the church is the reality of the two houses......whereas, I continue to see the body of Christ, the ecclesia which is His body......the the sovereign nation of Israel as both being part of His ongoing plan....but, functioning in their relative spheres of influence in the future. Our differences seem to lie in the two different perspectives.

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-06-2008, 09:41 AM
The New Covenant that will be made with the House of Israel and with the house of Judah.......you see as having been already made.....and the church is the reality of the two houses......whereas, I continue to see the body of Christ, the ecclesia which is His body......the the sovereign nation of Israel as both being part of His ongoing plan....but, functioning in their relative spheres of influence in the future. Our differences seem to lie in the two different perspectives.

Joel
Hey there Joel,

I think you have stated one of the fundamental points that needs clarification. You assert that the New Covenant has not yet been made with "the house of Israel and the House of Judah." I find this very difficult to understand. With whom then did Christ make the New Covenant?

Matthew 26:28 "For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
In my understanding, this is the New Covenant that was ratified by the death of the Testator, Christ:

Hebrews 8:6-13 But now He [Christ] has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 8 ¶ Because finding fault with them, He says: "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah -- 9 "not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the LORD. 10 "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11 "None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12 "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." 13 In that He says, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
So this is the fundamental question; With whom did Christ make the New Covenant if not the House of Israel and the House of Judah?

Richard

joel
11-06-2008, 11:16 AM
Blessings to you, Richard, o fearless one.
Thanks for joining in. I have thoroughly enjoyed having this discussion with the lovelier of the two, The Rose of Washington state, Yakima I do believe.

As usually happens between us, during our discussions, we pull off the outer layers and get to the heart of the matter.

First, a covenant, when referring to God, concerns flesh. It is essentially a legally binding agreement concerning the disposition of the assets of an estate. God shares His estate with Man.

God, Who in His essence, is spirit. Man, made in His image, is flesh.

The first covenant was between the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and Israel, the nation of descendants of the fathers, patriarchs. It concerned the land of Canaan as the central home on earth, and the nations of the earth were to be included in the disposition of the agreement.

The second covenant is between the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the house of Israel, and the house of Jacob and is to be ratified when they receive a new heart, and He writes His laws on their hearts and minds.

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-06-2008, 12:54 PM
Blessings to you, Richard, o fearless one.
Thanks for joining in. I have thoroughly enjoyed having this discussion with the lovelier of the two, The Rose of Washington state, Yakima I do believe.

As usually happens between us, during our discussions, we pull off the outer layers and get to the heart of the matter.

First, a covenant, when referring to God, concerns flesh. It is essentially a legally binding agreement concerning the disposition of the assets of an estate. God shares His estate with Man.

God, Who in His essence, is spirit. Man, made in His image, is flesh.

The first covenant was between the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and Israel, the nation of descendants of the fathers, patriarchs. It concerned the land of Canaan as the central home on earth, and the nations of the earth were to be included in the disposition of the agreement.

The second covenant is between the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the house of Israel, and the house of Jacob and is to be ratified when they receive a new heart, and He writes His laws on their hearts and minds.

Joel
Hello my dear friend Joel,

It is very good to be chatting again. There is so much to explore. Your presence here and willingness to share even when we see things differently is very valuable.

As for you last post - I did not see an answer to the question "With whom did Christ make the New Covenant?". Could you please answer that?

Thanks! :yo:

Richard

joel
11-06-2008, 02:31 PM
It is very good to be chatting again. There is so much to explore. Your presence here and willingness to share even when we see things differently is very valuable.

As for you last post - I did not see an answer to the question "With whom did Christ make the New Covenant?". Could you please answer that?


It's always good to be discussing these matters with friends, in Christ.

Yes, there is much to explore, and because we can seek things out together in a spirit of mutual respect, and brotherly (and sisterly???...new word coined especially for Rose) love.....these times together are valuable.

As I see it, Richard, the covenants pertain to Israel. Christ Jesus faithfully met all the covenant conditions of first covenant in behalf of his kinsmen according to the flesh. The promises from God associated with the first covenant remain in effect due to the faithful obedience of the "Seed", the Lord Jesus, the master of us.

We Gentiles, who were strangers to the covenants of promise, are now partakers of His promises, as fellowheirs with Israel, belonging to the same family, as God's children.

The new covenant which represents the freedom in Christ of the New Jerusalem is the mother of us all, spiritually speaking. We are no longer in bondage under the old system but have been set free. The enmity that has existed between those of Israel and those of the nations has been eliminated in Christ's body. He has brought peace.

As humanity continues, in the flesh, there will arise a final attempt to turn mankind totally away from God. I believe that Israel will be right in the middle of the fray. There is still yet a great trial coming. But Jesus will bring the turmoil to a peaceful end, and subdue all resisting forces. His vast love will overcome all. He cannot fail. He is the full expression of Who God is, and He is conforming all of us to His image.

There will be those who not participate in the wondrous events to unfold as they will be confined to darkness. But, this is not a permanent state for them either. Because when they are raised to be judged they too will see Jesus, and the sight of Him will chase away all darkness.

It is my firm conviction that Israel will be used on the earth, and the church, the ecclesia which has been called out of the nations, will function in a heavenly realm always in the presence of the Lord.

The new covenant promises and blessings are ours, as well as Israel's. We are joint heirs (sugkleronomos).

Joel

gregoryfl
11-06-2008, 02:46 PM
It's always good to be discussing these matters with friends, in Christ.

Yes, there is much to explore, and because we can seek things out together in a spirit of mutual respect, and brotherly (and sisterly???...new word coined especially for Rose) love.....these times together are valuable.

As I see it, Richard, the covenants pertain to Israel. Christ Jesus faithfully met all the covenant conditions of first covenant in behalf of his kinsmen according to the flesh. The promises from God associated with the first covenant remain in effect due to the faithful obedience of the "Seed", the Lord Jesus, the master of us.
Joel,

I know I am not Rose or Richard, but hopefully allow one more question from myself. The first covenant you are referring to in the quote above, do you have in mind the covenant made with Abraham or the covenant made with Israel on Mount Sinai? I assume you mean the one with Abraham, as I do not believe you think that the covenant made on Mount Sinai is still in effect for Israel today, but just wanted to make sure.

Thanks,

Ron

joel
11-06-2008, 02:58 PM
Ron, I have only recently had contact with you, but I have appreciated your insights and expression of faith as well. Even though we have not met face to face, I feel that I have known Richard and Rose for some time.

As you may observe, my respect for them is of the highest level. Richard's work on the Biblewheel is revolutionary.....in a good way. I use the database nearly every day.

The covenant to which I referred was God's covenant with Abraham.

I look forward to more fellowship with you, as well as others who have come here as we give praises to the one true God, and to His Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

I pray that we see more of what He wants to show us in preparation of what lies ahead.

Joel

Rose
11-06-2008, 03:49 PM
.

The first covenant was between the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and Israel, the nation of descendants of the fathers, patriarchs. It concerned the land of Canaan as the central home on earth, and the nations of the earth were to be included in the disposition of the agreement.

The second covenant is between the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the house of Israel, and the house of Jacob and is to be ratified when they receive a new heart, and He writes His laws on their hearts and minds.

Joel

Thank you for your kind words to Richard and myself, I am very much enjoying our conversation.

I too have a question for you. If the New Covenant "second covenant" is between the House of Israel and the House of Judah, where do the Apostles and all the 1st century Jewish believers stand in relationship to the New Covenant, if it has not been ratified yet?

Were they not of the House of Israel, and were they not the foundation of the Church (body of Christ) which we all (no matter what our ethnic heritage is) are a part of today?

God bless,

Rose

gregoryfl
11-06-2008, 04:59 PM
Joel,

Thanks for the clarification. I apologize to you, Richard, and Rose for that remark. It's a long story but from certain things I have heard people say or read from them in my past, I often feel like I am butting in on a conversation, or that I am merely being tolerated. I know that is not the case here, but sometimes when I am in one of those "modes" of thinking, I take things the wrong way. Please forgive my erroneous thinking.

Ron

joel
11-06-2008, 05:03 PM
I too have a question for you. If the New Covenant "second covenant" is between the House of Israel and the House of Judah, where do the Apostles and all the 1st century Jewish believers stand in relationship to the New Covenant, if it has not been ratified yet?

Were they not of the House of Israel, and were they not the foundation of the Church (body of Christ) which we all (no matter what our ethnic heritage is) are a part of today?

My dearest Rose, the wife of Richard, the lion of the tribe of the house of Yakima, Washington, the United States of America, the continent of North America;

I say to you;........yes, we are all of the house of Israel, and the of the church (the body of Christ)....which does not matter today as to our actual heritage.... and yet, when He returns........He will gather together those of His body (we who are now called out of the nations)......and, His earthly counterpart (His pleroma,.....which we have discussed).....and, then......He will subdue all authority, and rule and bring into existence His new body, of which we are a part.

Joel

gregoryfl
11-06-2008, 07:32 PM
Hey Joel,

Would it be correct to say that you hold to a form of Remnant Theology, that the Church and Israel overlap each other in some way?

Ron

Richard Amiel McGough
11-07-2008, 12:10 AM
It's always good to be discussing these matters with friends, in Christ.

Yes, it most certainly is! :thumb:



Yes, there is much to explore, and because we can seek things out together in a spirit of mutual respect, and brotherly (and sisterly???...new word coined especially for Rose) love.....these times together are valuable.

Amen to that!



As I see it, Richard, the covenants pertain to Israel. Christ Jesus faithfully met all the covenant conditions of first covenant in behalf of his kinsmen according to the flesh. The promises from God associated with the first covenant remain in effect due to the faithful obedience of the "Seed", the Lord Jesus, the master of us.

We Gentiles, who were strangers to the covenants of promise, are now partakers of His promises, as fellowheirs with Israel, belonging to the same family, as God's children.

The new covenant which represents the freedom in Christ of the New Jerusalem is the mother of us all, spiritually speaking. We are no longer in bondage under the old system but have been set free. The enmity that has existed between those of Israel and those of the nations has been eliminated in Christ's body. He has brought peace.

I am having difficulting following your logic here. The book we call the "New Testament" really means "New Covenant." It is this New Covenant that the New Testament proclaims. Jesus Christ is the "mediator" of this "new covenant." It is, therefore, a present reality that was ratified by His blood 2000 years ago. I don't understand what you mean when you say that this covenant has not been ratified with Israel yet. Was that not what the Cross was all about? Was it not made with Israel? Paul was an Israelite. Peter was an Israelite. John was an Israelite. They all preached to their fellow Israelites that the New Covenant had come via the death and resurrection of Christ. The Apostles were all of Israel and they all preached to their fellow Israelites and told them that God had made a new covenant in Christ and that they must repent of their sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.

Please help me understand your view on this.

Many blessings!

Richard

joel
11-07-2008, 06:14 AM
Hey Joel,

Would it be correct to say that you hold to a form of Remnant Theology, that the Church and Israel overlap each other in some way?

Ron

Ron, I have never heard of the expression "remnant theology"......so I cannot respond until I get hold of what it is..........I am reluctant to give a label to anything anymore because labels are so confining in that labels separate believers into different compartments.

Please understand; I do believe there are proper, God-placed compartments into which He places us. Understanding where He places us, spiritually, is a vital process in our growth in Godly knowledge.

The "old man" seems to add his own adjustments which always lead astray.

Joel

gregoryfl
11-07-2008, 06:57 AM
I agree Joel. That's why I was careful to word it as "a form of", only meaning that some of the concept you might have believed. To save you having to muddle through a long explanation of it, what I mean is whether you believe that Israel and the Church are two totally separate entities, and always will remain so, or whether they somehow overlap each other. From what I think I understand you saying, you see them overlapping in a way, being part of the same tree. I just wanted to make sure I understood that.

Thanks bro,

Ron

joel
11-07-2008, 11:23 AM
Please help me understand your view on this.

Many blessings!


Re: The Old Covenant, The New Covenant

A covenant is a "disposition, or arrangement of any sort" (Strong #1242).

It comes from #1303, diatithomai, which, according to Strong, means "to arrange, dispose of one's affairs."

The covenant, that which we call the "old", concerned Israel, as a nation, and God, in the "disposition, or arrangement of His affairs" as pertained to their position that He placed them in as to the administration of justice, righteousness, mercy, faith, and all that pertains to His rule on the earth and the interaction of Israel with the other nations.

We know that they (Israel), as a group chosen to accomplish the above, failed on their part.

The one unblemished member of their group who held to the terms of the disposition, Jesus, however perfectly fulfilled the conditions for them on their part.

There were certain called out ones, during the time of His fulfillment, who, even though they failed as well, remained with Him and continued with Him through His "hour" of trial.

In Luke 22:28-30.....Jesus appoints ("covenanting to you") unto His disciples a kingdom..."as my Father hath appointed unto me."

He said that they.....would eat and drink at His table, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. This event, to me, represents the finality of the original covenant.

Then, there will be a new covenant entered into between Him and the house of Israel and the house of Judah to administer the Kingdom when He rules, and they rule with Him on the earth. A Covenant, in this respect, concerns humanity, in the flesh, and God. Israel will play a major role in the disposition of that covenant.

We, as members of the body of Christ, as we exist in the flesh, enjoy certain provisions of the New Covenant especially concerning the blood which covers our sins.

Currently, while Israel is "Not my People"......we are ministers of the New Covenant......as we are members of the 'new humanity'.

Joel

gregoryfl
11-07-2008, 11:44 AM
One thing I have always wondered is, with regard to the understanding those have that all of this was accomplished by around 70 CE, is this:

If by that date, all Israel has been saved, how does that play out with those who come to salvation after that date? And furthermore, does it go on forever, people being born and becoming joined to the tree, or does it truly ever come to a complete end, where no more are added? If the fullness of the Gentiles has come in by 70 CE, then where does that leave us, who live after that date?

I have some thoughts on it, but wanted to hear from those who have studied it far more than I.

Ron

Richard Amiel McGough
11-07-2008, 01:15 PM
One thing I have always wondered is, with regard to the understanding those have that all of this was accomplished by around 70 CE, is this:

If by that date, all Israel has been saved, how does that play out with those who come to salvation after that date? And furthermore, does it go on forever, people being born and becoming joined to the tree, or does it truly ever come to a complete end, where no more are added? If the fullness of the Gentiles has come in by 70 CE, then where does that leave us, who live after that date?

I have some thoughts on it, but wanted to hear from those who have studied it far more than I.

Ron
Hi Ron,

Those are excellent questions. The first thing to discern is the meaning of "all Israel." Thankfully, Paul was explicit when he said that "they are not all Israel, which are of Israel." Thus we know that "all Israel" refers to the faithful subgroup - the believing remnant - of them which were "of Israel" in the carnal sense.

The second thing to understand is that the word "so" in the sentence "And so all Israel shall be saved" is the Greek houtos which means "in this manner." Many people confuse this with the idea of "And then all Israel shall be saved." That is not what the text says.

So the question is "What is the manner in which 'all Israel' (which Paul defined as the faithful remnant who became Christians) would be saved? That is the point of his entire Epistle of Romans. All Israel is saved by the redeemer Jesus Christ who "came to Zion, as it is written:

Romans 11:26 And in this manner [through Christ] all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
The quote is in the future tense only because that is how it was given to the prophet Isaiah. Paul clearly understood that it had been fulfilled in Christ. That was his primary message, the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Redeemer of Zion, that he constantly preached.

Now as for "how it plays out" - it is the same for us as for them. Every person, whether Jew or Gentile, comes to God by faith through the New Covenant ratified by the blood of Jesus Christ.

Many blessings,

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
11-07-2008, 02:36 PM
Re: The Old Covenant, The New Covenant

A covenant is a "disposition, or arrangement of any sort" (Strong #1242).

It comes from #1303, diatithomai, which, according to Strong, means "to arrange, dispose of one's affairs."

Hey there Joel,


I'm glad you brought up the definitions. That is always an important step in our study. But I think you have missed the primary meaning of "covenant." The fundamental concept derives from the Hebrew "brit" which Strong's defines as follows:
ברית beriyth {ber-eeth'} from 01262 (in the sense of cutting [like 1254]); TWOT - 282a; n f AV - covenant 264, league 17, confederacy 1, confederate 1, confederate + 01167 1; 284 1) covenant, alliance, pledge 1a) between men 1a1) treaty, alliance, league (man to man) 1a2) constitution, ordinance (monarch to subjects) 1a3) agreement, pledge (man to man) 1a4) alliance (of friendship) 1a5) alliance (of marriage) 1b) between God and man 1b1) alliance (of friendship) 1b2) covenant (divine ordinance with signs or pledges) 2) (phrases) 2a) covenant making 2b) covenant keeping 2c) covenant violation

It seems to me that the primary meaning of "covenant" in the Bible is the idea of a pledge, a promise, an agreement between God and man, ratified with blood (a cutting). The idea of "disposition, or arrangement of any sort" seems too broad and nonspecific. It misses this fundamental meaning. This seems to cohere well with how it is used in Scripture:
2 Chronicles 21:7 Howbeit the LORD would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David, and as he promised to give a light to him and to his sons for ever.



Hebrews 8:6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
The NT Greek word seems to be intended to carry this same meaning, since it is the word that is used when translating the Hebrew brit.



The covenant, that which we call the "old", concerned Israel, as a nation, and God, in the "disposition, or arrangement of His affairs" as pertained to their position that He placed them in as to the administration of justice, righteousness, mercy, faith, and all that pertains to His rule on the earth and the interaction of Israel with the other nations.


I don't the idea of an earthly govenmental administration is central to the purpose of the first covenant at all. The purpose of the first covenant, encapsulated by the word "Law" or "Torah" is stated quite clearly by Paul:
Galatians 3:24 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
I don't see anything in the New Testament about the purpose of Israel as an earthly government to administer the things of God. On the contrary, the purpose of Israel was to bring forth Christ, the "light to the Gentiles." I am not aware of any clear Biblical teaching that God has some future purpose for Israel as a nation. From which verses are you deriving this doctrine?



We know that they (Israel), as a group chosen to accomplish the above, failed on their part.

No, I don't know that. Israel succeeded perfectly in their purpose to bring forth the Christ.



The one unblemished member of their group who held to the terms of the disposition, Jesus, however perfectly fulfilled the conditions for them on their part.

Christ went well beyond "fulfilling" the Law in the sense of a man obeying commandments. That was not his purpose. Yes, he had to be sinless so he could be our sacrificial lamb, but just being sinless did nothing for us. The real purpose of his coming was the sacrifice of himself that brought in the New Covenant.



There were certain called out ones, during the time of His fulfillment, who, even though they failed as well, remained with Him and continued with Him through His "hour" of trial.

In Luke 22:28-30.....Jesus appoints ("covenanting to you") unto His disciples a kingdom..."as my Father hath appointed unto me."

He said that they.....would eat and drink at His table, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. This event, to me, represents the finality of the original covenant.


That's an excellent insight. I had not noticed the verb "to covenant" in that passage. It fits very well with the promise to take any promise of any kingdom from carnal Israel and to give the Kingdom of God to the faithful remnant [Christians].
Matthew 21:43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
The "finality" of the judgement came upon carnal Israel in 70 AD. This was represented in Revelation 19 as the "Marriage Supper of the Lamb."



Then, there will be a new covenant entered into between Him and the house of Israel and the house of Judah to administer the Kingdom when He rules, and they rule with Him on the earth. A Covenant, in this respect, concerns humanity, in the flesh, and God. Israel will play a major role in the disposition of that covenant.

This brings up the fundamental point I have been trying to clarify with you. I don't understand how you can say that "there will be a new covenant" when in fact the Lord Himself said "This is the blood of the New Covenant." So again, I would be very happy if you could tell me with whom did Christ make the New Covenant? Were not Paul and Peter and James and John all Israelites? Did they not enter into the New Covenant?

And besides all this, the fundamental problem I have trying to understand you point of view is that it seems like you base all the promises on the flesh. You seem to think being a son of Abraham's flesh means something. But the Bible is super super explicit that the carnal sons have no promises from God. It would really help if you could explain this.



We, as members of the body of Christ, as we exist in the flesh, enjoy certain provisions of the New Covenant especially concerning the blood which covers our sins.

Currently, while Israel is "Not my People"......we are ministers of the New Covenant......as we are members of the 'new humanity'.

Joel
Why do you say "Israel" is not the people of God? What happened to Peter, Paul, James and John? Did they get kicked out of Israel when they beleived in their Messiah? Are only the faithless unbeliving carnal sons of Abraham considered "Israel"?

Thank you for working with me on these important questions my friend. You insights are very valuable.

Many blessings in Yehoshuah HaMeshiach!

Richard

joel
11-07-2008, 04:26 PM
Continuing the discussion on covenant;

Beriyth....covenant, allegiance, pledge....comes from barah (to eat)...also (to chose).....comes from bara...to create, shape, form.

1st use of Beriyth.....Gen. 6:18....the Lord established a covenant with Noah.
He, his wife, 3 sons and 3 daughters-in-law, entered into the Ark as the surviving "flesh" of the first creation, along with the "flesh" of the animals.
Concluded with a promise to Noah's seed, and the seed after him
.....all flesh would not be cut off by the waters of a flood, and the earth would not be destroyed by flood.

Next use.....Gen. 14:13....there were those who were "confederate with Abram" who joined him to rescue Lot (Abram's nephew and family and associates). This occurred within the land, after Lot and Abram had divided the land. This section of narrative contains the appearance of Melchizedek, who after Abram refused the proposal of Sodom's king to split up the booty of the war, blessed Abram in behalf of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, and offered Abram bread and wine (which speaks of the sacrifice of Christ's blood and body).

The covenant the Lord made with Abram, Gen. 15:18...."to cut" a covenant, "karak" to cut off a body part. When Abram questioned God as to how he would know that his seed would inherit the land of promise, God instructed Abram to cut the pieces of certain animals and lay the pieces adjacent to each other. God ratified the covenant by descending from above as a smoking furnace and a burning lamp, and passed between the pieces.
(This signified that when the pieces of the animals were assimilated in the flame and consumed, they no longer remained as separate cut pieces, but, as "one".......indicating that a covenant is an agreement of that joins the two together).

Later, in Gen. 17:11, Abram ratified the agreement when he circumcised the flesh as instructed by God.
God said that.....my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.

Covenant involves "flesh"........the cutting away of the flesh. the covenant with Abram, and his flesh (applicable to the seed) would be everlasting (owlam).

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-07-2008, 04:46 PM
Covenant involves "flesh"........the cutting away of the flesh. the covenant with Abram, and his flesh (applicable to the seed) would be everlasting (owlam).

Joel
Yes, the covenant "involves" the flesh - indeed, it was ratified when Christ was crucified. But the promise of the New Covenant has nothing to do with the flesh. Scripture is exceedingly clear on this point. The "children of the flesh" - namely, carnal sons of Abraham - never had any promises from God at all.

Romans 9:6-8 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.
The unbelieving carnal sons of Abraham never had any promises from God. Only believers are "counted as seed." This is the fundamental confusion I have about your understanding. You seem to be directly contradicting Scripture when you say that unbelieving carnal Israel has some great promises for the future. Where is that in the Bible?

And most importantly, I don't understand what you believe about the status of Peter, Paul, James, and John. They were all Israelites. They all entered into the New Covenant. Therefore, God made the New Covenant with Israel. It seems that you are saying that only the unbelievers of Israel have any promises from God. It's all very confusing, and I don't see much Scripture backing up these ideas.

I think we should find the "Big Picture" of what the Bible is plainly teaching without all this "going in circles." I don't understand why it's so confusing. The text seems crystal clear. The believing remnant of national Israel recieved all the promises of God. The unbelieving "children of the flesh" never had any promises from God in the first place. Why then should we think that God has changed His ways and now will honour the flesh and works over the spirit and faith?

Richard

gregoryfl
11-07-2008, 05:32 PM
Covenant involves "flesh"........the cutting away of the flesh. the covenant with Abram, and his flesh (applicable to the seed) would be everlasting (owlam).
While this does not continue as physical circumcision, it could have application with regard to spiritual circumcision of the heart. As each of us is begotten from above, we ratify the covenant by this spiritual circumcision.

joel
11-10-2008, 06:32 AM
Continuing with covenant;
A. [The covenant with Noah, rainbow an ongoing sign to man, no flood]
B. [The Covenant w/ Abraham, Isaac,Jacob, circumcision ongoing sign/Israel]
C. [Sinai, the law of Moses, the Priesthood, all of Israel]
D. [David, Kingship, rule, throne as per II Sam. 23, Psalm 89]
E. [The New Covenant, Jer. 31:31-34.]

These are the major covenants that I can find (with the assistance of the writings of Commander J.G.H. Steedman).

As to C. [Sinai..], Ezekiel 20:33-44, indicates that the covenant which was broken by Israel will be restored in such a manner that it will likened as the time Israel was brought into the wilderness following their release from Egypt. During this time of restoration, they will "pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant;" (vs. 37)

At present, during the time that Israel has been diminished, and the Gentiles have been grafted into the olive tree, the New Covenant [E] blessings have been extended to the nations. The central blessing of the New Covenant, the blood of the covenant, has been extended to the body of Christ. It will be eventually a blessing to all people, but, first, Israel must be restored to minister to the nations.

The covenants with Israel guarantee that their sins will be forgiven as this is God's distinct promise to them, Romans 11:26-27.

The first covenant has been passing away up until now. Israel is not being regarded at present....but provisions of the first covenant still remain, and will continue to remain until the New Covenant is made with the house of Israel, and the house of Judah. (Hebrews 8:7-13).

The first covenant with Israel is "decaying and waxing away"....and is "vanishing". Just as the clothes of old man have decayed, and we are to put them off, they still remain. We are instructed to put on the new man. The old and the new exist at the same time. But, it will not always be so.

Joel

Rose
11-10-2008, 08:52 AM
At present, during the time that Israel has been diminished, and the Gentiles have been grafted into the olive tree, the New Covenant [E] blessings have been extended to the nations. The central blessing of the New Covenant, the blood of the covenant, has been extended to the body of Christ. It will be eventually a blessing to all people, but, first, Israel must be restored to minister to the nations.

The covenants with Israel guarantee that their sins will be forgiven as this is God's distinct promise to them, Romans 11:26-27.

The first covenant has been passing away up until now. Israel is not being regarded at present....but provisions of the first covenant still remain, and will continue to remain until the New Covenant is made with the house of Israel, and the house of Judah. (Hebrews 8:7-13).

The first covenant with Israel is "decaying and waxing away"....and is "vanishing". Just as the clothes of old man have decayed, and we are to put them off, they still remain. We are instructed to put on the new man. The old and the new exist at the same time. But, it will not always be so.

Joel

Thank you for your overview: here is how I see it.

When Jesus came in the 1st century, the greater part of Israel did not receive Him, only a remnant did. That remnant were the natural branches of the Olive tree that did not get cut off. They were the ones who received the fullness of all the promises given to Israel by God. They were the foundation of the church, which went on to include the Gentiles (wild branches grafted in).

At that time (1st century) the Old Covenant which up to that point all of Israel was under, was passing away, till finally its last traces vanished with the destruction of the Temple, forever barring anyone from being able to keep the whole law of the Old Covenant. In that sense the true Old Covenant no longer exists, it is dead. That is why it says, if and when the cut off branches are grafted back into the Olive tree it is like life from the dead.

What the Jews of Israel practice today is a portion of the OC that is no longer valid to God, it is a partial representation of what is dead, the true Old does not exist anymore. Anyone today who desires to be in right standing with God, must come to Him through His Son, the bearer of the New Covenant.

God Bless,

Rose

joel
11-10-2008, 09:47 AM
When Jesus came in the 1st century, the greater part of Israel did not receive Him, only a remnant did. That remnant were the natural branches of the Olive tree that did not get cut off. They were the ones who received the fullness of all the promises given to Israel by God. They were the foundation of the church, which went on to include the Gentiles (wild branches grafted in).

They did not receive Him simply because it was predetermined, and prophecised that they would not receive Him (Is. 6).

The remnant that did receive Him are the election according to grace.

The lack of faith (apistia) of the others caused them to grafted out of the tree, but that was temporary as they are the natural branches. It was the goodness of God that allowed you and me to be grafted in.......but,......we should have an attitude of "fear" in that if we should "vaunt it" over the natural branches, we too may be grafted out of the tree. Paul teaches in the earlier portion of his letter to the Romans that once you are reckoned righteous God is not going to again reckon you as unrighteous no matter what manner of life you choose to live. If, however, you do not remain in the "goodness" of God, you will be grafted out of the tree.

There is an interesting part of the olive tree portion of Romans 11 where Paul says that we are to extend "mercy" to Israel which will be instrumental in the restoration of their faith.

In other words, it is the "goodness" of God that resulted in our being grafted into the tree.......while the grafting out of Israel displayed his severity.

We are to remain in the "goodness".........and, extend "mercy.....kindness" to those who are in need of aid. In Israel's case, such "kindness" will be proof that we are being filled with the "fullness" of God. Could this be what the "pleroma" means?

The Gentile body being filled with the fullness of God! What a marvelous testimony. Will that not provoke them to "jealousy"?

Joel

gregoryfl
11-10-2008, 03:14 PM
The second thing to understand is that the word "so" in the sentence "And so all Israel shall be saved" is the Greek houtos which means "in this manner." Many people confuse this with the idea of "And then all Israel shall be saved." That is not what the text says.

Richard, Rose, and Joel,

This to me seems to be a key, if not the key, to understanding what we are trying to establish. For if the houtos describes the manner in which natural Israel will be saved, keeping them separate from the remnant of saved Israel as well as the grafted-in Gentiles, then there would have to be a future fulfillment to this verse, since all Gentiles have not been saved yet.

If, on the other hand, the houtos describes the manner in which the remnant "Israel" will be saved, by the inclusion of both Jew and Gentile, leaving out natural Israel all together, then there could be a first century fulfillment of this, which results extend into the indefinite future as a state of existence, such as the new heaven and new earth, which was fulfilled (came into existence) in the first century, and in which we still live today.

Ron

joel
11-10-2008, 04:25 PM
Richard, Rose, and Joel,

This to me seems to be a key, if not the key, to understanding what we are trying to establish. For if the houtos describes the manner in which natural Israel will be saved, keeping them separate from the remnant of saved Israel as well as the grafted-in Gentiles, then there would have to be a future fulfillment to this verse, since all Gentiles have not been saved yet.

If, on the other hand, the houtos describes the manner in which the remnant "Israel" will be saved, by the inclusion of both Jew and Gentile, leaving out natural Israel all together, then there could be a first century fulfillment of this, which results extend into the indefinite future as a state of existence, such as the new heaven and new earth, which was fulfilled (came into existence) in the first century, and in which we still live today.

Ron


For if the houtos describes the manner in which natural Israel will be saved,.......option "A".

If, on the other hand, the houtos describes the manner in which the remnant "Israel" will be saved,.....option "B".

This to me seems to be a key, if not the key, to understanding what we are trying to establish.

Bravo!

Joel

So......which is it?

Richard Amiel McGough
11-10-2008, 04:43 PM
Richard, Rose, and Joel,

This to me seems to be a key, if not the key, to understanding what we are trying to establish. For if the houtos describes the manner in which natural Israel will be saved, keeping them separate from the remnant of saved Israel as well as the grafted-in Gentiles, then there would have to be a future fulfillment to this verse, since all Gentiles have not been saved yet.

If, on the other hand, the houtos describes the manner in which the remnant "Israel" will be saved, by the inclusion of both Jew and Gentile, leaving out natural Israel all together, then there could be a first century fulfillment of this, which results extend into the indefinite future as a state of existence, such as the new heaven and new earth, which was fulfilled (came into existence) in the first century, and in which we still live today.

Ron


For if the houtos describes the manner in which natural Israel will be saved,.......option "A".

If, on the other hand, the houtos describes the manner in which the remnant "Israel" will be saved,.....option "B".

This to me seems to be a key, if not the key, to understanding what we are trying to establish.

Bravo!

Joel

So......which is it?


I agree with Joel - Bravo! for a very clear statement of the issue. I think Paul's answer would be "Option B" because of the definition of "all Israel" that he gave in the beginning of his discussion in Romans 9-11:
Romans 9:6-8 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.

