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Jesus was god over all

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This is a study of Jesus being God Over All. Many debates on the interpretation of this text are covered here.

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Jesus was god over all

  1. 1. JESUS WAS GOD OVER ALL EDITED BY GLENN PEASE Romans 9:5 5Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, foreverpraised!Amen. BIBLEHUB RESOURCES Pulpit Commentary Homiletics The Right Use Of Privileges Romans 9:4 S.R. Aldridge The apostle turned from his rapt meditation on the present and future glory of the Christian dispensation, to think of the race of Israelexcluding themselves from participation in its benefits, and he felt his soul chargedwith heaviness on their behalf. They hated him as overturning venerable customs, and as lowering their dignity by admitting the Gentiles to the blessing of the covenanton such easyterms. But in reply he vehemently assertedhis still subsisting love for his "kinsmen," and for those whom in the past Godhad so signally honoured. None can look without emotion on the face and form of a Jew, who considerhis history and destiny.
  2. 2. I. THE SUPREME DISTINCTIONS OF LIFE ARE THOSE WHICH CONCERNOUR RELATIONSHIP TO GOD. All the items particularized are connectedwith the Divine manifestations granted to Israel. The apostle cares little for the story of military prowess, orevenof skill in literature; but all that appertained to the knowledge and worship of God, this was worth dwelling upon. It becomes a speedy testof judgment when we know the things on which a man prides himself. Does he point with chief delight to his acquisition of lands or goods, orto his rank in society, or to his fame in science or. art circles? or does he accounthis position in the family of the Most High, and the revelation vouchsafedof Divine mercy and grace, as his possessionof greatestworth? Which in our hearts do we deem the most highly favoured nation - Greece, orRome, or Israel? The true wealthand place of a modern empire should be reckoned, notaccording to its material resources and fighting strength, but rather by its widespreaddistribution of moral and religious truth. This means real refinement and enduring prosperity. Many opportunities occurto all of us to exhibit our, genuine opinion in the lives we lead, the money and time devoted to the highest pursuits, the notions cherishedin the family, the books read, and the amusements indulged in. Missionaryenthusiasm rests on a sure basis when the value is perceived of an acquaintance with the things of God. Such a knowledge is the best legacythat can be bequeathed to children. II. THE HIGHEST RELIGIOUS PRIVILEGES WILL NOT PROFIT UNLESS USED ARIGHT. In spite of their advantages,the Jews were found wanting, and, like unfruitful branches, were broken off. Before the exile they fell into idolatry, and soughtto nullify their glory by equalling the abominations of the heathen. Could a stronger proof be furnished of the seductiveness ofsinful practices and the blindness of man? And the coming of Christ was a further testing season. Their"zealof God" was shownto be unintelligent, depending upon external rather than spiritual views of religious grandeur and service. It behoves us not only to enjoy but to improve our privileges. Attendance at the sanctuary, the public prayers and reading, unless they exert a living influence upon us, increase ourcondemnation, as the presence and works of Christ multiplied woes upon the cities of the sea. The tendency is strong that would lull our souls into comfortable dreams of
  3. 3. security, from which there could only be a terrible awakening. The religious pride of the Jews hardenedinto fossilism - an unreceptive soilfor new truth. Instead of guiding their steps by the Law, they lookedatit till they were dazzled by its glare, and could not recognize the coming of the "Light of the world." III. THE ADVANTAGES ENJOYED BYNATIONS OR INDIVIDUALS ARE NOT CONFERRED FOR THEIR OWN EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT. The Israelites were stewards ofthe mysteries for the world around and the times to follow. Very important functions they discharged, keeping the lamp of truth alight, preventing the world from lapsing into barbaric atheism. Especiallyin relation to Christianity do we discern these advantages as preparatory. The "sacrifices"hadrespectto the offering of Christ, and in part explain its meaning. The "Law" actedas a pedagogue to bring us to the schoolof Christ. The temple "service" illustrates the obedience ofthe Christian priests, and the promises fulfilled confirm our faith. Israel was a nursery where choicestplants were rearedwith which to stock the wilderness till it should blossomas the rose. And the same principle holds goodof every advantage the goodness ofour God bestows. The Christian Church is to be as a city seton a hill; its members are lights in the world, pilgrim-soldiers, ambassadors forChrist. It is ours to guard the gift entrusted, to transmit to others the revelation received, the spiritual heirlooms of liberty and intelligence, lestwe fail to deliver up a proper accountof our stewardship. - S.R.A.
  4. 4. Biblical Illustrator Who are Israelites. Romans 9:4, 5 The literal and the true Israelites J. Lyth, D.D. I. The literal enjoyed the ADOPTION as God's people among whom God revealedHimself gloriously — the true enjoy the adoption of sons and the glorious indwelling of the Spirit. II. The literal were privileged with THE PATRIARCHAL COVENANTS AND THE GIVING OF THE LAW — the true are privileged with the .New Testamentcovenant, and the dispensationof the Spirit. III. The literal rejoicedin THE LEVITICAL SERVICE, AND THE PROMISES ofbetter things to come — the true worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in the hope of eternal life. IV. The literal could boastof THE FATHERS and anticipate the Messiah — the true have their apostles, martyrs, and confessors, and look for the glorious appearing of the great Godand our Saviour. (J. Lyth, D.D.) The Israelites and their privileges J. Morison, D.D.
  5. 5. The name Israelites was a most honourable one, and dear to them all. The relationship which it signalisedwas fitted to remind them that by the condescensionofthe Omnipotent One, there was something "princely" within their reach(Genesis 32:28;Hosea 12:3). I. THE ADOPTION. Under the Old Testamentthe Divine adoption realised itself specificallyin the collective theocratic people as a people (Exodus 4:22; cf. Jeremiah31:9; Hosea 11:1). The collective people were for greattheocratic purposes adopted into a relation of Divine sonship, and thus into a relation of peculiar Divine privilege; not, however, because ofa feeling of partiality in the heart of God toward a sectionof His human family, but because His benignant Messianicpurposes, widespreading to the ends of the earth, required some arrangement of the kind. Such was the Divine plan in Old Testamentages. The Israelites were God's "son,""daughter," or"daughter of His people." At times the representationtended anticipatively towardthe grander principle of personal individuality; as when it is said, "I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled againstMe." But it was reservedfor the New Testamentage to give emphasis to the idea of personalindividualism in relation to the Divine adoption (John 1:12; Galatians 3:26; 1 John 3:1). II. THE GLORY. The reference is to that peculiar symbol of the Divine presence which guided the Israelites out of Egypt and through the wilderness, overshadowing them by day and illuminating them by night (Exodus 13:21, 22; Exodus 14:19). This was in some external respects God's glorypar excellence (Exodus 24:16). It was a magnificent symbol of Divine guidance and protection, and was denominated "the Shekinah." Whereverit was to be found, there God was to be found; not indeed as in His palace-home, the "house not made by hands," but as in His temporary tent beside His tented people in the period of their pilgrimage — a very present Helper and Defence. III. THE COVENANTS. These were engagements onthe part of God to conferdistinguishing privileges on the patriarchs and the Israelites in general, on condition of responsive appreciationon their part, and the observance, in all the affairs of life, of His regulative will (Genesis 15:1-6;Genesis 17:1-8, 15- 19; Exodus 19:1-9). But these engagements, while thus involving, as is
  6. 6. suggestedby the Hebrew term Berith, a certainineradicable conditionality, were at the same time in accordancewith the Greek suntheke, spontaneous and unencumbered dispositions of goods and distributions of benefits, just as if they had been actually "willed" to them by testamentarydeed. God "disposed" ofcertain portions of His means and goods for the benefit of His national son, though it was impossible that He could alienate the goods from Himself, or alienate Himself from both His present usufruct and His perpetual right of property. IV. THE GIVING OF THE LAW, i.e., the Divine legislative enactments published from Sinai, and constituting in their sum the code which is known as the "moral law." It is incomparably the best of all bases for the innumerable details of practicaljurisprudence. It goes back, indeed, in its form to that primitive era when duty was, to a most preponderating extent, identified with moral self-restraint. Hence its injunctions are wiselyset forth in negations. But when the detailed expanse of the decalogueis condensedinto the summation of the duologue, the phase of representationis become affirmative; and nothing canexcel the duologicalenactments in comprehensiveness,completeness,simplicity, and direct authority over the reasonand the conscience. V. THE SERVICE, i.e., the temple service — a grand ritual, here regardedas a Divine appointment or grant of grace. Being in its many and varied details instinct with practicalsignificance, it was fitted to recallto the minds of the worshippers what was due to God on the one hand, and how much was graciouslyprovided by Him on the other. VI. THE PROMISES — announcements of coming favours — avant-couriers of the favours themselves, and sent forth to stimulate expectationand support the heart. All the Old Testamentdispensations were replete with Messianic promises. His coming was "the promise" — the one running promise made to the fathers (Acts 13:32), and involved all other Messianic blessings, suchas the atonement, the kingdom of heaven, the reign to be continued "as long as the sun," the "new earth," the "inheritance of the world" (Romans 4:13, 14). It involved peace, joy, hope, all of them unspeakable and full of glory (Romans 5:1-11).
