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View Full Version : The Spritual Jew: An Exegetical Dialog on Romans 2



Matthehitmanhart
Oct 1st 2008, 07:56 PM
With all this talk about Israel recently I thought it would be a good idea to hone in on the particular passages from which the differing opinions gain their steam. We're going to have to get a bit more involved in all of those texts we appeal to if we want to make any progress here. I figure Romans 2:26-29 comes up as much as any passage when talking about Israel, so that's where I'll set up camp!

In the last verse Paul says that "he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter..." What does the Apostle mean? Is he actually suggesting that a Christian Gentile could appropriately be called a "Jew"? Or is his discussion here restricted to actual ethnic Jews, those who are saved and those who are not? Or still, is this all just a hypothetical straw-man that Paul is merely building up to tear down later? Attempting to answer this and come out with a clean exegesis of Romans 2 is the purpose of this thread. I invite all to contribute.

An introductory word: It must be assumed that, if indeed the term "Jew" and its equivalents were applied to Gentiles by Paul or any other of the NT writers, it wasn't at all meant to infer that there are now no such things as actual ethnic Jews, that in Christ people no longer hold distinctive qualities such as race and gender. That would be absurd! It would be only natural to take it as speaking of citizenship; that through Christ Gentiles become a part of the spiritual commonwealth of Israel, as Paul says in Ephesians 2. This must be clearly maintained if we are to have sensible dialog on these important passages.

Now for Romans 2: There’s a contrast made consistently throughout this passage between unsaved ethnic Israel and believing Gentiles, between the “circumcised” and the “uncircumcised”. Since the beginning of the chapter Paul has been advancing an argument against non-messianic Judaism, focusing in particular on the civil law and its fundamental inability to produce Torah-faithfulness within the nation. This is the whole point of the series of rhetorical questions to the self-proclaimed “Jew” in vv. 17-24.

In as early as vv. 14-15, however, he introduces another party into the discussion, a party who, though they are physically uncircumcised and do not possess the law, are actually bearing fruit to God and thus (this is more implicit in v. 15 and 29, but it becomes abundantly clear in chs. 5-8) stand as a testimony that He has renewed the covenant, writing His law on the hearts of His people by the power of the Spirit (cf., Jer 31:31-34; Ezek 36:26). This contrast between the unfruitful Jew and the fruitful Gentile resounds in vv. 25-29. The Jew, though he is physically circumcised, still remains a breaker of the law (v. 25); but the Gentile, though he is physically uncircumcised, astoundingly keeps the heart-level requirement of the law (vv. 26-27).

The fact that Paul’s point in vv. 25-27 is posed through a question does not imply that the Gentile law-keeper is merely a hypothetical rhetorical devise that could in fact never be, as many suggest. The whole point of the argument rests on the fact that there actually is a renewed company who are carrying forth God’s redemptive purpose in the power of the Spirit. More on that shortly.

It’s important to note also that the singular “Jew” who is the subject of this polemic stands for unsaved Israel corporately; it isn’t aimed at an individual. This becomes clear as Paul moves into ch. 3, where he refers back to the same singular noun with the pronouns “them”, “us” and “we”. The reason that's important is because it makes it clear that this isn’t a wholesale old covenant vs. new covenant contrast, as if no one could be justified under the old covenant, or as if they were justified by a different means than in the new. The example of Abraham in ch. 4 obviously negates such a conclusion. (Incidentally, 3:25-26 gives the key to reconciling the tension of the old covenant’s weakness and inability to justify with the fact that there was a faithful remnant prior to the Christ event.)

But Paul is definitely saying that the old covenant was imperfect, that the nation of Israel could not be redeemed and the cosmos could not be restored through dry-road adherence to the “written code”. He makes it abundantly clear that God needed to act on Israel’s behalf. Thus the contrast is between “law” and “grace”, between the impotency of Israel’s civil ordinances and the power of the Spirit to produce true law-keepers.

Now, with all of the above in mind, especially the Jew/Gentile contrast of vv.25-27, notice the “for” that Paul begins v. 28 with. That conjunction links the argument he has been mounting in the previous three verses with the conclusion he draws in the next two. So then, the “Jew who is one inwardly” must be referring to the same company that has been the positive side of the contrast consistently throughout the chapter, namely uncircumcised Gentiles. This is confirmed once more by what Paul goes on to say in 3:1 (“what advantage then has the Jew?”); because ethnic Israel’s position of honor wouldn’t even be called into question if the contrasted subjects of 2:28-29 were both of Jewish decent, as many suggest.

But aside from denying that the true "Jew" here is actually a Gentile, some still maintain the old Lutheran notion that the Gentile who fulfills the law in this passage is merely a hypothetical rhetorical device, and that such a thing is in fact impossible. In this way they feel justified in avoiding Paul's point. This view stems from an over-generalization of what Paul's point really is in this section of the letter, reducing the many-sided argument of 1:18-3:20 to one line: "all have sinnned".

But as I hinted already, it's extremely doubtful that Paul is just being "hypothetical" here about something that is in fact "impossible", for many reasons, the greatest of which is that Paul insists in this very passage that it is possible, "in the Spirit" (v. 29), when a renewed people have "the works of the law written in their hearts" (v. 15), just as Jeremiah and the other prophets foretold (Jer 31:33; Ezek 36:26). Paul isn't just interested in saying that all have sinned. If that was the case he could have proved that in much fewer words. On the contrary, one of his main points here, in support his overall goal of placing Israel in the same boat with unsaved Gentiles (together in need of an outside agent of redemption), is to show that being in the covenant is not a matter of possessing Torah, but rather it is a matter of inward transformation, and that comes about by the Spirit, not by the written document. When one is transformed by the Spirit, he fulfills Torah.

The fact that Paul doesn't elaborate on that point in no way suggests that it isn't true. Rather it simply means that he has a greater point at this juncture which he doesn't want to get sidetracked from. Later on, in the midst of an extended contrast making exactly the same point as 2:25-29, he declares triumphantly, having laid the foundation of what the advanced redemption of the Messiah means in chaps. 5-6, that through Jesus God has made it possible that "the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh (like unsaved Israel in 7:5-25) but according to the Spirit" (8:3-4). Through Jesus’ sacrifice and vindication by God, all those “in him” are delivered, both from the power of sin which held them captive and therein from the futility of trying to overcome sin through their unrenewed effort. In contrast to the past (very personally portrayed in 7:7-25), they are now, through his redemptive act and by the power of the Spirit, those who fulfill Torah (8:1-17). They are thus the “first fruits” of an entire restored created order (8:18-23).

Structurally speaking, this all makes perfect sense. In offering 7:7-25 as the first side of an extended contrast, and 8:1-17 as the second, Paul is able to bring to climax the theme he began developing in 2:25-29 but could not treat in detail there. Such a reading also comports with what follows in chapters 9-11, seeing in those chapters an expansion of the cord struck in 3:1-8. Just as the question “what is the advantage of being a Jew?” is the natural response to what Paul said of the believing Gentile being a “Jew inwardly”, and his response is a balanced though incomplete answer to that question (note that, speaking of Israel’s advantage in 3:2, he says “first of all”, implying that there is more to come), so 9-11 comprises the complete response to the same question, which would naturally again arise after his filled-in presentation of what the distinguishing marks of this new covenant community are in chapters 5-8.

Now, it's beyond argument to say that Gentiles stand on the positive side of Paul's contrast in 2:26-27. This considered, as well as all of the above, it seems hard to avoid granting Gentiles the title of "Jew" in 2:28-29. Still, I'm sure many will contest this, so let the dialog begin!

IPet2_9
Oct 1st 2008, 08:14 PM
It's not just a matter of whether a Christian Gentile is a spiritual Jew. It's the inverse as well: it means a non-Christian Jew is not a Jew at all. A Jew must be one inwardly.


Acts 3:22 For Moses said, 'The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. 23 Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.'

MailmanGuy
Oct 2nd 2008, 02:03 AM
I think you will find that Chapter 2 verse 17 puts the subject of "spiritual Jew" into context for us. Paul is speaking to actual physical Jews (living in Rome at that time) who were zealous for the Law of Moses.

Rom 2:17 But as for you who have the name of Jew, and are resting on the law...

Gentiles were never "resting on the Law" because that particular Covenant was never given to them. Once we understand the targeted audience, it puts things greatly into perspective.

Paul's message throughout a good portion of the book of Romans was not specifically targeted for Gentiles - in fact, it is not until chapter 11 verse 13 that the focus changes from the Jew, back to the Gentiles.

Rom 11:13 But now I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles...

If a Jew has been converted or "circumcised" inwardly through the power of the Holy Spirit, then he is a spiritual Jew and so likewise if a Gentile's heart has been "circumcised" that doesn't mean that person becomes somehow Jewish (because he simply was never a Jew to begin with) but rather he too, like the Jew, becomes spiritual inwardly ... but as a Gentile.

Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, ... for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

wpm
Oct 2nd 2008, 04:23 AM
I think you will find that Chapter 2 verse 17 puts the subject of "spiritual Jew" into context for us. Paul is speaking to actual physical Jews (living in Rome at that time) who were zealous for the Law of Moses.

Rom 2:17 But as for you who have the name of Jew, and are resting on the law...

Gentiles were never "resting on the Law" because that particular Covenant was never given to them. Once we understand the targeted audience, it puts things greatly into perspective.


Hitman is absolutely right.

I think you need to read on and see where Paul was going with his argument, instead of selectively pulling one verse out and terminating your quote before you actually got to his point. The reading continues on to say in Romans 2:25-29: “For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit (pneumatic).”

Here it is! This reading couldn’t be clearer. It starts off with Paul establishing an absolute fact: physical circumcision or Jewishness means nothing. This cannot in anyway be denied. It is clear and definite. The whole thrust of this passage then surrounds Paul determining of who the real circumcision (or Jews) are. Is it natural Jews or spiritual Jews? Is it the physically circumcised or spiritually circumcised? This was an obvious issue in the early church with the move from the old to the new arrangement. The natural Jew based salvation and the favour of God upon his physical birthright and obedience to a set of religious rules, regulations and ordinances. One of the most prominent signs of esteem the Jew advanced was physical circumcision. Paul here – a Hebrew of the Hebrews – blows this fallacy apart and explains what a true Jew is today under the new covenant.

This is crystal clear: Jews in our day are classed as Gentiles and Gentiles as Jews. This is a spiritual application. The context is obvious. The dogs are the unsaved (a term once exclusively related to natural Gentiles). The circumcision or Jews (terms once exclusively applied to natural Israelite) are the redeemed.

John146
Oct 2nd 2008, 03:42 PM
I think you will find that Chapter 2 verse 17 puts the subject of "spiritual Jew" into context for us. Paul is speaking to actual physical Jews (living in Rome at that time) who were zealous for the Law of Moses.

Rom 2:17 But as for you who have the name of Jew, and are resting on the law...

Gentiles were never "resting on the Law" because that particular Covenant was never given to them. Once we understand the targeted audience, it puts things greatly into perspective.

Paul's message throughout a good portion of the book of Romans was not specifically targeted for Gentiles - in fact, it is not until chapter 11 verse 13 that the focus changes from the Jew, back to the Gentiles.

Rom 11:13 But now I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles...

If a Jew has been converted or "circumcised" inwardly through the power of the Holy Spirit, then he is a spiritual Jew and so likewise if a Gentile's heart has been "circumcised" that doesn't mean that person becomes somehow Jewish (because he simply was never a Jew to begin with) but rather he too, like the Jew, becomes spiritual inwardly ... but as a Gentile.

Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, ... for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.Let's say, for the sake of argument, that you were correct that Paul's target audience in Romans 2:28-29 is only ethnic Jews. How does that mean that what he said only applies to them? Don't we find elsewhere the apostles speaking to Jews specifically and telling them about the new status of Gentiles? Here is an example:

Acts 15
7And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
8And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
9And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

Peter's target audience here was Jewish believers, yet he was explaining to them that God had put no difference between them and Gentile believers.

How would Romans 2:28-29 be any different even if, as you are trying to claim, the target audience was Jews? I don't doubt that he was mainly making the points he was making in Romans 2:28-29 to the Jews. Why? To show them that being an ethnic Jew and being circumcised of the flesh was not what made someone a true Jew.

