Agonizomai: Romans Chapter 2 - Review<br>But Aren't the Jews God's Chosen?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Romans Chapter 2 - Review
But Aren't the Jews God's Chosen?

Romans 2:28-29 For he is not a real Jew who is one outwardly, nor is true circumcision something external and physical. He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart, spiritual and not literal. His praise is not from men but from God.

Recalling the place we came to at the end of Chapter 2, we see that the Jews, like the Gentiles, were only ever justified by faith. Those who trusted in the promised Messiah, according to whatever measure of light they had, were justified. Those that did not, were not – even though they were of the chosen nation according to the flesh.

Do we see? The distinction is being made between the spirit and the flesh – between things carnal – mortal, lost, dead things – and things of eternity – things of the spirit. Between faith in God’s promised and full solution to sin, and man’s dead, carnal self-justifying works. When we believe, then we are seated in the heavenly places (spiritual realm) in Christ Jesus, and we are laying up treasure in heaven. When we do not, or when we are faking it, we are still earthly and our trust is in our own faculties. But God has warned us:
Thus says the LORD: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his arm, whose heart turns away from the LORD. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. - Jeremiah 17:5-6
Jew or Gentile makes no difference, for we are either spiritual and thereby alive, or we are carnal and still dead in sin. Faith and faith alone in God’s promised solution to sin is our hope and our salvation, as God said:
"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit." – Jeremiah 17:7-8
Even though this truth of justification by faith alone is plain, such is the case of the Jews, and their history with God, that there is tendency for them to grasp at some residual means of self-justification. This is dealt with in verses 1 to 6 of Romans Chapter 3, as we shall see. Don't forget to download the chart you will find in the following post. (That would be on Wednesday Jan 14th)


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