Romans 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
It seems to me that the phrase "all Israel" refers to the same group in both verses, that is, to the "children of promise" which are the believing remnant of carnal Israel. There is nothing that I can see anywhere in the Bible that suggests that anyone has any promises from God based on the mere fact of carnal descent from Abraham. On the contrary, the text seems to me to very plainly state the opposite. There are no promises from God for the "children of the flesh" of Abraham.

Richard

joel
11-11-2008, 11:47 AM
the manner in which natural Israel will be saved,

This is an interesting phrase.

In what manner is a person saved today? The most essential truth concerning this is explained in detail in the first section of Paul's letter to the Romans.

The essence of it is..........the reckoning of righteousness......by faith.....in His blood. When this occurs, Paul explains that our sins are covered over. As Abraham discerned, and as David proclaimed, Happy is the man to whom the Lord no longer reckons sin. He reckons (logizomai) righteousness (Romans 4).

Justice has been served in a perfect manner. The sins which would call for the wrath of God are now "under" the blood of Christ........Paul said that Jesus is a "propitiation".....the "mercy seat" where the blood would be sprinkled to cover the sins of the people.

We, who were sinners subject to the just judgment of God, are now declared to be "righteous" as God grants faith in His Blood.

In Romans 11:26,27, Paul says; And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

Does Paul use these expressions anywhere else in describing the saving work of God towards Gentiles?

I have been searching, and still continue, but, have not found such descriptions.........concerning Gentiles and Jews today who are being saved.

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-11-2008, 12:41 PM
In Romans 11:26,27, Paul says; And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

Does Paul use these expressions anywhere else in describing the saving work of God towards Gentiles?

I have been searching, and still continue, but, have not found such descriptions.........concerning Gentiles and Jews today who are being saved.

Joel
Hey there Joel,

The phrase "take away their sins" represents the absolute core and essence of the Gospel which is the New Covenant that Christ ratified with His blood on the the Cross. We find it applied to Jews and Gentiles alike throughout the New Testament:

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
1 John 3:4-6 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
Acts 22:12-16 And one Ananias, a devout man [Jew] according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there, 13 Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him. 14 And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. 15 For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. 16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
Hebrews 9:24-26 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: 25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; 26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.There is no distinction between Jew and Gentile under the New Covenant. All are saved in the "same manner" through faith in Christ who has taken away our sins.

Richard

joel
11-11-2008, 12:48 PM
Richard, Is there any distinction between what Paul says to the Gentiles, and what is said in the other writings?

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-11-2008, 12:53 PM
Richard, Is there any distinction between what Paul says to the Gentiles, and what is said in the other writings?

Joel
What "other writings" are you talking about? it seems to me that all of Paul's letters were written to Jews and Gentiles alike.

Richard

joel
11-11-2008, 01:09 PM
Paul is the apostle of the uncircumcision whose commission was to herald the gospel of the uncircumcision (Gal. 2:7,8).

His writings proclaim the gospel of the uncircumcision.....unto Jews as well as Gentiles during this current age.

The "other writings" do not address the same issues in the same way. Can you not discern any difference?

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-11-2008, 01:16 PM
Paul is the apostle of the uncircumcision whose commission was to herald the gospel of the uncircumcision (Gal. 2:7,8).

His writings proclaim the gospel of the uncircumcision.....unto Jews as well as Gentiles during this current age.

The "other writings" do not address the same issues in the same way. Can you not discern any difference?

Joel
Paul's description as the Apostle to the "uncircumcised" merely described the primary focus of his ministry. It should not be taken to imply that he taught one thing to the Gentiles and something different to the Jews.

Are you suggesting that there are two different "Gospels"? One "to the uncircumcised" and a different one to the "circumcised"?

What are the "other writings" to which you refer?

Richard

joel
11-11-2008, 02:09 PM
No,......there are not different gospels.

As the apostle to the uncircumcision, his letters have a direct application to me, which I do not believe of other letters, such as James......indirect, surely, as all scripture is profitable.....have direct application.

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-11-2008, 08:27 PM
No,......there are not different gospels.

As the apostle to the uncircumcision, his letters have a direct application to me, which I do not believe of other letters, such as James......indirect, surely, as all scripture is profitable.....have direct application.

Joel


I'm familiar with the doctrine that only Paul's letters have a "direct application" to Gentile Christians, but I do not believe that is correct or that it is based on Scripture. Indeed, it seems to be an incoherent doctrine because Peter said that he and Paul wrote to the same group of people whereas the doctine that you propose says that Paul's writing do not "directly apply" to the same group of people:
2 Peter 3:15-16 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
Paul's letters were "directly applicable" to the people to who Peter wrote. I see no reason to suggest that the reverse is not also true.

Richard

Rose
11-11-2008, 10:56 PM
I'm familiar with the doctrine that only Paul's letters have a "direct application" to Gentile Christians, but I do not believe that is correct or that it is based on Scripture. Indeed, it seems to be an incoherent doctrine because Peter said that he and Paul wrote to the same group of people whereas the doctine that you propose says that Paul's writing do not "directly apply" to the same group of people:
2 Peter 3:15-16 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.Paul's letters were "directly applicable" to the people to who Peter wrote. I see no reason to suggest that the reverse is not also true.

Richard

We also know that the Apostle John was directed to write to the seven Churches in Revelation that were comprised of both Jew and Gentile. So in keeping with that it would stand to reason that his Epistles were also directed to both Jew and Gentile.

Rose

Richard Amiel McGough
11-11-2008, 11:38 PM
We also know that the Apostle John was directed to write to the seven Churches in Revelation that were comprised of both Jew and Gentile. So in keeping with that it would stand to reason that his Epistles were also directed to both Jew and Gentile.

Rose
That's a good point. I also would ask if these words of the Apostle John don't have a "direct application" to all Christians:

John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
To whom does the Gospel proclaimed by the Apostle John apply? I would say everyone. There is no distinction between Jew or Gentile. That distinction ended when the New Covenant was ratifited and the Old Covenant ended with utter and complete finality.

Richard

joel
11-12-2008, 09:38 AM
To whom does the Gospel proclaimed by the Apostle John apply? I would say everyone. There is no distinction between Jew or Gentile. That distinction ended when the New Covenant was ratifited and the Old Covenant ended with utter and complete finality.

It, the gospel proclaimed by the Apostle John, applies to all who believe.

Peter, when he began to proclaim the gospel, preached first to the Jews, and, then, when God so directed, he reluctantly preached to the Gentiles......and, when he did, they, the Gentiles who heard him, received the same outward certification of the authenticity of their faith.....The Holy Ghost "fell" on them as God "poured out" the gift of the Holy Ghost, and they spoke in tongues and magnified God. Peter, when he saw this, compelled them to be baptized in the name of Jesus (Acts 10:44-48.

The gospel is the gospel........there is no other gospel.

However, there are different manifestations, and, requirements commanded depending on who is proclaiming the gospel.....Paul or Peter, as being apostles in different spheres.........circumcision or uncircumcision.

At present, while the ministry of the authority of Paul's apostleship continues, there is absolutely no distinction between Jew and Gentile, and, circumcision of the outward flesh contributes nothing. Believers subject to Paul's ministry are blessed with New Covenant blessings without any outward obligations.......baptism does not apply, nor, any outward ritual. The Lord Supper is not an obligation, but a privilege.

When Peter presented the gospel, the outward sign of the pouring out of the Spirit occurred, and, the believer was commanded to be baptized into the name of Jesus. Paul made no distinctions.....in fact, he finally avoided baptism altogether, and spoke only of tongues as a sign to unbelievers.

When the New Covenant will be made with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, then, outward circumcision will be replaced by an inward spiritual fulfillment.

The blessings of the New Covenant as afforded by the blood of Christ are extended to us today, and we are exhorted, by Paul, to partake of the blessings of the table, a memorial to His death, until He comes.

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-12-2008, 10:01 AM
To whom does the Gospel proclaimed by the Apostle John apply? I would say everyone. There is no distinction between Jew or Gentile. That distinction ended when the New Covenant was ratifited and the Old Covenant ended with utter and complete finality.

It, the gospel proclaimed by the Apostle John, applies to all who believe.

Excellent. I agree completely. But now I don't know what you mean when you say that the letters of James, Peter, and John don't have a "direct application" to you. As I mentioned in a previous post, that doctrine seems to be incoherent because Peter said that he and Paul had written to the same group of believers.



The gospel is the gospel........there is no other gospel.

However, there are different manifestations, and, requirements commanded depending on who is proclaiming the gospel.....Paul or Peter, as being apostles in different spheres.........circumcision or uncircumcision.

Please specify the precise nature of the different "requirements commanded" for Jews and Gentiles by the Gospel.



At present, while the ministry of the authority of Paul's apostleship continues, there is absolutely no distinction between Jew and Gentile, and, circumcision of the outward flesh contributes nothing. Believers subject to Paul's ministry are blessed with New Covenant blessings without any outward obligations.......baptism does not apply, nor, any outward ritual. The Lord Supper is not an obligation, but a privilege.

When Peter presented the gospel, the outward sign of the pouring out of the Spirit occurred, and, the believer was commanded to be baptized into the name of Jesus. Paul made no distinctions.....in fact, he finally avoided baptism altogether, and spoke only of tongues as a sign to unbelievers.

It does not make any sense to me to suggest that there is a distinction between the Gospel preached by Peter and Paul based on the idea of baptism. The Lord Jesus Christ himself commanded all believers to baptize:

Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:
Are you saying that Paul contadicted this command from the Lord?

Your statement that Paul "avoided baptism altogether" is not correct. He himself baptized beleivers such as Crispus, Gaius, and the household of Stephanus (1 Cor 1:14-16). He also taught baptism as a fundamental doctrine of the faith:

Ephesians 4:4-6 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
As I see it, there is absolutely no division between the teachings of Peter, Paul, John, James, or Jude.



When the New Covenant will be made with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, then, outward circumcision will be replaced by an inward spiritual fulfillment.

Again,
Scripture declares that the New Covenant was made with the house of Israel and the house of Judah (Hebrews 8). The idea that the New Covenant has not been made with "the house of Israel and the house of Judah" seems to be fundamental to your doctrine, so we really should dig into it to see if it has any foundation in Scripture. The fundamental question I have been asking is yet to be answered. So again, I must ask "With whom did Christ make the New Covenant?"

Richard

joel
11-12-2008, 02:42 PM
Baptism is immersion.

In Matt. 28:19......baptism is into the name.....

There is only one baptism as taught by Paul.......when the spirit baptizes the believer into Christ...which is signifying....baptism into His death (Romans 6).

Baptism into water, which Peter and the disciples originally administered was a baptism into water, after John the Baptist's baptism.

Joel

gregoryfl
11-12-2008, 03:15 PM
Act 16:14 A certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, one who worshiped God, heard us; whose heart the Lord opened to listen to the things which were spoken by Paul.
Act 16:15 When she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and stay.” So she persuaded us.


Act 16:30 and brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

Act 16:31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
Act 16:32 They spoke the word of the Lord to him, and to all who were in his house.

Act 16:33 He took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes, and was immediately baptized, he and all his household.
Act 16:34 He brought them up into his house, and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, with all his household, having believed in God.

When did this baptism take place? And was this baptism with water? The scriptural evidence points to this being something physical that took place at some point after belief as a separate act. Notice that at least some time passed after she believed when she and her household were baptized. Further, regarding this jailor, he believed, then washed their wounds, THEN immediately after that was baptized.

In case this isn't clear enough, Paul's story shows us this beyond a reasonable doubt, where it is recorded:

Act 9:17 Ananias departed, and entered into the house. Laying his hands on him, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord, who appeared to you on the road by which you came, has sent me, that you may receive your sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Act 9:18 Immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he received his sight. He arose and was baptized.

Why would Luke say he rose and THEN was baptized? It is obvious that he had to get to physical water after receiving his sight in order to be physically baptized.

Paul certainly did receive much revelation of deeper things concerning the body of Christ, but there is no evidence that it replaced water baptism.

As to his statement of not baptizing, consider WHY he was saying it. The context indicates that there were people latching onto personalities and dividing the body. He would have none of that. There again is no indication that he was saying that water baptism was not necessary.

I do believe that some of Paul's revelation was not easily received by the other apostles at first. That seems clear from his account in Galatians. But that revelation had nothing to do with a different good news than what was preached by Peter and the others originally. It mainly had to do with the law and how it related to non-Jews.

Ron

joel
11-12-2008, 03:41 PM
Paul certainly did receive much revelation of deeper things concerning the body of Christ, but there is no evidence that it replaced water baptism.


Then what does he say in I Corinthians 1:16, 17?

His ministry over-lapped that of the Jerusalem apostles in the book of Acts, but, by the time he wrote to the Corinthians he clarified his commission.

According to him, water baptism makes the word of the cross of none effect, it empties it of its power.

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-12-2008, 04:00 PM
Act 16:14 A certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, one who worshiped God, heard us; whose heart the Lord opened to listen to the things which were spoken by Paul.
Act 16:15 When she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, 'If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and stay.' So she persuaded us.


Act 16:30 and brought them out and said, 'Sirs, what must I do to be saved?'

Act 16:31 They said, 'Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.'
Act 16:32 They spoke the word of the Lord to him, and to all who were in his house.

Act 16:33 He took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes, and was immediately baptized, he and all his household.
Act 16:34 He brought them up into his house, and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, with all his household, having believed in God.

When did this baptism take place? And was this baptism with water? The scriptural evidence points to this being something physical that took place at some point after belief as a separate act. Notice that at least some time passed after she believed when she and her household were baptized. Further, regarding this jailor, he believed, then washed their wounds, THEN immediately after that was baptized.

In case this isn't clear enough, Paul's story shows us this beyond a reasonable doubt, where it is recorded:

Act 9:17 Ananias departed, and entered into the house. Laying his hands on him, he said, 'Brother Saul, the Lord, who appeared to you on the road by which you came, has sent me, that you may receive your sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit.'
Act 9:18 Immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he received his sight. He arose and was baptized.

Why would Luke say he rose and THEN was baptized? It is obvious that he had to get to physical water after receiving his sight in order to be physically baptized.

Paul certainly did receive much revelation of deeper things concerning the body of Christ, but there is no evidence that it replaced water baptism.

As to his statement of not baptizing, consider WHY he was saying it. The context indicates that there were people latching onto personalities and dividing the body. He would have none of that. There again is no indication that he was saying that water baptism was not necessary.

I do believe that some of Paul's revelation was not easily received by the other apostles at first. That seems clear from his account in Galatians. But that revelation had nothing to do with a different good news than what was preached by Peter and the others originally. It mainly had to do with the law and how it related to non-Jews.

Ron
That is an excellent answer Ron. :thumb: You have given solid evidence that Paul himself was babtized in water and that he also baptized others in water.

Further evidence is found in Romans:

Romans 6:3-6 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
There is nothing in this passage that suggests Paul was talking about being baptized in the "Spirit" and there is much to contradict that idea since "Spirit baptism" is not a metaphor for being crucified with Christ. The immersion in water was a symbol of his death. Christ refered to his own death by crucifixion as his "baptism" in Luke 12:50. Also, Christ himself was baptized in water, and Phillip baptized the eunich in water (Acts 8:36).

Richard

joel
11-12-2008, 04:11 PM
There is nothing in this passage that suggests Paul was talking about being baptized in the "Spirit" and there is much to contradict that idea since "Spirit baptism" is not a metaphor for being crucified with Christ. The immersion in water was a symbol of his death. Christ refered to his own death by crucifixion as his "baptism" in Luke 12:50. Also, Christ himself was baptized in water, and Phillip baptized the eunich in water (Acts 8:36).


Spirit baptism, in the context of what is taught in "full-gospel" ministries, is not what is spoken of in Romans 6. Who said that?

Paul is talking about being baptized into Christ. This is the essential truth of the cross.....sustauaros. together crucified.

If we preach water baptism, then, we empty the cross of its power.

How can you present two truths at once which conflict? .......water baptism is a conflict with our baptism into Christ on the cross. That is what Paul meant. And, when he realized the truth he discontinued water baptism as is clearly evident in I Corinthians. Once we see a new facet of the truth, we are to no longer preach what we once preached before seeing the truth.

This is what makes Paul's message unique. Where do you find Peter or James preaching or teaching Romans 6?

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-12-2008, 04:21 PM
Then what does he say in I Corinthians 1:16, 17?


All Paul was saying in 1 Cor 1:16-17 was that he was glad that he himself had not baptized a lot of people becuase many of them had fallen into an extremely divisive error by claiming their baptism was better than someone elses. He was opposing the cult of personality that had developed. This is extremely plain:
1 Corinthians 1:11-17 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; 15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. 16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. 17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
The whole point was the division caused by folks being baptized by different leaders. There is absolutely nothing in that passage that suggests Paul didn't "teach" water baptism. On the contrary, we have direct evidence that Paul really did baptize a number of people in water. Does this not settle the question?



According to him, water baptism makes the word of the cross of none effect, it empties it of its power.

Joel

That is not what Paul meant. There is no way the water baptism in and of itself could "make the word of the cross of none effect." That's not what the passage says at all. The pasage says it was the use of "the wisdom of word" - that is, RHETORIC - that would empty the cross of its power:
1 Corinthians 1:17-18 17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. 18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

The phrase "not with the wisdom of words" modifies the verb "to preach." It has nothing to do with water baptism. This is confirmed by the next verse in which Paul says that the preaching of the Cross is "foolishnesh" to those who are perishing. Furthermore, he said essentially the same thing a little later in the same epistle:
1 Corinthians 2:1-5 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
It seems to me that inventing divisions between Peter and Paul is a prime example of the kind of rhetoric that destroys the the plain preaching of the Gospel and the power of the cross.

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
11-12-2008, 04:43 PM
Paul is talking about being baptized into Christ. This is the essential truth of the cross.....sustauaros. together crucified.

Exactly correct. And water baptism is the outward symbol of being "baptized into Christ" which happens when a person believes. I don't see any conflict between the two.



If we preach water baptism, then, we empty the cross of its power.

As shown in my previous post, that passages says nothing about "water baptism" emptying the cross of it's power. Paul was clearly teaching that it was fancy rhetoric - human wisdom - that empties the power of the cross. Do you agree with this?



How can you present two truths at once which conflict? .......water baptism is a conflict with our baptism into Christ on the cross. That is what Paul meant.

You have not yet given any reason to think that's "what Paul meant." On the contrary, the text clearly shows that Paul was not talking about water baptism as emptying the cross of its power. He was talking about fancy rhetoric.



And, when he realized the truth he discontinued water baptism as is clearly evident in I Corinthians. Once we see a new facet of the truth, we are to no longer preach what we once preached before seeing the truth.

I have not seen anything in 1 Corinthians that suggests that Paul had discovered a new truth about water baptism.



This is what makes Paul's message unique. Where do you find Peter or James preaching or teaching Romans 6?

Joel
Everything Peter and James taught is perfectly consistent with Romans 6. Compare these two passages:

Romans 6:3-5 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
1 Peter 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:The attempt to drive a wedge between Peter and Paul seems very destructive to the unity of the New Testament and the Gospel it preaches. Paul's message was not "unique" in the sense that it "applies" only to Gentile Christians. There is no foundation in Scripture for a division of God's people into "Gentile Christians" and "Jewish Christians." Or what? Are you saying that "Jewish Christians" should be baptized in water? If not, then what is the point of claiming a division between the teachings of Peter and Paul?

Richard

joel
11-12-2008, 04:59 PM
The attempt to drive a wedge between Peter and Paul seems very destructive to the unity of the New Testament and the Gospel it preaches.

That, my dear friend, was not helpful.

I am not attempting to "drive a wedge" between Peter and Paul.

A "wedge" is divisive, attempting to divide into camps. It is sectarian, and is the characteristic of what we see in the outward church.

Paul made the distinction, not me.

You, on one hand, see no distinction, nor difference between that which was taught by Paul, and, that which is taught by Peter. You, in that regard, may see yourself as a "unifier". But, what do we see in the "church" which claims, all these years, to represent God's gospel? Are we unified?

So.......I ask you......what differentiates Paul message to the nations, to that of the message of Peter to Israel? Is there any difference?

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-12-2008, 05:54 PM
The attempt to drive a wedge between Peter and Paul seems very destructive to the unity of the New Testament and the Gospel it preaches.

That, my dear friend, was not helpful.

Joel,

Please accept my apology for words that sounded too sharp. I would never deliberately offend you. My only purpose is to speak as clearly as possible. Thank you for your patience!



I am not attempting to "drive a wedge" between Peter and Paul.

A "wedge" is divisive, attempting to divide into camps. It is sectarian, and is the characteristic of what we see in the outward church.

Please forgive me again, but I thought that you are suggesting that Paul had a unique message that differed from Peter's, and that his message has a "direct application" to you whereas Peter's does not. It seems that you are dividing Peter and Paul into different "camps" with messages for different "sects." It's all very confusing to me, and I have yet to see a good solid foundation for these ideas in Scripture.



Paul made the distinction, not me.

That is the $64,000 question. I think we need to dig down to the foundation of the doctrine that you are trying to articulate. It seems pretty unlikely that "water baptism" could be that foundation.



You, on one hand, see no distinction, nor difference between that which was taught by Paul, and, that which is taught by Peter. You, in that regard, may see yourself as a "unifier". But, what do we see in the "church" which claims, all these years, to represent God's gospel? Are we unified?

The disunity of the "church" - which has been divided into ten thousand sects - says nothing of the unity of the Bible. That is the unity of which I spoke.



So.......I ask you......what differentiates Paul message to the nations, to that of the message of Peter to Israel? Is there any difference?

Joel
No. There is absolutely no difference whatsoever between the messages of Peter and Paul. They are perfectly united in every way. Both wrote to Christians. Peter refered to Paul's letters as "Scripture" and said that Paul wrote about the same things and to the same people as he wrote:

2 Peter 3:15-16 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
Peter, Paul, and Jude all preached exactly the same faith that was once delivered unto the saints. It is true that each Apostle had his own style, and used his own metaphors, but I have never seen any distinction in the message given.

Peter preached to both Jews and Gentiles.
Paul preached to both Jews and Gentiles.
Peter did not change his message when preaching to Gentiles.
Paul did not change his message when preaching to Jews.

So the BIG QUESTION is this - what are you driving at? Why is it important to your understanding of Scripture to believe that Peter and Paul had different messages?

Richard

joel
11-12-2008, 07:46 PM
So the BIG QUESTION is this - what are you driving at? Why is it important to your understanding of Scripture to believe that Peter and Paul had different messages?

This may be the most important matter that differentiated the message of the two most significant of the apostles; Paul, and Peter.

I certainly cannot fault you, nor can I fault anyone who may not see the difference. But, a difference does exist.

Paul was revealed certain truth.....that was not given unto the apostles of the circumcision. Just as there was truth not given to the Jewish people, but, was given to them in parables, so it is with truth proclaimed to Paul that was not revealed to the apostles of the circumcision.

I am speaking primarily of the truth of Romans 5:11.

Paul said....And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

That perfect gift, the atonement, is what we have received. It is a complete fulfillment of all that Christ has done for us. It represents the highest of His accomplishments.

What He has done for us.....Paul was shown......the one who persecuted the church....was given the most important truth that we can struggle to understand. No one was given what he was shown.....not Peter....not James....nor any other.

There are still yet things which must be accomplished through his chosen ones, both His body,......and His nation according to flesh, Israel........and I pray that you see that there is a distinction between the two.

Your brother, in Christ,

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-12-2008, 09:18 PM
So the BIG QUESTION is this - what are you driving at? Why is it important to your understanding of Scripture to believe that Peter and Paul had different messages?

This may be the most important matter that differentiated the message of the two most significant of the apostles; Paul, and Peter.

I certainly cannot fault you, nor can I fault anyone who may not see the difference. But, a difference does exist.

Thank you for those gracious words my friend. I see you as a "fellow-worker" in this field of God's Word. I don't think either of us wants to "fault anyone" as we struggle together to articulate the truth of God's Word. It is a joy to work with you.



Paul was revealed certain truth.....that was not given unto the apostles of the circumcision. Just as there was truth not given to the Jewish people, but, was given to them in parables, so it is with truth proclaimed to Paul that was not revealed to the apostles of the circumcision.

I am speaking primarily of the truth of Romans 5:11.

Paul said....And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

That perfect gift, the atonement, is what we have received. It is a complete fulfillment of all that Christ has done for us. It represents the highest of His accomplishments.

What He has done for us.....Paul was shown......the one who persecuted the church....was given the most important truth that we can struggle to understand. No one was given what he was shown.....not Peter....not James....nor any other.

Thank you for specifying the distinct message you see in Paul's writings. That helps a lot. I can readily agree that Paul was unique in his articulation of the atonement. He is the only one who used that specific word. But it seems to me that the Gospel of the Atonement wrought by God in Christ is identical in proclamation of all the Apostles such as Peter, Paul, John, James, and Jude. The fact that Paul articulated the "mechanics" if the Gospel in more theologically advanced terms does not mean that his message was somehow "different" than that of Peter. We know that Peter read Paul's letters and considered them "scripture." He must therefore have beleived what Paul wrote, and his integrity as an Apostle of Christ would mean that he must have preached the same things as Paul. The fact that he didn't write his letters using exactly the same words as Paul does not mean that he had a different message. On the contrary, the message was absolutely identical on all essential points. For example, compare the opening passage of 1 Peter with the opening passage of Paul's letter to the Ephesians:

1 Peter 1:1-4 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

Ephesians 1:1-8 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; ... 11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

Look at that! The opening passages have four fundamental correlations. I do not see any distinction in the fundamental messages of Peter and Paul. On the contrary, I see a supernatural unity that reveals the ONE GOSPEL preached by Peter and Paul.

I am, of course, very interested in persuing this with you. The fact that I do not yet see what you see does not mean that my mind is closed. I very much would like to dig down deep with you into this topic until we find the ROCK upon which we can stand in perfect unity. We MUST find that common point of perfect agreement so that we can then find the exact point at which our understandings differ. Until we do that, we will only be talking in circles.



There are still yet things which must be accomplished through his chosen ones, both His body,......and His nation according to flesh, Israel........and I pray that you see that there is a distinction between the two.

Your brother, in Christ,

Joel
I have three big problems understanding that idea. First, Christians are the "chosen people" of God. That's the meaning of the word "elect." It is never applied to unbelievers. All the carnal sons of Abraham who believed were the "elect" and to their number was added many elect from the nations. The unbelievers are explicitly declared to be "non-elect" and hence not the "chosen people" of God.

Second, you have never established this doctrine from the New Testament. As far as I know, there is nothing in the NT that says anything about any future things that must yet be accomplished through the carnal nation of Israel.

Third, there is no such thing as a "nation of Israel" in the Biblical sense anymore. The first covenant ended when the New Covenant was ratified by Christ on the Cross. The Old Covenant with the Temple and carnal sacrifices no longer exists. It has passed away, so the idea of "Israel" in the Biblical sense has passed away also.

We have been discussing this issue for over a year. Why is it that we have failed to find the FOUNDATION of the truth in Scripture? It looks like we are not applying proper methods of Biblical study. We need to dig down to the absolute bedrock foundation - the fundamental truths that we can agree upon with perfect clarity, and then build from there. Otherwise, I suspect we might be discussing these same issues after another year of discourse. It's not that I don't enjoy the conversion mind you! It's just that I would like to see us make real, substantive progress by establishing and articulating the fundamental truths of the Bible so we can "move on towards perfection."

Many blessings to you and yours my dear friend,

Richard

joel
11-13-2008, 05:42 AM
I am, of course, very interested in persuing this with you. The fact that I do not yet see what you see does not mean that my mind is closed. I very much would like to dig down deep with you into this topic until we find the ROCK upon which we can stand in perfect unity. We MUST find that common point of perfect agreement so that we can then find the exact point at which our understandings differ. Until we do that, we will only be talking in circles.


That is so well put that it is crystal clear. You have a gift of being able to elucidate.

Going around in circles is wearisome indeed. And yet, it is better than splitting apart as many seem to do.........which causes a "corporate" loss, as well as individual loss.

I will attempt to clarify, recognizing my own inherent weaknesses concerning skills of communication. There is only one gospel. The power for salvation is contained in the gospel.

Seeking a clarity on this important matter is our mutual aim.

Joel

Bob May
11-13-2008, 06:34 AM
Hi Joel and Richard,

I do not see differences in doctrine between Paul and the other apostles. Only in the extent and depth of their teaching. Paul/Saul was a "chosen vessel" to bring the gospel to the Gentiles but he was also a man learned in the Old Testament Scriptures. Who better to point out that much (or maybe all) of the O.T. was allegory and the "Oracles of God". And who has done a better job at showing the New Covenant message hidden within the Old?

He has not changed the message of what happened because of the Cross but has gone into more detail. Yet his message does not dissagree with either the Apostle's or Jesus' message. It takes it further and enhances it.


Hebrews 6
1 Therefore leaving the PRINCIPLESof the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
3 And this will we do, if God permit.


II Corinthians 12
1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

Some are happy to be born of the spirit and live a good life outside of self condemnation. Others wish to explore what has happened to them because of the cross and nothing in this life is more important.
Paul just goes deeper and into more detail. It is as simple as that. He encourages us to go further in our experience and understanding.

As far as baptism goes there is only one baptism. The outward ceremony is merely an acknowledgement of what has happened to us.
But though there is only one baptism there are three aspects to it which correspond to Aleph (Air), Mem (water), and fire (Shin).

I believe it is a process that does not stop once begun in us.

Luke 12
49 I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?
50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!

These are deep mysteries to be sure. In my opinion Paul just goes deeper into them.
I also think that the "thorn" in Paul's flesh may have referred to this "Straightening" that Jesus was speaking about,... and the changing of the "old bottle" into the "new."

Bob

joel
11-13-2008, 08:35 AM
Some are happy to be born of the spirit and live a good life outside of self condemnation. Others wish to explore what has happened to them because of the cross and nothing in this life is more important.
Paul just goes deeper and into more detail. It is as simple as that. He encourages us to go further in our experience and understanding.


Bob,
Wouldn't it be a safe "assumption" that those who come to this site, and who partake of the "table", whether as a server, or, as a receiver, would be "others [who] wish to explore what has happened to them because of the cross and nothing in this life is more important"?

I agree with your assessment......but,......the last statement needs a little adjustment, in my opinion. To me, ....the deeper and more detail.....is a necessary part of our growth.....not just something to be partaken by few.

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-13-2008, 08:53 AM
That is so well put that it is crystal clear. You have a gift of being able to elucidate.

Going around in circles is wearisome indeed. And yet, it is better than splitting apart as many seem to do.........which causes a "corporate" loss, as well as individual loss.

I will attempt to clarify, recognizing my own inherent weaknesses concerning skills of communication. There is only one gospel. The power for salvation is contained in the gospel.

Seeking a clarity on this important matter is our mutual aim.

Joel
I think I have found the fundamental unity from which we can build. It is the absolute and perfect unity of the doctrines taught by all the Apostles:

Acts 1:13-14 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. 14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

Acts 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

Acts 4:24 And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:

Acts 4:32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.

Acts 5:12 And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.

Romans 12:16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

Romans 15:4-6 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. 5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: 6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Ephesians 4:1-14 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. ... 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

Philippians 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

Philippians 2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

Philippians 3:15-16 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. 16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

1 Peter 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

This is the FOUNDATION we have been looking for. The Bible proclaims an absolute, total, and complete UNITY in the preaching of all the Apostles.

May God guide us to obey His Word in perfect unity, with one mind, and one Gospel.

Richard

Rose
11-13-2008, 09:38 AM
Excellent post my dear, :hug: I love the idea of unity.

It appears the reason Paul was addressing this very issue, is because their were divisions happening right at that time, some saying they were of Paul and some saying they were of Peter.

1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas;and I of Christ."

Rose

Richard Amiel McGough
11-13-2008, 09:41 AM
Excellent post my dear, :hug: I love the idea of unity.