Instead, it has everything to do with being circumcised of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter. Are Gentile believers not circumcised of the heart, in the spirit? I believe he is making the same point here that he makes elsewhere in passages like Ephesians 2:11-22, Galatians 3:26-29 and Romans 11. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile believers. We are all one in Christ Jesus in the same one body/olive tree/church/household of God. In Christ, race or nationality means nothing. We are all true/spiritual Israel and true/spiritual Jews together.

Eric

timmyb
Oct 2nd 2008, 05:32 PM
But notice how in Romans 3 Paul talks about the advantages of being a natural Jew... so while we can claim the Messiah and become a part of it... that does not make us the literal nation of Israel... they still have a distinct identity within the Body of Christ... and we do too... and we have to encourage each other in our separate roles within the same body

the rookie
Oct 2nd 2008, 05:48 PM
Of course, I don't buy into the assumption made in the introduction:


An introductory word: It must be assumed that, if indeed the term "Jew" and its equivalents were applied to Gentiles by Paul or any other of the NT writers, it wasn't at all meant to infer that there are now no such things as actual ethnic Jews, that in Christ people no longer hold distinctive qualities such as race and gender. That would be absurd! It would be only natural to take it as speaking of citizenship; that through Christ Gentiles become a part of the spiritual commonwealth of Israel, as Paul says in Ephesians 2. This must be clearly maintained if we are to have sensible dialog on these important passages.

I explained elsewhere why I disagree with this assumption; these kinds of paradigms make it difficult for both sides to dialogue at all, as we end up speaking two different languages - as I thought BroRog pointed out eloquently in the other thread on this topic.

IPet2_9
Oct 2nd 2008, 05:55 PM
that does not make us the literal nation of Israel

Just because something is spiritual, that doesn't make it not literal. Quite the contrary: spiritual is as literal as it gets. It's the physical that is the symbolism.


Hebrews 8:5 They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven.

John146
Oct 2nd 2008, 06:27 PM
But notice how in Romans 3 Paul talks about the advantages of being a natural Jew... so while we can claim the Messiah and become a part of it... that does not make us the literal nation of Israel... they still have a distinct identity within the Body of Christ... and we do too... and we have to encourage each other in our separate roles within the same bodyWhere does scripture teach that Jew and Gentile believers have separate roles within the body of Christ?

Gal 3
26For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
29And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise

Acts 15
7And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
8And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
9And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

Rom 10:12
For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

Col 3:11
Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

Eph 2
11Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
12That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
13But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
19Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

Matthehitmanhart
Oct 2nd 2008, 06:31 PM
Of course, I don't buy into the assumption made in the introduction:



I explained elsewhere why I disagree with this assumption; these kinds of paradigms make it difficult for both sides to dialogue at all, as we end up speaking two different languages - as I thought BroRog pointed out eloquently in the other thread on this topic.

That's fine. I didn't say you had to agree with it, and I knew many wouldn't; that's precisely why I qualified, "if indeed the term 'Jew' and its equivalents were applied to Gentiles..." Of course this assumption would only need to be accepted if "Jew" and "Israel" and "circumcision" and the like actually do sometimes include Gentiles, which is the question the OP seeks to address.

But if they do I think this is an important distinction to uphold, so that we don't collapse into a completely homogeneous church that denies any sort of diversity within its unity. That was my point in that paragraph. I see many on the one side of this argument quoting Galatians 3:28 and taking it to reactionary extremes which Paul never intended, which forces the other side to deny altogether what I believe Paul actually is saying both there and in many other similar passages, and that is what, IMO, is causing much of the unnecessary squabbling over semantics.

BroRog
Oct 2nd 2008, 09:54 PM
In this thread it has been suggested that the man of verse 26 is not hypothetical but actual, given that a man can keep the law "in the spirit." On this point I would disagree.

One can hardly dispute that had the uncircumcised man set about to keep the requirements of the law he would have gotten himself circumcised. To keep the "spirit of the law" inwardly means that a man has committed himself to the rational and moral basis behind the written statute. He agrees with that basis; he agrees with the implications of it; he attempts to structure his life around it. However, for a man to actually keep the "requirements" of the law, he needs to obey the actual statute.

I believe the central focus of Paul's argument here centers around a man's covenant commitment. If a man has agreed to the covenant and has committed his life to it, what he wears on his body, i.e. a circumcision should reflect his inner commitment to that agreement. Otherwise, he says, what value does it have?

By "value" here, he assumes the reader will understand the significance of being physically marked. The sign is supposed to represent something real. If it doesn't, then it has no value. Just as we recognize a fireman by his uniform, we recognize a father's commitment to the covenant in the circumcision of his son. If a fireman walked around in uniform all day, but never put out any fires, we would doubt his commitment to being a fireman. And, in Paul's view, the net effect would be as if the Fireman wasn't wearing a fireman's uniform.

A "True" fireman actually puts out fires. If a fireman out of uniform put out a fire, the net effect to the home owner would be the same as if he was wearing his uniform. A man represents himself as a fireman with a uniform, but his uniform has no value to anyone if he doesn't actually put out any fires.

That's what Paul means to say when he says that circumcision has value if the circumcised man practices the law. Practicing the law under the covenant is what it's all about and truly represents a man's commitment to his father's deal with God. If a man doesn't practice the law, the sign that represents this fact, is a meaningless sign. Whereas, if a man without the mark of circumcision were to practice the law, he would be doing what the sign of circumcision represents.

Paul's argument doesn't depend on whether such a man exists. His point is well taken because it rests on the logic and implications of how a sign works to indicate meaning to us. Whether an actual uncircumcised man kept the requirements of the law is beside the point. He merely argues that IF such a man existed, the logical implications would be thus-and-such. If 'a' then 'b'.

While the uncircumcised man remains a hypothetical contrast to the circumcised man, the reality of the circumcised man who transgresses the Law is real. And Paul is correct to point out that such a man is acting as if his father never cut him. A transgressor is acting as one having no commitment to the covenant what-so-ever.

Some set up the outward reality against the inward reality as an artificial duality. I see no duality in Paul's argument. He points out that a man's sign of circumcision is meaningless if the man remains a transgressor of the law. But isn't it fair to point out that transgression of the law is as much an outward reality as the cutting of the skin? The inward and the outward aren't exclusively distinct categories. In Paul's argument with the circumcised man, the outward obedience to the law serves as a better signal than the outward cutting of the skin, but we must admit that Paul's uncircumcised man continues his outward expression of his commitment to the covenant. He keeps the requirements of the law -- outwardly.

MailmanGuy
Oct 2nd 2008, 10:40 PM
This is crystal clear: Jews in our day are classed as Gentiles and Gentiles as Jews.

I respect your opinion, but can you provide chapter and verse that specifically states this?

wpm
Oct 2nd 2008, 10:41 PM
But notice how in Romans 3 Paul talks about the advantages of being a natural Jew... so while we can claim the Messiah and become a part of it... that does not make us the literal nation of Israel... they still have a distinct identity within the Body of Christ... and we do too... and we have to encourage each other in our separate roles within the same body

That is definately not what the Bible says. The Bible says “there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek” (Romans 10:12), “there is neither Jew nor Greek” (Galatians 3:28), and “there is neither Greek nor Jew” (Colossians 3:11). Christ has assuredly “put no difference between us and them” (Acts 15:9), “us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles” (Romans 9:24), because “by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles” (1 Corinthians 12:13).

There is no division in the body on ethnic grounds – none. This is essentially a Dispensational concept that has become popular and has taken on many other various forms today within Premillennialism. Whether you modify it or not, this belief is flawed at its very foundations.

Whether we are Jew or Gentile, we who trust Jesus are equal and have one common faith. Acts 10:34-35 confirms, “God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.”

Romans 3:22-23 speaks of “the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

wpm
Oct 2nd 2008, 10:48 PM
I respect your opinion, but can you provide chapter and verse that specifically states this?

Let us start with Romans 2 which you failed to address in my post and the thoughts I attached to it.

wpm
Oct 2nd 2008, 10:53 PM
In this thread it has been suggested that the man of verse 26 is not hypothetical but actual, given that a man can keep the law "in the spirit." On this point I would disagree.

One can hardly dispute that had the uncircumcised man set about to keep the requirements of the law he would have gotten himself circumcised. To keep the "spirit of the law" inwardly means that a man has committed himself to the rational and moral basis behind the written statute. He agrees with that basis; he agrees with the implications of it; he attempts to structure his life around it. However, for a man to actually keep the "requirements" of the law, he needs to obey the actual statute.

I believe the central focus of Paul's argument here centers around a man's covenant commitment. If a man has agreed to the covenant and has committed his life to it, what he wears on his body, i.e. a circumcision should reflect his inner commitment to that agreement. Otherwise, he says, what value does it have?

By "value" here, he assumes the reader will understand the significance of being physically marked. The sign is supposed to represent something real. If it doesn't, then it has no value. Just as we recognize a fireman by his uniform, we recognize a father's commitment to the covenant in the circumcision of his son. If a fireman walked around in uniform all day, but never put out any fires, we would doubt his commitment to being a fireman. And, in Paul's view, the net effect would be as if the Fireman wasn't wearing a fireman's uniform.

A "True" fireman actually puts out fires. If a fireman out of uniform put out a fire, the net effect to the home owner would be the same as if he was wearing his uniform. A man represents himself as a fireman with a uniform, but his uniform has no value to anyone if he doesn't actually put out any fires.

That's what Paul means to say when he says that circumcision has value if the circumcised man practices the law. Practicing the law under the covenant is what it's all about and truly represents a man's commitment to his father's deal with God. If a man doesn't practice the law, the sign that represents this fact, is a meaningless sign. Whereas, if a man without the mark of circumcision were to practice the law, he would be doing what the sign of circumcision represents.

Paul's argument doesn't depend on whether such a man exists. His point is well taken because it rests on the logic and implications of how a sign works to indicate meaning to us. Whether an actual uncircumcised man kept the requirements of the law is beside the point. He merely argues that IF such a man existed, the logical implications would be thus-and-such. If 'a' then 'b'.

While the uncircumcised man remains a hypothetical contrast to the circumcised man, the reality of the circumcised man who transgresses the Law is real. And Paul is correct to point out that such a man is acting as if his father never cut him. A transgressor is acting as one having no commitment to the covenant what-so-ever.

Some set up the outward reality against the inward reality as an artificial duality. I see no duality in Paul's argument. He points out that a man's sign of circumcision is meaningless if the man remains a transgressor of the law. But isn't it fair to point out that transgression of the law is as much an outward reality as the cutting of the skin? The inward and the outward aren't exclusively distinct categories. In Paul's argument with the circumcised man, the outward obedience to the law serves as a better signal than the outward cutting of the skin, but we must admit that Paul's uncircumcised man continues his outward expression of his commitment to the covenant. He keeps the requirements of the law -- outwardly.

I already addressed this. I think you need to read on and see where Paul was going with his argument, instead of selectively pulling one verse out and terminating your quote before you actually got to his point. The reading continues on to say in Romans 2:25-29: “For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit (pneumatic).”

Here it is! This reading couldn’t be clearer. It starts off with Paul establishing an absolute fact: physical circumcision or Jewishness means nothing. This cannot in anyway be denied. It is clear and definite. The whole thrust of this passage then surrounds Paul determining of who the real circumcision (or Jews) are. Is it natural Jews or spiritual Jews? Is it the physically circumcised or spiritually circumcised? This was an obvious issue in the early church with the move from the old to the new arrangement. The natural Jew based salvation and the favour of God upon his physical birthright and obedience to a set of religious rules, regulations and ordinances. One of the most prominent signs of esteem the Jew advanced was physical circumcision. Paul here – a Hebrew of the Hebrews – blows this fallacy apart and explains what a true Jew is today under the new covenant.

This is crystal clear: Jews in our day are classed as Gentiles and Gentiles as Jews. This is a spiritual application. The context is obvious. The dogs are the unsaved (a term once exclusively related to natural Gentiles). The circumcision or Jews (terms once exclusively applied to natural Israelite) are the redeemed.