  7. 7. VII. THE FATHERS — the patriarch fathers, the band of whom Abraham was the leader and typical representative. They were far indeed from being men without blemish. But perhaps most of the sinister bars in their escutcheonwere parcels ofthe heritage which they had receivedfrom their ancestors.But notwithstanding their blemishes they were at once childlike in faith and reverential in spirit. Their thoughts rose up on high. They "soughta heavenly country and lookedfor a city whose builder and architectwas God" (Hebrews 11:10-14). It was no little advantage to be descendedfrom such sires. VIII. THE CHRIST. The Messiahemergedfrom among the Hebrews, and thus "salvationwas of the Jews." Itwas their crowning prerogative. Jesus was a Jew. But His own people knew not their privilege, and they perceivednot that it was the time of tide in the day of their merciful visitation (John 1:11; cf. Matthew 21:39). When the apostle said "so far as His human nature was concerned," his mind was already mounting the infinite height which rose beyond. "Who is over all, God, to be blessedfor ever." (J. Morison, D.D.) Israelites and their privileges T. Chalmers, D.D., W. B. Pope, D.D., T. Robinson, D.D., J. W. Burn. To no nation under the sun does there belong so proud, so magnificent a heraldry. No minstrel of a country's fame was ever furnished so richly with topics; and the heart and fancy of our apostle seemto kindle at the enumeration of them. They were first Israelites, or descendants ofa venerable patriarch — then, selectedfrom among all the families of the earth, they were the adopted children of God, and to them belongedthe glory of this high and heavenly relationship; and with their ancestors were those covenants made which enveloped the greatspiritual destinies of the human race; and the dispensationof the Law from that mountain which smokedat the touch of the Divinity was theirs; and that solemn temple service where alone the true worship of the Eternal was keptup for ages was theirs; and as their history
  8. 8. was noble from its commencement by the fathers from whom they sprung, so at its close did it gather upon it a nobility more wondrous still by the mighty and mysterious descendantin whom it may be saidto have terminated — even Him who at once is the root and the offspring of David, and with the mention of whose name our apostle finishes this statelyclimax of their honours — "of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all God blessedfor ever. Amen." They are far the most illustrious people on the face of the world. There shines upon them a transcendentalglory from on high; and all that the history whether of classicalorheroic ages hath enrolled of other nations are but as the lesserlights of the firmament before it. (T. Chalmers, D.D.) The covenants. — I. THE TERM ITSELF bears a specialMessianic meaning, as always having in view the fidelity of God to the design of human redemption through the sacrifice ofHis Son. The Hebrew Berith almostalways translatedin the LXX. by diatheke, signifies, not a compactas betweenman and man, but the disposition or arrangement assumedby the one supreme purpose of grace. Unlike human compacts it is invariably connectedwith sacrifice. The Hebrew contains an allusion to the custom of cutting and passing betweenthe parts of a divided animal on the ratification of a covenant. The first express revelation of the covenantto Abraham (Genesis 15:18)gives the key to all its history. There all is basedon a free Divine promise. The animals divided denoted the two parties to the greattransaction;and the flame passing through was God, in His future Son, the Shekinah, uniting the parties alone, and thus ratifying His own covenant. The New Testamentterm diatheke does not preserve the original allusion; but it is never disconnectedfrom the idea. The one covenant of grace has been ratified by an eternalsacrifice;which is at the same time the death of the Testator, who disposes the promise of eternalinheritance according to the counselof His own will. II. THE COVENANT OF REDEMPTION,OR OF GRACE, HAS ALWAYS BEEN CONNECTED WITHCHRIST, ITS UNREVEALED MEDIATOR. As its Mediator He is the medium through whom, or rather in whom, all its
  9. 9. blessings are conveyed:that grace which is the one name and blessing of the covenant, the free bestowmentof favour on sinful man, or "the grace ofour Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Corinthians 13:14). Therefore the term, which has a wider meaning than its relation to a compact, may be applied to Christ as the yet unknown Redeemerwho was at once the ground of the covenant, and its promise, and its virtual administrator. After He came and was revealed, it is the term surety that more preciselyexpresses His mediatorship in the order of grace:in His Divine-human atoning personality, He is the Pledge to man of the bestowmentby God of all blessings procuredthrough His atoning work, and the Pledge to God on behalf of mankind of compliance with all the conditions of the covenant. In the Old Testamentthe future Redeemeris not termed either the Mediatoror the Surety; though He was in the profoundest sense both as the Angel or "Messengerofthe covenant" (Malachi3:1), and Himself the embodied Covenantreserved for the future (Isaiah 49:8). What was thus given to Him by promise becomes the heritage of His people through faith, who as "Christ's are heirs according to the promise" (Galatians 3:18, 19, 29). III. THIS ONE COVENANT HAS TAKEN THREE FORMS in the history of revelation. 1. As entered into with mankind, representedby Adam, its revelationbegan with the Fall, was ratified for the world with Noah, and was con-firmed to Abraham as the representative of all believers to the end of time. 2. But the covenantwith Abraham for the world in all ages also introduced the specialcompactwith his descendants afterthe flesh. The latter was establishedthrough Moses,its mediator; and blended the covenantof grace with a covenantof works. The law was given by Moses;and as an appended form or condition of the originalinstitute of grace, perpetually convictedthe people of their sin and impotence, drove them to take refuge in the hope of a future grace, the ground of which was kept before them in the institute of sacrifice. 3. Finally the new covenant, establishedon better promises (Hebrews 8:6), was ratified in the death of Christ. It was at once the abrogationof the
  10. 10. Mosaic, orlater old covenant, so far as concerns its national relation and its legalcondition, and the renewalunto perfection of the more ancient covenant, always in force and never superseded, with mankind. (W. B. Pope, D.D.) The giving of the law. — 1. The act as described (Exodus 20:18;Deuteronomy 4:32, etc.). 2. The law itself. System of laws given (Deuteronomy 4:5-8; Psalm 147:19, 20). A distinction exalting Israelabove every other nation, served — (1)Forinstruction. (2)Forrestraint. (3)Forconviction.Preparedthe way for the promised Saviour (Galatians 3:21). Its observance brought national blessings in its train. (T. Robinson, D.D.) The service of God. — A technicalterm for Divine worship. The apostle is detailing the privileges which constitutedIsrael a peculiar people. This was one of the most conspicuous. Forthe service of Jehovahwas distinguished from all heathen cults: — I. In its ORIGIN. This was Divine. God Himself arrangedthe whole Hebrew ritual down to its minutest details. Man was not left to his own blind instincts as to the manner in which his Makerwas to be approached. No doubt all worship was Divine in its origin, and were we able to thread the labyrinths of heathen devotion we should arrive ultimately at a primitive revelation. But this is impossible; and the greatmass of heathen worship is the offspring of irrational superstition when it was not the device of a fraudulent priesthood. II. In its NATURE. 1. It was spiritual. The forms were materialistic as all forms must necessarily be; but it was not mere form as heathen worship was. Time after time it was carefully explained that the sacrifices,etc., were symbolic, and that without
  11. 11. the corresponding spiritual reality they were an abomination to Deity. To what an extent this was realisedby the best spirits of the nation, the Psalms and prophets abundantly testify. 2. It was intelligent. The heathen worshipped "they knew not what." To worship all the objects presentedto their devotion was an impossibility, and had it been possible, ineffectual, for prayers offered to one God would have been neutralised by those offered to another. And the intelligent heathen, while he conformedto the superstitions of his fellow-country-men, knew the host of Olympus to be a myth. The Hebrews knew whom they worshipped. The Shekinahglory was a standing evidence of the Divine existence and presence, and the revelations of His characterfrom time to time exhibited Him as worthy of the homage of rational beings. III. In its EFFECTS. Thesewere — 1. Humbling. The whole system was calculatedto reveal the Divine greatness and holiness on the one hand and human insignificance and sinfulness on the other, and thus was discouraging to pride and self-confidence. It was not the fault of the systemif men thanked God that they were not as other men were. Heathen worship encouragedno such notions of Godor man, and hence humility was never a heathen virtue. 2. Joyful. God was servedwith gladness;and the joy of the Lord was the people's strength for services.The greatfestivals are proofs of this. Heathenism had plenty of hilarity, but little joy. How could it have had when their worship brought no manifestation of the Divine presence and no consciousness ofthe Divine favour? 3. Moral. Holiness unto the Lord was the legitimate and only issue of the Mosaic system:whereas we know that many heathen gods were served with obscene rites, and that the whole tendency of idolatry was degrading to intellect, heart and life. Conclusion:The comparative value of heathen and Hebrew worship may be seenin their devotional manuals. To estimate this let the Book ofPsalms be read side by side with the Vedas, Shasters, etc. (J. W. Burn.)
  12. 12. The promises. — 1. Of blessings in general(Leviticus 26:43;Deuteronomy 28:1-14). 2. Of the Messiahin particular. Given various times and in various ways (Hebrews 1:1; Romans 1:2). Some already fulfilled in Christ's first coming (Acts 3:18, 22-26). Others yet to be fulfilled in Israel's experience (Ezekiel37; Isaiah66:1.). All the promises of God, yea and amen in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20). Gentiles by faith made fellow-heirs of the promises (Ephesians 3:6; Galatians 3:29). Promises all fulfilled at Christ's secondappearing (chap. Romans 11:26; Acts 1:6; Acts 3:19-21). Mentioned lastas the transition to Christ Himself. (T. Robinson, D.D.) Whose are The fact of facts in human history D. Thomas, D.D. Here is — I. THE CROWNING FACT IN JEWISH HISTORY. "Of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came." In the preceding verses the apostle points to the most illustrious facts in the history, facts in which the Jews passionately gloried. They were "Israelites." No nationalappellation in their estimation was so distinguished as this; Greek and Roman were contemptible by its side. Theirs was the "adoption." To them pertained the "glory." They had the "covenants."The covenants with Abraham, with Jacob, and with Moses,were with them. To them pertained the "giving of the law." The best commentary on these words is to be found by Moses himself (Deuteronomy4:32-36). To them also pertained the "service ofGod." He mentions these in order to prepare the wayfor the announcement of a factbefore whose splendour all others pale their lustre, and that is this: "Of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came." This was the crowning fact of their history. He does not disparage the other facts;on the contrary, he is patriotically proud of them.
  13. 13. When will the Jew come to see that Jesus of Nazarethis the glory of Israelitish history? Here is — II. THE GREATEST FACT IN HUMAN HISTORY. 1. There are many greatfacts in the history of the world. (1)Physical, such as deluges, earthquakes, wars,pestilences, etc. (2)Political, suchas the rise and fall of empires. (3)Social, suchas discoveries in science, inventions in art, reformations in customs and manners. (4)Religious, suchas the birth, growth, and decayof theologicalsystems and ceremonialobservances. 2. But of all facts there is not one approaching the great one in the text, viz., that Christ Jesus came into the world. (1)No fact is better attested. (2)No fact is so central in the world's history as this. (3)No fact involves such vital influence to the world as this. (D. Thomas, D.D.) Christ is J. Lyth, D.D. I. God 1. Supreme. 2. Infinite. 3. Eternal. II. OVER ALL.