It appears the reason Paul was addressing this very issue, is because their were divisions happening right at that time, some saying they were of Paul and some saying they were of Peter.

1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas;and I of Christ."

Rose
Thank you my love! :flowers:

I think it is very important to emphasize the fact that the division was caused by believers dividing themselves up into "sects" - two of the most notable being the "sect of Paul" versus the "sect of Peter." Paul condemns such a division in no uncertain terms. I find it quite ironic that this passage is used to support the very thing that it condemns.

Richard

joel
11-13-2008, 09:41 AM
This is the FOUNDATION we have been looking for. The Bible proclaims an absolute, total, and complete UNITY in the preaching of all the Apostles.

May God guide us to obey His Word in perfect unity, with one mind, and one Gospel.


Amen.

Joel

Bob May
11-13-2008, 12:28 PM
Bob,
Wouldn't it be a safe "assumption" that those who come to this site, and who partake of the "table", whether as a server, or, as a receiver, would be "others [who] wish to explore what has happened to them because of the cross and nothing in this life is more important"?

I agree with your assessment......but,......the last statement needs a little adjustment, in my opinion. To me, ....the deeper and more detail.....is a necessary part of our growth.....not just something to be partaken by few.

Joel

Hi Joel,

No assumtion necessary. I have seen here more people hungry for deeper learning and also with an awareness of Grace than in any other place.
But I have also attended churches (with good people and born again as far as I know) who had no desire to "talk Bible" after Sunday services. They would listen to the sermon and that was it for the week. I would go out for dinner or coffee and the conversation would be anything but Scripture. Any attempt to steer the conversation in that direction would inevitably be side-tracked.
Whether it is a necessary part of our growth or not, some (and I would go so far as to say most) are happy with the milk and want no part of the meat.

If it is partaken by few it is only because there are few who are interested.
I am not judging anyone here. To each his own.

"I agree with your assessment......but,......the last statement needs a little adjustment, in my opinion."

I'm not sure what kind of adjustment you would like.

If a person becomes aware of Grace,.. that they are not condemned, that God forgives our sins and has forgiven them, then they are free to live whatever life they see fit.
For me, it is not enough to go to work to raise a family, then grow old and die just so my children can do the same.
Maybe it is the difference between "entering" and "seeing" the Kingdom.

Jn 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

Bob

Richard Amiel McGough
11-13-2008, 01:35 PM
But I have also attended churches (with good people and born again as far as I know) who had no desire to "talk Bible" after Sunday services. They would listen to the sermon and that was it for the week. I would go out for dinner or coffee and the conversation would be anything but Scripture. Any attempt to steer the conversation in that direction would inevitably be side-tracked.

Bob
Hey there Bob,

That is precisely the experience I have had in essentiall every church I have attended in my two decades as a Christian.

Richard

basilfo
11-13-2008, 03:51 PM
This may be the most important matter that differentiated the message of the two most significant of the apostles; Paul, and Peter.

I certainly cannot fault you, nor can I fault anyone who may not see the difference. But, a difference does exist.

Hi Joel,
I am following this discussion on "the difference" between Peter and Paul's teaching. Since I'm not the scholar that you and Richard are (and I don't mean that sarcastically!), can you please simply state what that difference is? I know you have stated a difference exists, but I haven't seen a simple break down of what it is. Does it hinge on who the audience is (Jew/Gentile, believer/unbeliever)?

If you could simply state THE DIFFERENCE first, then maybe explain it, I would very much appreciate it.

Thanks in advance and thank you all for this great discussion.

Peace to you all,
Dave

basilfo
11-13-2008, 04:04 PM
There are still yet things which must be accomplished through his chosen ones, both His body,......and His nation according to flesh, Israel........



Hi Joel,
Again I ask you for clarification. So I can understand your point above, please define specifically who makes up:

1. "His body"
2. "His nation according to flesh, Israel"


1. Are you saying "his chosen ones" are made up of :
A) His body (always defined in Scripture as believers in Christ whether Jew or Gentile)
B) His nation according to flesh, Israel (genetic decendants of the nation of Israel of the OT).

It seems that you are saying that God maintains 2 groups of 'chosen ones', true believers and genetic decendants of Israelites. 1 Peter 2 does not support 2 groups:

1 Pet 2:7 Therefore, to you who believe, [He is] precious; but to those who are disobedient, "The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,"
8 and "A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense." They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.
9 But you [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
10 who once [were] not a people but [are] now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

There is only one 'chosen generation', 'holy nation', 'special people', 'people of God' in view here - and they are believers in Christ - contrasted with unbelieving Jews ("they"). Peter leaves no room for unbelievers, regardless of heritage, to be 'chosen'.

Dave

joel
11-13-2008, 07:02 PM
I think it is very important to emphasize the fact that the division was caused by believers dividing themselves up into "sects" - two of the most notable being the "sect of Paul" versus the "sect of Peter."

Paul, in I Corinthains 1:10, said;
1st......we should all speak the same thing......no divisions among you.
2nd......we should be perfectly joined together; in the same mind, and, in the same judgment.
This advice....would prevent "contentions".....wrangling and striving over matters.

The division was primarily caused by "not" speaking the same things.

Some were saying......"I am of Paul".......some were saying...."I am of Cephas (Peter)......some were saying...."I am of Christ". So,....what can possibly be wrong with some saying...."I am of Christ"? Because,.......it seems..... in so saying, "I am of Christ"....they were dividing themselves from the others who were not saying that......

so, if we are to speaking the same thing......and are warned not to be saying we are of someone in contradistinction to others.......what things are we to be saying the same?

We are not to conclude that we are "of Paul".....nor, are we to conclude that we are "of Peter".........we certainly are "of Christ"....but, we are not to speak of it in such a way as to infer that we are separate from other believers.

Then,.......what are we to say if we are to speak the same things?

Paul referred to the gospel in Romans, at the time he ended the letter, as "my gospel". Did Paul preach, and teach some things that were not the emphasis of others, such as Peter?

When you study his letters, and then study the letters of others, such as James and Peter, you see that there are differences in what they stressed.

For example; Paul speaks often of the cross......and of our co-crucifixion with Christ. Stauros, stauroo, and susstauros are stated many times by Paul. Peter and James do not use the term. Peter speaks of the tree which is Xulon.

As to justification, and righteousness and justified.....these are terms and phrases used extensively by Paul, and in great detail. Neither James nor Peter place the same emphasis on these terms which are vital to our understanding of God's work for us in Christ.

We, as members of the body of the Christ, are admonished by our apostle to be speaking the same things, and to be of the same mind and judgment....and yet, when comparing the letters, we do not find that they followed that advice as if it Paul wasn't speaking to them when he wrote I Corinthians. If they were also to follow the directions of Paul, why do we find certain things not equally stressed? Is there a reason? How can this be justified?

It is certainly worthy of our earnest seeking of the truth.

Joel

Silence
11-13-2008, 07:53 PM
Romans 11:1 -
I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

!!:7-
"What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect (of Israel) have obtained it, and the rest (of Israel) were hardened."

11:11-
"I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? certainly not! But through their fall (trespass), to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles."

If Paul was speaking of "Israel" or "His (God's) people" in the sense of meaning those who beilieve in Christ, whether Jew or Gentile, why did he bring up the fact that he himself was of the tribe of Benjamin? Was Paul saying that the disobedience of the majority of the Jews has not caused God to reject every member of Israel and that any who would believe could still be saved? In the old covenant, the disobedience of a small minority, or even of one person affected the whole nation, so this might seem a possibility if you are looking at just 11:1. But it seems obvious to me that if you look at v.7 and 11, it becomes clear that Paul is talking about physical Israel. In v. 7 "Israel" has not obtained what it seeks, and v.11 asks have "they" stumbled that they should fall? Who is "they"? It is natural Israel. Verse 32 makes this clear.
"For God has shut them all up in disobedience, that He might have mercy on all". Who is the "all" in this verse? Is it not "these also who have now been disobedient..." in v.31?
The mystery that Paul is speaking of in v.25 is the fact that God can and will graft all the natural branches back into the tree that they were broken off from. It was no mystery to the Romans or any other church who had been taught by Paul that an Israelite in their days who believed in the Lord would be saved. What would have been a mystery to them is that all of Israel (the natural branches) would one day be grafted back into their own olive tree. There are four reasons I believe this to be so. One is the mentiion of Israel being hardened "in part" in v.25 as opposed to "all Israel being saved in v.26. The second is the fact that v.26 speaks of the Deliverer turning away ungodliness from Jacob. I This is the name Israel had while he was still struggling with God in unbelief. The verse does not say "He will turn away ungodliness from Israel" (whether natural Israel or a 'spiritual' Israel) The third is the statement that "concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers"in v.28. The fourth is the fact that it would be a greater mystery to believe that all of "natural" Israel would one day be saved given their long history of the majority being in unbelief and stubborn resistance to the Holy Spirit, than it would be to believe that "all Israel" is now partially made up of a small believing remnant of ethnic Israelites plus a majority of Gentile believers.

gregoryfl
11-13-2008, 08:12 PM
Paul referred to the gospel in Romans, at the time he ended the letter, as "my gospel". Did Paul preach, and teach some things that were not the emphasis of others, such as Peter?

As to justification, and righteousness and justified.....these are terms and phrases used extensively by Paul, and in great detail. Neither James nor Peter place the same emphasis on these terms which are vital to our understanding of God's work for us in Christ.

We, as members of the body of the Christ, are admonished by our apostle to be speaking the same things, and to be of the same mind and judgment....and yet, when comparing the letters, we do not find that they followed that advice as if it Paul wasn't speaking to them when he wrote I Corinthians. If they were also to follow the directions of Paul, why do we find certain things not equally stressed? Is there a reason? How can this be justified?

It is certainly worthy of our earnest seeking of the truth.

JoelJoel,

There is a difference between stressing different things and even having a fuller revelation of something and believing and teaching different things. In other words, Paul indeed had a fuller revelation than Peter and the others had initially, things which Peter himself said were hard to understand. However, I do not see how when it came to the writing of scripture that the stressing of different things and seeing the same message unfolding more completely over time that it would have to mean that they were at odds with each other in those teachings then. Not sure if I am making sense, it is late here hehe. Anyway I see compliment and different facets of the same truth being shared, not differences where you have to choose one or the other to the exclusion of the other. But please, if you don't see it that way, please explain more of what you mean.

Ron

Richard Amiel McGough
11-13-2008, 08:34 PM
Paul referred to the gospel in Romans, at the time he ended the letter, as "my gospel". Did Paul preach, and teach some things that were not the emphasis of others, such as Peter?

Each book of the Bible emphasizes different aspects of God's Truth. For example, the four Gospels tell the single story of Christ while emphasizing different aspects. This is by design. If they said exactly the same thing, there would be no need for four Gospels, would there? The same is true of the letters of all the Apostles. There is only one Gospel, but the different apostlic letters emphasize different aspects of that one Gospel. This is by design.

Paul's use of the phrase "my gospel" does not imply that "his gospel" was different than "Peter's gospel." Paul used this phrase three times in his letters - twice in Romans and one in 2 Timothy:

2 Timothy 2:8-9 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:
Is there anything in that statement that would suggest that Paul's gospel, which declared that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, was unique to him and missing from Peter? Absolutely not! His gospel was identical to "Peter's gospel." Their unity greatly excedes their differences. We see this anytime we compare their writings. As a case in point, consider the context in which Paul used the phrase "my gospel" in 2 Timothy:

2 Timothy 2:7-15 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. 8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: 9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. 10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him:
Now compare this with Peter's first epistle:

1 Peter 4:11-17 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. 16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
Now returning to another letter from the Apostle Paul that I quoted in a recent post on this thread:

Philippians 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; 28 And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. 29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; 30 Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.
The teachings of Peter and Paul are a perfect unity. Both preached that all Christians partake in Christ's sufferings. There is ONE BODY!!! All Christians, whether Jew or Gentile, are members of the Body of Christ and share in His suffereings. There is no distinction whatsoever between the Gospels preached by Peter and Paul.

Richard

basilfo
11-14-2008, 07:58 AM
I'm still waiting to hear what Joel sees that difference (between what Peter and Paul taught) to be. We have been beating around the bush a bit, but I believe that distinction seems to be that certain doctrine and eschatology applied to 'Jews' and a different doctrine/eschatology applies to Gentiles. Paul's instruction applied to Gentiles and the other apostles' applied to genetic "Jews". Is that what you are saying Joel? I don't want to put words into your mouth.

Dave

joel
11-14-2008, 02:22 PM
The gospel concerns Jesus.

It contains the power to save.

In it, God reveals His righteousness.

Whenever we speak the gospel, we are planting spiritual seed contained in the words. We cannot make the seed grow, only God can do that. Our part is to plant the seed. God sends along someone else to water it.

The seed falls upon ground. It is the condition of the ground that will help or hinder the life that is to spring forth from the seed. The ground is the heart of the one who hears the gospel.

This is explained by Jesus to His disciples in the parable of the sower.

Paul was the chief "sower" to the Gentiles who were characterized by Him as "akrobustia", "uncircumcision". Peter "unlocked the door" when He first preached to the Gentiles, but, Paul was given a special commission to bring the gospel to the "uncircumcision".

Peter was the chief "sower" to the "circumcision".

The contents of the two messages of the two messengers essentially was the same; Jesus Christ, who He is and what He has accomplished, and what He will yet accomplish.

The goal was the same for each; salvation.....but, their spheres of operation were different. Paul to the "uncircumcision", Peter to the "circumcision".

There are subtle differences in the messages. These can be identified by careful study. It is because there are two separate audiences (fields as you might say) into which the seed is being sown.

How the hearers receive the word will determine if it has found suitable soil in which to bring forth life.

At present, Paul explains that his kinsmen according to flesh, Israelites, have been calloused so that the ground in them is not currently suitable to receive the seed. This is God's doing.

The gospel to the uncircumcision, as heralded by Paul, is currently the gospel being proclaimed.

When the sphere of ministry changes, Israel will be made ready to receive the gospel. In hearing they will hear, in seeing they will see. Authority will be granted to "sowers" who will bring the gospel to the "circumcision".

Joel

basilfo
11-14-2008, 02:58 PM
The gospel to the uncircumcision, as heralded by Paul, is currently the gospel being proclaimed.

I agree with most all of your post above Joel. Thanks for your answer. However, this statement quoted here implies (I think) that "the Gospel to the circumcision" (as you called it) is not being proclaimed currently, but will be at some time in the future - I assume after the Church is 'raptured'. Then the message will be proclaimed to "Israel" and "Jews" (but not Gentiles who missed 'the boat'). This puts an advantage to genetics which is counter to the entire NT teaching as far as I can tell.



When the sphere of ministry changes, Israel will be made ready to receive the gospel. In hearing they will hear, in seeing they will see. Authority will be granted to "sowers" who will bring the gospel to the "circumcision".

Joel

What eschatological event marks "when the sphere of ministry changes"?

Thanks for being patient with my q's Joel.

Dave

joel
11-14-2008, 03:41 PM
What eschatological event marks "when the sphere of ministry changes"?

Thanks for being patient with my q's Joel.

Dave

Thanks for the spirit of kindness which allows freedom to speak without fear of censure or rebuke. Again, as I have said often, I view Richard and Rose as loving co-hosts who speak their minds, but, allow others do so as well.

We have had many conversations, as joined by Joe, and Victor, yourself, Ron, and many others too numerous to cite, whereby there have been many points of disagreement, but, also, many points of unity.

The "event" that you spoke of.......is actually the title of this thread.

"Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father's sakes. For the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance." Romans 11:25b-29.

As I have shared in other posts, the "fulness of the Gentiles be come in..." is what, I believe will cause the change. I have no idea what will constitute that "fullness"......but, I view it as a completeness that satisfies God, which we have not yet entered into.....

When you look at the following verses, there may be a clue;

:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. Romans 11:30-32.

One way to look at what Paul is saying is......the Gentiles are to express "mercy" to Israel. This word, "mercy", is not necessarily "forgiveness" as we would look at someone who has sinned, but, it is more in the spirit of "kindness". It is in the acts of loving someone that kindness is displayed.

Maybe that's the "fulness" of the Gentiles........not an actual number of members....but filled with the fulness of God........Christ is the "pleroma" of God.....maybe.....before they will are prepared to believe in Him, we are to show forth His love towards them.

From that perspective, the "uncircumcision" who fulfill the righteousness of the law are reckoned as "circumcision". Romans 2:26.

It is also my view that when the change comes, Peter's ministry of unlocking the Kingdom will be characteristic of the message of the gospel.

But, first, there must be a preparation in store, a great "tribualtion". I do not believe that the body of Christ, called and prepared during Paul's time of ministerial authority, will be on scene.

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-14-2008, 03:56 PM
Basilfo and Joel,

I just wanted to jump in and so "congrats!" :congrats: on an excellent conversation. I'll respond more as time permits.

Richard

joel
11-14-2008, 05:04 PM
Thanks, Richard, for your positive input.

We only want whatever He wants.

Whatever will please Him, and give Him joy. Can you imagine? Giving the Lord positive joy!

As the joy ascends, God, the Father, is glorified.

Joel, your brother in Christ

gregoryfl
11-14-2008, 08:24 PM
When you look at the following verses, there may be a clue;

:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. Romans 11:30-32.

One way to look at what Paul is saying is......the Gentiles are to express "mercy" to Israel. This word, "mercy", is not necessarily "forgiveness" as we would look at someone who has sinned, but, it is more in the spirit of "kindness". It is in the acts of loving someone that kindness is displayed.

Maybe that's the "fulness" of the Gentiles........not an actual number of members....but filled with the fulness of God........Christ is the "pleroma" of God.....maybe.....before they will are prepared to believe in Him, we are to show forth His love towards them.JoelThat is one way you could look at it. Another way you could look at it would be to ask the question, "Who is the one being merciful?" All the text says is that the Gentiles have obtained mercy. From who did they obtain it? The answer I believe to that question is the same answer to the question, "From who are the natural Jews to obtain mercy?" The end of the verse tells us that God is the one giving out his mercy, both to Gentile, and Jew. I do not see in the Greek text anything implying an exhortation for Gentiles to be merciful to Jews. Not saying they shouldn't, just saying that I do not see it in this text.

This filling is a word picture of some object filling up another object, completing it. In other words, for example, to use a biblical example, a wineskin is designed to hold wine. When the wine has been poured into the wineskin as much as it can hold, it is said to be filled with the fullness of the wine. What then has filled it? Quite simply, the wine. In other words, the fullness of the wine is wine.

You should be able to consistently follow this same train of thought in every other case of this word being used; namely:
Mt 9:16
Mk 2:21
Rm 11:12
Rm13:10
1Co 10:26
Gal 4:4
Eph 1:23
Eph 3:19
Col 1:19
Col 2:9

Now let's then apply this to the verse in question. The fullness of the Gentiles then would be the Gentiles themselves. What are they filling? Israel. In the text, the only way you could say that the fullness of the Gentiles is God would be to change the text to read "a hardening has happened in part until the fullness of God comes in by means of the Gentiles, then all Israel will be saved."

And yes, I agree very much with you all that it is good to be in a place where we demonstrate that who we are in Christ is so much bigger than any peripheral doctrine we hold to.

Ron

basilfo
11-15-2008, 06:39 AM
Thanks Joel. It is so hard to not bring other issues into these discussions but it's almost impossible because each interpretation must not contradict other parts of Scripture. And most of our 'positions' are based on other fundamental premises, which are hard to ignore.

But I think we must again define 'all Israel' to understand Rom 11:25. (I hear the groans!!) Sorry, just this thought. Does Rom 9:6-8

Rom 9:6 But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they [are] not all Israel who [are] of Israel, 7 nor [are they] all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, "In Isaac your seed shall be called." 8 That is, those who [are] the children of the flesh, these [are] not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.

allow us to define "Israel" in Rom 11:25,26 as a corporate nation or genetically unique people? I'm not sure how. And if Paul says Israel cannot be defined as simply the 'seed of Abraham', how can we equate modern day Israel (children of the flesh) with Paul's definition?


So perhaps we can't avoid again defining "Israel" if we want to get to the real meaning of 'fullness of the Gentiles'. Sorry if this is a temporary digression, but it seems to my hard head to be key.

Peace to you all,
Dave

Rose
11-15-2008, 08:49 AM
Thank you all for this very informative conversation. :yo:

Rom 9:6 But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they [are] not all Israel who [are] of Israel, 7 nor [are they] all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, "In Isaac your seed shall be called." 8 That is, those who [are] the children of the flesh, these [are] not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.

It seems to me what Paul is trying to define by this example is that just because one is an Israelite (child of Israel, seed of Abraham) does not mean they are counted as True Israel (children of the promise).

So it would appear that Paul is saying that the only ones that are counted as true children of God are those who come to Him by faith, which of course includes all peoples of all nationalities.

God Bless,

Rose

gregoryfl
11-15-2008, 09:50 AM
Thank you all for this very informative conversation. :yo:

Rom 9:6 But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they [are] not all Israel who [are] of Israel, 7 nor [are they] all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, "In Isaac your seed shall be called." 8 That is, those who [are] the children of the flesh, these [are] not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.

It seems to me what Paul is trying to define by this example is that just because one is an Israelite (child of Israel, seed of Abraham) does not mean they are counted as True Israel (children of the promise).

So it would appear that Paul is saying that the only ones that are counted as true children of God are those who come to Him by faith, which of course includes all peoples of all nationalities.

God Bless,

Rose


allow us to define "Israel" in Rom 11:25,26 as a corporate nation or genetically unique people? I'm not sure how. And if Paul says Israel cannot be defined as simply the 'seed of Abraham', how can we equate modern day Israel (children of the flesh) with Paul's definition?

Good question and clear concise answer. Let's now ask then, when the Lord says he has not cast aside his people, is he speaking about this remnant of true Israel, or is he speaking of Israel as a whole, national Israel according to the flesh? If he is speaking of national Israel as a whole, I think what Joel is saying is that they somehow then as a national people still have something that God has in store for them. If though, this not casting aside has to do solely with the remnant of faithful Israel, how should we understand this seeming closeness with the interplay of faithful Israel with national Israel?

Is it possible though that Paul is not pitting two groups against each other, but somehow is describing a hope that transcends both groups, thus involving both, under the umbrella of true Israel? That is what I am inclined to believe but am still thinking much on how this all plays out.

Ron

Rose
11-15-2008, 10:18 AM
To continue on with the meaning of "Fullness of the Gentiles" it would seem from Rom. 9 that Paul is defining "All Israel" as all those who are "Children of the Promise" that is to say all (Gentile included) who come to God by faith in His Son.

From that I would conclude that what....

Rom. 11:25-26 "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

.....is saying, is that when all those who were outside of Israel come in (are included in Gods plan because salvation has been made available to them) "Fullness" happens, then all those who are counted as "True Israel" (children of the promise) will be the manner in which "All Israel" will be saved.

This is the "Mystery" that the Gentiles too are counted as "Children of the Promise".

God Bless,

Rose

Rose
11-15-2008, 12:15 PM
Good question and clear concise answer. Let's now ask then, when the Lord says he has not cast aside his people, is he speaking about this remnant of true Israel, or is he speaking of Israel as a whole, national Israel according to the flesh? If he is speaking of national Israel as a whole, I think what Joel is saying is that they somehow then as a national people still have something that God has in store for them. If though, this not casting aside has to do solely with the remnant of faithful Israel, how should we understand this seeming closeness with the interplay of faithful Israel with national Israel?

Is it possible though that Paul is not pitting two groups against each other, but somehow is describing a hope that transcends both groups, thus involving both, under the umbrella of true Israel? That is what I am inclined to believe but am still thinking much on how this all plays out.

Ron

I think you have hit on the right understanding. God has concluded all in unbelief so as to have mercy on all (Gentile and Jew alike). Which means that the same way in which God had mercy on unbelieving Gentiles He will have mercy on unbelieving Jews. They will all be grafted in, or back into the same tree.

That is the way All Israel "True Israel" (Children of the Promise, which Paul defined as believers) will come in and be saved.

God Bless,

Rose

basilfo
11-15-2008, 01:46 PM
The text of Rom 11 seems to be clear on what Paul meant when he asked "....has God cast away His people?" Considering the rigorous debate which was going on at the time between whether Jesus was the Messiah or not, I'm sure there were some who thought that God had rejected ethnic Jews and had found favor with Gentiles. I believe this is what Paul was trying to correct.

The two illustrations that follow after his question directly shed light on it:
1. God preserved a remnant who did not bow the knee to Baal - faith not heritage.
2. The branches of the olive tree are there because of belief (Jew or Gentile) - faith not heritage.

I think Paul just meant you were not automatically condemned (cast out) because you were Jewish after the Messiah came. In fact, God provided a way for all to come to Him through Jesus Christ.

Dave

joel
11-15-2008, 05:01 PM
Is it possible though that Paul is not pitting two groups against each other, but somehow is describing a hope that transcends both groups, thus involving both, under the umbrella of true Israel? That is what I am inclined to believe but am still thinking much on how this all plays out.

Indeed, Paul is not "pitting two groups against each other". As the apostle of the uncircumcision, he defines that the two distinctly opposite groups under the old humanity, have been reconciled.

"Under the umbrella of true Israel" is something to consider, but...............
remember, Paul says that there is a "New Creation".

I still resist the notion that the "church" has become "Israel". It seems clear enough to me that "Israel" are the "children of promise" in Isaac, whereas the members of the church are also "children of promise", but, not "in Isaac" as the promised seed pertaining to "Israel"........but, "as Isaac" ("according to Isaac").

We, as Gentiles, cannot be considered to be "in Isaac", but, we are children of promise, "as Isaac" (Gal. 4:28).

So, can we then say that..............
[The new humanity (children of promise in Isaac) + (children of promise as Isaac)The New humanity]?

The children of promise "In Isaac" can be identified in Romans 9:7,8, and Hebrews 11:18......and the children of promise "as Isaac" can be identified in Galatians 4:28.

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-15-2008, 06:06 PM
I still resist the notion that the "church" has become "Israel".

Hey there Joel,

I too resist the idea that the Church "became" Israel. That is why in all our discussions over the last 18 months I have never suggested anything like that. My assertion is that Israel became the church. This happened when the believing remnant of Israel were sealed by God with the "seal of God" - the Holy Spirit - at Pentecost. This happened 50 days after Christ the Testator (Heb 9:16) ratified the New Covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah (Hebrews 8:8) with His own blood by His death on the Cross.



It seems clear enough to me that "Israel" are the "children of promise" in Isaac, whereas the members of the church are also "children of promise", but, not "in Isaac" as the promised seed pertaining to "Israel"........but, "as Isaac" ("according to Isaac").

I think that suggestion misses the point of Romans 9:6-8. If we equate "Israel" with the "children of promise" then we are including all the unbelievers which the text explicitly states "are not the children of promise." The whole point of Romans 9:6-8 is to show that "they are not all Israel, which are of Israel." The text then goes on to explain that mere carnal descent from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob means nothing with regards to being reckoned as the "seed of Abraham" and the "children of promise." Scripture declares that Gentile Christians are every bit as much a "child of promise" as the believing remnant of Israel, and that the unvbelievers of Israel are not the "children of promise." Therefore, I don't think the Bible really teaches a distinction such as being "in Isaac" vs. "of Isaac."

Richard

basilfo
11-16-2008, 06:11 AM
I still resist the notion that the "church" has become "Israel". It seems clear enough to me that "Israel" are the "children of promise" in Isaac, whereas the members of the church are also "children of promise", but, not "in Isaac" as the promised seed pertaining to "Israel"........but, "as Isaac" ("according to Isaac").

Hi Joel,
You guys who are more knowledgeable on the Greek translation will have to help here, but I noticed that you changed the text from "children of THE promise" (which sounds like Paul is referring to a specific promise) to "children of promise" (a generic promise). Is there anything to that?



We, as Gentiles, cannot be considered to be "in Isaac", but, we are children of promise, "as Isaac" (Gal. 4:28).

Does the original text distinguish between the two like that? I can't find a single NT text which sets up catagories of unbelievers (Jewish and non-Jewish). You're either in Christ or not.


Dave

basilfo
11-16-2008, 06:17 AM
Matt 21:43 "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.

1 Pet 2:9 But you [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once [were] not a people but [are] now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

If unbelieving "Jews" are still "children of promise" as you say Joel, who is being referred to in the above passages? It doesn't sound promising for them.

In the spirit of finding truth,
Dave

joel
11-16-2008, 07:31 AM
Hi Joel,
You guys who are more knowledgeable on the Greek translation will have to help here, but I noticed that you changed the text from "children of THE promise" (which sounds like Paul is referring to a specific promise) to "children of promise" (a generic promise). Is there anything to that?



Does the original text distinguish between the two like that? I can't find a single NT text which sets up catagories of unbelievers (Jewish and non-Jewish). You're either in Christ or not.


Dave

We have......flesh.....promise.....God.

We have......the children of flesh.....the children of promise.....the children of God.

We have......in Isaac....and according-to Isaac.

Joel

joel
11-16-2008, 08:11 AM
If unbelieving "Jews" are still "children of promise" as you say Joel, who is being referred to in the above passages? It doesn't sound promising for them.

Did I say that?

Paul has kinsmen according to flesh. Of that group, there are "children of promise"...........

Why can't there be.......children of promise who are also kinsmen to Paul according to flesh.....and......children of promise which are not kinsmen with Paul according to flesh? one would be called "in Isaac", the other called "according to" Isaac"

In that perspective, the generation that was Paul's kinsman, but not children of promise did not receive the Kingdom of God........
and the generation that Peter spoke of is the generation who will receive the Kingdom of God, the chosen generation, the children of promise, kinsmen of both Paul and of Peter.



Joel

Rose
11-16-2008, 08:45 AM
Did I say that?

Paul has kinsmen according to flesh. Of that group, there are "children of promise"...........

Why can't there be.......children of promise who are also kinsmen to Paul according to flesh.....and......children of promise which are not kinsmen with Paul according to flesh? one would be called "in Isaac", the other called "according to" Isaac"

In that perspective, the generation that was Paul's kinsman, but not children of promise did not receive the Kingdom of God........
and the generation that Peter spoke of is the generation who will receive the Kingdom of God, the chosen generation, the children of promise, kinsmen of both Paul and of Peter.



Joel

Hi Joel,

I'm still a bit confused, :confused:

It seems you are saying, there are 4 groups.....

1) Believing Jews (Paul's, and Peter's kinsmen, in Isaac)

2) Believing Gentiles (according to Isaac)

3) Unbelieving Jews (Paul's, and Peter's kinsmen)

4) Unbelieving Gentiles

My question is.....do the unbelieving Jews (by heritage) receive a different Blessing/and, or /Inheritance then unbelieving Gentiles who receive Christ?

God Bless,

Rose

Richard Amiel McGough
11-16-2008, 08:48 AM
Paul has kinsmen according to flesh. Of that group, there are "children of promise"...........

Why can't there be.......children of promise who are also kinsmen to Paul according to flesh.....and......children of promise which are not kinsmen with Paul according to flesh? one would be called "in Isaac", the other called "according to" Isaac"

In that perspective, the generation that was Paul's kinsman, but not children of promise did not receive the Kingdom of God........
and the generation that Peter spoke of is the generation who will receive the Kingdom of God, the chosen generation, the children of promise, kinsmen of both Paul and of Peter.

Joel
Good morning Joel,

I don't understand how we could interpret 1 Peter as yet future. He wrote his letter to his fellow first century Christians, and directly addressed them by the pronoun "ye."

1 Peter 2:1-10 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that YE [first century Christians] may grow thereby: 3 If so be YE [first century Christians] have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 5 YE [first century Christians] also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 7 Unto you [first century Christians] therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. 9 But YE [first century Christians] are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now [in the first century] the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
Could you please explain why I should reject the plain meaning of this Scripture and believe that Peter was actually talking to and about a generation that is yet future?

Thanks!

Richard

joel
11-16-2008, 10:50 AM
Richard, my dear, lion-hearted brother in the Lord,

The Gentiles are being prepared as an offering to God through the administrative oversight of Paul, the apostle, primarily carried out by means of his specific teachings, made holy by the Spirit of God.
This divine process is continuing through this very day, and will continue as He deems appropriate.