Nihil Obstat
Oct 2nd 2008, 11:29 PM
When I think of a 'true' Jew, or better put, a 'fulfilled' Jew, I also think of an 'unfulfilled' Jew. If saved Gentiles are 'fulfilled' Jews, then are unsaved Gentiles 'unfulfilled' Jews? Because if not, and 'unfulfilled' Jews are only ethnic Jews, then a 'fulfilled', or 'true' Jew can also only be an ethnic Jew.

- Astro

wpm
Oct 2nd 2008, 11:52 PM
When I think of a 'true' Jew, or better put, a 'fulfilled' Jew, I also think of an 'unfulfilled' Jew. If saved Gentiles are 'fulfilled' Jews, then are unsaved Gentiles 'unfulfilled' Jews? Because if not, and 'unfulfilled' Jews are only ethnic Jews, then a 'fulfilled', or 'true' Jew can also only be an ethnic Jew.

- Astro

Neither an unsaved Jew or an unsaved Gentile is a true Jew (Romans 2). As for "unfulfilled Jew" that is your term and is extra-biblical so it should not need to be justified by either side.

Nihil Obstat
Oct 3rd 2008, 12:12 AM
Neither an unsaved Jew or an unsaved Gentile is a true Jew (Romans 2).

Uh, yeah, I know... perhaps you misread something I wrote?


As for "unfulfilled Jew" that is your term and is extra-biblical so it should not need to be justified by either side.

Oh, and your term 'true' isn't...? But by 'true', do you not mean 'fulfilled' (as Christ is the fulfillment of the law for all who are in Him), or do you mean the opposite of 'false' (which seems unlikely)? Therefore, I say again, when I think of a 'true' Jew, or better put, a 'fulfilled' Jew, I also think of an 'unfulfilled' Jew. If saved Gentiles are 'fulfilled' Jews, then are unsaved Gentiles 'unfulfilled' Jews? Because if not, and 'unfulfilled' Jews are only ethnic Jews, then a 'fulfilled', or 'true' Jew can also only be an ethnic Jew.

- Lk.11

wpm
Oct 3rd 2008, 04:32 AM
Oh, and your term 'true' isn't...? But by 'true', do you not mean 'fulfilled' (as Christ is the fulfillment of the law for all who are in Him), or do you mean the opposite of 'false' (which seems unlikely)? Therefore, I say again, when I think of a 'true' Jew, or better put, a 'fulfilled' Jew, I also think of an 'unfulfilled' Jew. If saved Gentiles are 'fulfilled' Jews, then are unsaved Gentiles 'unfulfilled' Jews? Because if not, and 'unfulfilled' Jews are only ethnic Jews, then a 'fulfilled', or 'true' Jew can also only be an ethnic Jew.
- Lk.11

The only two titles that ultimately matter are saved and unsaved, regardless of nationality, birthday or status. One either belongs to Jesus or the devil. We should never forget that in a discussion like this. The fact is that the Bible uniquely applies Hebrewic terms like "the circumcision," "children of Israel," "Jew" and "Israel" to all believers. These are definitely not used in a natural sense but a spiritual sense.

Romans 2:25-27 is a case in point: “if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?"

So, natural Gentiles that give their heart and life to Christ are counted as the circumcision and those that are naturally viewed as the circumcision are considered uncircumcision. This is evidently speaking spiritually. It is forbid in a natural sense in Scripture. Galatians 6:15 is proof: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature."

Nihil Obstat
Oct 3rd 2008, 05:30 AM
You've completely sidestepped my question again, but ignoring my intent entirely will not make it go away, so I'll ask it for a third time: If saved Gentiles are 'true' Jews, then are unsaved Gentiles 'untrue' Jews?


The only two titles that ultimately matter are saved and unsaved... The fact is that the Bible uniquely applies Hebrewic terms like "the circumcision," "children of Israel," "Jew" and "Israel" to all believers. These are definitely not used in a natural sense but a spiritual sense.

No. You say it's a fact as if all present are in agreement, but we wouldn't be having this conversation if that were so. I disagree that Paul is saying of saved Gentiles in Phil. 3:3 that they are "the circumcision"; I disagree that an uncircumcised man who fulfills the law by the Spirit is called "a Jew" in Rom. 2:29; I disagree that saved Gentiles are ever called "Israel" in Scripture. I've given reasons why, both contextually and logically, on several occasions. Hence my question above, which I ask because I am in agreement with BroRog, that your term 'true' modifies the designation 'Jew' (who, in 2:17 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/c.pl?book=Rom&chapter=2&verse=17&version=KJV#17), is called so in the passive voice, meaning he is a Jew ethnically/naturally, apart from works), and therefore that designation must be carried through, or else the new designation is meaningless, and Paul's conclusion stripped of its purpose and power.

- Lk.11

Nihil Obstat
Oct 3rd 2008, 06:13 AM
Now, with all of the above in mind, especially the Jew/Gentile contrast of vv.25-27, notice the “for” that Paul begins v. 28 with. That conjunction links the argument he has been mounting in the previous three verses with the conclusion he draws in the next two. So then, the “Jew who is one inwardly” must be referring to the same company that has been the positive side of the contrast consistently throughout the chapter, namely uncircumcised Gentiles. This is confirmed once more by what Paul goes on to say in 3:1 (“what advantage then has the Jew?”); because ethnic Israel’s position of honor wouldn’t even be called into question if the contrasted subjects of 2:28-29 were both of Jewish decent, as many suggest. ... Now, it's beyond argument to say that Gentiles stand on the positive side of Paul's contrast in 2:26-27. This considered, as well as all of the above, it seems hard to avoid granting Gentiles the title of "Jew" in 2:28-29. Still, I'm sure many will contest this, so let the dialog begin!

This is where there's a disconnect in my mind about what you're saying here: v.25 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/c.pl?book=Rom&chapter=2&verse=25&version=KJV#25) - The outwardly Circumcised man who is a breaker of the law, his circumcision has already become (perfect tense, active voice) uncircumcision. However, v.26 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/c.pl?book=Rom&chapter=2&verse=26&version=KJV#26) - the outwardly Uncircumcised man who keeps the law by the Spirit, his uncircumcision will be (future tense, passive voice) counted as circumcision. And yet, in vv.28-29 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/c.pl?book=Rom&chapter=2&verse=28&version=KJV#28), this "he" is (present tense) a 'true' Jew. The only 'man' in this passage who is a Jew PRESENTLY is the man who is called (present tense, passive voice) a Jew in v.17 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/c.pl?book=Rom&chapter=2&verse=17&version=KJV#17). Paul certainly is not judging/condemning this "man" in vv.21-24, who is 'a Jew outwardly' (for he signifies corporate ethnic Jews, and Paul himself is a 'natural' Jew; 11:1), but is having the ethnic Jews judge themselves lest they be judged. The following question in 3:1, then, is speaking of "all who are of Israel", the twelve tribes, some of whom did not believe, though all retain their "advantage/profit", not for themselves, but for all men, just as the oracles of God were entrusted to them for all men. Paul goes into more depth about this, as you agree, in chapters 9-11. What would be your comments on this, Hitman?

- Lk.11

jeffweeder
Oct 3rd 2008, 06:28 AM
If saved Gentiles are 'true' Jews, then are unsaved Gentiles 'untrue' Jews?

No they are gentiles period.
Not even a Jew is a true Jew without the truth of God in his heart and the born again experience.

Jesus came to create a new man that Paul calls the true Jew, regardless of nationality.
Those born again of the Spirit are the true, without it you see nothing,inherit nothing.



So, natural Gentiles that give their heart and life to Christ are counted as the circumcision and those that are naturally viewed as the circumcision are considered uncircumcision. This is evidently speaking spiritually. It is forbid in a natural sense in Scripture. Galatians 6:15 is proof: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature."

Amen

Nihil Obstat
Oct 3rd 2008, 06:44 AM
No they are gentiles period.
Not even a Jew is a true Jew without the truth of God in his heart and the born again experience.

Then logically the word "Jew" loses all meaning, and Paul is laboring to make nonsensical points.


Jesus came to create a new man that Paul calls the true Jew, regardless of nationality.

Where explicitly does Paul say "the one new man is the true Jew"...? Doesn't he rather say, "those Gentiles saved by grace through faith are grafted in with the 'true' Jew to their promised kingdom"...? He does. Therefore, these are two distinct people groups that make up the one new man (cp. Rom. 3:29-30; 4:16; Eph. 2:18; Col. 4:11; etc.). I mean, the very fact that we are FELLOW citizens and members WITH Israel ought to convey my point clearly.

- Lk.11

jeffweeder
Oct 3rd 2008, 07:26 AM
Where explicitly does Paul say "the one new man is the true Jew".

hi


For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh.
29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.


For the Scripture says, "WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED."
12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him;
13 for "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED."


We are fellow members with all those Jews that believed in Christ. (Abe saw it and was glad about it)
In Gods mind a true Jew was always going to recieve the Gospel, those that did remained grafted in.This same promise was for the gentiles, as he is God of the Gentiles also, and we are grafted in by being born of his Spirit also.

Nihil Obstat
Oct 3rd 2008, 02:19 PM
We are fellow members with all those Jews that believed in Christ. (Abe saw it and was glad about it)
In Gods mind a true Jew was always going to recieve the Gospel, those that did remained grafted in.This same promise was for the gentiles, as he is God of the Gentiles also, and we are grafted in by being born of his Spirit also.

I agree. But when we Gentiles are grafted in, does Paul say we are grafted in and become a 'true' Jew? No. Does he not rather say we are grafted in with the 'true' Jews? Yes, for Jesus "came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near" (Eph. 2:17). As I just wrote, we who are Uncircumcised in our flesh but saved by grace through faith, our hearts become circumcised, and we become by Jesus' blood FELLOW citizens - with who? - with those who are Circumcised in flesh and heart. There are two people groups here which make up the one new man, as Paul says clearly in 2:15, 18 - "[Christ created] in Himself one new man from the two... For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father."

- Lk.11

wpm
Oct 3rd 2008, 02:32 PM
You've completely sidestepped my question again, but ignoring my intent entirely will not make it go away, so I'll ask it for a third time: If saved Gentiles are 'true' Jews, then are unsaved Gentiles 'untrue' Jews?

An unsaved Gentile is an unsaved Gentile; an unsaved Jew is an unsaved Jew. If this answer is unpleasing unto you that is fine, but that is what I believe.



No. You say it's a fact as if all present are in agreement, but we wouldn't be having this conversation if that were so. I disagree that Paul is saying of saved Gentiles in Phil. 3:3 that they are "the circumcision"; I disagree that an uncircumcised man who fulfills the law by the Spirit is called "a Jew" in Rom. 2:29; I disagree that saved Gentiles are ever called "Israel" in Scripture. I've given reasons why, both contextually and logically, on several occasions. Hence my question above, which I ask because I am in agreement with BroRog, that your term 'true' modifies the designation 'Jew' (who, in 2:17 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/c.pl?book=Rom&chapter=2&verse=17&version=KJV#17), is called so in the passive voice, meaning he is a Jew ethnically/naturally, apart from works), and therefore that designation must be carried through, or else the new designation is meaningless, and Paul's conclusion stripped of its purpose and power.

- Lk.11



Ok, out of the 4 designations I have presented that I say carry both a natural and a spiritual application, you deny 2 are so, arguing the terms "Israel" and "Jew" are never identified with believing Gentiles. Of course I disagree and I believe I have clearly shown you the error of this position in this thread. What about "the circumcision" and "Children of Abraham"? You are silent on them. Do you accept that they carry both a natural and a spiritual connotation? I thought these were all referring to the same thing?

wpm
Oct 3rd 2008, 02:43 PM
This is where there's a disconnect in my mind about what you're saying here: v.25 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/c.pl?book=Rom&chapter=2&verse=25&version=KJV#25) - The outwardly Circumcised man who is a breaker of the law, his circumcision has already become (perfect tense, active voice) uncircumcision. However, v.26 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/c.pl?book=Rom&chapter=2&verse=26&version=KJV#26) - the outwardly Uncircumcised man who keeps the law by the Spirit, his uncircumcision will be (future tense, passive voice) counted as circumcision. And yet, in vv.28-29 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/c.pl?book=Rom&chapter=2&verse=28&version=KJV#28), this "he" is (present tense) a 'true' Jew. The only 'man' in this passage who is a Jew PRESENTLY is the man who is called (present tense, passive voice) a Jew in v.17 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/c.pl?book=Rom&chapter=2&verse=17&version=KJV#17). Paul certainly is not judging/condemning this "man" in vv.21-24, who is 'a Jew outwardly' (for he signifies corporate ethnic Jews, and Paul himself is a 'natural' Jew; 11:1), but is having the ethnic Jews judge themselves lest they be judged. The following question in 3:1, then, is speaking of "all who are of Israel", the twelve tribes, some of whom did not believe, though all retain their "advantage/profit", not for themselves, but for all men, just as the oracles of God were entrusted to them for all men. Paul goes into more depth about this, as you agree, in chapters 9-11. What would be your comments on this, Hitman?