  14. 14. 1. Nature. 2. The world. 3. Heaven. III. EVER BLESSED. 1. Self-sufficient. 2. Holy. 3. Good;hence — 4. Happy. IV. ACKNOWLEDGED. 1. Conscience. 2. Gratitude. 3. Hope — say, Amen. (J. Lyth, D.D.) Christ overall D. Thomas, D.D. I. IN THE SUBLIMITY OF HIS ORIGIN. All others came into existence in the natural order of generation, receiveda bias to wrong from their parents, and never in the case ofthe best quite lost their earthliness. On the contrary, Christ came down from the pure heavens of God. He had a pre-incarnate existence (Proverbs 8.; John 1:1-2). He was in the bosomof the Father, and while there was morally over all. II. IN THE CHARACTER OF HIS DOCTRINES. Thesewere —
  15. 15. 1. Realities ofwhich He Himself was conscious. Theywere not matters of speculation. All the forms and voices ofeternal truth were matters of consciousnessto Him. 2. Moralin their influence. They are so congruous with man's sense of right, consciousnessofneed, feeling of God, desire for immortality, that the believing soul sees them as Divine reality. 3. Pre-eminently Divine. They concernedGodHimself, His words, thoughts, feelings, purposes. Christ does not teachwhat men callsciences;but God Himself, the root, centre and circumference of all truth. III. IN THE AFFECTION OF THE FATHER. 1. No one sharedthe Divine love so much as He. God loves all. He is love. But Christ is His "well-beloved," and as such He loves Him with infinite complacency. 2. None ever deservedit as Christ did. He never offended the Fatherin His conduct, or misrepresentedHim in His teaching. He always did those things which pleasedHim. 3. None ever had such demonstrations of it. "All poweris given unto Me." IV. IN THE EXTENT OF HIS ENDOWMENT. "Godgivethnot His Spirit by measure unto Him." "It pleasedthe Father that in Him should all fulness dwell." V. IN THE NECESSITYOF HIS MISSION. Faith in Him is essentialto man's eternal well-being. (D. Thomas, D.D.) Christ overall, God blessedfor ever T. Guthrie, D.D. Let us in imagination pass the angelguardians of those gates where no error enters, and, entering that upper sanctuarywhich no discord divides, no heresy
  16. 16. disturbs, let us find out who worship and who are worshipped there. The law, "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve," extends to heaven as well as to earth; so that if our Lord is only the highest of all creatures, we shall find Him on His knees — not the worshipped, but a worshipper; and from His lofty pinnacle, and lonely, and to other creatures unapproachable pinnacle, looking up to God, as does the highest of the snow- crownedAlps to the sun, that, shining above it, bathes its head in light. We have sought Him, I shall suppose, in that group where His mother sits with the other Marys, sought Him among the twelve apostles, orwhere the chief of the apostles reasons with angels overthings profound, or where David, royal leaderof the heavenly choir, strikes his harp, or where the beggar, enjoying the repose ofAbraham's bosom, forgets his wrongs, orwhere martyrs and confessors andthey which have come out of greattribulation, with robes of white and crowns of glory, swellthe song of salvationto our God which sitteth on the throne. He is not there. Rising upwards, we seek Him where angels hover on wings of light, or, with feet and faces veiled, bend before a throne of dazzling glory. Nor is He there. He does not belong to their company. Verily He took not on Him the nature of angels. Eighteenhundred years ago Mary is rushing through the streets of Jerusalem, speedin her steps, wild anxiety in her look, one question to all on her eagerlips, "Have you seenmy Son?" Eighteenhundred years ago on those same streets, some Greeksaccosteda Galileanfisherman, saying, "Sir, we would see Jesus."Now, were we bent, like His mother on finding Him, like those Greeks onseeing Him, to stay a passing angel, and accosthim in the words, "Sir, we would see Jesus,"what would he do? How would his arm rise, and his finger point upward to the throne as he fell down to worship, and worshipping to swellthat flood of song which in this one full streammingles the name of the Father, and of the Son — Blessing and honour and glory and powerbe unto Him that sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever. Such a glorious vision, such worship, the voices that sounded on John's ear as the voice of many waters, the distant roar of the ocean, are in perfectharmony with the exalted honour and Divine dignity which Paul assigns to Him who is "overall, God blessedfor ever." (T. Guthrie, D.D.)
  17. 17. Christ's supremacy T. Robinson, D.D. I.OVER SPIRITS (Matthew 8:16). II.OVER NATURE (ver. 26;17:27). III.OVER MAN (John 2:14-16;John 18:6). (T. Robinson, D.D.) Christ's supremacy J. W. Burn. I. OVER WHAT. Over — 1. The sublimest createdintelligences (Hebrews 1.). 2. The greatesthuman potentates (Revelation19:16;Psalm 110:1. cf. Matthew 22:43;11:42). 3. The most glorious of material edifices (Matthew 12:46). 4. The universe of matter as its Creator(John 1:3). 5. The universe of mind as its Ruler and Judge (Matthew 28:18;John 5:22, 25). 6. His Church as its Redeemer, Legislator, Sovereign(Colossians 1:18, 19). 7. In a word — all things (Colossians 1:16, 17;1 Corinthians 15:27). II. WHY? Canthere be any other answerbut that in the text? — because He is God. (J. W. Burn.) The Divine supremacy of Christ
  18. 18. D. Thomas, D.D. Various constructions have been put on these words in order to setaside so clearan assertionof the Godhead of Jesus;but most of the highest authorities agree in regarding the presentconstruction as most true to the original: and, if so, a more full and unmistakable declarationof Christ's Divinity it is almost impossible to conceive. Were it our intention to argue the point of our Redeemer's Godhead, we would look upon the question — 1. In the light of generalhistory, and develop three facts.(1)Thatthe systemof Jesus has become one of the most mighty powers in the human world, and is evidently tending to universal dominion. The Anglo-Saxonrace is, in its literature, laws, customs, institutions and spirit, mightily influenced by it, and that race is rapidly advancing to the throne of the world.(2) That there was a period in the history of the world when this mighty creedhad no existence. When Homer sang, and Socratesreasoned;when Alexander fought his campaigns, and Demosthenes hurled his fulminations over Greece, Christianity was not.(3) There was everything in the external history of the Founder of Christianity, as well as in the spiritual purity of its doctrines and precepts, to have led one antecedently to suppose that it would never make any way in the world. Christ was born of a despisedpeople; lived in the most obscure part of their country; and came of humble parents; and so thoroughly did His doctrines clashwith the feelings, and prejudices, and habits of the people, that the proclamationof them ended in His being executedas a malefactor. These facts show that the power which Christianity has gained in the world is a phenomenon which cannot be explained on the hypothesis of His being nothing more than a mere man; and that gives a strong presumption in favour of His Divinity. 2. In the light of Divine revelation, we would also state three facts. .(1) That whoevercreatedthe universe is our God, by whatever name you callthe great originating agent. We cannot form an idea of a higher being than a Creator.(2)Thatthe Bible unquestionably refers the work of creationto Christ (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16).(3)As a necessaryconclusion, that unless the Bible is false, Christ is God. But our object is to offer a few remarks concerning Christ's Divine supremacy, which is —
  19. 19. I. CO-EXTENSIVE WITHTHE UNIVERSE. "Overall." How much is included in this "all!" The visible and invisible, the proximate and remote, the minute and vast, the material and the spiritual. The subjects of His dominion may be divided into four classes.Those whichHe governs — 1. Without a will; all inanimate matter and vegetable life. Plants germinate, grow, and die; oceans ebb and flow; stars and systems revolve by His will entirely. They have no will. 2. With their will. All irrational existences have volition. By this they move. They cannot move contrary to their instinct. Whether they roam in the forest, wing the air, or sport in mighty oceans, theymove with their will, and He controls them thus. 3. By their will. Holy intelligences He governs thus. He gives them laws, and supplies them with motive, and leaves them free. They move by their will, yet He governs them. 4. Against their will. These are wickedmen and devils. He makes their "wrath to praise Him." He is "over all" these. II. EXERCISED WITHPERFECTHAPPINESS."Blessedfor ever. He is the blessedand only Potentate." Christis happy on the throne. If so, we infer — 1. That He can have no doubt of His capacityto meet every conceivable emergency. The sovereignwho doubts his powercan never be happy. How many monarchs, like Herod, are miserable from fear? "Uneasylies the head that wears a crown." Christ has "all power." He is not afraid of insurrections or rebellions. 2. That He can have no misgivings as to the rectitude of His position. The monarch who has gotpower by fraud or violence, by treading on the rights of others if he has conscience,cannever be happy on his throne. But Christ has a consciousnessthatHe has a right to the power He wields. His subjects are His creatures, His property, etc.
  20. 20. 3. That He must be ever under the swayof benevolent affections. Envy, anger, revenge, ambition, are all the fruits of selfishness, and are elements of misery; and they cannotco-existwith benevolence. 4. That happiness is the law of the universe. He that is happy ever seeks to make others so. Miseryis an accident;happiness is a necessity;for Christ's being is a necessity. Miseryhad a beginning; happiness is eternal. Miseryis local;happiness is universal. The misery of the universe, as compared with the happiness, is only as one blighted leaf in an immeasurable forest. III. HEARTILY ACQUIESCED IN BY THE GOOD. "Amen"; i.e., So be it — I would have it so. 1. Consciencesays amento Christ's supremacy. 2. Gratitude. What has He done for us! RecountHis victories — His mercies. 3. Hope. What higher security can we have, either for the future well-being of our race or selves than this? (D. Thomas, D.D.) The Deity of Christ Thos. Allin. In defence of the receivedversion of our text, we have to urge — I. THAT IT IS IN STRICT CONFORMITYWITH EVERY PRINCIPLE OF JUST INTERPRETATION.It violates no rule of construction; it infringes on no idiom of the Greek language;it deviates from no generalusage ofthe sacredwriters. There is no rude disjointure of the passage;no referring of the terms "who is" to a person afterwards to be named, insteadof the person named before;no mutilation of the passage;no addition; but — so far as the English language will admit of it — the very order is preservedin which the passagestands in the original.