I, as a member of the body of Christ, am to present my body........as alive from the dead,........and be conformed inwardly to the process that is conforming us to the image of His Son. This is a spiritual process (pneumatikos).

Peter is addressing a holy priesthood......and a royal priesthood.......of a spiritual house (pneumatikos oikos).......to offer up spiritual sacrifices (pneumatikos thusia).

Why can't they be two different groups? I do not see myself of their household.....nor of the priesthood that Peter is speaking of......

Why must we insist that they are one in the same?

The elect children of promise in Isaac can still yet be forthcoming.....in due season....just as Isaac within Sarah was to come forth when God's time was right....so it is the same now.

We, his spiritual body (pneumatikos soma) are as if children born out of season.....they will come forth in the proper season for them. Can there not be two groups?.....having distinct separate callings?

Man (anthropos) is both male (aner), and female (gune).

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-16-2008, 12:21 PM
Richard, my dear, lion-hearted brother in the Lord,

Good morning my dear friend,

I am thankful to God that you are so willing and gentle and kindhearted as you work with me to understand God's Word.



Peter is addressing a holy priesthood......and a royal priesthood.......of a spiritual house (pneumatikos oikos).......to offer up spiritual sacrifices (pneumatikos thusia).

Why can't they be two different groups? I do not see myself of their household.....nor of the priesthood that Peter is speaking of......

Why must we insist that they are one in the same?


Peter was addressing his first century audience when he called them "a holy priesthood" and a "spritual house." He also said that Paul had written to them too. And what did Paul write to them? He said the same thing Peter said, namely, that they - the first century Christians - were a "spiritual habitation of God":
Ephesians 2:18-22 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Both Peter and Paul described the first century Christians to whom they wrote using the same terminology of a "spiritual house." This then integrates with the full message of the Gospel found throughout the New Testament which reveals the the Body of Christ as the true Temple of God, as stated first by the Lord Himself, and then by the Apostles Peter and Paul and John:
John 2:19-21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? 21 But he spake of the temple of his body.

1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

1 Peter 2:4-6 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.


Revelation 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.


Revelation 21:22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the CORNERSTONE of this Spiritual Temple we call the Church. He UNITES all the verses. They have to refer to the same "building." We see the same truth revealed in the Gospels and in the Epistles of Paul, Peter, and Revelation. I don't see how we could separate Peter's epistle and interpret it differently than the rest of the New Testament.

And I am still waiting for the explanation of why we should reject the plain text of Peter's epistle and intrepret it as referring to a yet future generation. That seems to directly contradict it's plain sense.



The elect children of promise in Isaac can still yet be forthcoming.....in due season....just as Isaac within Sarah was to come forth when God's time was right....so it is the same now.

Where does the New Testament say anything about a promise that is yet forthcoming?



We, his spiritual body (pneumatikos soma) are as if children born out of season.....they will come forth in the proper season for them. Can there not be two groups?.....having distinct separate callings?

Man (anthropos) is both male (aner), and female (gune).

Joel
What is the origin of this "two group" doctrine? I have not found it in Scripture. If it is the Biblical doctrine, we should be able to find its foundation in the Bible. Please indulge me a little here. Just lay down the absolute BIBLICAL FOUNDATION of this "two group" theory.

Thank you for you kindness, patience and perseverence. This is a very valuable discussion.

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
11-16-2008, 02:03 PM
I do not see myself of their household.....nor of the priesthood that Peter is speaking of......

Joel,

It seems to me that Scripture says you are most definitely of the same household as all the Apostles which includes both Peter and Paul:

Ephesians 2:19-20 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
There is only one "household of God."

Richard

joel
11-16-2008, 03:36 PM
Richard,

The house of God......at present the called out assembly, called out of the nations is the house of the living God.

In Hebrews, there is the house of Israel.......the house of Israel will be the house of God in the day that Israel is restored.

I am not an Israelite, not naturally....not spiritually.

I am a member of the body of Christ. To me, as I see sections of scripture applying to one, and other sections applying to the other, I see no conflict, nor disagreement, just different callings.

One is ultimately in the celestial realm, the other terrestrial. Each has its own calling, and therefore, hope of their calling.

I do not see both the celestial and the terrestrial as the calling of the ecclesia of God of which Paul is the apostle. Israel has its gifts, and its calling which God has not repented of......and changed His mind....as if He were a human.

Joel

Rose
11-16-2008, 04:04 PM
Richard,

The house of God......at present the called out assembly, called out of the nations is the house of the living God.

In Hebrews, there is the house of Israel.......the house of Israel will be the house of God in the day that Israel is restored.

I am not an Israelite, not naturally....not spiritually.

Each believer is now a Temple of God, are you saying that God is going to go back to a Temple made of stone?


I am a member of the body of Christ. To me, as I see sections of scripture applying to one, and other sections applying to the other, I see no conflict, nor disagreement, just different callings.

One is ultimately in the celestial realm, the other terrestrial. Each has its own calling, and therefore, hope of their calling.

I do not see both the celestial and the terrestrial as the calling of the ecclesia of God of which Paul is the apostle. Israel has its gifts, and its calling which God has not repented of......and changed His mind....as if He were a human.

Joel


I see the calling of Israel as having been accomplished by their race having been the one to bring forth Messiah.....it was also the Jewish Apostles upon whom the church was built.

What greater calling could there possibly be that is yet to come?

God Bless,

Rose

joel
11-16-2008, 04:35 PM
What greater calling could there possibly be that is yet to come?

God Bless,

Rose

Rose......there is no greater calling......to be sure.

At this point, where we seem to be stalled out......in our conversation that has proven to be very fruitful.......is in the realization of the calling;

1.) For us, whose spiritual blessings are in Christ in the heavenly places.....and where our citizenship remains...in the heavens......our calling is upward, where our treasure is........and we wait for our saviour who will change our bodies of low-estate to be conformed to His body.

2.) For them, whose blessings are oriented towards this earth, and to whom the nations will be gathered to be placed in the Kingdom on earth where David's tabernacle will be again raised.......which will display a glory unsurpassed on earth.....when Christ will sit on His throne, and the twelve apostles will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.......they will enter into the "rest" that has eluded them even until now.

These are two different callings for His body in the heavenlies, and His Bride upon the earth.

Joel

Rose
11-16-2008, 05:09 PM
Rose......there is no greater calling......to be sure.

At this point, where we seem to be stalled out......in our conversation that has proven to be very fruitful.......is in the realization of the calling;

1.) For us, whose spiritual blessings are in Christ in the heavenly places.....and where our citizenship remains...in the heavens......our calling is upward, where our treasure is........and we wait for our saviour who will change our bodies of low-estate to be conformed to His body.

2.) For them, whose blessings are oriented towards this earth, and to whom the nations will be gathered to be placed in the Kingdom on earth where David's tabernacle will be again raised.......which will display a glory unsurpassed on earth.....when Christ will sit on His throne, and the twelve apostles will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.......they will enter into the "rest" that has eluded them even until now.

These are two different callings for His body in the heavenlies, and His Bride upon the earth.

Joel

Thank you Joel, for clarifying your position, :thumb: even though as you stated this is where we seem to stall, or part ways.

I do understand what you are saying, but I cannot find anywhere in Scripture where what you have laid out is stated, or even implied.

God Bless,

Rose

Richard Amiel McGough
11-16-2008, 05:53 PM
Richard,

The house of God......at present the called out assembly, called out of the nations is the house of the living God.

In Hebrews, there is the house of Israel.......the house of Israel will be the house of God in the day that Israel is restored.

The "house of Israel" in Hebrews refers to the literal "house of Israel" of which Peter, Paul, James, and John were members. The same Scritpure refers explicilty to the New Covenant that was ratified when Christ died on the Cross. There is nothing in Hebrews that says a word about a future "house of Israel" replacing the Church as the House of God.

And I am still waiting for an answer to my question about why you think Peter was refering to a yet future generation when the plain text says that he was talking to the first century Christians.



I am not an Israelite, not naturally.....

Correct. But you now are of the same household as the believing remnant of Israel which includes Peter and Paul, and James and John and all the first believers. That's what the Bible says.

Ephesians 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;



I am a member of the body of Christ. To me, as I see sections of scripture applying to one, and other sections applying to the other, I see no conflict, nor disagreement, just different callings.

One is ultimately in the celestial realm, the other terrestrial. Each has its own calling, and therefore, hope of their calling.

I do not see both the celestial and the terrestrial as the calling of the ecclesia of God of which Paul is the apostle. Israel has its gifts, and its calling which God has not repented of......and changed His mind....as if He were a human.

Joel
Again, we have arrived at concepts that do not appear to have any solid FOUNDATION in Scripture. Please have patience with me as I continue to search for the FOUNDATION of your understanding. As far as I can tell, it is something other than the Bible. The Big Question to me is why all these ideas seem so foreign to me. Why can't we find the COMMON FOUNDATION of plain truth clearly taught in Scripture?

The sand of this conversation keeps shifting. Is it water vs. spirit baptism? Is it a futurist interpretation of Peter? Is it the future transformation of Israel into the "house of God"? Is it celestial vs. terestial callings? None of these concepts have any solid foundation in Scripture, by which I mean, even if valid they are not the "main and plain" things that God saw fit to teach us in His Book. And the problem I have is that they mostly seem to contradict the "main and plain" things that are taught therein.

Why can't we start with the ROOT FOUNDATION of your assertions and the BUILD from there without constantly introducing new ideas that are not clearly taught in Scripture?

I'm sorry for being so persistently dense my friend, but I'm just trying to find the foundation of your doctrines.

Richard

basilfo
11-16-2008, 06:13 PM
Joel,
I hope you don't think 'we' are ganging up on you. After seeing your description of 2 'kingdoms' for 2 different ethnic groups set up in 2 locations, I must ask: Does the kingdom that will be set up on the earth occur AFTER the Parousia in your scenario? Is the Parousia a physical appearance for all Jews to see? Does the entire nation of Israel accept Jesus ("all Israel will be saved") as their Messiah AFTER He appears physically on the Mount of Olives? Can any Gentiles be saved in this same manner after the Parousia?

Thanks Joel.

Dave

joel
11-16-2008, 06:20 PM
The foundation for the terrestrial calling of Israel is the entire Old Testament.

The foundation for the celestial calling of the Body of Christ, part of the mystery that cannot be found in the Old Testament, is the gospel of the uncircumcision as heralded by the Apostle Paul.

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-16-2008, 07:26 PM
The foundation for the terrestrial calling of Israel is the entire Old Testament.

The foundation for the celestial calling of the Body of Christ, part of the mystery that cannot be found in the Old Testament, is the gospel of the uncircumcision as heralded by the Apostle Paul.

Joel
I understand your idea, but there is one fundamental problem. The true interpretation of the Old Testament is found only by reading the New Testament, and the New Testament never interprets the Old Testament as teaching a future "terrestrial calling" of carnal Israel. On contrary, the New Testament applies most or all the prophecies to the Church which it defines as the believing remant of carnal Israel with the Gentiles grafted in, that is, the Olive Tree.

Thus, when read in the full light of the revelation of the New Testament, the Gospel, and Jesus Christ, we discover that the Old Testament provides no foundation at all for the idea of a "terrestrial calling" of carnal Israel. The NT explicitly applies the prophecies to the Church. The Chuch and the New Covenant is what all the prophecies were about.

Now that we have identified your foundation, I am very interested in pursuing it to find our point of absolute agreement. So let's move on the the specific content of the Old Testament that you believe teaches a yet future "terrestrial calling" for carnal Israel in contrast to the "celestial calling" of the Body of Chirst.

Thanks again again for your patience with me as I search this out with you.

Richard

joel
11-17-2008, 08:45 AM
Richard, neither of us want to "go around the mountain" again. So....I have given serious consideration concerning this matter.....as it is very important to both of us, as well as to others who may be involved, whoever they may be...and hopefully,......as we proceed.......they will join in as this is not a private matter, but is of wider scope, affecting the faith of a potentially larger group.

Here's what I propose....let's confine ourselves Paul's explanation of God's revelation as contained in his letter to the Romans, taking it in an order as it is presented in the text. Not necessarily line by line as that would prove a daunting task, ....but maybe topic by topic, from a general perspective, stopping to look more closely when necessary.

If we discipline ourselves not to go out into other sections, but to confine ourselves to that presentation in Romans, I believe that we can seek to understand from the perspective of the 1st century Roman Gentiles what Paul sought to tell them, and to teach them.

I make an assumption,.......they (the 1st century Roman Gentiles) did not have a detailed knowledge of the history of Israel......along with the wide ranging understanding of the temple worship, sacrificial offerings, priesthood, etc.

Further, I make an additional assumption....that there were Jews in Rome who were versed in such matters and were, therefore, available for clarification and elucidation when called upon.

Further, I make another assumption.......the Roman Gentiles spoke Greek, and understood Greek, and were capable of reading Greek. Paul's letter was probably written on animal skins which were rolled up. One person would probably read out loud to others who would listen. On occasion the reading would be interrupted with a question. Each person did not have their own copy of the letter, but must rely on the keeper of the vellums to make it available.

What do you say? Can you and I role play a little....as if we were among the Roman Gentiles who had heard of the letter, and were anxious to hear the contents? I don't think this would take long, provided we "hit the highlights", so to speak.

If we were to undertake this exercise, I would, in the spirit of expediency, ask that we do not bring in the contents of other letters, or other writings, at this time. The premise is.......the Roman Gentiles did not have access to the other writings as many of them were not yet written at that time, or, were not readily available in mass quantities as we have today.

Anyone participating on this forum is welcome to role play with us, and enter into the discussion at any time.

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-17-2008, 09:09 AM
What do you say? Can you and I role play a little....as if we were among the Roman Gentiles who had heard of the letter, and were anxious to hear the contents? I don't think this would take long, provided we "hit the highlights", so to speak.

If we were to undertake this exercise, I would, in the spirit of expediency, ask that we do not bring in the contents of other letters, or other writings, at this time. The premise is.......the Roman Gentiles did not have access to the other writings as many of them were not yet written at that time, or, were not readily available in mass quantities as we have today.

Good morning Joel, :yo:

In general, I think a walk throught Romans could be very helpful. But I do not share the assumption that the Romans Christians were necessarily ignorant of the rest of the letters and I feel that imposing ignorance upon ourselves is not likely to increase our understanding. The problem is that Paul wrote Romans after writing many other epistles, and Peter said that his audience (which may well have included Roman Christians) had read Paul's letters. But I am willing to set all that aside if it will help us come to a mutual understanding.

I also don't want us to "shackle" ourselves with a laborious methodology. It seems to me that the most effective method of discourse would be to simply state the absolute rock-bottom FOUNDATION of your position and the Scripture it is based upon. Then we could discuss the merits of it.

That said, I am willing and eager to follow where you lead in this exercise, and I invite others to join in. Please now present the beginning of your review of Romans.

Many blessings to you, my "systematic" friend!

Richard

joel
11-17-2008, 09:52 AM
When I heard of the grace of God, and the wondrous accomplishment of what He, the one true God, has brought about in the life and death of His Son, and, that He commissioned a Jewish man, Saul of Tarsus, to tell us about the good news concerning Him,
I wanted to speak with you about it to see if what I heard is what he said. This Saul, who God renamed Paul, has ventured far and wide to help us know and understand. His letter to us was read out loud the other night to a few who gathered in my home.
Sorry you weren't there, but, I heard that you were together with others at your own home on another night where the letter was read.

I tried to grasp it all, but, it is so detailed.....I only got some highlights....so I'd like to rehearse them with you briefly....hoping that we can all benefit from his message.

(I have presented a simulated initial conversation between two friends who have both heard the letter read aloud....and ....are attempting to piece things together.....I will now "hit some highlights" that I see as important parts of what we have of Chapter 1.......I will not continue our discussion in this manner....but, propose to just highlight certain things in the successive chapters, anticipating that you, and others will join in...)..........

The letter presents the gospel.......God's good news.

The gospel concerns Christ......Who He is, and what He has accomplished. (The gospel is not presented in an A., B., C.......format....but....the essentail elements are contained in the various sections of the discourse).

The gospel contains the power for salvation.

The gospel contains a revelation of the righteousness of God "revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith". (A Roman Gentile would need the input of the Jews in the group to enlighten them concerning the ancient words of Habbakkuk, the prophet.)

The gospel is presented to the Jew first, and then to the Greek.

God has revealed Himself in certain ways in the creation, namely His perpetual power, and His Godhead (a term which may need some further discussion).

Man fails to respond in a proper manner to God's revelation in creation, namely by failing to thank Him, and failing to give Him proper honor for His creation accomplishments........which leads to a revelation of God's wrath from heaven upon man.

A downward spiral of negative consequences has affected humanity because of the rejection of God's revelation......which culminates in mankind being "worthy of death."

(These are highlights of Chapter 1 which I see as helpful in reviewing the contents of Paul's letter. We can now provide time for input).

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-17-2008, 11:56 AM
Hi Joel,

I have assumed my role as a "fellow gentle believer in first century Rome." I don't have any immediate questions or comments about your review of Romans 1, so I guess we can move on to the next section.

Richard

joel
11-17-2008, 01:09 PM
I made some mental notes concerning what came next in Paul's letter, and, I have written them down for reference;

He first talks to all people using the term, anthropos.

But, his general discussion seemed directed at me, personally.

He spoke of judging others.....for what they do wrong. If we think that we don't also do the same things we are mistaken. In fact, in the judging we are actually condemning ourselves because we practice the same things.

If we also count on escaping the judgment of God while practicing the same things, we are fooling ourselves.

In fact, because God is delaying His final judgment, He is displaying His moral goodness.........He's actually putting up with us now revealing His forbearance and longsuffering.........I didn't know this before, but, Paul says that the demonstration of His goodness is actually helping me to change my mind about things.

Our hearts become hardened, though, and may not admit to change of mind......and if that persists, we are actually placing into tomorrow the indignation of God.

Did you know that Paul's God, the God whom we now serve, is going to uncover His just judgment concerning what we do.......at a particular day in the future? I recall Paul calling it......The Day of Indignation and the Just Judgment of God. At that day, He will give over to each and every person according to their acts, some things either good or bad.

One group.......those who have patiently continued to do good......they are seeking glory and honour and immortality.....eternal life.

The other group is contentious....and do not obey the truth. They will receive indignation, wrath, tribulation and anguish upon their souls.

And there is an order to the judging........the Jew first, followed by the Greek.

To those that work good.....glory, honour and peace.......again,....to the Jew first, and then to the Greek.

Our God does not look on the outside.....He is not a discriminator as we are....seeing things only outwardly. He sees the inside.

Paul then got more specific........He began to talk about the Jews, and the Gentiles (ethnos)....which is our group.

They, the Jews, have the law, and will be judged by the law. We, as Gentiles, do not have the law, but will perish without it. However, He explained that there are those of us, who by nature, do the things contained in the law.......we are, in that respect, a law unto ourselves.

In the day when God will judge the secrets of the inside, ....the work of the law on the hearts will become evident.

The Jew, who has been given the law,.......may claim certain advantages because of the law.....but....Paul said that it is a form of knowledge....and when they break the law....God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles.

Paul then speaks of circumcision....the special covenant sign of the Jewish people. He said that it is of value to them....but only if they follow the directions of the law....but,....if they break the law given to them, their circumcision is become (ginomai) uncircumcision.

We, as Gentiles, are of the uncircumcision......and if we guard the righteousness of the law....our uncircumcision is counted as circumcision.

What's more,....as to our uncircumcision, by nature, if we bring to conclusion the law's conditions, we will actually judge the Jew, who by letter and circumcision has side stepped the law.

According to Paul, being an outward Jew, one that has circumcision of the flesh.......differs from the Jew who is one inwardly, where circumcision is of the heart, in the spirit.

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-17-2008, 01:54 PM
I made some mental notes concerning what came next in Paul's letter, and, I have written them down for reference;

Thank you for the notes. They all made sense ... but I do have one question regarding your last observation:


According to Paul, being an outward Jew, one that has circumcision of the flesh.......differs from the Jew who is one inwardly, where circumcision is of the heart, in the spirit.

I didn't notice Paul stating a difference like that. It seems he was saying that the Jews are NOT different than any other sons of Adam in any fundamental way. His point seems to be that there is no difference between Jew and Gentile when either stands before God to be judged. What is the specific nature of the "difference" that you saw Paul talking about?

Richard

joel
11-17-2008, 02:16 PM
sometimes it helps me if a put things in the form of a figure or diagram (assuming, of course, that the figure is representative of the truth);

Anthropos
[ Jew ] [Gentile]
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Jew
[outward, circumcision outward in the flesh][Jew, circumcision of the heart, in spirit]
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Under the figure at the top, all of humanity is shown, as subdivided into Jew and Gentile.

The figure beneath it depicts the Jew.....one subgroup representing outward circumcision only, that which is apparent externally only.....the other, circumcised in the heart, in spirit, is not apparent from an external viewpoint.

So that, of the Jews, the ones whose praise is of God, are those who have an inward circumcision, which is discerned only by God.

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-17-2008, 02:56 PM
sometimes it helps me if a put things in the form of a figure or diagram (assuming, of course, that the figure is representative of the truth);

Anthropos
[ Jew ] [Gentile]
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Jew
[outward, circumcision outward in the flesh][Jew, circumcision of the heart, in spirit]
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Under the figure at the top, all of humanity is shown, as subdivided into Jew and Gentile.

The figure beneath it depicts the Jew.....one subgroup representing outward circumcision only, that which is apparent externally only.....the other, circumcised in the heart, in spirit, is not apparent from an external viewpoint.

So that, of the Jews, the ones whose praise is of God, are those who have an inward circumcision, which is discerned only by God.

Joel
I agree, diagrams can help a lot.

I also agree that Paul subdivided man (anthropos) into two groups - Jew and Gentile. But I see the second division differently than you. I think that Paul very clearly divided the one group "Anthropos" as follows:

Anthropos
[ Jew ] [Gentile]

Anthropos
[Believing Jews & Gentiles] [Unbelieving Jews and Gentiles]


I base this on these verses:
Romans 2:25-26 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. 26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?
These verses establish two identities:

1) Unbelieving Jews are reckoned as "uncircumcised" (same as unbelieving Gentiles)
2) Believing Gentiles are reckoned as "circumcised" (same as believing Jews)

Richard

basilfo
11-17-2008, 04:05 PM
Hi folks,
I'm following the path here of going through Romans as Joel suggested. If it's ok, I have just a quick question concerning the unbelievers of the 2 groups (Jew and Gentile):

Does God view and/or treat the unbelievers of the 2 groups differently AFTER the "coming of the Lord" (parousia) Paul spoke of repeatedly in his letters?

If that is too much of a diversion off the course you are on, just table it for later, but I do think the answer will be very helpful to determining if "the difference" between Jew/Gentile has a Scriptural foundation.

Keep up the good work,
Dave

Richard Amiel McGough
11-17-2008, 04:20 PM
Hi folks,
I'm following the path here of going through Romans as Joel suggested. If it's ok, I have just a quick question concerning the unbelievers of the 2 groups (Jew and Gentile):

Does God view and/or treat the unbelievers of the 2 groups differently AFTER the "coming of the Lord" (parousia) Paul spoke of repeatedly in his letters?

If that is too much of a diversion off the course you are on, just table it for later, but I do think the answer will be very helpful to determining if "the difference" between Jew/Gentile has a Scriptural foundation.

Keep up the good work,
Dave
Hi Dave,

Your participation is most welcome, and I hope you find time to join in more. But to accomplish our goal, I think we need to narrow down our focus to the immediate text under discussion. Your question is very important but should probably wait for an appropriate context.

Richard

joel
11-17-2008, 05:01 PM
Dave,......please join in.

A group discussion is what we seek. I encourage all who are participating, to also post views, questions, comments......we are all members, and there are no members superior to others.....that is the uniqueness of His body. Each member is important to the effectual working of the whole.

Joel

joel
11-17-2008, 05:34 PM
I agree, diagrams can help a lot.

I also agree that Paul subdivided man (anthropos) into two groups - Jew and Gentile. But I see the second division differently than you. I think that Paul very clearly divided the one group "Anthropos" as follows:

Anthropos
[ Jew ] [Gentile]

Anthropos
[Believing Jews & Gentiles] [Unbelieving Jews and Gentiles]


I base this on these verses:
Romans 2:25-26 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. 26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?
These verses establish two identities:

1) Unbelieving Jews are reckoned as "uncircumcised" (same as unbelieving Gentiles)
2) Believing Gentiles are reckoned as "circumcised" (same as believing Jews)

Richard

I am not seeing this the same way that you see it.

1.) For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep (prasso) the law:
but if thou be a breaker of the law,
thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.

the word, is made, is ginomai. If the Jew breaks the law (parabates nomos), then, then, circumcision is made (ginomai) uncircumcisionl.

2.) If the uncircumcision keep (phulasso)
the righteousness of the law,
shall not his uncircumcision be counted (logizomai) for circumcision.

I, as a Gentile, am not of the circumcision. If I keep (phulasso) the righteousness of the law,.........my uncircumcision shall be reckoned as circumcision.

But, the Jew, circumcised, keeps (prasso) the law.....then, that is commendable. But, if the Jew, circumcised, is a breaker of the law.....his circumcision is "made" (ginomai)......not counted (logizomai).......uncircumcision.

There is a difference.....and I would request that we go no further until we settle this question. Do you agree?

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-17-2008, 06:43 PM
I am not seeing this the same way that you see it.

1.) For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep (prasso) the law:
but if thou be a breaker of the law,
thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.

the word, is made, is ginomai. If the Jew breaks the law (parabates nomos), then, then, circumcision is made (ginomai) uncircumcisionl.

2.) If the uncircumcision keep (phulasso)
the righteousness of the law,
shall not his uncircumcision be counted (logizomai) for circumcision.

I, as a Gentile, am not of the circumcision. If I keep (phulasso) the righteousness of the law,.........my uncircumcision shall be reckoned as circumcision.

But, the Jew, circumcised, keeps (prasso) the law.....then, that is commendable. But, if the Jew, circumcised, is a breaker of the law.....his circumcision is "made" (ginomai)......not counted (logizomai).......uncircumcision.

There is a difference.....and I would request that we go no further until we settle this question. Do you agree?

Joel
Hi Joel,

Yes, I agree that we should "camp" on this point until we settle it. I am very much enjoying this detailed and careful study.

So we have this duality in Romans 2:

1) Jews who fail to keep the law BECOME (ginomai) "uncircumcised"
2) Gentiles who keep the law are RECKONED (logizomai) "circumcised."


These words are very important. The Jews of the flesh who are not faithful to God's Law are said to BECOME "uncircumcised" - which means that they are no different than unbelieving Gentiles. Paul confirmed this in the next verse which states that those unfaithful "Jews" are not really "Jews" at all:
Romans 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

The word describing the "change" of the faithful Gentiles (logizomai) is likewise extremely significant because it is the word Paul used throughout his letters to describe how anyone - Jew or Gentile - get's right with God.
Romans 4:3-4 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted (logizomai) unto him for righteousness.
It seems to me that Paul is anticipating the central core of his primary argument. Jews and Gentiles are absolutely equivalent before God. The faithful amongst either group is reckoned (logizomai) as "righteous" and the unfaithful are concluded under the group called "unbelievers." Thuse we have the two divisions I outlined previously:

Anthropos
[Jew = Old Covenant People] [Gentile = Outside of the Covennant]

Anthropos
[Believers = New Covenant People (Jew or Gentile)] [Unbelievers = Outside the Covenant (Jew or Gentile)]

Richard

Rose
11-17-2008, 07:48 PM
Hi Joel,

Yes, I agree that we should "camp" on this point until we settle it. I am very much enjoying this detailed and careful study.

So we have this duality in Romans 2:

1) Jews who fail to keep the law BECOME (ginomai) "uncircumcised"
2) Gentiles who keep the law are RECKONED (logizomai) "circumcised."


Adding to the point Richard made regarding the uncircumcised Gentile being counted as one of the circumcised because of Faith; I would like to mention the many shining examples in the linage of Jesus (Tamar, Rahab, Ruth to name 3) that absolutely confirms the point of Gentiles being counted the same as Jews even under the Old Covenant.

God Bless,

Rose

joel
11-18-2008, 04:31 AM
As we continue on this important issue, please consider that there is a difference between;
the Jew (circumcision) who keeps the law, and,
the Gentile (uncircumcision) who "keeps" the "righteousness of the law".

Joel

basilfo
11-18-2008, 05:01 AM
Has there ever been a Jew who kept the law? If not, are they not in the same condition as an uncircumcised Gentile?

Richard Amiel McGough
11-18-2008, 07:53 AM
As we continue on this important issue, please consider that there is a difference between;
the Jew (circumcision) who keeps the law, and,
the Gentile (uncircumcision) who "keeps" the "righteousness of the law".

Joel
What is the difference? Where does Paul state it in Romans 2?

Rose
11-18-2008, 09:39 AM
As we continue on this important issue, please consider that there is a difference between;
the Jew (circumcision) who keeps the law, and,
the Gentile (uncircumcision) who "keeps" the "righteousness of the law".

Joel

How can there be a difference, when under the Old Covenant a uncircumcised Gentile could become a circumcised Jew?

God Bless,

Rose

Richard Amiel McGough
11-18-2008, 11:58 AM
As we continue on this important issue, please consider that there is a difference between;
the Jew (circumcision) who keeps the law, and,
the Gentile (uncircumcision) who "keeps" the "righteousness of the law".

Joel
Recalling my role as a first century Roman Gentile Christian who is hearing the book of Romans read to me after I came to faith in the Jewish Messiah, this is what I think:

Paul is telling me that the "Jew" who is physically circumcised but does not obey God's Law is no different than an uncircumcised Gentile, and that a physically uncircumcised Gentile like myself is reckoned as "circumcised" by God because of my faith in Christ.

Thus I praise God for extending the grace of His New Covenant to me, and I understand that He divides humanity (anthropos) into two groups: Those who believe (whether Jew or Gentile) and those who do not believe (whether Jew or Gentile).

Richard

PS: It is also very significant to note that Paul directly addressed the "Jews" - so it is clear that his teachings are not restricted merely to the Gentiles. He was an Apostle of Christ to both the circumcised and the uncircumcised. He was a "universal" apostle to all nations (goyim) - Jew and Gentile alike. We must remember that the "nation" of the Jews was one nation amongst all others. The Bible calls them a "goy" (nation) just like the so called "Gentiles" (another "goyim").

joel
11-18-2008, 01:02 PM
Maybe we'll see him, face to face, and have some of our questions directly answered.....I hear he may be coming to Rome soon.....but, while continuing his journeys.....I also hear that he will return first to Jerusalem......hope all goes well with them there.....we have heard of some hostilities towards Christ's followers still continuing.

I would like to offer yet another thought about our recent conversation before moving on......

I'm so happy that we have made progress in being able to see things together...in the hope that we will also be saying the same things, and be of the same mind, and of the same spirit.

We certainly agree on the makeup of humanity;
Anthropos
[Jew] [Gentile]

But, I would hope that we could seek further light on the sub-groups.

You have suggested this figure;

Anthropos
[Believing Jews & Believing Gentiles] [Unbelieving Jews & Unbelieving Gentiles]

To follow, closely aligned with Paul's presentation, I suggest the following;

Anthropos
[Jews] [Gentiles]
l l
[circumcision, peritome] [uncircumcision, akrobustia]

:25 Circumcision verily profits
if thou keep (prasso) the law
but, if thou be a breaker of
the law, thy circumcision is
made uncircumcision

So, doesn't it follow that there
are two groups of Jews;
[those who keep the law] [breakers of the law]

To those who keep (practice) the law,
circumcision is profitable.

To those who are breakers (parabates, side-steppers)
their circumcision is made (ginomai) uncircumcision.

:26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep(phulasso, guard) the righteousness of the law (dikaioma nomos), shall not his uncircumcision be counted (logizomai) for circumcision.

I have a bit more to add but must first tend to the flock.......and then go catch some fish.......and, run some errands for my "gune".