- Lk.11

What act actually makes a Gentile circumcised?

BroRog
Oct 3rd 2008, 02:46 PM
It is the circumcising of the heart that qualifies one to be considered the true circumcision. You keep trying to keep a wall of distinction between the Jew and Gentile after conversion when none actually exists. Christ destroyed that on the cross. It is wrong to say a converted Jew is a true Jew or truly circumcised (through spiritual circumcision) yet a converted is not. Both are classed as circumcised and both become true sons of Abraham upon salvation – not before it.

I'm going to give this one last try. Then I'm done. Okay, you say Christ removed the distinction between Jew and Gentile on the cross. Did he also remove the distinction between a man and a woman?

Careful how you answer.

IPet2_9
Oct 3rd 2008, 02:48 PM
Well he certainly did in the sense that a woman can be spiritually circumcised, just as much as any man.

John146
Oct 3rd 2008, 03:33 PM
Oh, and your term 'true' isn't...? But by 'true', do you not mean 'fulfilled' (as Christ is the fulfillment of the law for all who are in Him), or do you mean the opposite of 'false' (which seems unlikely)? Therefore, I say again, when I think of a 'true' Jew, or better put, a 'fulfilled' Jew, I also think of an 'unfulfilled' Jew. If saved Gentiles are 'fulfilled' Jews, then are unsaved Gentiles 'unfulfilled' Jews? Because if not, and 'unfulfilled' Jews are only ethnic Jews, then a 'fulfilled', or 'true' Jew can also only be an ethnic Jew.

- Lk.11Why do you use the terms "fulfilled" and "unfulfilled" when Paul speaks in terms of being circumcised spiritually as opposed to being circumcised physically? It's not about being fulfilled or unfulfilled. It's about being made new spiritually or not by the circumcision of the heart, in the spirit.

All Paul is talking about in that passage is the same as what is talked about throughout the New Testament. He is contrasting those who are circumcised of the heart and in the spirit and therefore are new creatures in Christ inwardly and spiritually with those who are only circumcised of the flesh without being changed on the inside.

All believers, Jew and Gentile alike, are circumcised of the heart, in the spirit. Therefore, there's no reason to think that Gentile believers are not included among those who are Jews inwardly. The term "Jew", in this case, applies to one who is part of the heavenly Jerusalem "which is the mother of us all" (Gal 4:26). All believers are spiritual or heavenly Jews because our citizenship is in the heavenly Jerusalem (Heb 12:22). We sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:5-6).

John146
Oct 3rd 2008, 03:37 PM
I'm going to give this one last try. Then I'm done. Okay, you say Christ removed the distinction between Jew and Gentile on the cross. Did he also remove the distinction between a man and a woman?

Careful how you answer.In a way, He did.

Galatians 3
26For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Isn't this what really matters? Whether one belongs to Christ or not? Being Jew or Gentile, bond or free, male or female, means nothing when it comes to belonging to Christ. We are the children of God "by faith in Christ Jesus".

wpm
Oct 3rd 2008, 03:38 PM
I'm going to give this one last try. Then I'm done. Okay, you say Christ removed the distinction between Jew and Gentile on the cross. Did he also remove the distinction between a man and a woman?

Careful how you answer.

I keep outlining a spiritual truth, you keep thinking natural. Galatians 3:26-29 says, “For ye are all the children of the God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

This reading is not in any way saying that one's race, natural standing, or gender is cancelled out by conversion. That would be absurd. What it is saying is in God’s spiritual house of faith – the redeemed Church of all generations – one’s ethnic background, sex or personal status means absolutely nothing to the Lord.

Our nationality, race, parentage, birthplace, colour or gender has no bearing on how God’s views or deals with us, neither does it affect the blessings He bestows upon each redeemed member of the body of Christ. Race carries no special treatment, benefits or merit in this New Testament era. What this passage confirms is (and despite what Dispensationalists argue), when it comes to salvation ethnicity means nothing to God. Although the convert obviously maintains his nationality (in a natural sense), in a spiritual sense he becomes part of a new arrangement with a new identity. His heritage becomes spiritual and favoured and he enters into the fellowship of the redeemed of God. He automatically becomes the spiritual offspring of Abraham by faith. It is an environment where one’s natural background, identity or ability counts for nought. Within God’s kingdom everyone stands on a level playing field.

John146
Oct 3rd 2008, 04:00 PM
Where explicitly does Paul say "the one new man is the true Jew"...? Doesn't he rather say, "those Gentiles saved by grace through faith are grafted in with the 'true' Jew to their promised kingdom"...? He does. Therefore, these are two distinct people groups that make up the one new man (cp. Rom. 3:29-30; 4:16; Eph. 2:18; Col. 4:11; etc.). I mean, the very fact that we are FELLOW citizens and members WITH Israel ought to convey my point clearly.

- Lk.11Gentile believers are fellow citizens with Jewish believers OF the Israel of God. Do you believe it's saying that we are fellow citizens with the nation of Israel? If so, how could that be since not all the nation of Israel are citizens of the household of God, which is the church?

Matthehitmanhart
Oct 3rd 2008, 04:43 PM
When I think of a 'true' Jew, or better put, a 'fulfilled' Jew, I also think of an 'unfulfilled' Jew. If saved Gentiles are 'fulfilled' Jews, then are unsaved Gentiles 'unfulfilled' Jews? Because if not, and 'unfulfilled' Jews are only ethnic Jews, then a 'fulfilled', or 'true' Jew can also only be an ethnic Jew.

I agree with wpm on this one. Your qualification "unfulfilled" necessarily changes Paul's absolute negative in v. 28 to a partial positive; i.e. instead of saying, like he does, that "he is not a Jew who is one outwardly" you insist that he means "he is merely an incomplete Jew who is one only outwardly". Now if his point actually was stated positively you may have half an argument, but as it is you have no grammatical ground to stand on.

Would you say the same for Revelation 2:9 and 3:9, that when Jesus calls the Jewish persecutors of the Church "those who say they are Jews but are not", what he really meant to say was "those who call themselves fulfilled Jews but are really unfulfilled"? I should think not. His point is that they are false, decidedly outside of the covenant and subject to judgment, not merely that they are incomplete. And that is exactly what Paul's point is in Romans 2:28 as well.


This is where there's a disconnect in my mind about what you're saying here: v.25 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/c.pl?book=Rom&chapter=2&verse=25&version=KJV#25) - The outwardly Circumcised man who is a breaker of the law, his circumcision has already become (perfect tense, active voice) uncircumcision. However, v.26 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/c.pl?book=Rom&chapter=2&verse=26&version=KJV#26) - the outwardly Uncircumcised man who keeps the law by the Spirit, his uncircumcision will be (future tense, passive voice) counted as circumcision. And yet, in vv.28-29 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/c.pl?book=Rom&chapter=2&verse=28&version=KJV#28), this "he" is (present tense) a 'true' Jew. The only 'man' in this passage who is a Jew PRESENTLY is the man who is called (present tense, passive voice) a Jew in v.17 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/c.pl?book=Rom&chapter=2&verse=17&version=KJV#17). Paul certainly is not judging/condemning this "man" in vv.21-24, who is 'a Jew outwardly' (for he signifies corporate ethnic Jews, and Paul himself is a 'natural' Jew; 11:1), but is having the ethnic Jews judge themselves lest they be judged. The following question in 3:1, then, is speaking of "all who are of Israel", the twelve tribes, some of whom did not believe, though all retain their "advantage/profit", not for themselves, but for all men, just as the oracles of God were entrusted to them for all men. Paul goes into more depth about this, as you agree, in chapters 9-11. What would be your comments on this, Hitman?If indeed there is any point to the perfect tense of v. 25 in contrast to the future tense of v. 26, it is this: a Jew is born into the family which God set apart and a Gentile is not, so if a Jew does not walk according to the covenant his standing in the family is revoked, whereas a Gentile must come into the family, a family to which he does not originally belong. That's probably the same point which Paul intends to make in 3:30 in using "by" for the Jew and "through" for the Gentile. But regardless, this difference of tense has bearing on 2:28-29, for a Gentile who has become a Jew could just as rightly be called a Jew in the present tense as a natural born Jew could.

I've said this before, but it's important to be clear about the fact that the "advantage" of which Paul speaks in 3:1 (and then elaborates on in 9:4) is not a present tense functional advantage that Jewish Christians hold over against Gentile Christians. Rather the advantage is an historical advantage, that "to them were committed the oracles of God" at the first. But of course Gentile Christians now hold God's word the same as Jewish Christians. "What then?", Paul concludes, "Are we better than they? Not at all."

third hero
Oct 3rd 2008, 05:58 PM
No they are gentiles period.
Not even a Jew is a true Jew without the truth of God in his heart and the born again experience.

Jesus came to create a new man that Paul calls the true Jew, regardless of nationality.
Those born again of the Spirit are the true, without it you see nothing,inherit nothing.




Amen

I am sorry, but I have to chime in on this statement right here. I would like to introduce to all of you an old testament term. The term is "saint". This word was used in the OT only twice, as far as I am aware of. (Daniel 7, Zechariah 14). During both of these chapters, we see a group that is distinct. One is given the earth, along with the Son of Man, and the other is seen with the Lord, as He comes to claim the earth.

Who are these "saints" that are persecuted, judged by the ancient one, given a kingdom and seen with the Lord as He comes? Well, the NT answers that question. The saint, for all tense and purposes, is a believer in Lord Jesus. Jesus did not come to create a new man, as Jeff here is trying to say. He created a man that the world had never known, not since Adam before his fall to sin. He came to create "the saint". As a result, He became the first "saint", and which all of us, who continue to follow Him, wil become as well.

I am sure that Paul understood this as well, but because the terminology was not present at that time, whereas all of the Jews at that era thought of themselves as saints when they were only blameless sinners until the Lord's Death, he could not bring forth the ideology of the saint versus the Jew. Romans 2-8 was the best that he could do. It sufficed, but many, because they too have not either read the OT scriptures that deal with these people that were not really defined, or their POV has restricted them into not believing in those verses at all, instead converting those verses into figurations.

The "True Jew", which Paul was talking about in chapters 2-11, is "the saint". A Saint is one who honors every word of Lord Jesus, which both fulfills the entire law and establishes it at the very same time. These are the believers, and nothing else. This is why there are no classifications between believers, as Paul also highlighted in other epistles, but they are not of this world. The closest thing that Paul had to saying that the saint was indeed God's child is to attach the the nation that God chose to it. And so, Israel is no longer just a nation of people who were descended from Jacob, although that meaning is stil retained. Israel now has dual meanings. There is physical Israel, which are the physical descendents of Jacob, and then there are the children of God, the saint.

Am I wrong? Well, insert the term Saint to every place where you see "Jew of the Spirit", or "spiritual Jew". When you do so, you wil see the actual meaning of what Paul was attempting to show both the Jew and the Gentile.

Paul was not attempting to replace Israel with the Gentiles as God's chosen people. Not in the slightest, as he wrote very clearly in Romans 11. He was trying to show all of us God was interested in both the Jew and the Gentile becoming saints, and that Israel, the nation that God chose, will in fact cross the barrier and become saints corporately.

After all, the point of this entire thread was to provide a means to alter Roman 11, one thing that I find appauling.

third hero
Oct 3rd 2008, 06:04 PM
Think about this as well. Which Jerusalem is heavenly? Is it the one on earth, or the one to come? If it is the one to come, then who can enter that heavenly Jerusalem? Can just anyone enter in? No. The one who would have that right is the same as those who were born from it, the saint. This is the meaning of being born again. Those who are born of the Spirit, which is heavenly, are those who are members of Heavenly Jerusalem.