  21. 21. II. THE QUALIFICATION OF THE STATEMENT, THAT THE MESSIAH WAS OF THE ISRAELITES ONLY "ACCORDING TO THE FLESH," STRONGLYCOUNTENANCES, NOT TO SAY RENDERS NECESSARY, THIS READING;involving, as it does, the supposition that there was something else, according to which He was not of them; and at leastjustifying the conclusionthat if anything else be named before the final closing of the sentence by which the contrastcan be completed, and according to which the Messiahwas notof the Jews, it was intended to be so takenand applied. Now, in our text that something else is clearly pointed out — namely, His Deity. According to the flesh, He is of the Israelites;according to another, and a Divine nature, He is over all, God blessedfor ever. Thus the contrastis complete;both parts of the antithesis are supplied, and our Emmanuel is seen to be preciselyas St. John representedHim — truly man, and truly God. III. That this is the proper rendering of the text we argue FROM THE EXISTING ANCIENT VERSIONS OF THIS EPISTLE. The most ancient of the versions of the New Testament, and that which stands highest in critical authority, is the Old Syriac, made, some suppose, before the death of the apostle John, but certainly at the close ofthe first century, or the beginning of the second. This ancient versionthus renders the passage:— "And from them was manifested Messiahin the flesh, who is God that is over all; whose are praises and blessings to the ages ofages. Amen." Nothing canbe more clear than this; nothing more express. The version which stands next to the Syriac, and which may be said almost to rival it, is the Old Latin, denominated the Italic. This was executed, as is supposed, at the beginning of the second century, and is of no small importance in Biblical criticism. It renders our text thus; — "From whom is Christ according to the flesh, who is over all things, God blessedfor ever. Amen." The Ethiopic, translatedin the fourth century, omits the words "over all," and reads — "Of whom is Christ according to the flesh, who is God blessedfor ever. Amen." And the Armenian, translatedat the end of the fourth or the beginning of the fifth century, reads — "Of whom the Christ came according to the flesh; who is also overall things, God blessed for ever. Amen." IV. ALL THE ANCIENT CHRISTIAN WRITERS WHO HAVE EITHER PROFESSEDLYCITED OR TRANSLATED THE PASSAGE, OR WHO
  22. 22. HAVE REFERREDTO THE APOSTLE'S DESIGN IN WRITING IT, HAVE GIVEN THE CONSTRUCTIONFOR WHICH WE ARE CONTENDING., who flourished in the secondcentury, and who was the disciple of , who had been personally acquainted with the apostle John, speaking ofthe generationof Jesus Christ, says — "He is calledGod with us, lest by any means one should conceive thatHe was only a man; for the Word was made flesh, not by the will of man, but by the will of God; nor should we, indeed, surmise Jesus to have been another, but know Him to be one and the same God. This very thing St. Paul has interpreted. Writing to the Romans, he said — 'Whose are the fathers, and of whom Christ came according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessedfor ever.'" , about the year , writes thus: — "I will follow the apostle;so that if I have occasionto mention the Father and the Sontogether, I will use the appellations God the Father, and Jesus Christ the Lord. But when I am speaking ofChrist alone, I will call Him God; as the apostle says, 'of whom is Christ, who is,' saith he, 'God over all things, blessed for ever.'" And in another passageTertullianstates: — "Paulalso hath called Christ very God: 'Whose are the fathers, and of whom Christ came according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessedfor ever'" , who wrote about the year , thus cites the passage, in a work written to prove that Christ is God: — "Of whom are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is God over all, blessedfor ever." , about the year , thus expostulatedwith the opposers ofthe Saviour's Godhead: — "But if, when it belongs to Godalone to know the secrets ofthe heart, Christ looks into the secrets ofthe heart; but if, when it belongs to God alone to forgive sins, Christ forgives sins; but if, when it is not the possible actof any man to come down from heaven, Christ in His advent descendedfrom heaven; but if, when no man can utter this sentence, 'I and my Father are one,' Christ alone, from a consciousnessofHis Divinity, declared, 'I,' etc.; but if the apostle Paul, too, in his writings says, 'Whose are the fathers, and of whom is Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessedfor ever,' it follows that Christ is God." , about the year , states:— "Paulthus writes in his Epistle to the Romans:'Of whom are the fathers, and of whom Christ came according to the flesh, who is over all, God.'" Here, by not adding the doxology, "blessedfor ever," Athanasius has incontrovertibly proved that he understood the words as applying to Christ. , , and have quoted them in the same manner. Hilary, who wrote A.D. 324, has
  23. 23. left the following testimony: — "Paulwas not ignorant that Christ is God, saying, 'Of whom are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all things, God.'" And, now, what shall we say to this? If the consentof the whole professing Christian world — with the exception of a few individuals within the last three centuries — be not sufficient to prove the proper constructionof a passagelike this, on what authority are we to depend? But if it be sufficient, then an inspired apostle has assuredly written that "Christ is over all, God blessedfor ever." (Thos. Allin.) Blending of the human and Divine in Christ EvangelicalMagazine. The picture produced in the stereopticonis fuller, rounder, and more natural than the same picture seenwithout the use of that instrument. But to produce the stereoscopic picture there must be two pictures blended into one by the use of the stereopticon, and both the eyes of the observerare brought into requisition at the same time, looking eachthrough a separate lens. Thus Christ is only seenin His true and proper light when the record of His human nature and the statementof His Divine are blended. It is a flat, unfinished Christ with either left out. But it is as seenin the Word, with the moral and mental powers of our being both engagedin the consideration, and thus only, that we get the full and true result. Pre-eminence ofChrist: — We have seen in mountain lands one majestic peak soaring above all the rest of the hills which cut the azure of the horizon with their noble outline, burning with hues of richest gold in the light of the morning sun; and so should the doctrine of Christ incarnate, crucified, risen, and reigning, be pre-eminent above the whole chain of fact, doctrine, and sentiment which make up the sublime landscape — the magnificent panorama — which the Christian preacher(or teacher)unfolds, and makes to pass in clearform and brilliant colour before the eyes of his people's faith. (EvangelicalMagazine.)
  24. 24. Christ's Divine human personality J. Lyth, D.D. I. Christ's HUMANITY. 1. Realflesh. 2. Of the seedof Abraham. 3. Compassedaboutwith infirmities. II. Christ's DIVINITY. 1. Supreme. 2. Eternal. 3. Blessedfor ever. Amen. (J. Lyth, D.D.) COMMENTARIES Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (5) The fathers.—The patriarchs—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Who is over all, God blessedfor ever.—These words are a well-knownsubject for controversy. Trinitarian and English interpreters, as a rule, take them with the punctuation of the Authorised version, as referring to Christ. Socinianinterpreters, with some of the most eminent among the Germans, put a full stop after “came,”and make the remainder of the verse a doxology addressedto God, “Blessedfor ever be God, who is over all.” Both ways are possible. The question is, Which is the most natural and probable? and this is
  25. 25. to be considered, putting altogetheron one side prepossessionsofevery kind. We are not to read meaning into Scripture, but to elicit meaning from it. The balance of the argument stands thus:—(1) The order of the words is somewhatin favour of the application to Christ. If the clause had really been a formal doxology, the ascription of blessing would more naturally have come at the beginning in Greek as in English, “Blessedbe God,” &c. (2) The contextis also somewhatin favour of this application. The break in the form of the sentence becomes ratherabrupt on the other hypothesis, and is not to be quite paralleled. Intruded doxologies,causedby a sudden accessofpious feeling, are not uncommon in the writings of St. Paul, but they are either workedinto the regularorder of the sentence, as in Romans 1:25, Galatians 1:5, or else they are formally introduced as in 2Corinthians 11:31; 1Timothy 1:17. (3) But on the other hand, to set somewhatdecidedly againstthis application, is the fact that the words used by the Apostle, “Who is overall,” and the ascription of blessing in all other places where they occur, are referred, not to Christ, but to God. (Comp. Romans 1:25; 2Corinthians 1:3; 2Corinthians 11:31; Ephesians 1:3; Ephesians 4:6.) There is, indeed, a doxologyaddressedto Christ in 2Timothy 4:18; it should, however, be remembered that the Pauline origin of that Epistle has been doubted by some, though it is also right to add that these doubts do not appearto have any real validity. The title “God” does not appearto be elsewhere appliedto our Lord by St. Paul, though all the attributes of Godheadare ascribedto Him: e.g., in Philippians 2:6 et seq., Colossians 1:15 et seq. In 1Timothy 3:16, which would be an apparent exception, the true reading is, * Who was manifested,” and not “Godwas manifested.” On the other hand, St. John certainly makes use of this title, not only in John 1:1; John 20:28, but also in the reading, adopted by many, of John 1:18, “Godonly begotten” for “Only begottenSon.” Weighing the whole of the arguments againsteachother, the data do not seemto be sufficient to warrant a positive and dogmatic conclusioneither way. The application to our Lord appears perhaps a little the more probable of the two. More than this cannot be said. Nor is a strongeraffirmation warranted by any considerations resting on the division of authorities. BensonCommentary
  26. 26. Romans 9:5. Whose, &c. — To the preceding the apostle now adds two more prerogatives:theirs are the fathers — They are the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the ancient patriarchs, and other holy men, who were great in the sight of God, and to whom he made many greatand precious promises, in which their children also and children’s children were interested. And of whom — Of which Israelites;as concerning the flesh — That is, in respectof his human nature; Christ — The expectedMessiah;— came. This plainly supposes anothernature in Christ, according to which he came not from the Israelites. And this canbe none other but the divine nature; which, in the sequelof the verse, is expressly attributed to him. The apostle reserves the mention of Christ’s descent from the Jews forthe last of their prerogatives, as being the greatestofthem all: who is over all, God, &c. — The apostle gives this, so highly honourable a testimony to Christ, because he was so vilified by the Jews;thus making up that greatbreach, so to speak, whichthey had made on his name and honour by their unbelief, and wickedrejectionof him. He is said to be over all, 1st, Because, as he was God-Manand Mediator, all power was given unto him in heaven and on earth, Matthew 28:18;all things delivered into his hands, and put under his feet, John 3:35; 1 Corinthians 15:27;the Father giving him a name above every name, Php 2:9; and constituting him his great plenipotentiary, to transactall things relating to the whole creation, especiallyangels and men; to settle the affairs of heavenand earth for eternity. And more especially, 2d, Because as God, possessedoftrue, essentialdeity, he was in union with his Father and the Holy Spirit, supreme over all, and consequentlyblessedfor ever — Which words he adds to show, that a far different measure from that which the Jews had hitherto measured out unto Christ, was due to him from them, as from all other men. No words can more clearlyexpress his divine, supreme majesty, and his gracious sovereigntyover both Jews and Gentiles. The apostle closes allwith the word, amen — An expressioncommonly used for a serious confirmation of what is said immediately before, togetherwith an approbation of it; sometimes also importing a desire for the performance thereof. Some would persuade us that the true reading of this clause is, ων ο επι παντων θεος, whose is the Godover all; because by this reading, they say, the climax is completed;and the privilege in which the Jews gloriedabove all others, (namely, that of having the true God for their God,) is not omitted. “But as this reading,” says
  27. 27. Macknight, “is found in no copy whatever, it ought not to be admitted on conjecture.” Thus also Doddridge: “How ingenious soeverthat conjecture may be thought, by which some would read this, whose is the God over all, to answerto, whose are the fathers, I think it would be extremely dangerous to follow this reading, unsupported as it is by any criticalauthority of manuscripts or ancientquotations. Norcan I find any authority for rendering Θεος ευλογητος εις τους αιωνας, God be blessedfor ever. I must, therefore, considerthis memorable text as a proof of Christ’s proper deity, which, I think, the opposers of that doctrine have never been able, nor will ever be able to answer. Though common sense must teach, what Christians have always believed, that it is not with respectto the Father, but to the createdworld that this augusttitle is given to him:” that is, that he is said to be God over all. Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary 9:1-5 Being about to discuss the rejectionof the Jews and the calling of the Gentiles, and to show that the whole agreeswith the sovereignelecting love of God, the apostle expresses stronglyhis affectionfor his people. He solemnly appeals to Christ; and his conscience, enlightenedand directed by the Holy Spirit, bore witness to his sincerity. He would submit to be treated as accursed, to be disgraced, crucified; and even for a time be in the deepest horror and distress;if he could rescue his nation from the destruction about to come upon them for their obstinate unbelief. To be insensible to the eternal condition of our fellow-creatures, is contrary both to the love required by the law, and the mercy of the gospel. Theyhad long been professedworshippers of Jehovah. The law, and the national covenantwhich was grounded thereon, belongedto them. The temple worship was typical of salvation by the Messiah, and the means of communion with God. All the promises concerning Christ and his salvation were given to them. He is not only over all, as Mediator, but he is God blessedfor ever. Barnes'Notes on the Bible Whose are the fathers - Who have been honored with so illustrious an ancestry. Who are descendedfrom Abraham, Isaac, etc. On this they highly valued themselves, and in a certain sense not unjustly; compare Matthew 3:9.