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-18-2008, 02:40 PM
Maybe we'll see him, face to face, and have some of our questions directly answered.....I hear he may be coming to Rome soon.....but, while continuing his journeys.....I also hear that he will return first to Jerusalem......hope all goes well with them there.....we have heard of some hostilities towards Christ's followers still continuing.

I would like to offer yet another thought about our recent conversation before moving on......

I'm so happy that we have made progress in being able to see things together...in the hope that we will also be saying the same things, and be of the same mind, and of the same spirit.


Hey there Joel,

I share the delight in the progress we are making. It feels really good to focus on one thing at a time. I have hope that we will be able to come to a genuine understanding of what the Bible really teaches and so find the perfect peace of being "one mind" with eachother through the Mind of Christ which we share.



We certainly agree on the makeup of humanity;
Anthropos
[Jew] [Gentile]

But, I would hope that we could seek further light on the sub-groups.

You have suggested this figure;

Anthropos
[Believing Jews & Believing Gentiles] [Unbelieving Jews & Unbelieving Gentiles]

To follow, closely aligned with Paul's presentation, I suggest the following;

Anthropos
[Jews] [Gentiles]
l l
[circumcision, peritome] [uncircumcision, akrobustia]

:25 Circumcision verily profits
if thou keep (prasso) the law
but, if thou be a breaker of
the law, thy circumcision is
made uncircumcision

So, doesn't it follow that there
are two groups of Jews;
[those who keep the law] [breakers of the law]

To those who keep (practice) the law,
circumcision is profitable.

To those who are breakers (parabates, side-steppers)
their circumcision is made (ginomai) uncircumcision.

:26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep(phulasso, guard) the righteousness of the law (dikaioma nomos), shall not his uncircumcision be counted (logizomai) for circumcision.

I have a bit more to add but must first tend to the flock.......and then go catch some fish.......and, run some errands for my "gune".

Joel
Yes, there are two groups of Jews exactly as there are two groups of Gentiles:

Group 1a: Faithful Jews
Group 1b: Unfaithful Jews
Group 2a: Faithful Gentiles
Group 2b: Unfaithful Gentiles

It seems to me that Paul was explaining that these four groups are really just two groups, with the principle of inclusion being FAITH:

BELIEVERS
[Faithful Jews + Faithfull Gentiles]

UNBELIEVERS
[Unfaithful Jews + Unfaithful Gentiles]

Does this seem like what Paul is saying to you?

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
11-18-2008, 02:51 PM
I have a bit more to add but must first tend to the flock.......and then go catch some fish.......and, run some errands for my "gune".

Joel
Does you wife mind that you call her a "goonie"? :lol:

joel
11-18-2008, 03:07 PM
Richard, Rose, Dave, and others, to all of the ecclesia who convene at the Biblewheel, called saints,

As we try to grasp Paul's message to us,
I want to see the Jewish group first (vs.25);

[Jew]

[peritome]

[keep the law] [break the law]
(prasso) (parabates)
(peritome profits) (peritome made akrobustia)

the Jew is "in peritome" i.e. "in circumcision"

Circumcision is profitable if the Jew keeps the law (prasso).
to keep the law, the Jew "practices" the law.

The Jew that "side-steps" the law, is breaking the law (parabates),
and circumcision becomes i.e. is made, uncircumcision (akrobustia).

I see that you have added "believes".....and the keeper of the law would be a "believer", and the others would be "unbeleivers". Paul has not interjected faith yet.....as I see it.

The Jew, at this juncture, is either a law keeper, or a law breaker. Do you see the difference? Does faith play a part at this point?

There were those Jews who did "prasso", i.e., keep the law. John the Baptist's parents, which included Elizabeth, the cousin of Mary, were keepers of the law. Paul said of himself, as to the keeping of the law, he was blameless.

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-18-2008, 03:17 PM
Richard, Rose, Dave, and others, to all of the ecclesia who convene at the Biblewheel, called saints,

As we try to grasp Paul's message to us,
I want to see the Jewish group first (vs.25);

[Jew]

[peritome]

[keep the law] [break the law]
(prasso) (parabates)
(peritome profits) (peritome made akrobustia)

the Jew is "in peritome" i.e. "in circumcision"

Circumcision is profitable if the Jew keeps the law (prasso).
to keep the law, the Jew "practices" the law.

The Jew that "side-steps" the law, is breaking the law (parabates),
and circumcision becomes i.e. is made, uncircumcision (akrobustia).

I see that you have added "believes".....and the keeper of the law would be a "believer", and the others would be "unbeleivers". Paul has not interjected faith yet.....as I see it.

The Jew, at this juncture, is either a law keeper, or a law breaker. Do you see the difference? Does faith play a part at this point?

There were those Jews who did "prasso", i.e., keep the law. John the Baptist's parents, which included Elizabeth, the cousin of Mary, were keepers of the law. Paul said of himself, as to the keeping of the law, he was blameless.

Joel
I agree that Paul did not specifically mention faith in Romans 2. But I think it is clearly implied since that is the primary topic of his letter from beginning to end, and because he mentioned it frequently in the immediate context (chapter 1):

Romans 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
Romans 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
Romans 1:12 That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

But I think it would be helpful to lay out the categories of the groups in Romans 2 exactly as Paul stated them. So here is my modification:

Group 1a: Lawkeeping Jews are circumcised
Group 1b: Lawbreaking Jews become same as uncircumcised
Group 2a: Lawkeeping Gentiles are reckoned as circumcised
Group 2b: Lawbreaking Gentiles are uncircumcised

Thus we have the two groups in Romans 2:

THE CIRCUMCISED
Lawkeeping Jews and Lawkeeping Gentiles

THE UNCIRCUMCISED
Lawbreaking Jews and Lawbreaking Gentiles

Does that seem accurate to you Joel?

Richard

Brother Les
11-18-2008, 03:33 PM
Our friend Joel,
I see one glaring Problem... not one of The Circumcision... 'could' Not Keep all of The Law'.... They all failed. Only Jesus Christ was able to keep and fulfill all of The Law and The Prophets. Those of the Circumcisions who 'tried' to keep The Law, all failed at some point. The only way that 'they' obtained Salvation was by Faith Through Grace.

Brother Les



Thus we have the two groups in Romans 2:

THE CIRCUMCISED
Lawkeeping Jews and Lawkeeping Gentiles

THE UNCIRCUMCISED
Lawbreaking Jews and Lawbreaking Gentiles

Does that seem accurate to you Joel?

Richard

None was able to keep The Law... no not one. The penalty for breaking (any) 'one' of the 'Laws' was Death... 'All' deserved 'Death'....

Brother Les

joel
11-18-2008, 04:25 PM
Richard......when I call my wife "goonie", she calls me "aner", and laughs and laughs.....(seems that she means something more...??)

Brother Les,......nice to have you join in.....at present we are wrestling with the last part of chapter two of Paul's letter to the Romans.....we are role playing as if we were actually there, and are trying to sort out what he is saying........trying not to interject what we already know as believers.....but, trying to see it as they may have seen it......

As citizens of Rome, who spoke Greek, and were accustomed to the culture of that day, and in that part of the world,........I would think that this "peritome"/"akrobustia" thing would have been somewhat foreign to them......I may be wrong...but,......to the Jew circumcision was of the highest of importance......being the outward sign of the covenant that God made with Abraham. I'm not so sure that the Roman Gentiles would have the same appreciation for the terms as the Jews who lived in Rome and were also wrestling with the truths contained in his letter.

At this juncture of his letter, Paul interjects the term that describes the unique characteristic of the Jew that sets him apart from all others, peritome. I'm not so sure that the average Roman Gentile would have used the expression, "akrobustia" to describe himself.

The important truths that follow in his letter will hinge on our understanding of what these terms mean,.....but.....before we leap into the defining truths of Paul's gospel message.....we are remaining here to see if we can get a concensus of what he meant, and why did he even bring it up?

Since a very unique word described the unique placement by God of the Jew, he used "peritome"......and we all know that it has to do with the cutting of flesh in a very delicate place.........the other word Paul used to contrast "peritome"(circumcision) was "akrobustia" (uncircumcision).

When we look at akrobustia (uncircumcision) in His letter, as it appears in this section, we find;
(vs. 26)
Gentiles

[Akrobustia]

[keep the righteousness of the law (phulasso)][.........others...........]

[reckoned as peritome] [.........others...........]

Of those who are in akrobustia, which are all Gentiles (who are not Jews, and are not in peritome), there is a unique sub-set......those who keep (phulasso) the righteousness of the law. This is a unique phrase. As to the Jews, who were in peritome, they either keep (prasso) the law, or break the law.

This sub-group of the akrobustia "keep (watch, guard) the righteousness of the law".....Paul uses a different phrase to describe them.

It is my opinion that the phrasing would mean something to the Greek speaking Romans that may not be obvious to us, and, I am only attempting to see if that strikes anyone else as important?

In the rudimentary figure above, I have attempted to depict the two sub-sets which are "in akrobustia".....only one is mentioned by Paul i.e.....those who keep the righteousness of the law......which means that all others in the group, akrobustia, are "others". Richard has used the description for the "others" as "unbelievers"....and has stated his reason for doing that.....which is why he is such an intersting discusser.......he calls me "systematic"......is that the pot and kettle or what??

Joel

Bob May
11-18-2008, 05:15 PM
Hi gentlemen and lady,

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

"For therein is revealed the righteousness..."
The good news (gospel) was not revealed to OT Jews. Not before the message of Jesus came. The goal was righteousness but the way to it was hidden in the Old Testament. They read the O.T. with the veil of Moses over their faces (and some still do). They based their righteousness upon doing a Law that was not possible to do.
There are only two faiths. The righteousness OF GOD is only visible (revealed)when a person (JEW or GENTILE after the flesh) goes from the first Faith to the second Faith.
That is from going from faith in our "works" to faith in the Gospel which is not based on works. This is going from the outward Jew or Gentile to an inward Jew.
It is a change in our understanding of what God requires of us in order to gain righteousness.
In going from a faith in our "works" to the "work of God" for righteousness, (right standing with God) is to pass from children of Adam (Jew or Gentile) to sons of Abraham who believed and it was counted to him as righteousness.

Joh 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

It is this "work of God", that we realize is available when the veil is lifted from our eyes, that we seek.
We all start out (both Jew and Gentile after the flesh) with Faith in our own works or the "work of our hands". (Tower of Babel) We must move from that viewpoint to one of Faith in the work of God.
He works His work in us.

The main difference I see between Jews and Gentiles may be that some Jews will not be grafted back in till a later date. They first shall be last etc.

Bob

joel
11-18-2008, 05:40 PM
Tally Ho....Bob. Nice to have you join us.

I hear what you are saying..........and what I would like to address.....is the part about........"the outward Jew".....and the "inward Jew".

Is the "outward Jew".........a generic term referring to to anyone, whether natural Jew or natural Gentile who has "faith in their works"........vs. .......the "inward Jew" who has the right kind of faith based on the gospel, whether they are natural Jews or natural Gentiles?

Is this what Paul is saying in the last portion of his letter which we call chapter 2?

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-18-2008, 05:47 PM
Tally Ho....Bob. Nice to have you join us.

I hear what you are saying..........and what I would like to address.....is the part about........"the outward Jew".....and the "inward Jew".

Is the "outward Jew".........a generic term referring to to anyone, whether natural Jew or natural Gentile who has "faith in their works"........vs. .......the "inward Jew" who has the right kind of faith based on the gospel, whether they are natural Jews or natural Gentiles?

Is this what Paul is saying in the last portion of his letter which we call chapter 2?

Joel
I think Paul made his point pretty clearly. He said that the "outward Jew" who did not keep the Law through faith was absolutely equivalent in every way to the outwardly uncircumcised Gentile who did not keep God's Law through faith, and that the outwardly uncircumcised Gentile that had the faith of Christ (recall the clear message of Romans 1) was in every way equivalent to the Jew who also had the faith of Christ.

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
11-18-2008, 05:50 PM
Just a quick "thank you" to Joel for inspiring this very fruitful discussion. I think we are on track to really geting the truth established on the solid rock FOUNDATION of Scripture.

Thanks Joel! :thumb:

joel
11-18-2008, 06:51 PM
When two, or more, are gathered in His name.........He is in the midst.
As we join together in Praise unto Him.........how rewarding it is in the midst of a world that is falling apart.......we are thankful for the time to be together, on this site.....thanks to you.

Joel

joel
11-19-2008, 08:50 AM
I think Paul made his point pretty clearly. He said that the "outward Jew" who did not keep the Law through faith was absolutely equivalent in every way to the outwardly uncircumcised Gentile who did not keep God's Law through faith, and that the outwardly uncircumcised Gentile that had the faith of Christ (recall the clear message of Romans 1) was in every way equivalent to the Jew who also had the faith of Christ.

Richard

It's so nice to have you all come over to our house to be with the ecclesia that meets here. We have been reading and discussing Paul's letter to us, as we know that you have been doing the same.

Those of you who meet at Richard and Rose's house have been discussing the same section of Paul's letter that we are striving to grasp the full meaning of his words before proceeding on. As he has told others, who told us, we are all to be saying the same things.

This is difficult for us who meet at this house.....as what he has to say has so much Jewish stuff in it.......we are mostly Roman Gentiles, but, have the benefit of a few Jewish brethren who are meeting regularly with us. This helps a lot as most of us are not versed in their history.

Paul has introduced a term which means something to us, as Gentiles, but, seems to mean something different to those of Jewish descent......he introduces the "law". Now, we know, of course, that there are many laws imposed upon us by Ceasar.....and we, as Roman citizens, strive to obey those laws. But, the Jews, on their own, before subjected to Ceasar's law of government, were given the law of God through their prophet, Moses.

God also gave them circumcision......a ritual that we find hard to understand. Paul uses the term, peritome, to describe them.....it is something they have, in addition to the law. We, as Gentiles, have these things inwardly........as Paul has explained. Even though we are termed, akrobustia (uncircumcised)....and, we often demonstrate that the law is written on our hearts.

The Jewish people may rest in the outward law, but, that is a "form of Knowledge and truth" in the law. It is reality of these matters on the inside of us that matters to God, not that which on the outside.

We, as Romans Gentiles, are, by nature, "akrobustia". And, the ultimate result of the law's work is "the righteousness of the law" which we to guard.

Their circumcision does not prove to be of benefit to them if they break the law.

Paul says a remarkable thing when he said that if we bring to completion the righteous requirements of the law, we will actually judge the Jew who by letter of the law and circumcision side-steps their own law.

We are caught up in discussion point that we are trying to resolve;
He speaks of the "apparent Jew", and the "hidden Jew"....some of us are saying that the Gentile believers become the "hidden Jews"......but, I am struggling with that.

I think Paul is saying.....the apparent Jew, the one circumcised in the flesh, is not the Jew who receives praise from God.....but, the hidden Jew, who has the circumcision inwardly, just as we who have declared righteous......which we will discuss in more detail as we proceed in his letter.....the "hidden Jew" receives praise from God.

I just don't see how a Gentile, by nature, becomes a Jew......circumcision is reckoned.....in our case. What do you say?

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-19-2008, 09:03 AM
It's so nice to have you all come over to our house to be with the ecclesia that meets here. We have been reading and discussing Paul's letter to us, as we know that you have been doing the same.

Thank you for opening your home for this study of Paul's letter to us Brother Joel.



I think Paul is saying.....the apparent Jew, the one circumcised in the flesh, is not the Jew who receives praise from God.....but, the hidden Jew, who has the circumcision inwardly, just as we who have declared righteous......which we will discuss in more detail as we proceed in his letter.....the "hidden Jew" receives praise from God.

I just don't see how a Gentile, by nature, becomes a Jew......circumcision is reckoned.....in our case. What do you say?

Joel

I am trying to live up to the high standards you have set, and to explain the things that Paul wrote to us using the terms that he employed. In this case, I have trouble believing that the "outward Jew" who breaks the Law remains a Jew at all, since Paul said exactly the opposite:
Romans 2:25-29 For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? 27 And will not the physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the law, judge you who, even with your written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law? 28 For he is NOT A JEW who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.
Looking at the highlight phrases, I understand Paul to be telling me that lawbreakers who happen to be physically circumcised are identical to uncircumcised lawbreaking Gentiles like myself before I came to the "obedience of the faith" that Brother Paul taught us about in Romans 1. Furthermore, Paul seems to be saying that I myself, though physically uncircumcised, am "a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart." These are the words Paul wrote. They seem very plain to me. How do you understand them?

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
11-19-2008, 09:10 AM
I think Paul is saying.....the apparent Jew, the one circumcised in the flesh, is not the Jew who receives praise from God.....

I don't think that is what Paul said. Paul explicitly said that the Jews who are only Jews because of physical circumcision are not "Jews" at all, and that we are not supposed to understand the idea of "circumcision" in its physcial sense:

Romans 2:28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh;
This seems exceedingly clear. Paul seems to be explicitly denying that there is any meaning in mere physical circumcision or cultural identity as a "Jew." It seems he is saying that those ideas have nothing to do with the message of the Gospel that he is preaching.

Richard

Rose
11-19-2008, 09:29 AM
Thank you all for allowing me to be part of this meeting, it is so good to be among friends of the household of faith.

In listening to the words of Bother Paul, what I hear them to be saying is that a "Jew" has always been defined by faith, not by heritage. Circumcision is the outward sign of that faith, that is why Gentiles like Rahab and Ruth could be counted as "full Jews", so much so as to be counted in the lineage of Jesus.

That gives me much comfort as a Gentile, that I am counted as Ruth.....a full Jew.

God Bless you all,

Rose

Richard Amiel McGough
11-19-2008, 10:06 AM
My dear brother Joel,

As we are only beginning to get to know each other now as we study Paul's letter to us, I think it is important that you know that though I was born a Roman Gentile, I was circumcised and converted to Judaism back in the second year of Tiberius. The elders, scribes, and priests all assured my that I had fully entered into the covenant God had made with Abraham. They said that I was every bit as much a "Jew" as any his natural born sons.

I became a Christian on that amazing day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended upon some of my Jewish brethren. I am one of the "proselytes" who heard the "wonderful works of God" proclaimed in the pecular Latin dialect of my home region far north of Rome. I was dumbstruck to hear those words coming from the mouth of our illiterate fisherman brother Peter after he recieved the Spirit of God. Our brother Luke wrote about this event in the book we call "Acts."

Acts 2:5-11 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

God used this experience to quicken my heart, and I am one of the Jews who responded with great joy as our brother Peter preached later on that amazing day:
Acts 2:36-42 Therefore let ALL THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. 37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. 41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.



I obeyed the faith preached by Peter and was baptized that very day. Praise God! He had made a New Covenant with "ALL THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL!!!"

It is in this context, as both a "Gentile" and a "Jew" that I understand Paul's letter to us.

Richard

Rose
11-19-2008, 01:18 PM
I am so glad my husband, that you have shared with our fellow believers your conversion experience.....first being a Roman Gentile, then converting to Judaism, and finally becoming a true Jew at Pentecost.

I remember well the joy of the Pentecost experience you shared with me when we first met. I, being a fairly new Gentile believer in Jesus, was comforted to know that I too could be counted as one of the household of Israel.

God Bless you all,

Rose

Bob May
11-19-2008, 03:43 PM
Hi Joel,

Rom 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
15 Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
17 Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God,
18 And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;
19 And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness,
20 An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.
21 Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?
22 Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?
23 Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?
24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.
25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.
26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?
27 And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?
28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

What I see here is that you have to take things in context. The first "gentile" is obviously just that. People who aren't Jewish by birth, culture or who have converted to that religion.
After that he talks about people teaching others not to do things that they do themselves and that even Gentiles have a "Law" of sorts.
Problem is a perfect standard is never kept by human beings. And in the OT Law it is even harder to keep because if you break the least commandment you are guilty of all. So tell a little white lie and you are just as guilty of murder as a real live physical murderer. And you are wothy of death, Period.
So that goes for everyone. We were all worthy of death.

You asked,
"Is the "outward Jew".........a generic term referring to to anyone, whether natural Jew or natural Gentile who has "faith in their works"

No, I don't believe Paul would equate a gentile with "outward Jew". But a "Jew, which is one inwardly" refers to someone who has come to some understanding of belief in the forgiveness of sins or Grace. There are "levels" of understanding this. These levels of understanding are the "generations" of Abraham who are to be circumcised. We are saved by faith through Grace but even that is a gift. (the work of God) You can look at the outward face value interpretation of the "Covenant" of circumcision, or, what I believe to be the "inward" or true meaning of this "Covenant" which is a "promise", not a commandment.

Abraham is given a covenant from God;
Gen 17:10
10 "This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.
11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you."

A Jew which is one outwardly reads the second half of this "Covenant" and sees a "Commandment." Notice that God called the second half only a "token" of the Covenant. Not the Covenant itself.
A covenant is, basically an agreement and promise. To keep the Covenant as God told him to is to Keep the Promise, that is remember it. "Keep" it as something precious.

The Covenant IS "Every man child among you SHALL BE CIRCUMCISED."

This is a promise that we shall be Changed.

You have to look at it as Paul did. Paul knew that the stories in the Law were allegories. Symbolic stories that were pointing prophetically toward a future that we find ourselves in today.

Jesus made the same distinction that Paul did.

John 8:37 "I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.
38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.
39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.
40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.
41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word."

Notice that Jesus at first agrees with them that they are Abraham's seed and then turns right around and says that they are not?
Was he lying? Of course not. He was practicing what proverbs says;
(Answer a fool according to his folly lest he be wise in his own conceit.)
(Answer not a fool according to his folly lest thou be like unto him.)
He was also differentiating between son's of Abraham after the flesh and after the spirit. THEY COULD NOT HEAR HIM. THEY COULD NOT UNDERSTAND HIM. So they were not son's of the promise.

Yes they were of the seed of Abraham, through Ishmael. (spiritually)
And no they were not sons of Abraham (spiritually). How do I know that?
Because the meanings of the Patriarchs are always given by the mother at birth when they are named.

Gen 18:5 "And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.
6 And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that ALL THAT HEAR will laugh with me."

Notice that if Abraham is the Father of Faith then Sarah is the Mother of us all. All those who hear.


........vs. .......the "inward Jew" who has the right kind of faith based on the gospel, whether they are natural Jews or natural Gentiles?

I think "hearing covers it pretty good, but there are all kinds of ways to approach the subject. Another is to look at it as promises.
Remember the promises made to Abraham were to his seed and throughout their generations, etc. That is US as we grow in understanding, hearing, seeing, and coming back to life.

I nkow I have a tendancy to ramble and wander, but it is difficult not to when the subject matter we are discussing is all through the New and Old Testaments in every type of symbolism that can be imagined.

Bob

joel
11-19-2008, 04:55 PM
Richard, Rose, Bob, and all others of like precious faith, we begin to understand as we fellowship together how varied our backgrounds are....and yet, we are unified in His name as we come under the teaching that Paul is giving to us in his letter.

As our discussions have proved, we see some things from different perspectives.....but surely we see some things the same...as our continued discussions will surely prove.

I was thrilled to hear Richard's testimony, and the supporting words of his lovely gune.....Rose, his wife. Can you believe it.....he was a Jewish proselyte who ventured to the holy city of Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost when the Lord sent His Spirit in mighty power........Richard heard Peter speak in his native tongue.....what a wonder that must have been.......and a glorious witness to the faith that he embraced....turning away from the idols of his former faith to follow the Lord Jesus Christ.

I'm eager to move on and continue in his letter with you, but, do not overreach you and move ahead too fast. I'll sleep on it, and, if it seems proper, we will proceed tomorrow when we meet again.

My family and I are blessed to have you in our fellowship.....to seek His will and an understanding of what he has for us.

Your brother, in Christ, Joel

joel
11-20-2008, 11:07 AM
Since we last gathered as a larger group, our little home church has discussed the first portion of the section of Paul's letter immediately following his presentation concerning circumcision (peritome), and uncircumcision (akrobustia), the "apparent Jew" and the "hidden Jew".

We are still not yet fully settled as to the issues raised that we wrestled with as a larger group, and so,.........we got somewhat bogged down again in the next section.

Paul asked a question, as he often does, as what advantage the Jew may have, or what profit is circumcision?

He answered with......much in every way...and then reminded us that to them was entrusted the oracles of God. All that He said, and uttered....through prophets, Kings, and ordinary people........in conversations, discourses in detail, poems, visions, and prophecies.......these were all entrusted to the Jewish people.

He had said before that circumcision was profitable to them if the kept the law. Now, he changes focus to all of the words given to them throughout their storied past. Have they been faithful?

This seems to us to go beyond the "keeping" of observe the practices of the law.......it speaks to the faithfulness of keeping a trust as to the one who placed His holy word in their safekeeping.

It goes beyond an observance of detailed instructions.....it speaks of a genuine conviction of the truth concerning a matter.....in this case, what God has said to them. Does their betrayal of His trust in them cause the truth of HIs word to be made idle, and "put out of business"?

Paul responds with an emphatic answer......May it never be! God is true....and His oracles contain the purest of truth. It is man that breaks faith.....and speaks falsehoods. God will always overcome when His faithfulness is questioned by man.

Paul then brings forth the subject of righteousness again. He told us in the earlier part of his letter that the gospel contained the righteousness of God....to understand His righteousness, and to learn what it is......Paul contrasts our "unrighteousness" (injustices, irreverences) with His righteousness. Paul uses a specific word in his discussion....dikaiosune....
when speaking of God. And he uses a word, adikia, when speaking of us.

Is it right that God takes vengeance because of our "adikia"? Is He like us......"adikos" when He does? Again, he answers his question........No way!
And Paul reminds us again that He is going to judge the world (kosmos).

My "adikia", unrighteousness, commends His righteousness (dikaiosune). And, what I say that is not correct......shows that HIs truth, as a contrast, is at hand in abundance.

If these things are so, why then am I judged a sinner? Doesn't my negative glorify His positive?

Some are actually coming to this conclusion. And, some are actually saying, slanderously concerning us.......that we are saying that we should do evil that good may come! Whatever judgment may come to them for that will be just.

So,.........are we now in a better position than they whom I just mentioned?....are we in a better position than anyone?

Paul says that we are all in the same category........all under sin. This statement has caused some discussion among us......and we would like your thoughts about it.

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-20-2008, 11:19 AM
Since we last gathered as a larger group, our little home church has discussed the first portion of the section of Paul's letter immediately following his presentation concerning circumcision (peritome), and uncircumcision (akrobustia), the "apparent Jew" and the "hidden Jew".

We are still not yet fully settled as to the issues raised that we wrestled with as a larger group, and so,.........we got somewhat bogged down again in the next section.

Where did we get bogged down? It seems perfectly clear that Paul divided humanity into two groups:

The Spiritually Circumcised
Lawkeepers (whether Jew or Gentile)

The Spiritually Uncircumcised
Lawbreakers (whether Jew or Gentile)

Is there something about this division that you disagree with? I really don't think we should move past this point until we have perfect agreement on what Paul meant here.

Richard

joel
11-20-2008, 11:45 AM
It must have something do with my formal training..........I am not a "lawyer", even though I have dealt with the fine points of legal documents, what the words say.....and what the words mean. Many legal "arguments" hinge upon these matters. What does the document actually say?

When the person who wrote the document is available for clarification, that is ideal. When not, however, we may fall back upon trying to discern intent, after the fact.

My training is in the legality of documents pertaining to the express purpose of conveying real property by means of legal instruments, and the disposition of rights pertaining to the conveyances. In Roman society, even though technically, I suppose, all real property belonged to Ceasar........and the rights of the possessor were defined through certain legal instruments.......in the province in which I live, the party in possession has legal rights, and can dispose of those rights, or retain those rights.

When Paul began to disclose to me, and to my household, the disposition of the "rights" of Israel, and those who are Jews, and the rights of Gentiles, those who are not Jews, I look at the things he things he said from that perspective gained by means of my formal training.

In his discourse, as he has presented the "righteousness" of God.....I look upon that as God's "rights" from a legal, justice, standing.

You have a very unique perspective on these matters as you were once a Gentile who became a proselyte, a legal formality which provided you certain "rights" which you formerly did not have. You, however, never became a natural Jew through the formal ceremony.

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-20-2008, 12:35 PM
When Paul began to disclose to me, and to my household, the disposition of the "rights" of Israel, and those who are Jews, and the rights of Gentiles, those who are not Jews, I look at the things he things he said from that perspective gained by means of my formal training.

In his discourse, as he has presented the "righteousness" of God.....I look upon that as God's "rights" from a legal, justice, standing.

You have a very unique perspective on these matters as you were once a Gentile who became a proselyte, a legal formality which provided you certain "rights" which you formerly did not have. You, however, never became a natural Jew through the formal ceremony.

Joel
We are very blessed to have someone with your legal expertice to help us discern what brother Paul meant. But I don't see an mention of "rights" in the first two chapters of his letter to us. I don't understand why we have not been able to come to a perfect agreement about the meaning of his words in regards to the status of the "Jew" who is merely circumcised but does not keep the law through faith. We really need to get this question settled. It seems so simple and obvious to me. Our brother Paul explicitly stated that a lawbreaking Jew is equivalent to a lawbreaking Gentile. He used the strongest possible language - the language of BEING. He said that the lawbreaking Jew HAS BECOME (genomai) "uncircumcised" and that he IS NOT (ou estin) a Jew! This language seems totally plain and obvious, and you have not yet explained why you do not accept the words as stated. That is what I am asking you now to do. Deal with the exact words that Paul wrote, and explain what they mean to you, so that we all can come a little closer to the perfect Unity of the Faith.

Thank you my friend. Many blessings to you and yours.

Richard

joel
11-20-2008, 01:14 PM
The basis of righteousness is rights.

As the creator of the universe, in Chapter 1, Paul asserts that is "right" for man to be thankful and give glory to God for what He has made.

But,........man does not give what is due.....in that respect......and changes the glory of the incorruptible God into an image.......having no right to do that............and God responds in a very unique way......(look back to chapter and see the sequence).

I will be more specific when I return from tending the flock.

Joel

joel
11-20-2008, 02:07 PM
In Paul's letter, he began by calling us saints, set apart ones.

That separates us from all others in humanity. While this will become more clear and apparent as his letter progresses, he defines the two groups within humanity from God's perspective, the chief of which are, Jew and Gentile.

He later adds to the definition of each as peritome, and akrobustia denoting the relationship through covenant, a legal agreement between parties.

In chapter 2 He introduces the law which is given to the Jews as the declaration of their responsibilities and duties which defined the provisions of how they were to live within the framework of the society in which they were placed, a people in covenant with peritome as the seal.

The law defined the legalities of their continued existence within the land which was given to Abraham, and was to be passed on to suceeding generations.

Paul hasn't made specific reference to it here in Romans, but, the deed to the land is the oldest conveyance on record in humanity's history as recorded in the book on Genesis, God, the one who grants the rights of possession, and Abraham, the receiver of the rights.

In the later portion of Paul's discussion in what we know as Chapter 2, Paul specifies that the Jew is to Keep the law, but, if he doesn't, and breaks the law, his seal of circumcision is no longer valid.

But, he points out that it is not the outward circumcision that ultimately makes a difference to God, but, the inward circumcision, occurring in his heart, in spirit. In that way, only God knows the Jew who is inwardly circumcised, a seal that is administered by God, and only by God.

So, there are two kinds of Jews, the apparent Jew with outward circumcision whose claim to the rights of the relationship are no longer valid based solely on the outward in view of the side-stepping of the law that changed his outward circumcision to akrobustia.

At this point in the discussion, there is no transfer of rights of title to Gentiles. They are blessed to be guardians of the righteousness of the law, a relationship with God that transcends the formalities of covenant.

Covenant blessings are extended to Gentiles who "guard the righteousness of the law", a special, unique standing that Paul will more clearly define as we progress.

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-20-2008, 02:20 PM
So, there are two kinds of Jews, the apparent Jew with outward circumcision whose claim to the rights of the relationship are no longer valid based solely on the outward in view of the side-stepping of the law that changed his outward circumcision to akrobustia.