Again, the author here in Hebrews, like Paul, could not find the terms in which to explain the difference between the "law-abiding" Jew, and the Jew who is a believer in Lord Jesus. The word they were searching for was the term saint, which again, only appears twice in the OT, and which at both points were only connected to the Lord, otherwise known as "the Son of Man".

wpm,
I believe that this is what you were trying to explain, but the terms you used were the same trappings in which Paul went through great lengths to avoid. If we took your definitions, and instead of using the term "Israel" or "Jew", and inserted the term "saint", we will actually be in agreement.

wpm
Oct 3rd 2008, 06:07 PM
Israel, the nation that God chose, will in fact cross the barrier and become saints corporately.

After all, the point of this entire thread was to provide a means to alter Roman 11, one thing that I find appauling.

Again you make claims without substantiating them with Scripture. Once again you question the motive of those who oppose your view. Why can you not keep to Scripture? I can assure you, contrary to what you claim my aim is to present a biblical perspective of this much misunderstood matter.

wpm
Oct 3rd 2008, 06:12 PM
wpm,

I believe that this is what you were trying to explain, but the terms you used were the same trappings in which Paul went through great lengths to avoid. If we took your definitions, and instead of using the term "Israel" or "Jew", and inserted the term "saint", we will actually be in agreement.

If you check back over this thread you will see that Paul is the one using these terms to describe the saints of God. I feel we are in full agreement with Paul here. A true Jew, circumcision, Israel, or child of Abraham is a born again believer.

John146
Oct 3rd 2008, 07:40 PM
I agree with wpm on this one. You're qualification "unfulfilled" necessarily changes Paul's absolute negative in v. 28 to a partial positive; i.e. instead of saying, like he does, that "he is not a Jew who is one outwardly" you insist that he means "he is merely an incomplete Jew who is one only outwardly". If his point was stated positively you may have an argument, but as it is you have no grammatical ground to stand on.

Would you say the same for Revelation 2:9 and 3:9, that when Jesus calls the Jewish persecutors of the Church "those who say they are Jews but are not", what he really meant to say was "those who call themselves fulfilled Jews but are really unfulfilled"? I should think not. His point is that they are false, decidedly outside of the covenant and subject to judgment, not merely that they are incomplete. And that is exactly what Paul's point is in Romans 2:28 as well.



If indeed there is any point to the perfect tense of v. 25 in contrast to the future tense of v. 26, it is this: a Jew is born into the family which God set apart and a Gentile is not, so if a Jew does not walk according to the covenant his standing in the family is revoked, whereas a Gentile must come into the family, a family to which he does not originally belong. That's probably the same point which Paul intends to make in 3:30 in using "by" for the Jew and "through" for the Gentile. But regardless, this difference of tense has bearing on 2:28-29, for a Gentile who has become a Jew could just as rightly be called a Jew in the present tense as a natural born Jew could.

I've said this before, but it's important to be clear about the fact that the "advantage" of which Paul speaks in 3:1 (and then elaborates on in 9:4) is not a present tense functional advantage that Jewish Christians hold over against Gentile Christians. Rather the advantage is an historical advantage, that "to them were committed the oracles of God" at the first. Of course Gentile Christians now hold God's word the same as Jewish Christians do. "What then?", Paul concludes, "Are we better than they? Not at all."Agree. Well said.

BroRog
Oct 3rd 2008, 11:58 PM
In a way, He did.

Galatians 3
26For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Isn't this what really matters? Whether one belongs to Christ or not? Being Jew or Gentile, bond or free, male or female, means nothing when it comes to belonging to Christ. We are the children of God "by faith in Christ Jesus".

The issue at hand is the exegesis of Romans 2. We are discussing what Paul intends to say in Romans 2:25-29. For some reason, I am finding it frustrating that folks can't or won't attempt to understand the passage in consideration of the surrounding discourse and attempt to adhere to conventional word usage rules.

Secondly, wpm seems unable or unwilling to acknowledge that his dualism is unbalanced. astrongerthanhe has been attempting to draw out this imbalance, to get wpm to see his exegetical error without much success. wpm's theory about the passage forces the Apostle to make a flawed and imbalanced comparison, which looks like the following.

Jew outwardly:

A Jew who does not believe that Jesus is the Christ, etc.

Jew inwardly:

A Jew or Gentile who believes that Jesus is the Christ, etc.

astrongerthanhe asked wpm where the non-believing Gentile fit. I assume the reason astrongerthanhe asked about the non-believing Gentile has to do with the obvious imbalance of wpm's formula. The non-believing Gentile is no where to be found in the "Jew outwardly" category.

And why is that? The obvious answer is this. To place the non-believing Gentile into the "Jew outwardly" category is to create a major contradition in terms. What astrongerthanhe and I are trying to get wpm to see, is that the Gentile doesn't belong in either category. It's not that we are suggesting that Galatians 3 is wrong. We are saying that the Apostle Paul is not making the same point in Romans 2:28-29 that he makes in Galatians 3:28.

wpm, forces a dualism on Romans 2:28-29 that doesn't belong, which obfuscates the Apostle's point. wpm forgets that the Apostle is making his case to a church he never visited. And for this reason, the Apostle is taking more time to make his points. He has no expectation that the Roman church will have a copy of his Galatian letter at hand to use as a guide along with his letter to the Romans. In an exegetial study, like the one we are doing? here, we are not allowed to bring outside material into the discussion. An exegetial study attempts to assertain the meaning of the text as if that was the only text available.

We can't just superimpose the party line "Jesus saves" on every verse we read. We must have patience and allow the Apostle to develop his case. We know that by the time he gets to the end of chapter 5, he will have made his case for Jew/Gentile salvation by faith. But right now, we are in chapter 2 in which Paul is trying to make a distinction between a Jewish believer and a Jewish non-believer. We need to let him make that case first. We must wait until chapter 4 before he makes his case for Gentile inclusion.

BroRog
Oct 4th 2008, 12:16 AM
I keep outlining a spiritual truth, you keep thinking natural. Galatians 3:26-29 says, “For ye are all the children of the God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

This reading is not in any way saying that one's race, natural standing, or gender is cancelled out by conversion. That would be absurd. What it is saying is in God’s spiritual house of faith – the redeemed Church of all generations – one’s ethnic background, sex or personal status means absolutely nothing to the Lord.

Our nationality, race, parentage, birthplace, colour or gender has no bearing on how God’s views or deals with us, neither does it affect the blessings He bestows upon each redeemed member of the body of Christ. Race carries no special treatment, benefits or merit in this New Testament era. What this passage confirms is (and despite what Dispensationalists argue), when it comes to salvation ethnicity means nothing to God. Although the convert obviously maintains his nationality (in a natural sense), in a spiritual sense he becomes part of a new arrangement with a new identity. His heritage becomes spiritual and favoured and he enters into the fellowship of the redeemed of God. He automatically becomes the spiritual offspring of Abraham by faith. It is an environment where one’s natural background, identity or ability counts for nought. Within God’s kingdom everyone stands on a level playing field.

You didn't answer the question. I asked you whether the Apostle continues to make a distinction between a man and a woman. It's a 'yes' or 'no' question that demands a 'yes' or 'no' answer.

Your quotation of the Galatians passage is what I had in mind when I asked you the question. You continually make a critical error every time you superimpose that Galatians passage on other Biblical passages. But you dare not superimpose the passage on clear apostolic teachings where the differences between a man and a woman are explicit. In these cases, your so-called "spiritual" thinking fails to give you the right answer.

Paul clearly states that he does not allow a woman to teach. Whatever we think about that passage, one thing is certain, the apostle is making some kind of distinction between a man and a women. Your blanket dualistic statements that race and gender distinctives are canceled out in salvation are proven wrong. Your spirit/natural dualism isn't Biblical.

wpm
Oct 4th 2008, 12:28 AM
The issue at hand is the exegesis of Romans 2. We are discussing what Paul intends to say in Romans 2:25-29. For some reason, I am finding it frustrating that folks can't or won't attempt to understand the passage in consideration of the surrounding discourse and attempt to adhere to conventional word usage rules.

Secondly, wpm seems unable or unwilling to acknowledge that his dualism is unbalanced. astrongerthanhe has been attempting to draw out this imbalance, to get wpm to see his exegetical error without much success. wpm's theory about the passage forces the Apostle to make a flawed and imbalanced comparison, which looks like the following.

Jew outwardly:

A Jew who does not believe that Jesus is the Christ, etc.

Jew inwardly:

A Jew or Gentile who believes that Jesus is the Christ, etc.

astrongerthanhe asked wpm where the non-believing Gentile fit. I assume the reason astrongerthanhe asked about the non-believing Gentile has to do with the obvious imbalance of wpm's formula. The non-believing Gentile is no where to be found in the "Jew outwardly" category.

And why is that? The obvious answer is this. To place the non-believing Gentile into the "Jew outwardly" category is to create a major contradition in terms. What astrongerthanhe and I are trying to get wpm to see, is that the Gentile doesn't belong in either category. It's not that we are suggesting that Galatians 3 is wrong. We are saying that the Apostle Paul is not making the same point in Romans 2:28-29 that he makes in Galatians 3:28.

wpm, forces a dualism on Romans 2:28-29 that doesn't belong, which obfuscates the Apostle's point. wpm forgets that the Apostle is making his case to a church he never visited. And for this reason, the Apostle is taking more time to make his points. He has no expectation that the Roman church will have a copy of his Galatian letter at hand to use as a guide along with his letter to the Romans. In an exegetial study, like the one we are doing? here, we are not allowed to bring outside material into the discussion. An exegetial study attempts to assertain the meaning of the text as if that was the only text available.

We can't just superimpose the party line "Jesus saves" on every verse we read. We must have patience and allow the Apostle to develop his case. We know that by the time he gets to the end of chapter 5, he will have made his case for Jew/Gentile salvation by faith. But right now, we are in chapter 2 in which Paul is trying to make a distinction between a Jewish believer and a Jewish non-believer. We need to let him make that case first. We must wait until chapter 4 before he makes his case for Gentile inclusion.

No. Contrary to your claims, Paul refers to both the natural Jew and the natural Gentile in Romans 2:26-29. I don't know how you keep missing this fact. It is your failure to see this that is creating your confusion with my position. You need to first read the passage over again and secondly read my posts again. Also, please don't speak on my behalf. I can do that ok myself. In doing so, you misrepresent my position and that of others that disagree with your logic.

You need to look at Romans 2. You are being selective in only referring to a “Jew … outwardly” and concentrating your entire argument around their natural ethnicity. On the other hand you continually ignore any reference to the natural Gentile. Paul covers the natural "circumcision" and the natural "uncircumcision" not merely the "circumcision" as you suggest.

Paul alludes to a “Jew ... outwardly” (Romans 2:28-29) only after referring to the natural Gentile or “uncircumcision” in Romans 2:26-27. Paul then spiritualises both natural designations showing that those that are naturally one thing end up spiritually another, and vice versa.

So we have two groups in this reading that embrace the whole scope of mankind in this intra-Advent period. Contrary to your concern, no one is left out. Here are the two groups in view:

Spiritual “uncircumcision”

This relates to unsaved Jews and Gentiles.

Spiritual “circumcision”

This relates to saved Jews and Gentiles.

As you can see, these spiritual titles are all embracing!!!

wpm
Oct 4th 2008, 12:32 AM
You didn't answer the question. I asked you whether the Apostle continues to make a distinction between a man and a woman. It's a 'yes' or 'no' question that demands a 'yes' or 'no' answer.

Your quotation of the Galatians passage is what I had in mind when I asked you the question. You continually make a critical error every time you superimpose that Galatians passage on other Biblical passages. But you dare not superimpose the passage on clear apostolic teachings where the differences between a man and a woman are explicit. In these cases, your so-called "spiritual" thinking fails to give you the right answer.

Paul clearly states that he does not allow a woman to teach. Whatever we think about that passage, one thing is certain, the apostle is making some kind of distinction between a man and a women. Your blanket dualistic statements that race and gender distinctives are canceled out in salvation are proven wrong. Your spirit/natural dualism isn't Biblical.