  28. 28. Of whom - Of whose nation. This is placedas the crowning and most exalted privilege, that their nation had given birth to the long-expectedMessiah, the hope of the world. As concerning the flesh - So far as his human nature was concerned. The use of this language supposes thatthere was a higher nature in respectto which he was not of their nation; see the note at Romans 1:3. Christ came - He had already come;and it was their high honor that he was one of their nation. Who is over all - This is an appellation that belongs only to the true God. It implies supreme divinity; and is full proof that the Messiahis divine: Much effort has been made to show that this is not the true rendering, but without success. There are no various readings in the Greek manuscripts of any consequence;and the connectionhere evidently requires us to understand this of a nature that is not "according to the flesh," i. e., as the apostle here shows, of the divine nature. God blessedforever - This is evidently applied to the Lord Jesus;and it proves that he is divine. If the translation is fairly made, and it has never been proved to be erroneous, it demonstrates that he is God as wellas man. The doxology"blessedforever" was usually added by the Jewishwriters after the mention of the name God, as an expressionof reverence. (See the various interpretations that have been proposedon this passage examinedin Prof. Stuart's Notes on this verse.) Jamieson-Fausset-BrownBible Commentary 5. Whose are the fathers—here, probably, the three great fathers of the covenant—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—bywhom God condescendedto name Himself (Ex 8:6, 13;Lu 20:37). and—most exalted privilege of all, and as such, reservedto the last. of whom as concerning the flesh—(See on [2238]Ro1:3). Christ came—or, "is Christ"
  29. 29. who is over all, God—rather, "Godover all." blessedfor ever. Amen—To getrid of the bright testimony here borne to the supreme divinity of Christ, various expedients have been adopted: (1) To place a period, either after the words "concerning the flesh Christ came," rendering the next clause as a doxologyto the Father—"Godwho is over all be blessedfor ever";or after the word "all"—thus, "Christ came, who is over all: God be blessed.", &c. [Erasmus, Locke, Fritzsche, Meyer, Jowett, &c.]. But it is fatal to this view, as even Socinus admits, that in other Scripture doxologies the word "Blessed"precedesthe name of God on whom the blessing is invoked (thus: "Blessedbe God," Ps 68:35; "Blessedbe the Lord God, the God of Israel," Ps 72:18). Besides, anysuch doxology here would be "unmeaning and frigid in the extreme"; the sad subject on which he was entering suggesting anything but a doxology, even in connectionwith Christ's Incarnation [Alford]. (2) To transpose the words rendered "who is";in which case the rendering would be, "whose (that is, the fathers') is Christ according to the flesh" [Crellius, Whiston, Taylor, Whitby]. But this is a desperate expedient, in the face of all manuscript authority; as is also the conjecture of Grotius and others, that the word "God" should be omitted from the text. It remains then, that we have here no doxologyat all, but a naked statementof fact, that while Christ is "of" the Israelitishnation "as concerning the flesh," He is, in anotherrespect, "Godover all, blessedfor ever." (In 2Co 11:31 the very Greek phrase which is here rendered "who is," is used in the same sense; and compare Ro 1:25, Greek). In this view of the passage, as a testimony to the supreme divinity of Christ, besides all the orthodox fathers, some of the ablestmodern critics concur[Bengel, Tholuck, Stuart, Olshausen, Philippi, Alford, &c.] Matthew Poole's Commentary Whose are the fathers; who are lineally descendedof the holy patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with other holy fathers and prophets, and of the same blood. This was also a greatprivilege, of which the Jews boasted.
  30. 30. Of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came;or out of whom; understand the people of the Jews, notthe fathers. The meaning is, Christ took his human nature of their stock. It is the greathonour of mankind, that Christ took not the nature of angels, but of man; and it is a greathonour to the nation of the Jews, that he took the seedof Abraham their father. Who is over all, God blessedfor ever; this is the fullest place to express the two natures that are in the personof our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ; he was God as well as man: yea, this is the title by which the one and supreme God was knownamongstthe Jews. Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Whose are the fathers,.... Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob;for, according to the (a) Jewishwriters, "they call none in Israel "fathers", but three, and they are Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob;and they call none "mothers" but four, and they are, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah:'' their descentfrom these fathers was a privilege, though they valued themselves too highly upon it; but what was the crown and glory of all, and which they took the least, though the apostle took the most notice of, is, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came;that is, either of the fathers, or of the Israelites, from whom Christ, according to his human nature, sprung; being a son of Abraham, of the tribe of Judah, of the seedof David, and the son of Mary; hence the Messiahis called, "the Messiahor Christ of Israel" (b): who is describedas over all, angels and men, being the creator, upholder, and governorof them; and as having another nature, a divine one, being God, truly and properly God,
  31. 31. blessedfor evermore; in himself, and to be blessedand praised by all creatures. The apostle alludes to that well known periphrastic name of God so much used by the Jews, , "the holy, blessedGod";to which, by way of assent and confirmation, the apostle puts his Amen. Now all these particular privileges are mentioned by him, as what heightened his concernfor these people; it filled him with heaviness and sorrow of heart, when he considered, that persons who had been partakers of such favours, and especiallythe last, that the Messiahshould spring from them, be born of them, and among them, and yet that they should be given up to ruin and destruction. (a) T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 16. 2. & Gloss. in ib. (b) Targum in Isaiah 16.1, 5. Mic. iv. 8. Geneva Study Bible Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, {2} who is over all, God blessedfor ever. Amen. (2) Or, who is God overall, blessedfor ever. A most manifest testimony of the Godheadand divinity of Christ. EXEGETICAL(ORIGINAL LANGUAGES) Meyer's NT Commentary Romans 9:5. Now, after that first relative sentence with its six theocratic distinctions, two other relative clauses introduce the mutually correlative persons, on whom the sacred-historicalcalling ofIsrael was basedand was to reachits accomplishment. οἱ πατέρες] Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who are per excellentiamthe patriarchs, Exodus 3:13; Exodus 3:15; Exodus 4:5; Acts 3:13; Acts 7:32.
  32. 32. καὶ ἐξ ὧν κ.τ.λ.]The lastand highest distinction of the Israelites:and from whom Christ descends, namely, according to the human phenomenal nature, as a human phenomenon, apart from the spiritually-divine side of His personality, according to which He is not from the Jews, but (as υἱὸς Θεοῦ κατὰ πνεῦμα ἁγιωσύνης, Romans 1:4) is ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ. Regardedin the light of His supernatural generation, He would be also κατὰ σάρκα ofGod. Comp. Clem. Cor. Romans 1:32 : ἐξ αὐτοῦ ὁ κύριος Ἰησοῦς τὸ κατὰ σάρκα. On the article τὸ κ. ς., see Heind. ad Gorg. p. 228;Buttm. neut. Gr. p. 84. The καὶ before ἐξ ὧν forbids the reference of the latter to οἱ πατέρες. ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων Θεὸς εὐλογ. εἰς τ. αἰῶνας]This passage, whichhas become of dogmatic importance, has receivedtwo different leading interpretations, by the side of which yet a third way, namely, by taking to pieces the relative sentence, came to be suggested. (1)The words are referred (placing a comma after σάρκα) to Christ, who is God over all, blessedfor ever. So, substantially, Irenaeus (Haer. iii. 16. 3), Tertullian (adv. Prax. § 13, p. 2101, ed. Seml.), Origen, Cyprian, Epiphanius, Athanasius, Chrysostom, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Augustine, Jerome, Theodoret, andlater Fathers; Luther, Erasmus, Paraphr., Flacius, Calvin, Beza, and most of the older expositors; and of the later, Michaelis, Koppe, Tholuck, Flatt, Klee, Usteri, Benecke, Olshausen, Nielsen, Reithmayr, Maier, Beck, Philippi, Bisping, Gess, Krummacher, Jatho, Hahn, Thomasius, Ebrard, Ritschl, Hofmann, Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 306, Delitzsch, and others; in a peculiar fashion also, Herm. Schultz (see below);de Wette is undecided. (2) The words are regarded (placing a period after σάρκα, as do Lachm. and Tisch.)as a doxologyto God, isolatedfrom the foregoing:“Blessedfor ever be the God who is overall.” So none of the Fathers (as to those erroneouslyadduced by Wetstein, see Fritzsche, p. 262 ff.), at leastnot expressly;but Erasmus in his Annot., Wetstein, Semler, Stolz, and severalothers, and recently Reiche, Köllner, Winzer, Fritzsche, Glöckler, Schrader, Krehl, Ewald, van Hengel, and, though not fully decided, Rückert. See also Baur, II. p. 231;Zeller, in the Theol. Jahrb. 1842, p. 51; Räbiger, Christol. Paul. p. 26 f.; Beyschlag,Christol. p. 210. Now the decision, which of the two leading interpretations fits the meaning of the apostle, cannotbe arrived at from the language used, since, so