At this point in the discussion, there is no transfer of rights of title to Gentiles. They are blessed to be guardians of the righteousness of the law, a relationship with God that transcends the formalities of covenant.

Covenant blessings are extended to Gentiles who "guard the righteousness of the law", a special, unique standing that Paul will more clearly define as we progress.

Joel
It sounds like you are saying that Christian Jews have promises beyond those given to the Christian Gentiles or that unbelieving Jews have promises that go beyond both those groups. I don't see Paul saying that anywhere in the first two chapters of Romans. You now are introducing many concepts that are not directly related to the plain message that Paul stated in Romans 2. Let us recall your original suggestion:



Here's what I propose....let's confine ourselves Paul's explanation of God's revelation as contained in his letter to the Romans, taking it in an order as it is presented in the text. Not necessarily line by line as that would prove a daunting task, ....but maybe topic by topic, from a general perspective, stopping to look more closely when necessary.

If we discipline ourselves not to go out into other sections, but to confine ourselves to that presentation in Romans, I believe that we can seek to understand from the perspective of the 1st century Roman Gentiles what Paul sought to tell them, and to teach them.


Please explain to me the message that our Brother Paul intended for us to understand in the first two chapters of Romans. I have given my explanation, and no one has found any flaw in it, and it seems to be as plain as day. Please induldge me and respond to the many times I have repeated this explanation. Here it is again:

In Romans Chapter 2 Paul explained that mere circumcision (and by implication, natural Jewish descent from Arbaham) is rendered absolutely (indeed, ontologically) equvialent to uncircmcised Gentiles if they are not faithful to God's Law, and that uncircumcised Gentiles are equivalent to faithful Jews if they keep God's Covenant.

Again, this seems as plain as day. I do not see how Paul could have stated it any more clearly. If I have misinterpreted something in that passage, please focus on the precise error without introducing concepts that are not there.

Thank you my friend,

Richard

joel
11-20-2008, 03:18 PM
In Romans Chapter 2 Paul explained that mere circumcision (and by implication, natural Jewish descent from Arbaham) is rendered absolutely (indeed, ontologically) equvialent to uncircmcised Gentiles if they are not faithful to God's Law, and that uncircumcised Gentiles are equivalent to faithful Jews if they keep God's Covenant.

I'm sorry, Richard, ......I am not trying to be obstinate, nor argumentative, but Paul is not saying what you just said. You use terms such as "mere circumcision".......and "absolutely...equivalent" which are phrases that Paul does not use. Paul doesn't describe Gentiles who "keep God's Covenant". He describes Gentiles who keep (guard) the righteousness of the law, by using the a different word than that which describes the Jew as a law keeper. How can two different words be "absolutely equivalent"?

You call it "mere circumcision".....Paul uses, a term "phaneros" which means apparent to the eyes to describe the Jew who is only circumcised in his flesh.
He is an apparent Jew because he is apparently circumcised in the flesh.

But, he says in vs. 29, in contradistinction to the "apparent Jew".....he describes the hidden Jew ("kruptos). The circumcision of that Jew is not apparent, it is hidden, in his heart, in his spirit.

In the case of the Gentile, who is in "akrobustia"......and, such a Gentile "guards the righteousness of the law", his akrobustia is reckoned as peritome.

Natural Jewish descent from Abraham is not made void because of breaking the law........but, peritome is reckoned as akrobustia.

If I were re-word a portion of your statement so that I could be in agreement with it, I would say;.......In Romans Chapter 2 Paul explained that apparent, outward circumcision is rendered of no value to the Jew who does not practice the law.
Uncircumcised Gentiles who guard the righteousness of the law are reckoned as circumcision.
The uncircumcision (akrobustia) which is by nature, if they fulfill the law, i.e its requirements fill them, they will judge the Jew who by letter and outward circumcision side-steps the law.

Lastly, in the last verses.....he is comparing the "not a Jew Jew" and the "is a Jew".....the "not a Jew" is a Jew outwardly, and the "not circumcision" is outward in the flesh.
The "is a Jew" is one inwardly, and circumcision is in the heart, in the spirit, "not in letter"...whose praise if "not of men", but of God.

You are making the Gentile, "who keeps the law" "absolutely equivalent" to the Jew "who keeps the Covenant".

Are you interjecting truth from another portion of Paul's letters concerning those who are "in Christ", where neither Jew nor Gentile, circumcision nor uncircumcision mean anything?

Paul hasn't discussed that yet, and I do not think we have the liberty to interject into this part of his discussion.

Joel

Rose
11-20-2008, 04:34 PM
You are making the Gentile, "who keeps the law" "absolutely equivalent" to the Jew "who keeps the Covenant".

Are you interjecting truth from another portion of Paul's letters concerning those who are "in Christ", where neither Jew nor Gentile, circumcision nor uncircumcision mean anything?

Paul hasn't discussed that yet, and I do not think we have the liberty to interject into this part of his discussion.

JoelI am confused Brother Joel (speaking as my 1st century character). What I hear you to be saying is that my Roman Jewish husband, who was once a Gentile, is not equivalent to a natural born Jew? Are not the promises given to the household of Israel also given to him?

What will our children be counted as.....I would think Jewish, since my husband has not renounced his Judaism, but rather completed it, as a believer in our Messiah Jesus.

God Bless,

Rose

joel
11-20-2008, 05:01 PM
My beloved sister Rose,

You are the wife (gune in the Greek) who has a husband (aner in the Greek) who is Richard, the lion hearted one, overseer of the household which is yours, and overseeer of the ministry which has been graciously granted to you, the site of Biblewheel........which has been graced of our God to proclaim His truth.

You are Roman Gentiles. Once servants of the gods of the Roman pantheon, you have turned from your former place of service.

In Richard's case, he was a Roman Gentile who embraced the Jewish faith as a proselyte. You, as his wife, were included in his decision. And, your family was also included, provided that they too embraced the faith of the Jews.

But, when Richard ventured to Jerusalem, to pay homage to the God of new found faith, he was confronted with a new revelation. You, as his wife, were with him in that decision......maybe not physically, but with in spirit.

He, along with others who were gathered there, both Jews and proselyte Gentiles were placed under the gospel of God's grace through Jesus Christ, the Lord.

He, as a proselytle Gentile, now a Jew by judicial proclamation, was made to be righteous before God through faith in Christ, the Son of God who came to change the entire scope of humanity............starting with the Jew first, and then extending into other realms where the Gentiles have their domain.

You, however, are not set free of the old until you see what has transpired. Even though you are his wife (gune)......you must decide for yourself which is what Paul says in later portions of his letter.

What will your children be? We will discuss your relationship with your children as his letter unfolds.

Thank you, so much, for you input. Maybe we can talk about God's accomplishment in Christ, as it applies to husband and wife, as originally displayed in Adam and Eve in the garden.

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-20-2008, 05:53 PM
I'm sorry, Richard, ......I am not trying to be obstinate, nor argumentative, but Paul is not saying what you just said. You use terms such as "mere circumcision".......and "absolutely...equivalent" which are phrases that Paul does not use.

Hi Joel,

The adjective "mere" and the adverb "absolutely" did not introduce new concepts into what Paul wrote. I used them for emphasis becuase you were not responding to the words I had written. And the word "equivalent" is a synonym that commucicates exactly what Paul said when he said that the lawbreaking Jew's circumcision "HAS BECOME" uncircumcision. When one thing "HAS BECOME" another thing, it is "absolutely equivalent" to that other thing, or it has not "BECOME" that thing.

I do not understand why we have descended into wrangling about mere words. I see nothing difficult or obscur in what Paul wrote. Do you deny that Paul said that the lawbreaking Jew is equivalent to a Gentile who does not keep the law? If so, please explain.



Paul doesn't describe Gentiles who "keep God's Covenant". He describes Gentiles who keep (guard) the righteousness of the law, by using the a different word than that which describes the Jew as a law keeper. How can two different words be "absolutely equivalent"?

I can say the sky is above me or I can say that I am below the sky. The words "above" and "below" are entirely different from each other. Indeed, they have opposite meanings. But the meaning of my statement is the same regardless of which word I used.

But getting back to the main point - you have not, to my knowledge, explained how the different words for "keep" have any relevence to this discuss at all. As far as I can tell they are mere synonyms and it would be folly to try to base a doctrine upon their differernce:

Romans 2:25-29 For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep [prasso] the law; but if you are a breaker [parabetes] of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps [phulasso] the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? 27 And will not the physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills [teleo] the law, judge you who, even with your written code and circumcision, are a transgressor [parabetes] of the law? 28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God. Paul spoke of Gentiles who "kept" (phulasso) and "fulfilled" (teleo) the law. He didn't use those words to describe the Jews. Why not? He also never described the Gentiles as "trangressors" (parabetes) of the law. Again, why not? I think the answer is pretty obvious. The Jews were the PRACTICTIONERS of the Law. That idea is encapsulated well in the word "prasso" whence we get the word "practice." The Gentiles didn't have the Law to "transgress" in the first place. But they could keep and fulfill the Law of God which the Jews "practiced" and that's what Paul was talking about. But still, I think we are missing the plain and obvious meaning of this passage by wrangling over words that are essentially synonymous. Whatever differences they may have, and whatever meaning Paul intended, certainly does not have anything to do with the fundamental meaning of the passage, which is that lawbreaking Jews are EQUIVALENT to uncircumcised Gentiles. We know this is what Paul meant because he used two different "being" words to denote the change, namely, HAS BECOME (GINOMAI) UNCIRCUMCISED and IS NOT (OU ESTIN) JEW. How much plainer could he have said it?



Natural Jewish descent from Abraham is not made void because of breaking the law........but, peritome is reckoned as akrobustia.

"Natural Jewish descent from Abraham" has absolutely no Gospel significance in Paul's letters. He will explain all this later in his letter to us (I peaked). He made it perfectly clear that Ishmael was a son of Abraham, but no "Jew" (or better, not a "son of the covenant"). And then he doubled his point and reminded us that Esau was a son of Isaac but no Jew. And then he just said it all plain as can be when he said that being in covenant with God has absolutely NOTHING to do with the FLESHLY anscestry whatsoever. Nada. Zero. Zilch. The doctrine of Carnal Jewishness is the antithesis of the biblical teaching. It directly contradicts everything that Paul wrote from beginning to end in Romans (and all his other letters).



If I were re-word a portion of your statement so that I could be in agreement with it, I would say;.......In Romans Chapter 2 Paul explained that apparent, outward circumcision is rendered of no value to the Jew who does not practice the law.

Uncircumcised Gentiles who guard the righteousness of the law are reckoned as circumcision.

What does "guard the righteous requirements of the Law" mean? The word "phulasso" does not mean "guard" in the way we usually use it in English. That's not a good translation of what Paul really meant, and I have never seen any Bible that translates it that way. That makes it sound like there is something "out there" that we are "guarding" like an objec that could be stolen. That's not what the word means in Romans 2. It means "to keep" in the sense of "to adhere to" as in "keep the speed limit". Thus we could say that I am "guarding the speed limit" and everyone would know what I meant, but that's not a very clear expression of the idea. Why change the word from "keep" which has all the proper connotations?

These posts are getting long and longer when they should in fact be getting shorter and shorter as we conclude our discussion of the plain and obvious meaning of Romans 2:25-29 (a mere five verses!) and come to perfect agreement. That is all we need to do and then we can move on.

So here is your mission: Write a very BRIEF and extremely LUCID synopsis of the meaning of Romans 2:25-29. Then I will respond by editing it if necessary. Then you can respond, and so on. We need to do this or we will never get to the UNITY OF THE FAITH!!! And that is our job, is it not?

Richard

joel
11-20-2008, 06:50 PM
I do not understand why we have descended into wrangling about mere words. I see nothing difficult or obscur in what Paul wrote. Do you deny that Paul said that the lawbreaking Jew is equivalent to a Gentile who does not keep the law? If so, please explain.

I certainly do not want to "wrangle...about mere words." But, if we don't see eye to eye why can't we move on to another discussion? Maybe then, there will arise some point of unity.

The "lawbreaking Jew" is not equivalent to a Gentile who does not "keep" the law. That's how I see it.........but, I do not also see that it glorifies God if we resort to pummeling each other......as we once did as zealous pugilists.

I don't want to box with you..........it does not profit anything. I have resorted to boxing with myself, punching in the air....so to speak.

I tried to move on.....recognizing that we do not see some things eye to eye......but you insisted that we stay and try to see eye to eye......commendable for sure, but not realistic.......at least at this time.

So, what is so unusable about that? Most "christians" don't see eye to eye with other chirstians......so what's new?

Are we all to be like the world....and compromise the truth....for expedient positions that insure that we don't offend someone?? I think not....but, if we strive for the truth....can we not do so without resorting to verbal fisticuffs?

What I have presented has assaulted the truth that you hold fast. If you are so right, then, God will persuade me accordingly. But,.....I do not not want to wrestle with you......it is so unprofitable.

I think so highly of you......as to the gifts that have been conveyed to you.....how can I be your opponent?

Joel

gregoryfl
11-20-2008, 06:55 PM
Being a Hebrew myself, I know Paul spoke of this in our own native tongue, so what would your understanding be of the Hebrew word most Greeks would say is "keep?" That word would be "shamar." Does it not mean to guard, as in, to hedge about, such as what our shepherds do to protect their flocks at night from predators? Also, such as what our original earthly father Adam did in the garden of delights given to him?

Ron

Richard Amiel McGough
11-20-2008, 07:15 PM
I certainly do not want to "wrangle...about mere words." But, if we don't see eye to eye why can't we move on to another discussion? Maybe then, there will arise some point of unity.

The "lawbreaking Jew" is not equivalent to a Gentile who does not "keep" the law. That's how I see it.........but, I do not also see that it glorifies God if we resort to pummeling each other......as we once did as zealous pugilists.

I don't want to box with you..........it does not profit anything. I have resorted to boxing with myself, punching in the air....so to speak.

I tried to move on.....recognizing that we do not see some things eye to eye......but you insisted that we stay and try to see eye to eye......commendable for sure, but not realistic.......at least at this time.

So, what is so unusable about that? Most "christians" don't see eye to eye with other chirstians......so what's new?

Are we all to be like the world....and compromise the truth....for expedient positions that insure that we don't offend someone?? I think not....but, if we strive for the truth....can we not do so without resorting to verbal fisticuffs?

What I have presented has assaulted the truth that you hold fast. If you are so right, then, God will persuade me accordingly. But,.....I do not not want to wrestle with you......it is so unprofitable.

I think so highly of you......as to the gifts that have been conveyed to you.....how can I be your opponent?

Joel
Hey there my friend,

I agree, we certainly do not need to descend into the pugilism of our past. And I very much appreciate all the gifts God has given you and your strong persistence in explaining your point of view.

But I do not agree that it is "unrealistic" to hope that we shall see "eye to eye." If we don't see something the same way, we can simply discuss the reasons so at the very least we will be able to agree about the exact nature of our disagreement. We have yet to accomplish even that humble goal. So with that desire in mind, I will respond to your assertion that ...

The "lawbreaking Jew" is not equivalent to a Gentile who does not "keep" the law. That's how I see it.....
It doesn't help to just say "that's how I see it" without any explanation or response to the words that Paul wrote. I have repeatedly cited Paul's explicit statement that the lawbreaking Jew had BECOME (GINOMAI) "uncircumcised." I also explained that "become" means "become." You never challenged the meaning of that word. So I don't understand why you would deny the plain and obvious meaning of the text and answer with nothing but "that's how I see it." There must be a reason you "see it" the way you see it, and that reason must be the plain and obvious meaning of the text that I have somehow missed. So I asking that you help me see what I have missed.

Thank you my friend and fellow non-pugilist student of God's Word,

Richard

joel
11-20-2008, 07:17 PM
Ron, thank you for your Hebrew perspective.

God, in the garden, gave instruction to Adam as to his "job description".....he was to dress,......and keep.....the garden.

The dress function.........to serve......to work....to till the ground.

The keep function..........which was just as important.....was to protect.

This is where they failed..........they did not "keep".....guard and protect the garden.

That was the primary assault of the adversary.......not that they were unable to dress........we all do that with great gusto. What the deceiver meant to disclose........would they protect what they were given? No.

They sought "wisdom"....they sought more than what they perceived they were given. So, ....what is new? Do we protect the word.....do we protect the gracious gifts bestowed upon us?

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-20-2008, 07:40 PM
Being a Hebrew myself, I know Paul spoke of this in our own native tongue, so what would your understanding be of the Hebrew word most Greeks would say is "keep?" That word would be "shamar." Does it not mean to guard, as in, to hedge about, such as what our shepherds do to protect their flocks at night from predators? Also, such as what our original earthly father Adam did in the garden of delights given to him?

Ron
Hey Ron,

Is that the "role" you are playing as a "first century Christian" in this disucssion, or are you saying that you really are a Hebrew? If the latter, I would be very interested to learn more about your history and how it has influeneced your understanding of the Gospel (in another thread).

But as for the word "shamar." It carries both the meanings that I discussed relating to the Greek, namely "to keep" in the sense of "to adhere to" and "to keep" in the sense of "guarding sheep." So I don't see how it could help resolve the question of what Paul meant in Romans 2, especially since he wrote in Greek and so we don't know if he had that particular Hebrew word in mind.

Richard

Rose
11-20-2008, 07:45 PM
There is a wonderful example in the Old Testament of what God views as a True Jew.

Obed, who was the grandfather of King David, had a mother (Ruth) who was a Gentile, and a grandmother on his fathers side (Boaz) who was a Gentile (Rahab). That means there were Gentiles on both sides of his family, and still Obed was born a full Jew of the tribe of Judah.

Faith is what defines a Jew.

God Bless,

Rose

Richard Amiel McGough
11-20-2008, 07:49 PM
There is a wonderful example in the Old Testament of what God views as a True Jew.

Obed, who was the grandfather of King David, had a mother (Ruth) who was a Gentile, and a grandmother on his fathers side (Boaz) who was a Gentile (Rahab). That means there were Gentiles on both sides of his family, and still Obed was born a full Jew of the tribe of Judah.

Faith is what defines a Jew.

God Bless,

Rose
That seems particularly significant in light of the fact that modern Jews say you are Jew only if your mother was a Jew. I wonder when they made up that idea? It certainly doesn't seem to fit with the Biblical definition which usually traced geneologies through the father.

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
11-20-2008, 08:02 PM
This seems relavent to the conversation. It is from an article called Who is a Jew (http://www.jewfaq.org/whoisjew.htm) from Jewfaq.org:

Who is a Jew?

A Jew is any person whose mother was a Jew or any person who has gone through the formal process of conversion to Judaism.

This has been established since the earliest days of Judaism. In the Torah, you will see many references to "the strangers who dwell among you" or "righteous proselytes" or "righteous strangers." These are various classifications of non-Jews who lived among Jews, adopting some or all of the beliefs and practices of Judaism without going through the formal process of conversion and becoming Jews. Once a person has converted to Judaism, he is not referred to by any special term; he is as much a Jew as anyone born Jewish.

Several people have written to me asking about King David: was he a Jew, given that one of his female ancestors, Ruth, was not a Jew? This conclusion is based on two faulty premises: first of all, Ruth was a Jew, and even if she wasn't, that would not affect David's status as a Jew. Ruth converted to Judaism before marrying Boaz and bearing Obed. See Ruth 1:16, where Ruth states her intention to convert. After Ruth converted, she was a Jew, and all of her children born after the conversion were Jewish as well. But even if Ruth were not Jewish at the time Obed was born, that would not affect King David's status as a Jew, because Ruth is an ancestor of David's father, not of David's mother, and David's Jewish status is determined by his mother.
Modern Jews do not recognize the idea that there is a difference between a "natural descendent of Abraham" and a convert.

Richard

gregoryfl
11-20-2008, 08:22 PM
There is a reason in the Torah as to why only Jewish mother's pass on the lineage, but that would be for another post. I am not Jewish, but am roleplaying as a Jew who has accepted Messiah. The site you just referred to is a very well written article showing how David our father was indeed Jewish, because his mother was Jewish as well as Ruth his great-grandmother, who converted before marrying Boaz.

Although hard for me to swallow, I do find that Paul is showing us Jews that our boasting in the flesh regarding our relation to Abraham means nothing. Was it all for naught? Do we not indeed have any advantage? Just doesn't seem fair.

Ron

Richard Amiel McGough
11-20-2008, 08:47 PM
There is a reason in the Torah as to why only Jewish mother's pass on the lineage, but that would be for another post.


Yes, there may be a "reason" but we would have to check it closely to see if the tradition was derived from that reason or if that reason was invented to justify their tradition. The latter is very common in Jewish tradition. For example, they justify their entirely unbiblical "no meat and milk" tradition from a single verse that prohibits "seething a kid in its mother's milk." Christ soundly renounced their invented traditions:
Mark 7:5-9 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? 6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
But it still is helpful to review the Jewish traditions since they are fundamentally linked to the Bible.



I am not Jewish, but am roleplaying as a Jew who has accepted Messiah. The site you just referred to is a very well written article showing how David our father was indeed Jewish, because his mother was Jewish as well as Ruth his great-grandmother, who converted before marrying Boaz.


It is good to have a "Hebrew brother" to help us in our studies of Paul's letters, even if they were written in Greek. I was blessed to hear him preach in his native tongue which I had learned when I converted to Judaism. As far as I can tell, nothing of any fundamental significance has been lost in translation, though he was able to communicate many sublime implications by word play with the prophets written in Hebrew. But that is something that we should explore only after coming to a perfect understadning of the "p'shat" (plain and obvious) meaning of his letters.



Although hard for me to swallow, I do find that Paul is showing us Jews that our boasting in the flesh regarding our relation to Abraham means nothing. Was it all for naught? Do we not indeed have any advantage? Just doesn't seem fair.

Ron

No, it most certainly was not "all for nought." Your people had the greatest priviledge in the history of the world - they brought forth the Christ! The Light of the World! What greater joy could there be but to server God in such an "ultimate" capacity?

The thing that wouldn't seem fair, or make any Gospelogical Sense (TM), is the idea that the Body of Christ was divided into two groups, Gentile Christians and Superior-Advantaged Jewish Christians. That wouldn't make any sense at all.

It is very good to have you with us in this wonderful study Ron.

Richard

joel
11-21-2008, 06:27 AM
Although hard for me to swallow, I do find that Paul is showing us Jews that our boasting in the flesh regarding our relation to Abraham means nothing. Was it all for naught? Do we not indeed have any advantage? Just doesn't seem fair.


Yes....you do have an advantage as a Jew, according to Paul. He says, "much in every way". The chief way as he puts it is......."unto them were committed the oracles of God."

All of God's sayings, and prophecies, and promises and provisions for life were contained in the oracles......which they were trusted with, and were to safe-guard.

If God is in the process of reclaiming humanity.......His oracles contain all that is necessary to accomplish the job up to a certain point until the oracles were completed in Matthew - Revelation, and the true embodiment of the Word comes forth, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The portion of the oracles entrusted to Paul he called the "gospel", the message that saves.

But, the Jews betrayed the trust by disbelief. The word given them did not profit them. They profited by having the word committed to them (pisteuo), but they betrayed the trust because some didn't believe (apisteo).

Shall their unbelief (apistia) make the faith (pistis) of God without effect?

Paul says, "No, way!" God will remain faithful to His word, and demonstrate His faithfulness regardless of their unfaithfulness.

They may have been unfaithful, but, we are all unrighteous. As Paul moves through this portion of his letter, his focus changes to us all........our unrighteousness (adikia) "commends the righteousness (dikaisune) of God.

Is then fair that He takes vengeance? Paul has already explained that the wrath of God is being revealed from heaven now. There will come a day when He will bring it to a conclusion and demonstrate His wrath in an open and obvious manner. Is this all fair? (asking the question as a man, anthropos). His answer is a resounding "Yes!".......if not then He could not judge the world (kosmos).

He is judging you and me, and everyone else, as sinners (hamartolos). This is where Paul is going in his letter..........but first he proves that all of us, Jew or Gentile, are under sin.....and if under sin.....under the just judgment of God....subject to His wrath. There is no advantage to having the law, being in circumcision, having the oracles of God.......when it comes to sin that applies to all.

Joel

Joel

Bob May
11-21-2008, 06:55 AM
Hello everyone,

We have covered a lot of things here. "Apparent" circumcision and true circumcision, Keeping the Law by doing all of the requirements, keeping the Law by guarding it or keeping it in mind.

Joh 7:23 "If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?
24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment."

What we are having trouble with here is "shifting gears", so to speak. Paul is using the Jews to explain the hidden side of reality. Just as God uses the Jews to explain the hidden side of reality.

Ro 1:20 "For the INVISIBLE things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:"

Paul is teaching using Allegory. But not just allegory contained in the Scriptures. Allegory is the way God created the universe. The outward world is made up symbolically to point toward the inward realities.
The Jews and Gentiles, the Promised land, the geography of the area all point to inward realities.
Abraham did not do everything right, yet he was counted as righteous.
If we do what Abraham did,...Believe, we are "keeping" the Law. Is not the story of Abraham in the Law? Scripture being the Law and the Prophets.

The "promised land" is not a place. It is a place in consciousness. It is US when we realize that God is our God and we are his people.
Physical circumcision is not circumcision. It is a token or Symbol of a reality.

Gentiles "doing those things contained in the Law" and who are "a law unto themselves" still have to go from faith in their works to faith in the promises, faith in what God has done for us.

Jesus was constantly showing us that we must look past the obvious. He saw the world as "veils" layed over reality. "Consider the raven who neither sow nor reap.." etc. Paul did the same thing in pointing out that the story of Isaac and Ishmael were only symbolic of the Reality of the two Covenants.

If the Gentile doing the things contained in the Law thinks that this "Doing"
will save him or bring him to the Righteousness that IS THE GOAL, then he is not Doing what Abraham did when he "believed and it was counted for Righteousness, which is also "contained in the Law."

If a person is expecting their actions and thoughts to bring them to this goal of Righteousness then they are resisting the Holy Spirit because they are seeking the Gift by works. This is the stumbling block that Israel "after the flesh" stumbled at.

We, as the bride of Christ, look for him. He reveals himself in a way we are not used to. We are used to looking at the "appearance of things" being we live in a physical world.

So 2:9 "My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, showing himself through the LATTICE."

We look at the lattice and think we know what is real.
Jesus reveals himself THROUGH the lattice. He doesn't hide. He reveals himself. In fact, he IS the Lattice that everything hangs upon;

Even as far back as the creation story of three "lights" Moon, Sun and Stars were created to show the Realities of the Old and New Covenants and the Promises that guide us.

Col 1:17 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things CONSIST.

One might ask why does he not show himself in a more apparent way.

He did. But people still didn't realize it was him. And they crucified him.

We cannot understand or properly communicate the subject at hand if we don't see these things.
We are shifting gears when we say Israel and Israel, the Promised Land and the Promised Land, etc.
Shifting gears is alright as long as the person you are speaking to knows you are doing it and that there are gears to shift. As long as we know that Israel is symbolic of something being alluded to which is spiritual in nature. Same with the Promised Land that was promised to Abraham and his seed.

These are spiritual realities and how these realities play out can be observed within us and those around us.
It may or may not be historical in nature but obviously Paul thought that the allegorical nature of these stories was the important thing.
The allegorical/symbolical nature of these stories directly affect US.

Just my take,
Bob

joel
11-21-2008, 08:10 AM
e cannot understand or properly communicate the subject at hand if we don't see these things.
We are shifting gears when we say Israel and Israel, the Promised Land and the Promised Land, etc.
Shifting gears is alright as long as the person you are speaking to knows you are doing it and that there are gears to shift. As long as we know that Israel is symbolic of something being alluded to which is spiritual in nature. Same with the Promised Land that was promised to Abraham and his seed.

These are spiritual realities and how these realities play out can be observed within us and those around us.
It may or may not be historical in nature but obviously Paul thought that the allegorical nature of these stories was the important thing.
The allegorical/symbolical nature of these stories directly affect US.

Just my take,
Bob
Reply With Quote

Please join us, Bob, and take a role, and tell us who you are "in that role".

As we assume these "roles" in this discussion, we are a group of Roman believers, some Gentiles, some Jews, some Gentile proselytes.....having varied backgrounds, and subject to varied conclusions which we have drawn over time..........many of which we have discussed in detail among ourselves attempting to grasp the "reality" of what has happened to us concerning this "saving work" of God.

My role, as a Roman Gentile, trained in the legal issues of Roman life, particularly concerned with legal documents, involves a home based group discussion among some friends who are also new believers.

On occasion, another group joins us from Richard and Rose's house gathering. We are collectively attempting to get a better understanding of what God has done in Christ, and how this has affected us.......and what we are to do about it. All of this is in view of glorifying our God Who has called us out of the world in which we continue to live, and into a spiritual world which we cannot see.

God chose a very special, uniquely qualified man, a Jew of Jews, to explain the "why" , "wherefore", "for what purpose" of our collective, and individual experiences.

He wrote us a letter.

We are trying to take his letter, piece by piece, and see things from his perspective, no longer from our varied perspectives. We are trying, as hard as it is, not to go beyond what he wrote in this letter........and give our views based on other discussions.........we are trying to stay focused, so that He can "reveal" to us the unseen. But, he clearly uses the seen to understand the unseen.

What we have not seen up to this point is the "righteousness" of God. Now that is about as abstract as you can get. What is God's righteousness?
Since the gospel reveals it........we are working towards that place in his letter when he states the matter clearly...........during our journey...we have wrestled with things that he has said......some seeing one way, others seeing another.

How else are we going to come to an understanding of these issues if we do not discuss them in a spirit of mutual respect, the bond of peace? And, if we don't follow the pattern that Paul has demonstrated, what pattern do we follow?

As for the group that meets at my house, we are wearied with the vast amount of opinions and conflicting viewpoints........especially from certain ones who seek to dominate and press their views upon us. We want only to know Him better, and to follow His spirit, walking in love, and having the law fulfilled in us, by Him.

Anyone who is like minded is welcome to join in with us on our quest. We recognize the "body" and seek fellowship with other members who can edify us, and be edified.

Joel

Rose
11-21-2008, 08:35 AM
Greetings Brother Bob, it is good to have you join our gathering together as we hear the words of our Brother Paul, and try to understand their meaning.


Paul is teaching using Allegory. But not just allegory contained in the Scriptures. Allegory is the way God created the universe. The outward world is made up symbolically to point toward the inward realities.
The Jews and Gentiles, the Promised land, the geography of the area all point to inward realities.
Abraham did not do everything right, yet he was counted as righteous.
If we do what Abraham did,...Believe, we are "keeping" the Law. Is not the story of Abraham in the Law? Scripture being the Law and the Prophets.

You are so right, a righteous man is defined by faith. That was how it began with our father Abraham, his faith made him a "True Jew" who became the father of many nations.....of which I am a part of.

God Bless,

Rose

basilfo
11-21-2008, 03:53 PM
Yes....you do have an advantage as a Jew, according to Paul. He says, "much in every way". The chief way as he puts it is......."unto them were committed the oracles of God."



It is a joy to fellowship and learn with you all again. I'm not as learned in the Scriptures as many of you (I am a young Roman Gentile - 17 yrs old - who has only recently heard the Gospel and now see very clearly that the Jesus Paul speaks of was most certainly the Messiah prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures). But I didn't know what in the world it was all about at first. It was a really strange concept until I studied some of the Hebrew Scriptures for a while.

Sometimes I don't read deep meanings into Paul's words - maybe this is one of those cases.

This statement of Paul that Jews have an advantage when hearing the Gospel ("much in every way") seems pretty simple.

Hebrews are real familiar with all the prophesies of God, after all, the prophets were all Jews and all their words from God were written down in Hebrew. I only heard of them in translated bits and pieces.

They have tremendous accounts of how God has delievered their ancestors over their history passed down through their familes. None of my family ever heard of any of these Hebrew stories.

God gave them ceremonies and practices which are beautiful illustrations of how we should live in accordance with God's will. They sounded kinda strange to me - all the blood and stuff - wow.