I have already answered this in detail. ;)

BroRog
Oct 4th 2008, 12:58 AM
I agree with wpm on this one. Your qualification "unfulfilled" necessarily changes Paul's absolute negative in v. 28 to a partial positive; i.e. instead of saying, like he does, that "he is not a Jew who is one outwardly" you insist that he means "he is merely an incomplete Jew who is one only outwardly". Now if his point actually was stated positively you may have half an argument, but as it is you have no grammatical ground to stand on.

Grammatically, verse 28 may be an absolute negative, but conceptually his statement is informed by his previous contrast between a circumcised man who transgresses the law, and an uncircumcised man who keeps the law. To say that a Jew is not one outwardly, is not true if taken literally and outside the surrounding discourse.

If I say that a Japanese man is not one outwardly, I am not suggesting for a moment that he isn't actually Japanese on the outside. My assertion isn't meant as an absolute negative in the literal sense. I might say that a Japanese man is not one outwardly in order to set up my point that certain Japanese men are missing an essential or vital attribute of what it means to be a Japanese man in the deepest and most significant sense. Perhaps he was born and raised in the United States, living without much appreciation for the culture, mores, and ways of the Japanese. He lives like an American, talks like an American, acts like an American, and thinks like an American. Except for his racial features, I can't say he is Japanese.

The point is, to say that a Japanese is not one outwardly, but one inwardly is not to say that he doesn't look Japanese on the outside. It simply means that he is missing an essential inward attribute of being Japanese.


Would you say the same for Revelation 2:9 and 3:9, that when Jesus calls the Jewish persecutors of the Church "those who say they are Jews but are not", what he really meant to say was "those who call themselves fulfilled Jews but are really unfulfilled"? I should think not. His point is that they are false, decidedly outside of the covenant and subject to judgment, not merely that they are incomplete. And that is exactly what Paul's point is in Romans 2:28 as well.


Actually, his reference could just as easily point to those Gentiles who converted to Judaism under the impression that God wanted Gentiles to convert to Judaism as the party of the circumcision taught. Critique and arguments against this phenomenon seems to be more prevalent in the New Testament.


But regardless, this difference of tense has bearing on 2:28-29, for a Gentile who has become a Jew could just as rightly be called a Jew in the present tense as a natural born Jew could.

If I understand your point, this idea runs up against a difficult challenge to explain it means to be "Jewish" on the inside. I know what it means to be a believer on the inside, but if Paul is saying that it's possible for a Gentile to be Jewish on the inside, then we are left to discover what that means on our own because Paul never defines it outside of a Jewish context.

Words have meaning and so if we say that a Gentile can be a Jew inwardly, then we are saying something different than if we said a Gentile is a Gentile inwardly. What is so vital, essential, and unique about being a Jew that we should want to be a Jew inside? Or are you suggesting that Paul is just throwing the term "Jew" around like a meaningless word?


I've said this before, but it's important to be clear about the fact that the "advantage" of which Paul speaks in 3:1 (and then elaborates on in 9:4) is not a present tense functional advantage that Jewish Christians hold over against Gentile Christians. Rather the advantage is an historical advantage, that "to them were committed the oracles of God" at the first. But of course Gentile Christians now hold God's word the same as Jewish Christians. "What then?", Paul concludes, "Are we better than they? Not at all."

Agreed. The Advantage is historical in that, as he says, the Jews were given the oracles of God. If knowledge of the gospel is a prerequisite of belief, then the Jews had an advantage of knowledge.

BroRog
Oct 4th 2008, 01:13 AM
No. Contrary to your claims, Paul refers to both the natural Jew and the natural Gentile in Romans 2:26-29. I don't know how you keep missing this fact.

Probably because it isn't a fact.


Also, please don't speak on my behalf. I can do that ok myself. In doing so, you misrepresent my position and that of others that disagree with your logic.

The point is, YOU misrepresent your own position, because you're statements aren't logical. I'm just helping others see it.


You need to look at Romans 2. You are being selective in only referring to a “Jew … outwardly” and concentrating your entire argument around their natural ethnicity. On the other hand you continually ignore any reference to the natural Gentile. Paul covers the natural "circumcision" and the natural "uncircumcision" not merely the "circumcision" as you suggest.


I disagree with your interpretation, probably because I don't share your dualism. I disagree that Paul is contrasting a Jew and a Gentile in 2:25-27. For the sake of argument, he is contrasting a circumcised man with an uncircumcised man. He doesn't say, as you assume, that the uncircumcised man is circumcised of heart. He just doesn't. Take a look. It isn't there. He merely points out that an uncircumcised man, whether he be Jewish or not, if he keeps the requirements of the law, will be considered as if he was circumcised. The comparison isn't between a Jew and a Gentile, but between a circumcised man and an uncircumcised man. Paul isn't making an ethnic point, he is making a covenant point.

BroRog
Oct 4th 2008, 01:14 AM
I have already answered this in detail. ;)

If you say so. If you say so.

wpm
Oct 4th 2008, 01:48 AM
Probably because it isn't a fact.

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The point is, YOU misrepresent your own position, because you're statements aren't logical. I'm just helping others see it.



I disagree with your interpretation, probably because I don't share your dualism. I disagree that Paul is contrasting a Jew and a Gentile in 2:25-27. For the sake of argument, he is contrasting a circumcised man with an uncircumcised man. He doesn't say, as you assume, that the uncircumcised man is circumcised of heart. He just doesn't. Take a look. It isn't there. He merely points out that an uncircumcised man, whether he be Jewish or not, if he keeps the requirements of the law, will be considered as if he was circumcised. The comparison isn't between a Jew and a Gentile, but between a circumcised man and an uncircumcised man. Paul isn't making an ethnic point, he is making a covenant point.

I see you never addressed my conclusion. I think it is worthy of your careful consideration:

Paul alludes to a “Jew ... outwardly” (Romans 2:28-29) only after referring to the natural Gentile or “uncircumcision” in Romans 2:26-27. Paul then spiritualises both natural designations showing that those that are naturally one thing end up spiritually another, and vice versa.

So we have two groups in this reading that embrace the whole scope of mankind in this intra-Advent period. Contrary to your concern, no one is left out. Here are the two groups in view:

Spiritual “uncircumcision”

This relates to unsaved Jews and Gentiles.

Spiritual “circumcision”

This relates to saved Jews and Gentiles.

As you can see, these spiritual titles are all embracing!!!

Matthehitmanhart
Oct 4th 2008, 02:10 AM
Grammatically, verse 28 may be an absolute negative, but conceptually his statement is informed by his previous contrast between a circumcised man who transgresses the law, and an uncircumcised man who keeps the law. To say that a Jew is not one outwardly, is not true if taken literally and outside the surrounding discourse.

But it's precisely in taking Paul's statement in verse 28 within the surrounding discourse, and especially in light of the previous contrast between the circumcised who transgresses the law and the uncircumcised who keeps it, that we find what he means by saying that "he is not a Jew who is one outwardly", and we find that it is exactly what he meant previously by saying that the transgressing Jew's "circumcision is counted as uncircumcision". This gives us a clue that he is using "Jew" in the covenantal sense, not in the ethnic sense (which, btw, there is clearly precedent for in the OT - e.g. Esther 8:17). Paul is polemically redefining what it means to be a member of Israel, the covenant people of God, and his point is that membership within the covenant is not decided by ones external Jewishness, by being a natural descendant of Abraham, but rather it is decided by the inward renewal of the Spirit. This is an advanced signpost in Paul's argument, paving the way for where he goes in chapters 4-8 with all his talk of Abraham's children being a people of faith marked out for redemption by the Spirit and not by the flesh.

third hero
Oct 4th 2008, 07:39 AM
Again you make claims without substantiating them with Scripture. Once again you question the motive of those who oppose your view. Why can you not keep to Scripture? I can assure you, contrary to what you claim my aim is to present a biblical perspective of this much misunderstood matter.

Again, you accuse me of saying things that are unsubstantiated, and frankly I tire of your strawman tactics. Seriously, the statement that I made, whereas All of Israel will cross the barrier of sin to become saints of the Most High God is what Roman 11:23-28 is all about.

When you are ready to have a serious debate without all of the idle chatter and the false accusations, then we'll talk. Until then, I suggest that you watch what you write, because I will not earn any more infractions because you do not like the truths that I present that oppose your opinions.

third hero
Oct 4th 2008, 07:58 AM
If you check back over this thread you will see that Paul is the one using these terms to describe the saints of God. I feel we are in agreement with Paul here, a true Jew, circumcision, Israel, or child of Abraham is a born again believer.

If you agree with me here, thewn what is the problem? Paul clearly states that a Deliverer will turn ungodliness away from Jacob, which is truly a statement that is aimed at Israel the nation. If it is so easy fro you to believe that a saint is what a believing Jew and a believing Gentile is, then what is the point of opposing a prophecy that Paul clearly states?

I have made my point very clear in saying that the reason why Paul demonstrates a dividing line between Israel of the flesh and Spiritual Israel is because before the Lord had died, Israel itself was called, "God's chosen people". The closest thing to the word "saint" which means a child of God, which we, as believers, all become when we repent of our sins, was the usage of Israel as being God's chosen. Paul knew that in order to introduce the concept of humanity that Lord Jesus created, he had to present it in terms that both Jew and Gentile would understand. The term saint, as was used both in antiquity and in the modern era, suggest that a person must have been somewhat divine. The level of Godliness was beyond that of a normal human being. If Paul used the term saint when describing what the believer in Lord Jesus became, surely most of it would have been missed, because the term saint implies something that normal humans were incapable of. Therefore, in order to convey the message of sanctification and sainthood that Lord Jesus bestowed upon us, the believer, which separate us from even Israel, who was once God's Chosen people, terms that the people at large could understand had to be employed.

Hence because the closest thing to being godly without having to be divine in nature is that of the title of the Jew, namely, God's chosen people. When Christ died, the chosen ones were no longer based on birthright and "obedience" to the Torah, but faith in the Lord, who died for our sins, which propels us to live as Christ wanted us to, hence sainthood. This is why Paul went through great pains to describe what a spiritual Jew was, because the Spiritual Jew is the saint whose kingdom, like his or her Master, is NOT of this world.

Israel communally alligned themselves with Ceasar, rejecting the Lord who separated them in the first place, and as a result, God allowed the Jew of the flesh to join the rest of the world in bondage to Satan. However, as several prophets proclaimed in both the OT and NT, although Israel rejected God, God had not rejected Israel. Sure, those of the flesh who died without faith in Lord Jesus died in their sins, and as a result will gain the sinner's reward. This, Paul made very certain that all people understood, hence the "all have sinned and fell short of the glory of God". God still had a plan, which He showed Daniel in Daniel 9:24-27, whereas Israel will no longer be a nation of sin, likened to the other nations of the world. That is the WHOLE point of the seventy weeks. Although our fates can be tied into the fates of the Israelites, the fates of Israel are solely theirs. Just because God has a coventant duty to cause Israel to be saved, does not mean that Israel will have to undergo another covenant in order to do so.

I am going to show what I am talking about in the thread http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?t=141240. This will show exactly what I mean by stating that God will save Israel. God will save Israel in the same fashion that He caused each and every one of us to repent of our sins, without the need for another covenant. I invite all of you to read my next post in that thread.

But now I am off topic....sorry.

third hero
Oct 4th 2008, 08:31 AM
Again, it is my belief that the term, spiritual Jew, had to be used in Paul's letter here, simply because if he were to use another term, like saint, no one would actually believe that they could be a part of that culture. The Israelites were called God's chosen people. During Christ's trials before His death, Israel renounced their status as God's chosen.

But they cried out, Away with [him], away with [him], crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. -John 19:15

With that, Israel rejected their own status as God's chosen. Like I have said in my previous post, although they utterly rejected God, God is not yet done with them, but for the purpose of keeping with the definitions of the "Spiritual Jew", I will steer clear of that portion here.

In Romans 2:1-10, Paul goes through great lengths to say to the people at large that both Jew and Gentile are now in the same boat. A Jew can not be saved because his forefather is David. A Gentile can not be saved by merely existing under the "Law". But as of the writing of that epistle, both Jew and Gentile are now in the same boat, prisoners of the god of this world. Paul is clearly making a reference to what the higher ups in Israel said when they sentenced the Lord to death. Ceasar was an emperor who was a slave to Satan, who ruled, and still rules this world of sin and death. (Thanks ADAM... NOT!:B). The rest of the chapter seems to be, at least to me, a repeat of Jesus's accusations to the Pharisees in Matthew 23. He goes to show the contrast between one who allegedly knows the secrets of the law, from those who obey the "law" without even knowing what the law is. He goes on to say concerning them that are suppose to be teaching "the lost", shewing the "light" to the blind while themselves, they are breaking the very law that they are suppose to know, and contrasting it to those who, by mere means of conscience, obeys the law in their hearts.