  33. 33. far as the words go, both may be equally correct;nor yet from the immediate connection, since with equal reasonPaulmight (by no means:must, against which is the analogyof Romans 9:3; and the divine in Christ did not belong here, as in Romans 1:3, necessarilyto the connection)feel himself induced to setover-againstthe human side of the being of Jesus its divine side (as in Romans 1:3), or might be determined by the recital of the distinctions of his nation to devote a doxology to God, the Author of these privileges, who therefore was not responsible for the deeply-lamented unbelief of the Jews; just as he elsewhere, in peculiar excitedstates of piety, introduces a giving glory to God (Romans 1:25; 2 Corinthians 11:31;Galatians 1:5; comp. 1 Timothy 1:17). Observe, rather, with a view to a decision, the following considerations:Although our passage, referredto Christ, would term Him not ὁ Θεός, but (who is God over all) only Θεός predicatively (without the article), and although Paul, by virtue of his essentialagreementin substance with the Christologyof John, might have affirmed, just as appropriately as the latter (Romans 1:1), the predicative Θεός (of divine essence)ofChrist, because Christ is also in Paul’s view the Sonof God in a metaphysicalsense, the image of God, of like essencewiththe Father, the agentin creationand preservation, the partakerin the divine government of the world, the judge of all, the object of prayerful invocation, the possessorofdivine glory and fulness of grace (Romans 1:4, Romans 10:12;Php 2:6; Colossians 1:15 ff; Colossians 2:9; Ephesians 1:20 ff.; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 2 Corinthians 8:9); yet Paul has never used the express Θεός of Christ, since he has not adopted, like John, the Alexandrian form of conceiving and setting forth the divine essenceofChrist, but has adhered to the popular concrete, strictly monotheistic terminology, not modified by philosophical speculationeven for the designationof Christ; and he always accuratelydistinguishes Godand Christ; see, in opposition to such obscure and erroneous intermingling of ideas, Rich. Schmidt, Paulin. Christol. p. 149 ff. John himself calls the divine nature of Christ Θεός only in the introduction of his Gospel, and only in the closestconnectionwith the Logos-speculation. And thus there runs through the whole N. T. a delicate line of separationbetweenthe Fatherand the Son; so that, although the divine essenceand glory of the latter is glorified with the loftiest predicates in manifold ways, nevertheless it is only the Father, to whom the Son is throughout subordinated, and never Christ, who is actually
  34. 34. calledGod by the apostles (with the exceptionof John 1:1, and the exclamationof Thomas, John 20:28)—noteven in 1 John 5:20. Paul, particularly, even where he accumulates and strains to the utmost expressions concerning the Godlike nature of the exaltedChrist (as Php 2:6 ff.; Colossians 1:15 ff; Colossians2:9), does not call Him Θεός, but sharply and clearly distinguishes Him as the ΚΎΡΙΟς from ΘΕΌς, evenin Romans 10:9, 1 Corinthians 12:3 (in oppositionto Ritschl, Altkath. K. p. 79 f.). The post- apostolicalperiod(and not at all 2 Peter1:1, see Huther) first obliterated this fine line of separation, and often denominated Christ Θεός, ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν, and the like. So, e.g., alreadyseveralof the Ignatian epistles in the shorter recension(not those ad Magnes.,adPhiladelph., ad Trall., not even chap. 7) and the so-calledsecondepistle—notthe first—of Clement, nor the epistle of Polycarp. In the closestinternal connectionherewith stands the fact, that in the properly apostolicalwritings (2 Peter3:18 does not belong to them, nor does Hebrews 13:21) we never meet with a doxology to Christ in the form which is usual with doxologies to God (not even in 1 Peter4:11); therefore, in this respectalso, the present passagewould stand to the apostolic type in the relation of a complete anomaly. Besides, the insuperable difficulty would be introduced, that here Christ would be callednot merely and simply Θεός, but even God over all, and consequentlywould be designatedas Θεὸς παντοκράτωρ, whichis absolutelyincompatible with the entire view of the N. T. as to the dependence of the Sonon the Father (see Gess, v. d. Pers. Chr. p. 157 ff.; Kahnis, Dogm. I. p. 457 ff.), and especiallywith passages like Romans 8:34 (ἐντυγχάνει), 1 Corinthians 3:23; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 1 Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 4:5-6, and notably 1 Corinthians 15:28. Accordingly, the doxology of our passagecannotbe referred to Christ, but must be referred to God; although Philippi continues of opinion that the former reference has all in its favour and nothing againstit. On the other hand, Tholuck (see also Schmid, bibl. Theol. II. p. 540, ed. 2) does more justice to the objections againstthe old ecclesiasticalinterpretation, which Messneralso, Lehre d. Ap. p. 236 f., prefers, but only with a certain diffidence; whilst Herm. Schultz (comp. Socinus, in Calovius, p. 153)comes ultimately to a loweracceptationofthe notion of Θεός, which is meant not metaphysically, but only designates the fulness of powercommitted to Christ for behoof of His work, and excludes neither dependence and coming into being, nor beginning and end. Against
  35. 35. the latter suggestionit may be decisivelyurged, that thus characteristicsare attachedto the notion Θεός, which, comparedwith the current Pauline mode of expression, directly annul it, and make it interchangeable with κύριος, as Paul uses it of Christ (Ephesians 4:5-6; Php 2:11; Cambridge Bible for Schools andColleges 5. the fathers] Cp. Romans 11:28. The reference is probably speciallyto Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. ButDavid is also “the patriarch David;” Acts 2:29.—ThesesacredPersons are now mentioned, after the previous sacred Things, so as to usher in the mention of the Christ Himself. of whom] out of whom; not merely “whose,” as in previous clauses;perhaps to keepthe thought in view that He was not exclusively for Israel, though wholly of Israel. as concerning the flesh] In respectof His human Parent’s descentHe also was Jewish. His blessedHumanity was indeed, on the Paternalside, “ofGod;” (Meyer;) but this distinction is not in view here, where the plain meaning is that, by human parentage, He was Jewish. who is over all, God blessedfor ever] The Gr. may (with more or less facility) be translated, (1) as in E. V.; or (2) who is God over all, &c.;” or (3) blessed for ever[be] the God who is over all. Between(1)and (2) the practical difference is slight, but (1) is the easierand safer grammatically: between(3) and the others the difference is, of course, complete. If we adopt (3) we take the Apostle to be led, by the mention of the Incarnation, to utter a sudden doxologyto the God who gave that crowning mercy. In favour of this view it is urged, (not only by Sociniancommentators and the like, but by some of the orthodox, as Meyer,) that St Paul nowhere else styles the Lord simply “God;” but always rather “the Sonof God,” &c. By this they do not mean to deny or detract from the Lord’s Deity, but they maintain that St Paul always so states
  36. 36. that Deity, under Divine guidance, as to mark the “Subordination of the Son”—thatSubordination which is not a difference of Nature, Power, or Eternity, but of Order; just such as is marked by the simple but profound words Father and Son.—Buton the other hand there is Titus 2:13, where the Gr. is (at least)perfectly capable of the rendering “our greatGod and Saviour Jesus Christ.” And if, as St John is witness, it is divinely true that “the Word is God,” it is surely far from wonderful if here and there, in peculiar connexions, an equally inspired Teachershouldso speak ofChrist, even though guided to keepanother side of the truth habitually in view. Now, beyond all fair question, the Greek here (in view of the usual order of words in ascriptions of praise) is certainly best rendered as in E. V.: had it not been for controversy, probably, no other rendering would have been suggested. And lastly, the context far rather suggestsa lament (over the fall of Israel) than an ascription of praise; while it also pointedly suggests some allusionto the super-human Nature of Christ, by the words “according to the flesh.” But if there is such an allusion, then it must lie in the words “overall, God.”—We thus advocate the rendering of the E. V., as clearlythe best grammatically, and the best suited to the context.—Observe lastlythat while St John (John 1:1; John 20:28;and perhaps John 1:18, where E. V. “Son;”) uses the word God of Christ, and in John 12:41 distinctly implies that He is Jehovah, (Isaiah 6:5,) yet his Gospelis quite as full of the Filial Subordination as of the Filial Deity and Co-equality. So that the words of St Paul here are scarcelymore exceptionalin him than they would be in St John. for ever] Lit. unto the ages;the familiar phrase for endless duration, under all possible developements, where God and the other world are in question. Amen] The word is properly a Hebrew adverb (“surely”), repeatedlyused as here in O. T. See e.g. Deuteronomy27:15;Psalm 72:19;Jeremiah11:5 (marg. E. V.). Bengel's Gnomen
  37. 37. Romans 9:5. Ὧν οἱ πατέρες, κ.τ.λ.)whose are the fathers, etc. Baumgartenhas both written a dissertationon this passage, andhas added it to his Exposition of this Epistle. All, that is of importance to me in it, I have explained im Zeugniss, p. 157, etc. (ed. 1748), [c. 11, 28].—καὶ ἐξ ὧν, and of whom, i.e. of the Israelites, Acts 3:22. To the six privileges of the Israelites latelymentioned are added the seventhand eighth, respecting the fathers, and respecting the MessiahHimself. Israelis a noble and a holy people.—ὁ ὤν) i.e. ὅς ἐστι, but the participle has a more narrow meaning. Artemonius with great propriety proves from the grief of Paul, that there is no doxologyin this passage:Part I. cap. 42; but at the same time he along with his associatescontends, that Paul wrote ὧν ὁ ἐπὶ πάντων, Θεὸς, κ.τ.λ. So that there may be denoted in the passagethis privilege of the Israelites, thatthe Lord is their God; and he interprets the clause, ὁ ἐπὶ πάντων, thus: that this privilege is the greatestof all the honours conferredupon Israel. But such an interpretation of the ὁ ἐπὶ πάντων, with which comp. Ephesians 4:6 (that we may remove this out of our way in the first place), implies a meaning, which owes its birth merely to the support of an hypothesis, and which requires to be expressedrather by a phrase of this sort; τὸ δὴ πάντων μεῖζον. The conjecture itself, ὧν ὁ, carries with it an open violation of the text. For I. it dissevers τὸ κατὰ σάρκα from the antithetic member of the sentence, κατὰ πνεῦμα,[109]whichis usually everywhere mentioned [expressed]. II. It at the same time divides the last member of the enumeration [of the catalogue ofprivileges], before which καὶ, and, is suitably placed, καὶ ἐξ ὧν, κ.τ.λ. into two members, and in the second of these the conjunction is by it harshly suppressed. [109]i.e., according to His divine nature. The words ὁ ἐπὶ πάντων θεός are equivalent to κατὰ πνεῦμα, and form a plain antithesis to τὸ κατὰ σάρκα = His human nature.—ED. Artemonius objects:I. Christ is nowhere in the sacredScriptures expressly calledGod. Ans. Nowhere? Doubtless because Artemonius endeavours to get rid of all those passageseitherby proposing a different reading, or by a