And I am learning that so many of these historical events, and actions of these historical Jewish figures ALL POINT TO THINGS JESUS the MESSIAH WOULD DO OR WOULD REPRESENT. That's amazing! I never knew of a connection at all until a few months ago.

And then to top it all off, God miraculously picked a Hebrew woman to bring the Messiah into the world for all mankind, to pay the penalty for the world's sin. Imagine the buzz around Jerusalem when Jesus was doing all His miracles - there was hardly a Jew there who didn't know about them. We don't hear much about Naples let alone Jerusalem in our house. (We don't get CNN here.)

So when Jews see Jesus, and hear the Good News of what Jesus did, you bet that's an advantage!! Compared to a Gentile like me living in Rome who only a year ago hardly even knew Jerusalem even existed, it's a huge advantage. At the risk of sounding prideful, I'm sure if I was raised as a Hebrew, I would have understood the Good News of Jesus Christ much much quicker.

Anyway, that's what I think Paul meant by "much in every way".

Peace to you all,
Popolopolous
(Dave)

joel
11-21-2008, 04:31 PM
Popolopolous, how gratifying it is to know that Rome's young people are hearing the gospel and coming to Christ in enthusiasm.

You are so right.......Jesus is the fulfillment of so many of the ancient Jewish prophecies. They are a blessed people who were given such a wide ranging series of experiences and words connected with the one God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, out of whom all is.

And we, as Roman Gentiles, had so many "gods".......it was so confusing to me, as well as to those in my house group who came out of the idolatry of our old pantheon.

None of those "gods" spoke of righteousness......but of war, and many other things associated with us, as humans.

Paul said, in his letter, that the gospel, the good news concerning Christ, reveals the righteousness of God. Before he stated anything about it.....which I hope we get to discuss soon......he said that we are all, Jews and Gentiles alike, "under sin". Does that mean anything to you?

Joel

Rose
11-21-2008, 04:56 PM
Greetings Popolopolous, :yo: it is so good to have you as part of our gathering.

I too am a Roman Gentile believer, but have the advantage of being married to a Roman Jewish proselyte who was filled with the Holy Spirit on that great and awesome day of Pentecost. He shares with me his understanding of the rich treasures of God the Jew has been blessed with......what an advantage, much in every way.

God Bless,

Rose

joel
11-21-2008, 07:13 PM
I am somewhat surprised......confused.....confounded......as to the lack of any response as to the righteousness of God.

If that is the central theme of the gospel.......as presented by Paul.......isn't this of the highest level of importance?

What say you?

Joel

Rose
11-21-2008, 07:54 PM
I am somewhat surprised......confused.....confounded......as to the lack of any response as to the righteousness of God.

If that is the central theme of the gospel.......as presented by Paul.......isn't this of the highest level of importance?

What say you?

Joel

No need to be confused or confounded Joel.....I think that very simply stated whats going on is that we are all on the same page when it comes to the righteousness of God, and to that I say praise God. :pray:

The issues that need to be talked about are the ones where there is division or confusion.

God Bless,

Rose

basilfo
11-22-2008, 05:19 AM
Popolopolous, how gratifying it is to know that Rome's young people are hearing the gospel and coming to Christ in enthusiasm.
Thank you Joel. It is great to be able to call all of you brothers and sisters in Christ.



Paul said, in his letter, that the gospel, the good news concerning Christ, reveals the righteousness of God. Before he stated anything about it.....which I hope we get to discuss soon......he said that we are all, Jews and Gentiles alike, "under sin". Does that mean anything to you?

Joel

Sure. We all (Jews and Gentiles alike) sin. The Jews' special chosen status didn't keep them from sinning, and the fact that the Law was not given to Gentiles doesn't exclude us from sin's effect. That means we all (J and G) must accept that perfect sacrifice of Jesus or pay the penalty of sin which is separation from God. Does it mean anything different to you?

Peace to you all,
Popolopolous

basilfo
11-22-2008, 05:28 AM
Hello all,
Sorry if I missed anyone's thoughts on this, but right in the beginning of Paul's letter to us, he said:

"First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world."

Some of my friends who have been following "The Way" for a while told me that Jesus said:

"And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come."

What exactly did Jesus mean by 'the end' and does that mean the end can now come?

Popolopolous

gregoryfl
11-22-2008, 07:09 AM
One thing so far I am seeing very clearly, although not without some inner turmoil, and that is that the Lord has apparently made known, first to Peter, then more fully to Paul, that the promises made to our father Abraham, the promise which would bless all nations, is not a matter of me, as a physically circumcised Jew, one fully guarding the covenant given to Moses, as well as all my brethren, bending our knee to give gifts to those "unclean and uncircumcised."

Rather, God has apparently saw fit to bend his own knee, and present everyone, regardless of race, with the gift of being fully included as Abraham's seed through faith in THE SEED, our Messiah, Jesus; and thus, made partakers of the promise, by the same faith that Abraham had. This being accomplished by our being joined as the one seed, being the body of Christ. I happened to get this bit of information from my hearing of the letter to the Galatian believers written before.

In fact, Yes Richard, I have looked and seen that Paul indeed addressed my concern that it was all for naught to even be such as I am physically, a Jew of the Jews, circumcised on the 8th day, blameless with regard to keeping all the law. It is good to see that Paul recognized that we indeed have been advantaged with guarding and preserving the very written words of God, as well as to preserve the seed intact until Messiah came forth.

I remember vividly the fight in my very own soul when it was suggested that Gentiles did not have to perform the same "works of the law" we have always performed in order to be counted as fully worthy of the promise as given in the Law. Mind you, I was prideful. After all, I kept the law, but I also see that in a way, I did not. Paul humbled me when he spoke, not directly, but nonetheless, very powerfully, about my boasting in my heritage, and yet all, every tongue, being held under sin. That must have been some revelation to Paul. So now, seeing that ones like most of you who have been here discussing this letter are in fact just as I am, by faith, not by circumcision or any other work. I see now that my circumcision was only a physical sign of the true circumcision we all have, of the heart. Little by little, the veil is coming off my Jewish eyes, to see the realities of the shadows.

Ron

gregoryfl
11-22-2008, 07:21 AM
As to what is the righteousness of God, I find that it is not a "what," but a "who," namely, us. We are the righteousness of God. We are God's straight path. He lives and moves in us. As he walks that straight path in us, his uprightness is thus made manifest in us. All of this of course takes place in Messiah himself, all that righteousness is defined as in my Hebrew mind takes place as expressed through those of us who make up the body of Messiah.

Ron

joel
11-22-2008, 07:30 AM
Sure. We all (Jews and Gentiles alike) sin. The Jews' special chosen status didn't keep them from sinning, and the fact that the Law was not given to Gentiles doesn't exclude us from sin's effect. That means we all (J and G) must accept that perfect sacrifice of Jesus or pay the penalty of sin which is separation from God. Does it mean anything different to you?

Peace to you all,
Popolopolous

Dear Popo....(I hope that you don't object to using a shortened nickname?)...

I agree with you that we all (J & G) sin........i.e.......do things that "miss" the mark of His standard of conduct.......and........that we are to benefit from the "perfect sacrifice" of Jesus........"or pay the penalty of sin".......which you say is "separation from God". It is the last part that threw me off some what.

Paul said earlier in his letter that we would all be accountable for our deeds in that we would face the wrath of God........receiving tribulation, anguish, wrath, ........upon our souls. I assume that you interpret that to mean......"separation from God"?

Concerning this thing called sin........we know that in our language sin is "hamartia"........is is surely a "missing" in that it does not "hit the target" of His standard.........but, isn't it also a "missing out" in what He intends to share and provide to us?

In other words, if I am a sinner, I will "pay the penalty".......but won't I also suffer the loss of joining in on the good things He has awaiting me?

From that view, I not only receive the "bad", but lose out on the "good".

Joel

joel
11-22-2008, 07:51 AM
No need to be confused or confounded Joel.....I think that very simply stated whats going on is that we are all on the same page when it comes to the righteousness of God, and to that I say praise God. :pray:

The issues that need to be talked about are the ones where there is division or confusion.

God Bless,

Rose

I just didn't want to assume anything concerning something as important as "righteousness".....especially in light of the fact that none of us have been in this faith for a long time, being nurtured in it from our youth as it is only in our generation that His righteousness has been revealed. And, we have in our midst such a young person as Popo.......I especially wanted to make sure we don't leave him behind.....I'm sure you would agree with me on that.

Our "gods" were never seen to be "righteous". And, we as servants to them, certainly never saw ourselves as "righteous". But, Paul says that the "just shall live by faith", and the "just" one is to be made righteous.

I am learning that I was "unrighteous", by everything I said, everything I thought, everything I did.........but,.......I am now understanding that even though He will hold me accountable for all of that........it is what I am that the heart of the matter. He changes me from being "unrighteous, unjust" to be "righteous, and Just". That is then meaning of righteousness......dikaiosune......it is "justice shared".

None of our former gods could do that............I am walking on holy ground here......but they never claimed to be "righteous" as far as I know......and, they never claimed that they could cause me to be "righteous".....but the God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.....through what Christ has accomplished causes us to be declared "just".

Paul calls us "saints"......we are set apart unto God.

At this point, in his letter, Paul explains that 1st God must deal with our "sins"........the unrighteous, unjust words, thoughts, deeds of our former life.

He reveals that through the faith of Jesus Christ, He has redeemed us.....bought us back......from our former state. His letter is explaining this and I wanted to make sure Popo was following along with us.

Joel

Rose
11-22-2008, 08:52 AM
Concerning this thing called sin........we know that in our language sin is "hamartia"........is is surely a "missing" in that it does not "hit the target" of His standard.........but, isn't it also a "missing out" in what He intends to share and provide to us?

In other words, if I am a sinner, I will "pay the penalty".......but won't I also suffer the loss of joining in on the good things He has awaiting me?

From that view, I not only receive the "bad", but lose out on the "good".

Joel

As our dear brother Popolopolous stated, I think the penalty a sinner pays (whether J or G) is separation from God, and the ultimate "good" that awaits us (J or G) is communion with our Father, that was lost to all of mankind after the fall.

God Bless,

Rose

joel
11-22-2008, 09:10 AM
Separation from God?

Where has Paul said this in his letter....at this point?

We got mired down in ....apparent Jew, hidden Jew.....and didn't come to a definitive mutual perspective there.....
and now we have been introduced to......separation from God.

Shall we stop,......sit down.....and discuss this........in the context of his letter? Let's do it.

Joel

Rose
11-22-2008, 10:02 AM
Separation from God?

Where has Paul said this in his letter....at this point?

We got mired down in ....apparent Jew, hidden Jew.....and didn't come to a definitive mutual perspective there.....
and now we have been introduced to......separation from God.

Shall we stop,......sit down.....and discuss this........in the context of his letter? Let's do it.

Joel

From my understanding of what our brother Paul is telling us so far in his letter, a good example of being separated from God is the words Paul wrote concerning sinful man not wanting to retain the knowledge of God in their minds. God in turn gave them over to a reprobate lifestyle by separating Himself from them.

Without communion with God, mans desires are sinful, and filled with all unrighteousness.

God Bless,

Rose

joel
11-22-2008, 10:51 AM
From my understanding of what our brother Paul is telling us so far in his letter, a good example of being separated from God is the words Paul wrote concerning sinful man not wanting to retain the knowledge of God in their minds. God in turn gave them over to a reprobate lifestyle by separating Himself from them.

Without communion with God, mans desires are sinful, and filled with all unrighteousness.

God Bless,

Rose

Our Roman Rose of the suburb Yakima......I am looking at a copy of a portion of his letter (the scribes who make copies are very exacting....and I pray that this copy is correct).....in the section where Paul has quoted the Prophet Habakkuk......"the Just shall live by faith...." Please find Richard's copy and follow along with me.......(unless he took it with him, and left you "speech-less"....just a little Roman joke).....

Paul says....."For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.."
(We act irreverently towards God, and unjust towards Him and others....is how I look at it.......He is describing our "sin" by exacting words...).

The "truth" is being held back by us in our injustices.........because.......Paul says...."that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shown it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.

And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:"

In this long statement.........Paul says that God has revealed certain unseen things about Himself through that which we has made......and man, who fails to give Him the glory and the thanks He deserves......think themselves wise, but are actually made fools.......the imaginations become vain,......and the heart becomes darkened......

Man changes God's glory into an image.......and God "gives man over"......places man under the jurisdiction of "uncleanness"........This is what Paul describes......and is the process that I think you and Popo are defining as "separating"........but,....I wanted to point out that the separation begins with a failure to give God the glory and praise that is due Him for what He has done........then.......man changes His glory into an image........it is a process of man separating himself from the revelation of God.

If you follow Paul's explanation to its conclusion.......you find that man continues to "change"....and God continues to "give over".......until, man comes to place where he dismisses God from his mind......and even though he knows God's judgment.....man takes pleasure in others who are like him.... and therefore man is worthy of being fully separated from God......in death.

This is a divine process of wrath that can be observed all around us....it is proof that we are all "under sin".....and if "under sin" under the just judgment of God, subject to His wrath............but....glory to God.....when He reveals His righteousness....in Christ.....we are no longer "under sin", but, "under the blood" (the propitiatory shelter).........it was nothing that we did that caused God to be in debt to us by works........but by Christ's faith as we embraced what He has accomplished.....giving Him the glory and thanking Him for it.
He shares His justice with us (dikaiosune).....His righteousness. Our unrighteousness (adikia) deserved His wrath.......but He provided the covering of His blood.

Joel

joel
11-23-2008, 05:40 AM
The latter portion of the section of Paul's Romans letter that we are discussing contains some revealing facts;

Jesus' sacrifice is a declaration of God's righteousness at this time

God is just, and He is the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus (it is his faith, not our faith that this justice originates)

Boasting on our part, as concerning this miraculous gift, is excluded.......by the law of faith.

We conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law (His faith secured it, the faith that God gives us to believe realizes it)

The God that is our God is God to both the Jews and Gentiles.

He is one God. He justifies the circumcision by faith (ek pistis), and He justifies the uncircumcision through faith (dia pistis).

Is the law then made void? May it never be, but law, we are "standing-up".

We, who were unrighteous and irreverent, are now "righteous" through the righteousness that He shares with us. We have marveled at this truth.....when he revealed His power....it did not make us powerful......when He revealed His goodness....it did make us good......but......when He reveals His righteouness, He causes us to be righteous. He is the just justifier Who justifies us.

And, this is true for everyone, in the same way, ....it acts like a "law"....in fact, Paul calls it a law......a law of faith.

Joel

basilfo
11-23-2008, 06:04 AM
The God that is our God is God to both the Jews and Gentiles.

He is one God. He justifies the circumcision by faith (ek pistis), and He justifies the uncircumcision through faith (dia pistis).

Hi Joel,
Really enjoying this review of the letter to us from Paul. Thanks for all your help. Do you see any difference in "by" faith, and "through" faith?

Thanks,
Pop....

Rose
11-23-2008, 08:37 AM
The God that is our God is God to both the Jews and Gentiles.

He is one God. He justifies the circumcision by faith (ek pistis), and He justifies the uncircumcision through faith (dia pistis).

My brother Joel, you say words I do not understand.:confused:

My husband has never taught me such things as there being two ways by which one is justified through faith. Are you saying that my husband (a Jewish proselyte) was justified by faith, and I (a Gentile believer) was justified through faith? I'm not even sure if I know what that means? Please clarify.

God Bless,

Rose

gregoryfl
11-23-2008, 09:49 AM
Indeed, I as well do not see a distinction given, as by and through faith are merely ways of expressing the same justification, the only difference being from vantage point.

I know that you get that conclusion from:

Rom 3:30 since indeed there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith, and the uncircumcised through faith.


That does not however, mean that Gentiles from the the nations are only justified through faith. That they are indeed justified by faith as well Paul plainly stated in his letter to the Galatian believers where he said:

Gal 3:8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the Good News beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you all the nations will be blessed.”

Perhaps you see a distinction between "uncircumcised" and "Gentile?"


Ron

joel
11-23-2008, 11:37 AM
Dear Pop and Rose,

First, let's not bring in a discussion yet concerning Abraham......that lies ahead,...just around the corner as Paul dedicates a detailed section concerning Abraham.

As we review this section, immediately preceding his introduction of Abraham, Paul clarifies that the two major groups of humanity, the Jews and the nations are both recipients of the wondrous gift of justification....i.e.....the shared righteousness of God. We all, regardless of any distinction whatsoever, are under sin. Jesus has been foreordained to be "a propitiatory shelter"....His blood covers our sins.......we have been justified.

Justification,....the shared righteousness comes out of Christ's faith for all in that His faithful obedience is the source of God's gift of justice......and.....it is in His blood as the means.....Paul speaks more of this later.

Paul continues to carry forward a distinction concerning the Jew and the nations, and, peritome and akrobustia.

The goal........[justification by faith].......it is Christ's faith that is the source, the faith of Jesus.

[justification by faith....the faith of Jesus......justification by faith]

Paul is saying that;

[Jew]
[peritome]
[out of Jesus' faith]
[into....justification by faith]

[the nations]
[akrobustia]
[through Jesus' faith]
[into....justification by faith]

The goal,.....of end point, justification by faith, is where both the Jew, and those of the nations are to be.......the faith of Jesus is instrumental for each group.....to get them there.

To the Jew, who has the law, and who is in peritome,
it is "out of Jesus' faith, that determines their transference.....

To the nations, who are outside of the law, and are in akrobustia,
it is "through Jesus' faith" that determines their transference.

The two different groups came from two different places to get to the one place....justification by faith (Christ's faith).

The law is not displaced, it is sustained.

Joel

Rose
11-23-2008, 11:48 AM
Dear Pop and Rose,

Paul is saying that;

[Jew]
[peritome]
[out of Jesus' faith]
[into....justification by faith]

[the nations]
[akrobustia]
[through Jesus' faith]
[into....justification by faith]

The goal,.....of end point, justification by faith, is where both the Jew, and those of the nations are to be.......the faith of Jesus is instrumental for each group.....to get them there.

To the Jew, who has the law, and who is in peritome,
it is "out of Jesus' faith, that determines their transference.....

To the nations, who are outside of the law, and are in akrobustia,
it is "through Jesus' faith" that determines their transference.

The two different groups came from two different places to get to the one place....justification by faith (Christ's faith).

The law is not displaced, it is sustained.

Joel

Which group would my Roman proselyte Jewish husband, who was filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost fall under, the "peritome" or the "akrobustia"?

God Bless,

Rose

joel
11-23-2008, 01:26 PM
Rose, I would say that your husband, a Roman Gentile by birth, converted to Judaism as a proselyte, and therefore, would be Jew, not by birth, but by conversion. I would suspect that in that case, he would be expected to be circumcised so that he could also be "in peritome". However, it was while he was at Jerusalem, celebrating Pentecost, that the Spirit of God came as a mightly rushing wind.

If he then followed closely the instructions of Peter, I assume that he also was baptized in water to acknowledge his repentance, and, his inclusion in the "saving work" of God as it was occurring at that time as Peter clearly instructed the men of Israel.

As a "Jew", under the law of Moses, and in "circumcision (peritome), he was called unto the grace of God and heard the message of good news concerning Christ. He has "justified" out of the faith of Jesus being counted with the Jews, and being "in circumcision". I would say that he is now called a "saint", under the blood of Christ. And, even though we have yet to discuss it in Paul's letter, he is "in Christ" where his peritome, and his proselyte standing means nothing. He is a member of the body of Christ.

His Jewish friends, whether naturally so, or proselytes with him, who did not believe the gospel remain under the law, and in peritome.

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-23-2008, 01:58 PM
Paul continues to carry forward a distinction concerning the Jew and the nations, and, peritome and akrobustia.

The goal........[justification by faith].......it is Christ's faith that is the source, the faith of Jesus.

[justification by faith....the faith of Jesus......justification by faith]

Paul is saying that;

[Jew]
[peritome]
[out of Jesus' faith]


[the nations]
[akrobustia]
[through Jesus' faith]


The goal,.....of end point, justification by faith, is where both the Jew, and those of the nations are to be.......the faith of Jesus is instrumental for each group.....to get them there.

To the Jew, who has the law, and who is in peritome,
it is "out of Jesus' faith, that determines their transference.....

To the nations, who are outside of the law, and are in akrobustia,
it is "through Jesus' faith" that determines their transference.

The two different groups came from two different places to get to the one place....justification by faith (Christ's faith).

The law is not displaced, it is sustained.

Joel
Shalom Brother Joel,


Thank you for bringing our attention to the different words used in this passage:
Romans 3:30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith (ek pisteos), and uncircumcision [I]through faith (dia pisteos).

I agree very much with most of your analysis, but I have found it difficult to apply some of the insights you offered. In general, I have not seen any consistent distinction between "ek pisteos" and "dia pisteos" in the Bible. For example, the letters of our brother Peter, which you believe apply only to the circumcision, say that they (the circumcised in your view) are justified "dia pisteos":
1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith (dia pisteos) unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

And earlier in Paul's letter which we are currently reading, Paul said that everyone - both Jews and Genitles - are justified from faith (ek pisteos):
Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation [I]to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith (ek pisteos).
I find it impossible to consistently apply the distinction you suggest to the Scritpures as a whole, or even within Paul's letter to the Romans. Could you please help me understand this?

But I do think that you really "hit the nail on the head" when you said "The two different groups came from two different places to get to the one place....justification by faith (Christ's faith)." I think this is the key to a proper understanding of that verse. Rather than taking the words "ek pisteos" and "dia pisteos" as describing the means of salvation of the two groups, all that Paul was saying was that those two groups had different starting points, but arrived at the same place. The Jew comes from (ek) being already in relationship with God by faith (ek pisteos) under the first covenant, and when he becomes a Christian he is made righteous through faith (dia pisteos). A Gentile, on the other hand, had no prior relationship with God through faith, so Paul described them in the latter stage of being righteous through faith (dia pisteos).

Richard

gregoryfl
11-23-2008, 03:34 PM
all that Paul was saying was that those two groups had different starting points, but arrived at the same place. The Jew comes from (ek) being already in relationship with God by faith (ek pisteos) under the first covenant, and when he becomes a Christian he is made righteous through faith (dia pisteos). A Gentile, on the other hand, had no prior relationship with God through faith, so Paul described them in the latter stage of being righteous through faith (dia pisteos).
Richard
Yes Richard, which is exactly what I was trying to point out in my post, that it was describing things from two different perspectives, or vantage points:


Indeed, I as well do not see a distinction given, as by and through faith are merely ways of expressing the same justification, the only difference being from vantage point.

That does not however, mean that Gentiles from the the nations are only justified through faith. That they are indeed justified by faith as well Paul plainly stated in his letter to the Galatian believers where he said:

Gal 3:8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the Good News beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you all the nations will be blessed.”

Thanks for bringing it out more clearly.

Ron

Richard Amiel McGough
11-23-2008, 03:38 PM
Yes Richard, that is what I was trying to point out in my post, that it was describing things from two different perspectives. Thanks for bringing it out more clearly.

Ron
Hi Ron,

Thanks for mentioning that. Our primary job here seems to be to articulate the meaning of Romans and refine that articulation until we can all come to a point of perfect agreement so that we will have a visible manifestation of the unity of our faith.

Richard

Bob May
11-23-2008, 04:11 PM
Dear Popo....(I hope that you don't object to using a shortened nickname?)...

I agree with you that we all (J & G) sin........i.e.......do things that "miss" the mark of His standard of conduct.......and........that we are to benefit from the "perfect sacrifice" of Jesus........"or pay the penalty of sin".......which you say is "separation from God". It is the last part that threw me off some what.

Paul said earlier in his letter that we would all be accountable for our deeds in that we would face the wrath of God........receiving tribulation, anguish, wrath, ........upon our souls. I assume that you interpret that to mean......"separation from God"?

Concerning this thing called sin........we know that in our language sin is "hamartia"........is is surely a "missing" in that it does not "hit the target" of His standard.........but, isn't it also a "missing out" in what He intends to share and provide to us?

In other words, if I am a sinner, I will "pay the penalty".......but won't I also suffer the loss of joining in on the good things He has awaiting me?

From that view, I not only receive the "bad", but lose out on the "good".

Joel

Hello group,

My name is Zarah. I am an Ethiopian conducting business trip to Rome. One of your members has graciously invited me to join you in your gathering to hear the words of Paul who was once Saul the persecuter of the Bretheren.

I am glad to be here and fortunate indeed to listen to your reasonings. I would add my thoughts here if I am not to be thought too forward. If you would indulge me I would speak aloud the questions that fill my mind.

Could it not be that we have all missed the mark because in times past our arrows had time and again fallen short of the target (the doing of the Law)because we had not the strength to shoot far enough?
Or rather could it not be that the Law was never intended to be kept in it's entirety so as to show us this weakness and bring us to true humility?
Then consider this, if you will. What if we have been "missing the mark" because we have been shooting at the wrong target?
Brother Paul was guilty of consenting to the killing of Brother Stephan as I have been told. Just as surely as David was guilty of murder and adultery.
Were they lost forever to anguish, tribulation and wrath? If so why do we listen to Paul or read his letter at all?
Is it not because he, as David, saw something deeper hidden in the Law?
Is it not because Paul was seeing the new Law that was beyond the Law
we hold dear?
Could it not be that Paul has been giving examples of how things used to be and then starting at "Now we know..." he is contrasting a new reality available to both he and us?

Rom 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
21 But now the righteousness of God WITHOUT THE LAW is MANIFESTED, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

I see Paul speaks to us of things that were and things that are. Would it not be prudent for us to keep the salt and the sand from intermingling?

Zarah

joel
11-23-2008, 04:56 PM
Zarah......it is both our honor, and our privilege that you would join us during your stay in Rome, the ancient city in which most of us live. Some in our gatherings live outside the city proper, and travel once each week to come in and join our worship......together.....mostly, we have been discussing the very important letter of the special commissioned messenger, Paul, whom you have recognized.

Your views are most welcome.......we recognize our limitations, and seek to understand the eloquent words and phrasings of Paul's message, realizing as we do that most of us are not formally trained in matters of law. We are fortunate to have among us Jewish brethren and their wives who have recognized their Messiah.


Could it not be that we have all missed the mark because in times past our arrows had time and again fallen short of the target (the doing of the Law)because we had not the strength to shoot far enough?

You make an excellent point here our Ethiopian brother.


Or rather could it not be that the Law was never intended to be kept in it's entirety so as to show us this weakness and bring us to true humility?

And, here, as well.


Could it not be that Paul has been giving examples of how things used to be and then starting at "Now we know..." he is contrasting a new reality available to both he and us?

Yes.....later in his letter I'm sure he began to speak of the "new"....I hope you remain in our fellowship as we journey together.


Would it not be prudent for us to keep the salt and the sand from intermingling?

Desert wisdom from a man from afar. Thank you.

Joel

joel
11-23-2008, 06:59 PM
Welcome back, Ram...........you are quite a team....Ram & Rose....sounds like the title of good song.


But I do think that you really "hit the nail on the head" when you said "The two different groups came from two different places to get to the one place....justification by faith (Christ's faith)." I think this is the key to a proper understanding of that verse. Rather than taking the words "ek pisteos" and "dia pisteos" as describing the means of salvation of the two groups, all that Paul was saying was that those two groups had different starting points, but arrived at the same place. The Jew comes from (ek) being already in relationship with God by faith (ek pisteos) under the first covenant, and when he becomes a Christian he is made righteous through faith (dia pisteos). A Gentile, on the other hand, had no prior relationship with God through faith, so Paul described them in the latter stage of being righteous through faith (dia pisteos).

Out of-belief (the source of the faith).....into belief (the place where the one who believes finds himself/herself).

Whether Jew or Gentile, we are all outside of the belief......and we cannot work ourselves into that place.

It is the [of-belief of Jesus]......that is the source. It is the to-belief that we must rest in.

It is unto all, and upon all......that believe [placed into the faith of Jesus Christ].

The Jew, who has a prior relationship with God through the covenant, arrives at the place of righteousness out of the faith of Jesus as the source.

The Gentile, who had no prior relationship with God, arrives at the place of righteousness through the channel of Christ's faith.

Can we say.....the Jew is in the boat.....transported out of his former unjust condition.....into the place of justice.

Can we say....the Gentile is in the water...in the channel.....as it transports out of his former unjust condition.....into the place of justice.

One was in the boat......the other in the water....so to speak.....but, regardless of how transported......both are now in justice.

Joel

gregoryfl
11-23-2008, 07:39 PM
Joel,

You appear to be describing the same thing. You say that the Jew is in the boat, and the Gentile is in the water, both get to the same place.

The boat and the water are two different vantage points, but that is all that is being described, for whether one rides in the boat to the destination or hangs onto it from in the water, it is both by the boat and through the boat that both parties end up at the destination. In other words, the means, the boat, remains the same in both cases. It is only a matter of vantage point.

Ron

Richard Amiel McGough
11-23-2008, 07:51 PM
Welcome back, Ram...........you are quite a team....Ram & Rose....sounds like the title of good song.

Yeah .... we make beautiful music together :lol:



Out of-belief (the source of the faith).....into belief (the place where the one who believes finds himself/herself).

Whether Jew or Gentile, we are all outside of the belief......and we cannot work ourselves into that place.

It is the [of-belief of Jesus]......that is the source. It is the to-belief that we must rest in.

It is unto all, and upon all......that believe [placed into the faith of Jesus Christ].

The Jew, who has a prior relationship with God through the covenant, arrives at the place of righteousness out of the faith of Jesus as the source.

The Gentile, who had no prior relationship with God, arrives at the place of righteousness through the channel of Christ's faith.

Can we say.....the Jew is in the boat.....transported out of his former unjust condition.....into the place of justice.

Can we say....the Gentile is in the water...in the channel.....as it transports out of his former unjust condition.....into the place of justice.

One was in the boat......the other in the water....so to speak.....but, regardless of how transported......both are now in justice.

Joel
I think we agree very well on this question. But I still don't think it would be correct to take "ek pisteos" and "dia pisteos" as different categories. I think in Romans 3:30 they are used the way we have described, but in general they seem to be interchangeable and essentially synonymous. For example, Peter said that his audience were saved "dia pisteos" so we know the term does not apply only to the Gentiles, and Paul said everyone is saved "ek pisteos" so we know that term does not apply only to the Jews.

Richard

gregoryfl
11-23-2008, 09:05 PM
Also, as a side note, the Aramaic Peshitta, of which I have a copy, renders what Paul wrote in Rom 3 as "the circumcision by faith, also to the uncircumcision by it, by faith." Perhaps, as has seemed to often be the case, there was a scribal error at some point in the copy you have in Greek.

Ron

joel
11-24-2008, 05:13 AM
Since we all seem to be "in the same boat"......let's hoist the main sail.....and visit Abraham in the next section.

In our smaller group discussion at my house, we have seen that Paul's discussion seems to be divided into two major sections; the first concerning justification by faith, the second concerning the realization of the promise from God.

Paul has just discussed that we are all in the same boat, somewhat similar to the "boat" Abraham boarded, poetically speaking, on his journey to the "promised land".

God transports us from "unjust" to "just", just as He led Abram from Ur of Chaldees to Canaan.

Our Jewish members helped us with the history of the ancient trip....and offered that......Abram took his father....and his nephew.....even though he was told to leave his kindred behind. Terah, Abram's father later died in the city of Haran, on the journey to Canaan. We felt that this was significant as the potential for the overriding influence of Terah upon Abram was eliminated.

But Lot remained and caused some problems later on. We went into detail about the account in Genesis to see the "life of faith" from Abram's view.

The crowning truth that we discovered in the first section of the Abraham story as Paul presented it was that the blessed state of a person whose iniquities are covered over.......where the Lord no longer reckons the sins but reckons righteousness.....is what he initially discovered.

We discussed that it would not be just of God to give him the land unless first God reckoned righteousness to be transferred to Abram on the basis of faith, not works........which was the case when Abram believed what God said. Paul said that he believed in the God Who justifies the ungodly............Abram had to see himself first as ungodly.....to then believe in the God is the justifier of such a person.