In my opinion, this is the very foundation in which Paul establishes what I call "the saint", or Paul's version of God's standard for a "chosen One". this is why the term, spiritual Jew" is used. God called all of us to obey His Son, and by doing so, become saints, otherwise known as His chosen people. Israel once held that distinction, and because of that, Paul decided to show God's standard for humanity by showing both Jew and Gentile who the "True Jew" really is. According to Paul's definitions, a "True Jew", which he also called a "Spiritual Jew", whom Lord Jesus called His people, are truly saints, believers in the Most High God, and His representative to all mankind, Lord Jesus, His Son. The distinction between Spiritual Jew, which most of us call the true Jew, and the Jew of the flesh, was never to convey that the Lord has done away with Israel, as to say that Israel is finished, and that God has chosen a new people to become His chosen. What Lord Jesus has done by His death and resurrection, coupled with the confession of rejection of Israel corporately, raised the bar as to who can call themselves God's chosen.

Before Lord Jesus died, as He himself confessed in John, salvation was with the Jews. They had the Law. Through that nation the Savior was to be born. God formed their nation, and from the moment they left Egypt to the moment the Lord died, God was with them, honoring his portion in having Israel, even as the harlot of the world, as His chosen people. Now, Salvation rest not in lineage, but in one man, the very same Lord who is the seed of Israel, in whom salvation solely rests. That man is Lord Jesus, the Son of God. Now, from the time that Lord Jesus died to today, the only people who can truly call themselves God's chosen people, and be true about it are those who follow Lord Jesus. No one else can make that claim without lying. These, and only these are the ones who will qualify to come tohte earth and rule it with Lord Jesus when He returns. These and only these are worthy, because they trusted int he Lord Jesus, of living in the blessed city, New Jerusalem, the true city of God in Revelation 21. This is the real point of Romans 2-10. He hammered the point home that a true Jew is one of the spirit, which is truly the saint which was written about in both the OT and the NT.


Now with that said, it wouild only make sense that Paul would deal withthe question of God's dealings with Israel, the former chosen ones. Paul asks that question directly in Romans 11:1, and then goes on to answers it throughout the rest of that chapter. This is to show that God did not throw away Israel as a whole, but has allowed time for Israel to come to her senses, seeing that God has blessed those that were not Jews exceedingly more than them, hence provocation to jealousy. This provocation is what God will use to bring them back into the spot where they were suppose to be in the first place, as saints of the most High God. Unfortunately for them, it will take the arrival of the human representative of pure evil in order ot convince them that what they thought was completely wrong, but again, that's another story.

Anyway, that is my synopsis of Romans 2. Enjoy.

BroRog
Oct 4th 2008, 08:37 PM
I see you never addressed my conclusion.

I didn't see it as a conclusion but a preconceived notion you continually assert. A conclusion is a proposition arrived at after logical reasoning. To merely assert a statement isn't the same thing as QED of an argument.

But contrary to your last post, I actually did address your asserted contrast between spiritual circumcision and physical circumcision. I reminded you that the talk is about Romans 2. While he hints at the concept of having a circumcised heart in Romans 2:14, this concept does not inform his comparison between the circumcised man and the uncircumcised man in Romans 2:25-27.

wpm
Oct 4th 2008, 08:42 PM
I didn't see it as a conclusion but a preconceived notion you continually assert. A conclusion is a proposition arrived at after logical reasoning. To merely assert a statement isn't the same thing as QED of an argument.

But contrary to your last post, I actually did address your asserted contrast between spiritual circumcision and physical circumcision. I reminded you that the talk is about Romans 2. While he hints at the concept of having a circumcised heart in Romans 2:14, this concept does not inform his comparison between the circumcised man and the uncircumcised man in Romans 2:25-27.

Do you accept that Paul is deeming the naturally uncircumcised circumcised through faith, and the naturally circumcised uncircumcised through unbelief?

BroRog
Oct 4th 2008, 08:48 PM
But it's precisely in taking Paul's statement in verse 28 within the surrounding discourse, and especially in light of the previous contrast between the circumcised who transgresses the law and the uncircumcised who keeps it, that we find what he means by saying that "he is not a Jew who is one outwardly", and we find that it is exactly what he meant previously by saying that the transgressing Jew's "circumcision is counted as uncircumcision". This gives us a clue that he is using "Jew" in the covenantal sense, not in the ethnic sense (which, btw, there is clearly precedent for in the OT - e.g. Esther 8:17). Paul is polemically redefining what it means to be a member of Israel, the covenant people of God, and his point is that membership within the covenant is not decided by ones external Jewishness, by being a natural descendant of Abraham, but rather it is decided by the inward renewal of the Spirit. This is an advanced signpost in Paul's argument, paving the way for where he goes in chapters 4-8 with all his talk of Abraham's children being a people of faith marked out for redemption by the Spirit and not by the flesh.

As I argued before, I can not defend the idea that Paul has suddenly coined the term "Jew," removing any kind of reference to the Jewish people, to cause the kind of confusion we find here as those less informed attempt to give the term a completely foreign definition, i.e. a believer.

Moreover, while Paul argues that we believers are sons of Abraham because he is the father of our faith, he does not confuse the progeny of Abraham with the progeny of Jacob as so many do.

To argue from Romans 2 that Paul has obliterated all distinction between Jew and Gentile is to make an extrapolation that is not justified by this text alone.

BroRog
Oct 4th 2008, 08:49 PM
Do you accept that Paul is deeming the naturally uncircumcised circumcised through faith, and the naturally circumcised uncircumcised through unbelief?

If I properly understand your categories, no, I do not think this is his point at all in Romans 2.

BroRog
Oct 4th 2008, 08:53 PM
Thirdhero, I don't see the term "Israel" within the first 8 chapters of Romans. Do you?

wpm
Oct 4th 2008, 09:55 PM
If I properly understand your categories, no, I do not think this is his point at all in Romans 2.

I feel you are not disagreeing with me on this one but Scripture. Please look at these two diverse groupings in Romans 2:25-29. This couldn't be any more explicit. It says, “For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law,shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit.”

Most Christians are aware that Scripture places men into one of two general ethnic camps in a natural sense – circumcision and uncircumcision. However, Scripture equally places men into one of two general ethnic camps in a spiritual sense – circumcision and uncircumcision. Romans 2:25-29 is quite powerful in that it changes the nature and scope of what a real Jew (the “circumcision”) and a real Gentile (the “uncircumcision”) are in God’s eyes. God takes these common natural terms and spiritualises them, and in doing so redefines the whole argument of true identity.

A true Jew to God is demonstrated to be a believer (irrespective of ethnicity) and a true Gentile is shown to be an unbeliever. In fact, God takes both of these spiritual terms and then locates all men in one of either camp. Many Bible students miss this and incorrectly hold fast to the common natural Old Testament usages of these terms. They fail to see the change and the higher spiritual meaning. What we learn here is that who God views a Jew as and who man does can be completely different.

Matthehitmanhart
Oct 4th 2008, 10:04 PM
As I argued before, I can not defend the idea that Paul has suddenly coined the term "Jew," removing any kind of reference to the Jewish people, to cause the kind of confusion we find here as those less informed attempt to give the term a completely foreign definition, i.e. a believer.

Moreover, while Paul argues that we believers are sons of Abraham because he is the father of our faith, he does not confuse the progeny of Abraham with the progeny of Jacob as so many do.

To argue from Romans 2 that Paul has obliterated all distinction between Jew and Gentile is to make an extrapolation that is not justified by this text alone.

First of all, where did I ever say or give support to the notion that "Paul has obliterated all distinction between Jew and Gentile", as you seem to think I have? On the contrary, if you read my posts you'll see that I've been repeatedly clear in rejecting that unthinkable level of homogeneity. Notice that I denied a holistic obliteration of distinction before I even began addressing Romans 2 in the OP:


An introductory word: It must be assumed that, if indeed the term "Jew" and its equivalents were applied to Gentiles by Paul or any other of the NT writers, it wasn't at all meant to infer that there are now no such things as actual ethnic Jews, that in Christ people no longer hold distinctive qualities such as race and gender. That would be absurd! It would be only natural to take it as speaking of citizenship; that through Christ Gentiles become a part of the spiritual commonwealth of Israel, as Paul says in Ephesians 2. This must be clearly maintained if we are to have sensible dialog on these important passages.And then I emphasized that same point again in my very next post:


I think this is an important distinction to uphold, so that we don't collapse into a completely homogeneous church that denies any sort of diversity within its unity. That was my point in that paragraph. I see many on the one side of this argument quoting Galatians 3:28 and taking it to reactionary extremes which Paul never intended, which forces the other side to deny altogether what I believe Paul actually is saying both there and in many other similar passages, and that is what, IMO, is causing much of the unnecessary squabbling over semantics.And then I was clear in my response to you that Paul doesn't mean to deny the distinctiveness of the ethnically Jewish in Romans 2:28, but that rather he is using the term "Jew" in the covenantal sense and not in the ethnic sense. It would of course be absurd to say that he meant it in the ethnic sense, as you laughingly illustrated with your caricature of a Japanese man. But that is clearly and precisely not what I've been saying, so it would be in your best interest to leave that caricature for an argument with someone else; that is, if you want to progress at all in this discussion.

Now, if we get that point clear, that Paul obviously isn't using the term "Jew" to erase ethnic distinctions but that rather he might be using it to refer to the whole covenant family of God, the family of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, those to whom the promises pertain through Christ and by the Spirit, then we will be free to have a sensible discussion here. But if you keep insisting that such a thing is impossible for Paul, that he could never use the term to refer generally to a believer, then we are indeed at an impasse and there's no point in further discussion. However, if that's the case, if you don't think that the term could be used to refer to anything but an ethnic descendant of Jacob, I would then like to know how would interpret this verse below.

"Then many of the people of the land became Jews, because fear of the Jews fell upon them." (Esther 8:17)

BroRog
Oct 4th 2008, 11:07 PM
First of all, where did I ever say or give support to the notion that "Paul has obliterated all distinction between Jew and Gentile", as you seem to think I have? On the contrary, if you read my posts you'll see that I've been repeated clear in rejecting that unthinkable level of homogeneity. Notice that I denied a holistic obliteration of distinction before I even began addressing Romans 2 in the OP:

Actually I am quite convinced by your reasoning and arguments and always find myself surprised by your conclusions. I agree with most of your exegesis, but you seem to jump the track at the end as if you couldn't bring yourself to agree with yourself. This phenomenon always fascinates me when I see it in action.


And then I was clear in my response to you that Paul doesn't mean to deny the distinctiveness of the ethnically Jewish in Romans 2:28, but that rather he is using the term "Jew" in the covenantal sense and not in the ethnic sense. It would of course be absurd to say that he meant it in the ethnic sense, as you laughingly illustrated with your caricature of a Japanese man. But that is clearly and precisely not what I've been saying, so it would be in your best interest to leave that caricature for an argument with someone else; that is, if you want to progress at all in this discussion.

Again, I find agreement with your view that the term "Jew" is being used in the covenant sense. I suppose, and I'm just guessing, that you would disagree with me that Paul, in Romans 2, has the Old Covenant in view, not the New Covenant. His discussion of what it means to be a covenant keeping Jew is still in the context of the Covenant at Mt. Sinai, which is the reason why he will continue to keep that Covenant in view as he makes his way.


Now, if we get that point clear, that Paul obviously isn't using the term "Jew" to erase ethnic distinctions but that rather he might be using it to refer to the whole covenant family of God, the family of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, those to whom the promises pertain through Christ and by the Spirit, then we will be free to have a sensible discussion here.

It's certainly possible.


But if you keep insisting that such a thing is impossible for Paul, that he could never use the term to refer generally to a believer, then we are indeed at an impasse and there's no point in further discussion.