  38. 38. different mode of interpretation. He himself admits, that too many proofs of one thing ought not to be demanded, page 225. In regard to the rest, see note on John 1:1. He objects, II. If Paul wrote ὁ ὤν, he omitted the principal privilege of the Israelites, that God, who is the Bestand Greatestofall, was their God. Ans. The adoption and the glory had consistedin that very circumstance;therefore he did not omit it; nor is that idea, the Lord is the God of Israel, ever expressedin these words, Thine, O Israel, is God blessed for ever. He urges further; Christ is included even in the covenants, and yet Paul presently after makes mention of Christ; how much more would he be likely to make mention of God the Father Himself? Ans. The reasonin the case ofChrist for His being mentioned does not equally hold goodin the case of God. Paul mentions in the order of time all the privileges of Israel(the fathers being by the way [incidentally] joined with Christ). He therefore mentions Christ, as He was manifested [last in order of time]; but it was not necessarythat that should be in like manner mentioned of God. Moreover, Christ was in singularly near relationship to the Israelites;but God was also the Godof the Gentiles, ch. Romans 3:29 : and it was not God, but Christ, whom the Jews rejectedmore openly. What? In the very root of the name Israel, and therefore of the Israelites, to which the apostle refers, Romans 9:4; Romans 9:6, the name El, God, is found. He objects, III. The style of the Fathers disagrees withthis opinion: nay, the false Ignatius [pseudoignatius] reckons among the ministers of Satanthose, who said, that Jesus Himself is God over all. Ans. By this phrase, he has somewhatincautiously describedthe Sabellians, and next to them he immediately places the Artemonites in the same class. In other respects the fathers often apply the phraseologyofPaul respecting Christ to the Father, and by that very circumstance prove the true force of that phraseology[as expressing Divinity]; and yet the apostle is superior to [should have more weight than] the fathers. Wolfius refutes Artemonius at greatlength in vol. ii. Curar. ad N. T., p. 802, etc.—ἐπὶ πάντων, over all) The Father is certainly excepted, 1 Corinthians 15:27. Christ is of the fathers, according to the flesh; and at the same time was, is, and shall be over all, inasmuch as He is God blessedfor ever. Amen! The same praise is ascribedto the Fatherand the Son, 2 Corinthians 11:31. Over all, which is antithetic to, of whom, shows both the pre-existence (προὗπαρξιν)of Christ before the fathers, in oppositionto His descentfrom the fathers according to
  39. 39. the flesh, and His infinite majesty and dominion full of grace over Jews and Gentiles;comp. as to the phrase, Ephesians 4:6; as to the fact itself, John 8:58; Matthew 22:45. They are quite wrong, who fix the full stop either here [after πάντων], (for the comma may be placed with due respectto religion); for in that case the expressionshould have been, εὐλογητὸς ὁ θεός [not ὁ—θεὸς εὐλογητός], if only there had been here any peculiar occasionforsuch a doxology;or [who fix a full stop] after σάρκα;for in this case τὸ κατὰ σάρκα would be without its proper antithesis [which is, “who in His divine nature is God over all”].—Θεὸς, God)We should greatly rejoice, that in this solemn description Christ is so plainly called God. The apostles, who wrote before John, take for granted the deity of Christ, as a thing acknowledged;whence it is that they do not directly treat of it, but yet when it comes in their way, they mark it in a most glorious manner. Paul, ch. Romans 5:15, had called Jesus Christ man; but he now calls Him God; so also 1 Timothy 2:5; 1 Timothy 3:16. The one appellation supports the other.—εὐλογητὸς, blessed) ‫ק‬‫הב‬ ‫.ב‬ By this epithet we unite in giving all praise to God, 2 Corinthians 11:31.—εἰς τους αἰῶνας, for ever) [He] Who is above all—for ever, is the first and the last, Revelation1:17. Vincent's Word Studies Of whom (ἐξ ὧν) From the midst of whom. But in order to guard the point that the reference is only to Christ's human origin, he adds, as concerning the flesh. Who is over all, God blessedfor ever (ὁ ὣν ἐπὶ πάντων Θεὸς εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας) Authorities differ as to the punctuation; some placing a colon, and others a comma after flesh. This difference indicates the difference in the interpretation; some rendering as concerning the flesh Christ came. Godwho is over all be blessedfor ever; thus making the words God, etc., a doxology: others, with the comma, the Christ, who is over all, God blessedforever;i.e., Christ is God (Forminor variations see margin of Rev.) Amen
  40. 40. See on Revelation1:6. END OF BIBLEHUB RESOURCES PRECEPTAUSTIN RESOURCES Romans 9:5 whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessedforever. Amen. (NASB: Lockman) Greek:on hoi pateres, kaiex hon o Christos to kata sarka;o on (PAPMSN) epi panton theos eulogetos eis tous aionas, amen. Amplified: To them belong the patriarchs, and as far as His natural descent was concerned, from them is the Christ, Who is exalted and supreme over all, God, blessedforever!Amen (so let it be). (Amplified Bible - Lockman) ESV: To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessedforever. Amen. (ESV) ICB: They are the descendants of our great ancestors, andthey are the earthly family of Christ. Christ is God over all. Praise him forever! Amen. (ICB: Nelson) NKJV: of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessedGod. Amen. NIV: Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen. (NIV - IBS) NLT: Their ancestorswere greatpeople of God, and Christ himself was a Jew as far as his human nature is concerned. And he is God, who rules over everything and is worthy of eternalpraise! Amen. (NLT - Tyndale House) Philips: all these are theirs, and so too, as far as human descentgoes, is Christ himself, Christ who is God over all, blessedfor ever. (Phillips: Touchstone)
  41. 41. Wuest: of whom are the fathers, and out from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, the One who is above all, God eulogized forever. Amen. Young's Literal: whose are the fathers, and of whom is the Christ, according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessedto the ages. Amen. WHOSE (to them belong, of whom) ARE THE FATHERS: Are the fathers - Ro 11:28; Deuteronomy10:15 Romans 9 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries The fathers - This refers to the patriarchs or forefathers, specifically Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Moses records God's Wordto Israel that… "The LORD did not setHis love on you nor choose youbecause you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewestof all peoples, but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mighty hand, and redeemedyou from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaohking of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenantand His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keepHis commandments" (Deuteronomy 7:7, 8, 9) And againMoses reminds Israelthat… "on your fathers did the LORD set His affection to love them, and He chose their descendants afterthem, even you above all peoples, as it is this day." (Deuteronomy 10:15) AND FROM WHOM IS THE CHRIST ACCORDING TO THE FLESH WHO IS OVER ALL GOD BLESSED FOREVER AMEN:on oi pateres kai ex on o Christos to kata sarka o on (PAPMSN)epi panton theos eulogetos eis tous aionas, amen: From whom is the Christ - Ro 1:3; Ge 12:3; 49:10;Isa 7:14; 11:1; Mt 1:1-17; Lk 3:23-38;2Ti2:8; Rev 22:16
  42. 42. Who is over all - Ro 10:12;Ps 45:6; 103:19;Isa 9:6,7; Jer 23:5,6;Mic 5:2; Jn 1:1, 2, 3; Jn 10:30;Acts 20:28;Php 2:6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11;Col 1:16; 1Ti 3:16; Heb 1:8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13; 1Jn5:20 Blessedforever- Ro 1:25; Ps 72:19; 2Co 11:31;1Ti 6:15) (Dt 27:15-26;1Ki 1:36; 1Chr 16:36; Ps 41:13; 89:52;106:48;Jer28:6; Mt 6:13; 28:20; 1Co 14:16;Rev 1:18; 5:14; 22:20 Romans 9 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries From Whom is the Christ - The Messiahwas to be born a Jew (Mt 1:1-2). Imagine the potential "advantage" to Israelof having first exposure to the King of kings in the flesh! Paul makes a definitive declarationregarding the humanity of Christ ("according to the flesh" ) and His deity ("Godblessed forever"). According to the flesh - Speaking of the JewishMessiahborn in the flesh and in the line of David Flesh(4561)(see in depth study of sarx) here refers to Jesus'incarnation, "Godcon carne" so to speak. Godin the Flesh. O mystery of mysteries! So Paul is saying don't think that I have a one sided gospelthat neglects the Jews. I love the Jews. I am a Jew. Who is over all God- Christ is Sovereign. Christ is God. Who says the Bible never says that Jesus is God? Blessed(2128)(eulogetosfrom eulogeo = to bless <> eú = good, well + logos = word. English = eulogize, eulogy= commendatory formal statement or set oration; high praise; to extol) means to be well spokenof or inherently worthy of praise Amen (4243)(amen[OT = Amen = 0543 amen])is a transliteration of the Hebrew noun amen and then into Latin and into English and many other languages, so thatit is practicallya universal word. Amen has been called the best-knownword in human speech. To say“Amen” confirms a statementby someone else. Amen is a response to something that has just been said, except in Jesus'teachings. Jesus, the ultimate "Amen" (Rev 3:14-note), is the
  43. 43. supreme authority and so it is clearlyapropos that His teachings be introduced by amen. John's Gospelhas 25 uses of "amen" and every use is a double amen (or double "truly" in the NAS - 25 times). None of the other 3 Gospels use a "double amen." It is also notable that in the four Gospels, amen is used only by our Lord Jesus Christ, almostalways "to introduce new revelations of the mind of God." (Vine) Every use of "amen" or "truly" by Jesus serves to affirm what follows and by extension to cause us to pay close attention to the teaching. The Pauline uses of amen occurprimarily at the close ofhis prayers or doxologies, andas such serve to confirm them as "it is firm" (or "so let it be"). Romans 9:1-5 Israel: A PrivilegedPeople by Dr. Wayne A. Barber The Apostle Paul, according to his natural birth, was a Jewishman. If you will look in Romans 9:1 you will see that: "I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my consciencebearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have greatsorrow and unceasing griefin my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separatedfrom Christ for the sake ofmy brethren." Now the word "brethren" is explained in verse 3: "my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites." We have to know that Paul is Jewishby natural birth to understand what he is doing in chapters 9-11. He is very grieved for his kinsmen. Did you know that there are three groups of people on this earth? Whether you are a Jew or a Gentile, when you come to know Christ you move into a different category altogether. So those are your three groups:the Jewishpeople, the Gentiles and the body of Christ, those who have put their faith into the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul was a new man in Christ, but according to his first birth, his physical birth, he was a Jewishman, and he is very concernedabout his kinsmen.