It was in the state of uncircumcision that righteousness was reckoned. We felt this to be vital. The Gentile is already in a state of uncircumcision. So, the Jew must "step out" of circumcision, and repudiate it, no longer counting it as a privleged state, if he is to be justified along with Abraham.

Circumcision later became the "seal" of the righteousness he had been given while in the state of uncircumcision.

Before we move into the second half of the section, we wanted to know if you have some input.

Joel

gregoryfl
11-24-2008, 06:35 AM
Repudiate my circumcision? Did not Paul say that we of the circumcision were advantaged? Granted, I now know that the physical act of circumcision is but a pointer to the spiritual circumcision of the heart, which all of faith receive. However, remember that Paul still considered himself a Pharisee late in his life. What he repudiated, and I as well, is the thinking that any of the works of the law could make me upright before God. Yes, it is true that Abraham believed [I would argue however that what he actually did was support] God but that belief was not what many of your Greeks make it out to be, the thinkers that you are. Abraham listened to and walked in all that God directed him. That belief manifested itself (just as God manifests reality by his Word), in his supporting God by obedience.

I believe Paul is not trying to destroy his own heritage, but is merely helping those of us who have a hard time understanding how it is that a Gentile can be considered one of us fully, apart from works of law.

I see the same unfortunate talk amongst many in my own group who think that Paul is casting aside the law as useless and, I almost shudder to say, evil, when he is actually only showing how it is truly upheld by showing it's true purpose. I cannot repudiate what I am. I am proud of who I am and of my history, which I fear even at this early hour is in danger of being cast off completely. However, I also cannot disparage any who are of like faith but apart from my heritage. We (both Jew and Gentile) must stop this rabble, for a boat can only stay afloat when it is balanced. Tip it too far one way or the other and it sinks.

Ron

joel
11-24-2008, 07:02 AM
Thanks, Ron, for your insight........we haven't even left the dock.....and the boat is tipping.

In the first part of Paul's discussion concerning Abraham......Paul makes the point that the reckoning of righteousness, based on faith, was accomplished with Abraham not while he was "in circumcision", but, "in uncircumcision".

The Jew, who is "in circumcision", is no longer to view that as the state of his condition when looking to God to reckon righteousness.

Is this not what Paul is saying?

The faith that he had concerning the righteousness of faith was when he was uncircumcised......he then received the seal.........so that he could be the father of all them that believe.


Abraham, according to Paul's statements, is the father of faith to both the uncircumcision (being reckoned righteous when uncircumcised)....and, the father of the faith of the circumcision, in that he was later circumcised, who also walk in the steps of the faith.

"Casting the law aside as useless" was not part of Paul's discussion. The law comes to play when discussing the promise in the next section. At this point, Paul is focused on circumcision.......essential in his presentation as he continues to include it in his discussion.

You are a Jew........you cannot repudiate what you are....Amen. But, the Jew has both the law, and is "in circumcision". You cannot stand "in circumcision", and be reckoned righteous. Any more than a Gentile can stand in "uncircumcision"......both must "come out"......to be brought in.....into being reckoned righteous, where there is now no distinction (but, Paul has not discussed that, yet).

Joel

Rose
11-24-2008, 08:22 AM
Thanks, Ron, for your insight........we haven't even left the dock.....and the boat is tipping.



You are a Jew........you cannot repudiate what you are....Amen. But, the Jew has both the law, and is "in circumcision". You cannot stand "in circumcision", and be reckoned righteous. Any more than a Gentile can stand in "uncircumcision"......both must "come out"......to be brought in.....into being reckoned righteous, where there is now no distinction (but, Paul has not discussed that, yet).

Joel

I hear your words brother Joel.

We are all reckoned righteous (Jew or Gentile) through faith in Jesus, whether we come from circumcision or from uncircumcision........Amen to that!

God Bless,

Rose

Richard Amiel McGough
11-24-2008, 08:39 AM
Also, as a side note, the Aramaic Peshitta, of which I have a copy, renders what Paul wrote in Rom 3 as "the circumcision by faith, also to the uncircumcision by it, by faith." Perhaps, as has seemed to often be the case, there was a scribal error at some point in the copy you have in Greek.

Ron
Hi Ron,

I went to the House of Scrolls and could not find a copy of the Peshitta. But I did find a notice that said it would be an Aramaic translation of our Greek Scriptures that would probably be availabe in a couple centuries.

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
11-24-2008, 09:02 AM
Since we all seem to be "in the same boat"......let's hoist the main sail.....and visit Abraham in the next section.

Hurray! We're heading out to ride upon the waves of the ocean of God's Word. Where will we go? What will we see? It reminds me of an old song that just happens to lend itself to a Gospel interpretation:

Ride Captain Ride (YouTube) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAx9h_R23PQ)

Seventy-three men sailed up
From the San Francisco Bay, [the world of sin]
Rolled off of their ship
And here's what they had to say.
"We're callin' everyone to ride along [Many are called]
To another shore, [Kingdom of God]
We can laugh our lives away [no more tears]
and be free once more." [Christ has made us free]

But no one heard them callin', [Few are chosen]
No one came at all, [But they made light of it, and went their ways ... Matt 22:5]
'Cause they were too busy watchin'
Those old raindrops fall.
As a storm was blowin' [And there arose a great storm of wind ... Mk 4:37]
Out on the peaceful sea, [And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. Mk 4:39]
Seventy-three men sailed off
To history.
Ride, captain ride
Upon your mystery ship, [Mystery of the Gospel, Christ in you]
Be amazed at the friends
You have here on your trip. [many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. Matt 8:11]
Ride captain ride
Upon your mystery ship,
On your way to a world
That others might have missed. [Narrow is the way, few find it]

>>>>> Sorry for breaking with my first century character ... :lol: but that was fun and this is my party so I'll sing if I want to! :D <<<<

Richard Amiel McGough
11-24-2008, 09:08 AM
In our smaller group discussion at my house, we have seen that Paul's discussion seems to be divided into two major sections; the first concerning justification by faith, the second concerning the realization of the promise from God.


I'm not sure we should divide it up that way. I have always thought that the Gospel of justification by faith was the "realization of the promise of God." Is that not what our brother Paul was teaching here in Romans 4?

Romans 4:13-17 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: 15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. 16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, 17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations (ethnos = Gentiles,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
I think it is very significant that Brother Paul here distinguishes between "they which are of the law" (i.e. Jews) and the "seed" which are Christians who have received the "promise" of God which is the Gospel. Abraham is the father of all Christians (faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all) and the seed of Abraham and the recipients of God's promise are defined as Christians, whether Jew or Gentile.

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
11-24-2008, 09:24 AM
Yes, it is true that Abraham believed [I would argue however that what he actually did was support] God but that belief was not what many of your Greeks make it out to be, the thinkers that you are. Abraham listened to and walked in all that God directed him. That belief manifested itself (just as God manifests reality by his Word), in his supporting God by obedience.

Hey there Brother Ron,

I see your hebraic understanding shining through here. The word "aman" - often translated as "believe" or "trust in" does indeed carry the connotation of "support" like a foundation. But if that is the meaning intended, then I wonder why the 72 Elders used the word "pistis" (to believe) when they translated Genesis 15.6 of the Torah. Do you think they were in error, or that both meanings are correct?



I believe Paul is not trying to destroy his own heritage, but is merely helping those of us who have a hard time understanding how it is that a Gentile can be considered one of us fully, apart from works of law.


Well, in another letter Paul did use the word "destroy" when he was explaining his posion on circumcision:
Galatians 2:18-19 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
But I agree that Paul was not "trying to destroy his own heritage." That was not his purpose. His purpose was to reveal the purpose of that heritiage, and how it has no value in and of itself but was the "school" that God used to bring everyone to Christ, and once we have Graduated and come to Christ we leave the schoolhouse.



I see the same unfortunate talk amongst many in my own group who think that Paul is casting aside the law as useless and, I almost shudder to say, evil, when he is actually only showing how it is truly upheld by showing it's true purpose.

Paul did talk of the "curse of the Law." But that does not mean that the law was a "curse" in and of itself, for the Law is holy, just and good. But it contained a "sting" that was deadly to us.

But then we also must realize that the "Law" was not given to Christians. It was given to the Jews as the means by which God accomplished His purpose to bring forth Christ. The "Law" (Torah) applies only to those to whom it was given, the Jews under the first covenant. It's like the Roman Consitution. It's a great document, and everyone should read it and learn from it, but it applies only to Romans citizens. Wouldn't it be silly to see a Gaul pretending to be a Roman citizen? He wouldn't get far.



I cannot repudiate what I am. I am proud of who I am and of my history, which I fear even at this early hour is in danger of being cast off completely. However, I also cannot disparage any who are of like faith but apart from my heritage. We (both Jew and Gentile) must stop this rabble, for a boat can only stay afloat when it is balanced. Tip it too far one way or the other and it sinks.

Ron
I have discussed these questions and the very real "fear" of casting away the baby with the bathwater. What now defines the "Jew" in light of Christ? These are not simple questions. I hope we will be able to clarify them.

Many blessings Ron,

Richard

joel
11-24-2008, 09:47 AM
A little music nostalgia is very appropriate for our trip........I especially liked the image of the "mystery ship".......you even threw in a little Leslie Gore.....and you are right....."It's your party....." We just hope that you do little crying along the way!


We are embarking on a trip.......to another shore. Can we look at the promise as our arrival there?

My point is......Abraham came into the land by the grace of God. He was reckoned just......on the basis of believing God.

In our analogy, the ship is the same as the land. We are "in it".......anticipating a voyage beyond these shores.

Abraham's promise from God was that he would be heir of the world. That's a pretty big promise. In order for that to occur, he would need to have a son. otherwise, his household servant, Elieazer of Damacus, would be his heir.

The point I was making concerning two different sections of Paul's discussion is that; 1.) Abraham was justified by faith......reckoned rigteous without works,....believing what God said.
He believed in the God Who justifies the ungodly.
2.) Abraham would receive the promised son, based not on his help (Hagar) and his ability to work for God (which later to his seed of flesh, the law would come in)........but purely on the ability of God to cause His promise to Abraham to come into reality (it took 25+ years). .......(I hope our sea voyage is not that long). Abraham had to look away from himself......he was fully capable of producing seed in his earlier years......he had to see himself as dead......and......he could not falter because of the deadness of Sarah's barrenness.
He believed in the God Who raises the dead (his own dead body)....and Who calls into existence things that do not appear to be so (the deadness of Sarah's womb is not the problem to the God Who made the promise, and, made her womb).

This observation of two separate phases of faith is occassioned by the use of the phrase.......and it was reckoned unto him as righteousness....inserted in two different places in Paul's discussion.........but.....it only occurred once in the narrative in Genesis.

By the way, as we pull out of this harbor, the captain of the ship relayed to me how pleased he is with this crew and passengers, and expects a safe journey......even though, as you know,......there are storms on the sea at this time of year.

Joel

gregoryfl
11-24-2008, 09:51 AM
Thanks, Ron, for your insight........we haven't even left the dock.....and the boat is tipping.

In the first part of Paul's discussion concerning Abraham......Paul makes the point that the reckoning of righteousness, based on faith, was accomplished with Abraham not while he was "in circumcision", but, "in uncircumcision".

The Jew, who is "in circumcision", is no longer to view that as the state of his condition when looking to God to reckon righteousness.

Is this not what Paul is saying?Yes my brother, it was necessary for Abraham to be in the state of uncircumcision when givent he promise in order that the promise could be given to circumcised as well as uncircumcised alike. My reference to not repudiating my heritage nor my circumcision has to do with what Paul said "What advantage then does the Jew have? Or what profit is circumcision? Much, in every way!" My heritage and the covenant of circumcision was something used to serve the purposes of our God. Granted that it has served that purpose, I do not look down upon it, but look in honor at it's accomplishment. You are right brother, I am no longer to view my state of circumcision as I used to.



"Casting the law aside as useless" was not part of Paul's discussion. The law comes to play when discussing the promise in the next section. At this point, Paul is focused on circumcision.......essential in his presentation as he continues to include it in his discussion.My reference to casting the law aside has in mind Paul's statement of some who erroneously think that faith nullifies the law, or makes it of no effect, and worthless.


You are a Jew........you cannot repudiate what you are....Amen. But, the Jew has both the law, and is "in circumcision". You cannot stand "in circumcision", and be reckoned righteous. Any more than a Gentile can stand in "uncircumcision"......both must "come out"......to be brought in.....into being reckoned righteous, where there is now no distinction (but, Paul has not discussed that, yet).I-secure-it! I am in full agreement with you.

gregoryfl
11-24-2008, 10:15 AM
Hey there Brother Ron,

I see your hebraic understanding shining through here. The word "aman" - often translated as "believe" or "trust in" does indeed carry the connotation of "support" like a foundation. But if that is the meaning intended, then I wonder why the 72 Elders used the word "pistis" (to believe) when they translated Genesis 15.6 of the Torah. Do you think they were in error, or that both meanings are correct?I am not one who accepts those "elders" who allowed themselves as Hellenized Jews to corrupt our scriptures.[Of course, that is a totally separate discussion but is part of my roleplay :lol:] However my dear brother, I will concede that they used the best word they could find, "pistis," and yes, both "pistis" and "aman" speak of belief, an action of our heart, or, as a Greek would say, our mind. I also see however, both from what I was taught as a young boy when having the stories recited to me, as well as in my reading of our brother James when he wrote, that such belief was not of none effect. It always resulted in the following of God's desire. Yes brother, I see both meanings as correct, and both needing to be stressed equally, not one at the exclusion of the other. Both are essentials to making up the whole of faith.




Well, in another letter Paul did use the word "destroy" when he was explaining his posion on circumcision:
Galatians 2:18-19 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. Yes, I recall hearing that, but from I remember it was the thinking that we can be justified by means of the works of the law that was destroyed, not the works of the law themselves. I keep Shabbat, and I had my 2 boys circumcised, not because it will justify or save me, but because it is what God commanded me and my people to observe.

In other words, we know that loving God and our neighbor as ourselves, on which all the law and prophets hangs, will never justify us. Only in our Messiah is that accomplished. However, I do not destroy the idea of loving God and my neighbor. What I destroy is the false idea that I can be justified by merely doing that. For we both know that no amount of law keeping will make us righteous in God's sight. It has always been, and will always be, only by faith, through grace. That is what I understand Paul to mean as to what he destroyed.


Paul did talk of the "curse of the Law." But that does not mean that the law was a "curse" in and of itself, for the Law is holy, just and good. But it contained a "sting" that was deadly to us.Thank you for recognizing that, so many do not my dear brother. :thumb:


But then we also must realize that the "Law" was not given to Christians. It was given to the Jews as the means by which God accomplished His purpose to bring forth Christ. The "Law" (Torah) applies only to those to whom it was given, the Jews under the first covenant.Yes, and that is why I still glory in what I have been given, even though it has found it's fulfillment in Messiah.

Bob May
11-24-2008, 03:22 PM
Since we all seem to be "in the same boat"......let's hoist the main sail.....and visit Abraham in the next section.


God transports us from "unjust" to "just", just as He led Abram from Ur of Chaldees to Canaan.

Our Jewish members helped us with the history of the ancient trip....and offered that......Abram took his father....and his nephew.....even though he was told to leave his kindred behind. Terah, Abram's father later died in the city of Haran, on the journey to Canaan. We felt that this was significant as the potential for the overriding influence of Terah upon Abram was eliminated.

But Lot remained and caused some problems later on. We went into detail about the account in Genesis to see the "life of faith" from Abram's view.

The crowning truth that we discovered in the first section of the Abraham story as Paul presented it was that the blessed state of a person whose iniquities are covered over.......where the Lord no longer reckons the sins but reckons righteousness.....is what he initially discovered.

We discussed that it would not be just of God to give him the land unless first God reckoned righteousness to be transferred to Abram on the basis of faith, not works........which was the case when Abram believed what God said. Paul said that he believed in the God Who justifies the ungodly............Abram had to see himself first as ungodly.....to then believe in the God is the justifier of such a person.

It was in the state of uncircumcision that righteousness was reckoned. We felt this to be vital. The Gentile is already in a state of uncircumcision. So, the Jew must "step out" of circumcision, and repudiate it, no longer counting it as a privleged state, if he is to be justified along with Abraham.

Circumcision later became the "seal" of the righteousness he had been given while in the state of uncircumcision.

Before we move into the second half of the section, we wanted to know if you have some input.

Joel

Greetings Bretheren,

Again I see an example arriving at the same place from different beginnings. How varied are the ways of the Spirit which speak to each of us in so many languages.
Ur of the Chaldees can be rendered as "Light of the Magicians." One day it occured to me what that meant. We live in a world of cause and effect.
We understand only cause and effect. We are taught it from a very young age and anything outside of this concept we cannot understand with our natural minds.
In effect, we are "Bewitched" by the Chaldees from birth. But who are these Chaldees, these magicians? They are everyone we come into contact with. Our families, our friends, even ourselves. We are taught that if we do good we will be rewarded and if we do evil we will be cursed.
The first step in being able to conceive that there is a way that does not work according to this principle, we must leave everything we thought we knew.
This, to me, is the true meaning of Abraham leaving Ur of the Chaldees. To leave (in our thinking and way we look at the world) everything we knew. This is Repentance, a change of mind. To live in the light of Christ it is necessary to leave the light which is darkness. Even as if we had turned from the moon to behold the sun. For even as the sun and moon can be seen in the sky at the same time we can, by what we treasure in our hearts, by which direction we turn, decide which light we would live by.

Zarah

basilfo
11-24-2008, 03:44 PM
Hi Joel,
It's great to continue this reading of Paul's letter and to study it together to reach a greater understanding of the truth.

You mentioned (back in post #183):


Joel said: "Yes....you do have an advantage as a Jew, according to Paul. He says, "much in every way". The chief way as he puts it is......."unto them were committed the oracles of God."

For what it was worth, I gave my novice, 17 yr old Roman kid's view of what I thought Paul meant by "an advantage as a Jew" (see post #187). Since I think it is one of the keys to this early section of the letter, I would be very interested in everyone else's take on exactly what the "advantage" was.

What was Paul talking about? I boiled the advantage down to a familiarity with God's worldview into which the Messiah perfectly fit when He arrived. A worldview completely foreign to non-Jews. So when the Gospel fell upon Jewish ears, it was a puzzle piece that fit right into the "hole" portrayed by the prophesies and numerous illustrations familiar to the Jews living in the first century (concept of sin, blood sacrifices, a law to strive to keep, being in bondage, wandering in the wilderness, Moses as a deliverer, on and on - all pointing to Jesus Christ the Messiah). The rest of that puzzle would have been foreign to non-Jews; a real disadvantage to grasping the Gospel and the need for a Savior.

I see no advantage other than that, based on the immediate context of Paul's letter (or the rest of Scripture which I 'magically' have read in another 'capacity'). In fact, I see numerous NT teachings against any genetic "advantage":

- olive branches are on the tree because of faith, not kind of branch
- 'Do not say Abraham is our father, God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones',
- For they [are] not all Israel who [are] of Israel,
- nor [are they] all children because they are the seed of Abraham
- Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, "And to seeds," as of many, but as of one, "And to your Seed," who is Christ.

to name a few.

So, what do you all say "the advantage" is??

Knowing how longwinded we all are (myself included) it would be best to summarize in one sentence what the advantage is: "The advantage is .... period" AND THEN explain if you want.

Peace to you all,
Popo....

Bob May
11-24-2008, 04:13 PM
Hi Joel,


So, what do you all say "the advantage" is??

Knowing how longwinded we all are (myself included) it would be best to summarize in one sentence what the advantage is: "The advantage is .... period" AND THEN explain if you want.

Peace to you all,
Popo....

Greetings Popo.,

Having read the Scriptures from my youth, I would say that the main advantage that a keeper of the "Oracles" has is that the familiarity with the symbolism found therein makes it easier for the keeper to hear the "Oracles" speaking once he realizes that it does, indeed, speak symbolically.

Zarah

Rose
11-24-2008, 04:51 PM
What was Paul talking about? I boiled the advantage down to a familiarity with God's worldview into which the Messiah perfectly fit when He arrived. A worldview completely foreign to non-Jews. So when the Gospel fell upon Jewish ears, it was a puzzle piece that fit right into the "hole" portrayed by the prophesies and numerous illustrations familiar to the Jews living in the first century (concept of sin, blood sacrifices, a law to strive to keep, being in bondage, wandering in the wilderness, Moses as a deliverer, on and on - all pointing to Jesus Christ the Messiah). The rest of that puzzle would have been foreign to non-Jews; a real disadvantage to grasping the Gospel and the need for a Savior.

So, what do you all say "the advantage" is??

Peace to you all,
Popo....

I will have to say, Amen to that.

I too see the advantage of the Jew as being their understanding of Oracles that were given to them. Whereas many Gentiles were totally ignorant of Scripture, so consequently they weren't even looking for a Messiah.

God Bless,

Rose

joel
11-25-2008, 04:38 AM
I too see the advantage of the Jew as being their understanding of Oracles that were given to them. Whereas many Gentiles were totally ignorant of Scripture, so consequently they weren't even looking for a Messiah.

Popo.....and Rose; Yes, the oracles.....containing everything concerning "truth" that will lead to the One Who is "truth".

That, to me, is the advantage of the Jew.....not only some, few words of truth,.....but super-abundant.....exceeding in quantity......divine words.

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-25-2008, 09:06 AM
Popo.....and Rose; Yes, the oracles.....containing everything concerning "truth" that will lead to the One Who is "truth".

That, to me, is the advantage of the Jew.....not only some, few words of truth,.....but super-abundant.....exceeding in quantity......divine words.

Joel
It looks the the keel of our "Mystery Ship" well aligned at this point of our journey. It should be safe to sail on to the deeper waters of Romans 4.

Richard

joel
11-25-2008, 09:33 AM
The main sail set.......the keel running deep into the waters.....the spirit, like a mighty rushing wind.....The Captain at the wheel.....our first point ahead....Abraham's legacy.

Joel

joel
11-25-2008, 11:20 AM
As I have reported to you before, according to our home discussions, we have separated the Abraham discussion by Paul into two distinct sections; the first having to with "justification", being made "right", God sharing his righteousness, the reckoning of righteousness concerning God Who does not impute sin when He has imputed righteousness.

We could compare this first phase by "being in the ship".

The second phase of Abraham's faith concerned the promise of the inheritance. We could compare this second phase to the "goal of the journey", the ultimate destination of our trip (realizing that there will be stops along the way, just as there were various points along the path of faith that Abraham experienced).

Joel

Brother Les
11-25-2008, 11:31 AM
I too see the advantage of the Jew as being their understanding of Oracles that were given to them. Whereas many Gentiles were totally ignorant of Scripture, so consequently they weren't even looking for a Messiah.

God Bless,

Rose

My Fair and Lovely Rose. As a Gentile from the City of Corinth, I would most humbley disagree. Our Fathers have passed down to us, many traditions of a Single and Mighty God. The Creator of The Heavens and the Earth. A God who sent a messiah to bring them out of servituted from Eygpt. A great savior who led them over the sea (Red) and to the Land of Promise. One God, one covenant,one land. But the traditions of our Fathers have always told us that there would be a better Savior, a better Covenant and a better Land, Beulauh Land. We live among many 'gods', but these gods are only made of wood and stone and trinkets. 'We' are here in the wildrenss and we all long to go Home for we are of The Disporia and have been sifted among the goem. We do look for the mighty Joshua Messiah. We, here in Corinth have heard rumors that He may have come.

Blessings to the Beautiful Rose.

Brother Les

joel
11-25-2008, 05:35 PM
Paul begins his discussion concerning Abraham with the question;

What shall we say then.........
that Abraham our father........
as pertaining to the flesh......
hath found?

The first part is; what shall we say then........

Faith speaks. What does our faith concerning Abraham say?

What does our faith concerning Abraham (our Father of faith) say?

What does our faith say concerning Abraham..........according to the flesh......hath found?

What did Abraham find.....as concerned the flesh?

The answer to the question follows.........................

and the answer is...............?.............what does your faith say?

Joel

basilfo
11-25-2008, 09:00 PM
Hi Joel,
Glad we are pressing onward. But I must say, I'm lost already on your questions concerning the first line of this part of Paul's letter.:confused2:


Joel wrote:
Faith speaks. What does our faith concerning Abraham say?

But that's not what Paul asked. He asked:

Romans 4:1 What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh?

I don't see Paul asking how our faith relates to Abraham or what our faith says about Abraham. He is asking what Abraham found according to the flesh. Nothing about our faith - at least in this first part.

Can you clarify what you mean for me Joel?

Thanks,
Popo...

joel
11-26-2008, 05:20 AM
Sorry, Popo, I didn't intend to confuse you.

To speak concerning a matter of faith is, in my opinion, speaking your faith......saying what you believe.

We have been speaking to each other concerning what we believe........we are studying Paul's letter because he has declared words of faith.........that clarify our faith, build our faith, adjust our faith......and......we are to speak words of faith that correspond to what we believe.

What shall we say?.........is an expression common to Paul. We will find it throughout his letter. He asked it.......based on the context......to probe out what we believe. If we say one thing.......and he says something else...then......our faith needs to be adjusted.

Here, in this section, Paul is asking us about Abraham........we know that he is the "father of our faith". What is it that Abraham discovered?

Whatever he discovered, affected his faith.

Joel

Rose
11-26-2008, 09:08 AM
Here, in this section, Paul is asking us about Abraham........we know that he is the "father of our faith". What is it that Abraham discovered?

Whatever he discovered, affected his faith.

Joel

Good morning brothers,

I love to ponder on how our father Abraham came into the faith the same way as we who came in as Gentiles (by believing God). Abraham was neither Jewish nor circumcised when God called him to become the father of many nations.

What I believe Abraham discovered was "knowing God".

God Bless,

Rose

joel
11-26-2008, 12:32 PM
Good morning brothers,

I love to ponder on how our father Abraham came into the faith the same way as we who came in as Gentiles (by believing God). Abraham was neither Jewish nor circumcised when God called him to become the father of many nations.

What I believe Abraham discovered was "knowing God".

God Bless,

Rose

Knowing God is surely the goal of the gospel. Paul, who certainly thought that he knew God, at least from a Jewish perspective, did not know the Lord, Jesus Christ.......until he met Him on the road to Dasmascus.

He knew God from the perspective of Saul of Tarsus. He persecuted the called out assembly. When he was confronted with the risen Lord, his life changed.

And, he wrote letters to those to whom he spoke concerning the Christ. One of his letters.......which was written directly to us....those who are called out of humanity in Rome.....is what we are currently studying together.

In his letter, he explains that all of humanity has been revealed certain things about God......
His power, His godhead, His goodness.....

But nowhere, except in the gospel, do we see the righteousness of God.

This is what Abraham found. It was his discovery.

He was ungodly. He needed to acknowledge that.....and believe in the God Who justifies the ungodly.

This is the basic truth of the gospel..............God reckons righteouness to those who believe what He says...

Righteousness is not reckoned to anyone based on works.........it is reckoned on the basis of faith......this is Abraham's discovery.

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-26-2008, 01:02 PM
Righteousness is not reckoned to anyone based on works.........it is reckoned on the basis of faith......this is Abraham's discovery.

Joel
That's exactly what I was going to say! :thumb:

:sunny:

Richard

joel
11-26-2008, 01:16 PM
Richard......the lion hearted one.....

I have heard that you are were once a gladiator....a fierce warrior.....and I want to believe it,......but do not want to puff you up.......in the flesh.

You are so formidable as concerning words.........and,.......that is our most effective weapon in the spiritual realm. You are a gladiator of the faith.

As we embark our spiritual journey........I seek to know if you are with us......as concerns Abraham?

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-26-2008, 01:18 PM
But nowhere, except in the gospel, do we see the righteousness of God.


I agree that the righteousness of God is found only in the Gospel, but I also think that Old Testament preached that very Gospel:
Jeremiah 23:6 6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

And the Gospel of imputed righteousness that Paul is preaching to us in Romans seems to have been prophesied in Isaiah seven hundred years earlier:
Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

And Paul found the very foundation of the Gospel in Genesis:
Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

I think this is what he meant in another of his letters that is a "must read" if we really want to fully understand his doctrines:
Galatians 3:8-9 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
It seems to me that the "righteousness of God" and the foundation of the Gospel of righteousness through faith has always been in the Bible, from its inception in Genesis. But it could not be seen until Christ came to fulfill it and reveal the truth that had always been there.

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
11-26-2008, 01:25 PM
Richard......the lion hearted one.....

I have heard that you are were once a gladiator....a fierce warrior.....and I want to believe it,......but do not want to puff you up.......in the flesh.

You are so formidable as concerning words.........and,.......that is our most effective weapon in the spiritual realm. You are a gladiator of the faith.

I delight in your kind words. You are a faithful brother who seeks to edify ( = build up, as in edifice) the body of Christ. I am very thankful for your presence here and the good work you do. But I am glad I was not a "gladiator in the flesh" as I am in the spirit. When one is "defeated" in a spirited battle between two faithfully wielding the Sword of the Spirit, both are slain, and both receive the reward of new life and light in the Holy Word. What a wonder it is!



As we embark our spiritual journey........I seek to know if you are with us......as concerns Abraham?

Joel
Did you notice my comment when I said that you wrote exactly what I was going to write? So yes, we are on the "same page" in as far as we have talked so far. Abraham's discovery was indeed "righteousness through faith." Was there something more I should acknowledge?

Many blessings to you my valient sWordman,

Richard

joel
11-26-2008, 01:34 PM
It seems to me that the "righteousness of God" and the foundation of the Gospel of righteousness through faith has always been in the Bible, from its inception in Genesis. But it could not be seen until Christ came to fulfill it and reveal the truth that had always been there.


Amen.

What you have said are words of truth.

The righteousness of faith.....coming upon the Gentiles......and coming upon the circumcision ........is there any difference?

Joel

Richard Amiel McGough
11-26-2008, 01:51 PM
Amen.

What you have said are words of truth.

The righteousness of faith.....coming upon the Gentiles......and coming upon the circumcision ........is there any difference?

Joel
I do not see any difference between between the rightousness of faith that came upon the Gentiles and that which came upon the circumcision. Am I missing something? Do you see a difference?

Richard

PS: This conversation is continuing to grow ever deeper and more fruitful. Thanks!

joel
11-26-2008, 03:28 PM
I do not see any difference between between the rightousness of faith that came upon the Gentiles and that which came upon the circumcision. Am I missing something? Do you see a difference?

Richard

PS: This conversation is continuing to grow ever deeper and more fruitful. Thanks!

Richard,.....how blessed we are to have such a spiritual gladiator as you with us on our gospel cruise.

As pertains to the "righteousness of faith", what I was making reference to was;

[Abraham, the father of faith]
1.) [the father of all them that believe though they be not circumcised]
2.) [the father of the circumcision, and who also walk in the steps of the faith which he had being not circumcised]

This seems like two different groups to me..........I hope that I wasn't being blown off course.

Joel

Bob May
11-26-2008, 05:00 PM
I agree that the righteousness of God is found only in the Gospel, but I also think that Old Testament preached that very Gospel:
Jeremiah 23:6 6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

And the Gospel of imputed righteousness that Paul is preaching to us in Romans seems to have been prophesied in Isaiah seven hundred years earlier:
Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

And Paul found the very foundation of the Gospel in Genesis:
Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

I think this is what he meant in another of his letters that is a "must read" if we really want to fully understand his doctrines:
Galatians 3:8-9 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
It seems to me that the "righteousness of God" and the foundation of the Gospel of righteousness through faith has always been in the Bible, from its inception in Genesis. But it could not be seen until Christ came to fulfill it and reveal the truth that had always been there.

Richard


It is good that we do not forget that Richard,

Imputed righteousness runs through the Old Testament as a stream through a desert but the carnal mind is blind to it.
But a few spirit touched prophets did see it far off in the future.

Psalm 32
1 "A Psalm of David, Maschil. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile."


Hebrews 11:12
"...Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth..."

And even Jesus himself said that Moses wrote of him.

Ps 119:18 "OPEN thou MINE EYES, that I may behold WONDEROUS THINGS out of thy law."


Zarah