  44. 44. Now he has a dilemma, for you see, whenthe Apostle Paul was stopped on the Damascus Road, the veil was lifted off of his face and he realized that Jesus Christ was the Messiahhe had believed in all along. He had been persecuting Christians. Jesus stopped him and said, "Paul, why art thou persecuting Me?" Thatwas the conversionof Paul. Now he realizes that the people who are his kinsmen according to his fleshly birth have rejectedJesus as being their Messiah. He began back in chapter 1 to set the stage for justification by faith alone in Christ alone. Thatis the only way a person canbe saved. There is no other way. In 1:16 he says, "I am not ashamedof the gospelof Christ, for it is the powerof God unto salvation." He understands that Godalone cansave a man. It is never basedon the merit of what a man can do. It is basedon the grace and the powerof God to save a man. In 1:19-32, the Gentiles are desperate for that salvation, which only comes by faith in Christ. But then in 2:1-3:8, he shows that the Jewishpeople, his very kinsmen, also are desperate for the same faith in the same Christ that we put our faith into. There is only one way of salvation. In 3:9-20 he makes sure that we understand that there is only one wayto salvation. It is through the Lord Jesus Christ by putting our faith into what He did for us and His shed blood upon the cross. Romans 3:23-24 says, "for all [both Gentiles and Jews alike] have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace [only by His grace], through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus [there is no other redemption]; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith." Then in chapter 4 of Romans he tries to explain to them this is nothing new. If you will look back at Abraham, our forefather, Abraham the greatpatriarch had to be justified by his faith, and his faith had to be in the same Christ that we put our faith into. Salvation has always been centeredaround the Lord Jesus Christ. Then he mentions David and shows them that this has been the way it has been all the waythrough. There has never been another way. God says that the only way to salvation is when we put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
  45. 45. The dilemma is clearas he enters into chapter 9 thinking about his kinsmen, realizing that somehow they are depending on an external relationship with God to do something eternal in their life. He realizes it won’t work that way. It is never basedon the merit of what a man can do for God. It is always based on the fact of what God has done for man. He begins by showing them all the privileges that they have had. The Apostle Paul, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit of God, begins to show them the integrity of what God had already done with Israel. He starts off in verse 4 by referring to Israelites. Now why did he use the term "Israelite"?The term "Hebrew" referred to their language whenthey were calledthe Hebrews. The term "Jew"referredto their nationality. But the term "Israelite" refers to their theocratic covenant, which goes back to Israel. Do you understand where the Jewishpeople came from? They were God’s idea. They were not man’s thought. You see, Godsingled out a man by the name of Abram in Genesis 12. Then in chapter 15 He covenanted with him. We are going to see some of that. He passedthat covenantto Isaac, his son, the son by faith that was by Abraham and Sarah in the later years of their life. Then he passedthat covenanton to Jacob. Isaachad two sons, Jacoband Esau. Esauhad absolutelyno thinking towards God, no repentant heart, but Jacobdid. However, Jacobwas a deceiverand a conniver and God had to deal with him. Jacobgotthe birthright, not the way God had intended, but he got the birthright and God had to deal with Jacob’s heart. Goddealt with him in such a severe waythat He touched him and causeda limp for the rest of his life. But He changed his name from Jacobto Israel. Israelhad 12 sons and all those sons, of course, married and had families and that became the nation of Israel, the 12 tribes of Israel. They became the Israelites. So all the privileges they enjoyed goes back to a covenantgiven to Abraham, passedto Isaac and then later passedto Jacobwho became Israel. In Genesis 32:28 it says, "And he said, ‘Your name shall no longer be Jacob but Israel, for you have striven with Godand with men and have prevailed." So these became God’s possession. These were people ofhigh privilege among the nations in the Old Testament. The Apostle Paul wants to remind them of
  46. 46. how specialthey have been. But he is using this as a piece in the puzzle to solve what he has been teaching in chapters 1 through 8. How does God deal with Israel? Well, He deals with them the same way that He deals with us. There is only one way of salvation. As we study this I want to remind you that Israel messedup. Though they were a privileged people of God, they thought that privilege somehow was a result of a virtue that they had. Now this is the mistake a lot of people make. BecauseI am prosperous, because I am privileged, because ofwhatever, maybe it is because of something I have done. That is where they missedit. You see, it was never because ofthem that they were privileged. It was because ofGod that they were privileged. They missed the whole point of the privileges God had given to them. Let’s begin and look at all the privileges that Paul mentions in verses 4 and 5 of chapter 9. First of all, Israelhad the privilege to enjoy the preference of God. God preferred them among all the nations on this earth. Verse 4 says, "who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons." Thatlittle term, "adoption as sons" means sonship, but differently than what we have already heard in chapter8 of Romans. The sonship that we have as believers, the body of Christ, is internal and it is eternal. The sonshipthat they had was external. You did nothing except be born as an Israelite. That is all they needed. It was a specialsonship Godgave to them. But it was not an eternal sonship. I think Paul has alreadyclarified it in Romans 9:3: "ForI could wish that I myself were accursed, separatedfrom Christ for the sake ofmy brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh." You see, this is where their sonship was. It was a fleshly, external sonship with God. They enteredinto this adoption as sons when they were born an Israelite. As God’s nation they were His firstborn. Exodus 4:22: "Thenyou shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord, "Israelis My son, My first-born."’" They were His own possession. Exodus 19:5 says, "Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keepMy covenant, then you shall be My own possessionamong all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine." My own possession. You are My son. You are My first-born.
  47. 47. Then they were His son. Hosea 11:1 reads, "When Israelwas a youth I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son." God thought of them this way. They were His people. His chosen. Isaiah43:20 tells us, "The beasts ofthe field will glorify Me. The jackals andthe ostriches;because I have given waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My chosenpeople." It was a high honor to be of the preference of God among the nations of this earth. God singled them out. They were His people. They enjoyed His preference on this earth. If you will study through chapter 9 and see whathe is doing at the introduction of the chapter, it is what the prophet Isaiah did. He is trying to recallthem from where they have come. He is trying to show them that they are not where they are because ofthemselves. They are there because ofGod. They have missed this. It is what the prophet did in Isaiah51:1: "Listento me, you who pursue righteousness, who seek the Lord: look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug." Go back and remember, you didn’t do anything on your own. God did this for you and gave you a specialsonshipon this earth. You were His preference among all the nations of this earth. Not only did they have the preference of God, but secondlythey enjoyed the very presence ofGod. Now this is unheard of. God decided He loved these people and decided to dwell on this earth with them. Again, look at Romans 9:4: "who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons and the glory." Now when you see this term "the glory," they would callit the "Shekinah glory." That glory symbolizes and pictures the very presence of God. In Exodus 29 we find the glory he is speaking of. There was the glory in the cloud by day and the fire by night. Yes, God dwelt with His people that way. The cloud moved and they moved. Nota bad way to live every day of our life, is it? When the cloud moves you move. If the cloud hasn’t moved, don’t move. The presence ofGod is so keyto them. But it is not just the glory that led them through the wilderness. It was the glory that settled on the Tabernacle. It was the glory that symbolized and pictured to them the presence ofGod among them. It says in Exodus 29:43, "And I will meet there with the sons of Israel, and it shall be consecratedby
  48. 48. My glory." On that day, all the glory of God came down to the Tabernacle. Exodus 40:34 says, "Thenthe cloud coveredthe tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle." Godcame down to live among those people. These were specialpeople. The pagannations knew nothing of this. God had preferred them among nations and had shown them that He would let them enjoy His presence. The third thing about this was that they gotto enjoy the provision of God. It says in verse 4, "who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons [the preference]and the glory [the presence]and the covenants [the provision]." You see, allthe provision that God made for those people somehow centered around the covenants that He gave to eachone of them. The word "covenant" is plural. That is important. There are many covenants. As you go through the Old Testamentthere is the Davidic covenant, the Palestiniancovenant, you have all kinds of covenants. But I want to tell you why I think it is plural. I think that Paul is thinking of one covenant. There is only one covenant of grace, and that is the Abrahamic covenant, the everlasting covenant. We are a part of that because it promises three things: a land, a nation and a seed. That seed, Galatians 3 says, is Jesus Christ, through whom all nations will be blessed. We have been blessedthrough that Seed. We are a part of this covenant. All of the other covenants somehow dovetailout of this one everlasting covenantof grace that was given to Abraham. That is what I think he is talking about here. Not only was it given to Abraham, but it was given to Isaac and it was given to Jacoband then honored all throughout scripture. And whatevercovenantcame along somehow dovetailedout of that one covenant. Let’s go back and just walk through how God covenantedwith Abraham and follow it through with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. To me it is significantof how privileged these people were. They enjoyed the very provision of God. God entered into covenantwith them and because ofthat, provided for them all through the Old Testament. Genesis15:1 would be a greatplace to start. God initiates the covenant. It was not basedon a virtue they had. It was based on a plan that God had and the grace and the characterofGod. Genesis 15:1- 6 reads, "After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision,
  49. 49. saying, ‘Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; your reward shall be very great.’And Abram said, "O Lord God, what wilt Thou give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?’And Abram said, ‘Since Thou hast given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.’ Then behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, ‘This man will not be your heir; but one who shall come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.’ And He took him outside and said, ‘Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.’ And He said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckonedit to him as righteousness." Now through a careful study of chapters 12 and 15 through 17, you will see the three things that God promised him. He promised him a land very specificallyoutlined which is there today, Israel. It is still not all the land that God promised them. He promised them a nation, but He also promised him a seedthrough which all the nations would be blessed. Thatwas the first time we see God covenanting with Abraham. If you will turn to Genesis 17, yousee him reaffirming this. Now He is about ready to getit started. Abraham thinks he has already got it started because he has had a sonby a hand-maid of Sarah’s. That wasn’tgoodenough. Abraham is 99 years old. He was too old to have children and so was Sarah, but God said, "You are going to have a child." In 17:7 He says, "‘And I will establishMy covenantbetweenMe and you and your descendants afteryou throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants afteryou." Jump over to Genesis 22. This is when Isaac is now born. He is a child and he is growing up and God says, "Now let me see, Abraham, if you really believe Me. Do you believe that Isaac is the keyand through him one day will come the Messianicredeemer? Do you believe that? Take Isaacup on the mountain and kill him." Abraham takes the guys with him, takes the packhorses.They get all of their stuff together. He takes the knife. Everything is ready for the sacrifice. He tells the men at the foot of the mountain, "We will be back. We will be back." Hebrews 11 says he believed that if he had to kill him, God would resurrect him. That is how much Abraham believed.
  50. 50. He passes the test. God is so pleased. Beginning in Genesis 22:15 we read, "Then the angelof the Lord called to Abraham a secondtime from heaven, and said, ‘By Myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son [proving how much faith you have in Me], indeed I will greatlybless you, and I will greatly multiply your seedas the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is on the seashore;and your seedshall possessthe gate of their enemies. [By the way, it is not "their" enemies. The Hebrew there is singular masculine, "of his enemies." The seedhe is talking about is the Lord Jesus Christ.] And in your seedall the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because youhave obeyed My voice.’" So then, He takes Abraham three different times (Chapter 15, Chapter 17, Chapter 22) and reaffirms that covenant. Now turn to Genesis 26:1. Isaac is going to have the same covenant. I think that is why it is in the plural in Romans 9. He says in verse 1, "Now there was a famine in the land, besides the previous famine that had occurredin the days of Abraham. So Isaac went to Gerar, to Abimelech king of the Philistines. And the Lord appearedto him and said, ‘Do not go down to Egypt; stay in the land of which I shall tell you. Sojourn in this land and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will establishthe oath which I swore to your father Abraham. And I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed;because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws.’" This is beautiful. God moves from Abraham, and now He covenants with Isaac. But look in Chapter 28:10. Now He is going to covenant with Jacob. Here are your three covenants. One covenant, yes, but made to three different individuals, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Genesis 28:10-15says, "ThenJacob departed from Beersheba and went toward Haran. And he came to a certain place and spent the night there, because the sun had set;and he took one of the stones ofthe place and put it under his head, and lay down in that place. And he had a dream, and behold, a ladder was seton the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and