Since I do not bring Christian covenental theology into Romans 2, you can not expect me or anyone else to insert it here. I suppose if you wanted to continue the discussion, you could start by making a case from the text for why you believe the topic of Paul's discourse is the New Covenant. I don't see it myself.

For this reason, while I am sympathetic to your view that the term "Jew" is used in a covenental sense, which speaks about believers, I am not at liberty to generalize the term to cover any and every believer. I still think this extrapolation goes beyond the text in front of us. Since the passage is a critique of those who "bear the name Jew" (vs 17) in the context of keeping the requirements of the Law of Moses, (vs 26) we understand the conclusion to the matter in terms of a person under that covenant. The implied question is: who is actually keeping the Mt. Sinai covenant in it's fullest, deepest and most essential sence?

At this point in Paul's argument, I am not free to make an extrapolation of the point to those outside the Mt. Sinai Covenant. Why do you feel free to do so?

BroRog
Oct 5th 2008, 12:12 AM
I feel you are not disagreeing with me on this one but Scripture. Please look at these two diverse groupings in Romans 2:25-29. This couldn't be any more explicit. [color=black][size=3][font=Arial][color=black]

Okay, let's look at Paul's argument to see how it functions. I think a fair reading will reveal that Paul compares, not "spiritually" circumcised men with "physically" circumcised men, but physically circumcised men with those not physically circumcised. In order for his argument to work, the term circumcision must refer to natural circumcision, which remains an outward sign of a man's father's commitment to the covenant.

If we represent physical circumcision with the letter (A), circumcision of the heart as (B), and lack of physical circumcision with (not-A), mathematically speaking, he has not compared (A) with (B); rather he compares (A) with (not-A). To be physically circumcised (A) is an entirely different thing than to be spiritually circumcised (B). One can be (A) but not (B) at the same time, or one can be (B) without being (A) at the same time. And since being without (A) is the same thing as being (not-A), then to be (not-A) does not necessarily mean a person is (B).

Given this fact, I insert the letter representations into the text in order to highlight the logic of Paul's argument.

For circumcision (A) verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision (A) is made uncircumcision (not -A). Therefore if the uncircumcision (not-A) keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision (not-A) be counted for circumcision (A)? And shall not uncircumcision (not-A) which is by nature, if it fulfill the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision (A) dost transgress the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision (A), which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision (B) is that of the heart, in the spirit.”

In this we see that Paul waits until the conclusion of his argument to bring out the distinction between (A) and (B), which he does in the context of what it means to be a covenant man in good standing. In order to draw this conclusion, he sorts out the difference between (A) and (not-A) from within the arena of keeping the Mosaic Covenant. To suggest that Paul is comparing a physically circumcised man (A) with a spiritually circumcised man (B) is to say that Paul's premises assume his conclusion, which is a major logical fallacy.

And since we affirm that Paul would not make such a blatant error, we can not also assume that he has taken his argument outside the scope of a Jewish context. All he has set out to prove is that, from within the context of God's dealings with Israel, a true covenant keeper has to be both (A) and (B). His discussion in Romans 2:25-27 defines what it means to be both (A) and (B) by pointing out the logical possiblity that (non-A) might be considered (A) and stand in judgment of (A), having kept the Mosaic Law.

third hero
Oct 5th 2008, 04:24 AM
Thirdhero, I don't see the term "Israel" within the first 8 chapters of Romans. Do you?

BroRog, what is a Jew? Is a Jew an Israelite, or a Gentile? In truth, because Judah, a province of Israel, was always a member of Israel, then it should suffice that when I say Israel, then the term Jew would be included, without me having to say so.

So, do you have anything substative concerning my prose that you want ot either accept or reject?

wpm
Oct 5th 2008, 04:40 AM
Okay, let's look at Paul's argument to see how it functions. I think a fair reading will reveal that Paul compares, not "spiritually" circumcised men with "physically" circumcised men, but physically circumcised men with those not physically circumcised. In order for his argument to work, the term circumcision must refer to natural circumcision, which remains an outward sign of a man's father's commitment to the covenant.

No, not in this NT age. Right away you build your case on a flawed foundation. You say 'circumcision is something' whereas Scripture repeatedly says the opposite.

I Corinthians 7:17 declares, “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing"

Galatians 5:2 agrees, “Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing."

Galatians 5:5 also, "For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love."

Since the cross God has chosen all nations equally to receive the Gospel without fear or favour. He is no respecter of persons today. Gentiles can receive salvation and experience favour today like Israelis. One's ethnicity means absolutely nothing today, just contrite hearts all over the world.

Our actual reading correlates with these sentiments. Romans 2:25-26 says, “For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.

What Paul is saying here is that one's race means nothing. This is a repeated NT truth. The Bible says “there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek” (Romans 10:12), “there is neither Jew nor Greek” (Galatians 3:28), and “there is neither Greek nor Jew” (Colossians 3:11). Christ has assuredly “put no difference between us and them” (Acts 15:9), “us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles” (Romans 9:24), because “by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles” (1 Corinthians 12:13).

Acceptance with God is not on the grounds of race but grace. There is no division in the body on ethnic grounds – none. I will address the rest of your post if I can decode it. It seems pretty confusing to me and obviously alien to the actual text of Scripture. With your argument built upon a wrong premise the rest of the house is bound to be unsafe.

Nihil Obstat
Oct 5th 2008, 05:31 AM
No, not in this NT age. Right away you build your case on a flawed foundation. You say 'circumcision is something' whereas Scripture repeatedly says the opposite.

I Corinthians 7:17 declares, “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing"

Galatians 5:2 agrees, “Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing."

Galatians 5:5 also, "For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love."

Since the cross God has chosen all nations equally to receive the Gospel without fear or favour. He is no respecter of persons today. Gentiles can receive salvation and experience favour today like Israelis. One's ethnicity means absolutely nothing today, just contrite hearts all over the world.

Our actual reading correlates with these sentiments. Romans 2:25-26 says, “For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.

What Paul is saying here is that one's race means nothing. This is a repeated NT truth. The Bible says “there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek” (Romans 10:12), “there is neither Jew nor Greek” (Galatians 3:28), and “there is neither Greek nor Jew” (Colossians 3:11). Christ has assuredly “put no difference between us and them” (Acts 15:9), “us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles” (Romans 9:24), because “by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles” (1 Corinthians 12:13).

Acceptance with God is not on the grounds of race but grace. There is no division in the body on ethnic grounds – none. I will address the rest of your post if I can decode it. It seems pretty confusing to me and obviously alien to the actual text of Scripture. With your argument built upon a wrong premise the rest of the house is bound to be unsafe.

I'm pretty tired of reading these passages. You say these prove circumcision means nothing any more, as if it ever did. Paul's point was that Abraham, before both the old and new covenants, had righteousness accounted to him apart from circumcision. Who here is saying one is saved by being circumcised? No one, so please quit quoting these verses at us.

Circumcision is the outward covenantal sign pointing to the inward reality, yes? And it was Abraham and his natural descendants (put simply, the Jews) who were to keep this outward sign, yes? - who were to keep this inward reality? Therefore, the Jews were to all be circumcised of heart, and by that inward reality to then be circumcised in flesh as a sign of their budding covenantal relationship with their God.

However, Jews (or, natural descendants of Abraham) who were merely outwardly circumcised, but not inwardly, are then not 'true' Jews, as the very definition of a Jew was that a person be 1) a natural descendant of Abraham(, Isaac, and Jacob), AND 2) have a circumcised heart, outwardly signified (in males only) by circumcised flesh.

Who would argue with this? It's not that salvation is no longer by circumcision - it NEVER was! But did this stop Abraham from circumcising Isaac, or Isaac Jacob (or Joseph Jesus, or Paul Timothy)? No. It's like water baptism (cp. 1 Pet. 3:21); water baptism is an outward sign of an inward reality, but Jesus and His apostles spoke strongly and plainly concerning the importance of it, didn't they? It's like works; we're not saved by works, but by faith unto works (Eph. 2:8-10; Jas. 2:14-26).

So, what was the purpose of outward circumcision? Well, what's the purpose of the rainbow (cp. Gen. 9:8-17)? Circumcision was meant to remind the Jews of what they had already obtained - nothing more. Gentiles and Jews alike had salvation apart from circumcision, but only Jews were commanded to be circumcised as a sign of the inward reality. Therefore, the 'true' Jew is just that - an ethnic Jew. Because covenant came not through circumcision of flesh, but through faith, it's okay that saved Gentiles aren't called 'true' Jews.

Can we move on, because this dead horse is creating quite the scene... ;)

wpm
Oct 5th 2008, 06:36 PM
I'm pretty tired of reading these passages. You say these prove circumcision means nothing any more, as if it ever did. Paul's point was that Abraham, before both the old and new covenants, had righteousness accounted to him apart from circumcision. Who here is saying one is saved by being circumcised? No one, so please quit quoting these verses at us.

Circumcision is the outward covenantal sign pointing to the inward reality, yes? And it was Abraham and his natural descendants (put simply, the Jews) who were to keep this outward sign, yes? - who were to keep this inward reality? Therefore, the Jews were to all be circumcised of heart, and by that inward reality to then be circumcised in flesh as a sign of their budding covenantal relationship with their God.

However, Jews (or, natural descendants of Abraham) who were merely outwardly circumcised, but not inwardly, are then not 'true' Jews, as the very definition of a Jew was that a person be 1) a natural descendant of Abraham(, Isaac, and Jacob), AND 2) have a circumcised heart, outwardly signified (in males only) by circumcised flesh.

Who would argue with this? It's not that salvation is no longer by circumcision - it NEVER was! But did this stop Abraham from circumcising Isaac, or Isaac Jacob (or Joseph Jesus, or Paul Timothy)? No. It's like water baptism (cp. 1 Pet. 3:21); water baptism is an outward sign of an inward reality, but Jesus and His apostles spoke strongly and plainly concerning the importance of it, didn't they? It's like works; we're not saved by works, but by faith unto works (Eph. 2:8-10; Jas. 2:14-26).

So, what was the purpose of outward circumcision? Well, what's the purpose of the rainbow (cp. Gen. 9:8-17)? Circumcision was meant to remind the Jews of what they had already obtained - nothing more. Gentiles and Jews alike had salvation apart from circumcision, but only Jews were commanded to be circumcised as a sign of the inward reality. Therefore, the 'true' Jew is just that - an ethnic Jew. Because covenant came not through circumcision of flesh, but through faith, it's okay that saved Gentiles aren't called 'true' Jews.

Can we move on, because this dead horse is creating quite the scene... ;)

These verses I quoted demonstrate that the old covenant has been abolished. The impotence of physical circumcision is inextricably connected to the impotence of the old covenant. There was a time before the cross when physical circumcision was integral to the believer's profession - natural Israel being exclusively His covenant people. That is no longer the case today. Circumcision is no longer physical but spiritual. His covenant people are the redeemed of all nations (Jew and Gentile) not merely natural Israelis. The old theocracy has gone for ever. God chosen people are the Church of Jesus Christ. The old covenant ordinances (including circumcision) have all been nailed to the tree of Calvary - thus their uselessness.

BroRog
Oct 5th 2008, 06:39 PM
BroRog, what is a Jew? Is a Jew an Israelite, or a Gentile? In truth, because Judah, a province of Israel, was always a member of Israel, then it should suffice that when I say Israel, then the term Jew would be included, without me having to say so.

So, do you have anything substative concerning my prose that you want ot either accept or reject?

Well, I'm on this personal campaign to bring back the real distinction in our language and dialog between a person taken as an individual and a people taken as a whole.

I agree with your conclusion that God will take up his relationship with Israel on a national basis, I just think Paul begins to make this point earlier, beginning in chapter 9. This is where Paul begins to make comments related to Israel the nation, rather than his earlier Jew/Greek unification in Christ.

For me, the bottom line sticking point is this. The prophets speak about a time when God will forgive the entire nation of Israel and pour out his spirit on them as a people. I could multiply citations from many parts of scripture that all point to this event. To spiritualize THIS promise is to rob it of all significance to those who originally heard it.

I dialog with folks who spiritualize this promise, arguing that what God meant, originally, was that he would save those from every people group, nation, and tongue. He is going to save all believers, no matter what ethnic group they are.

It isn't enough for me to say, "I agree with you that God is saving people from every nationality, ethnicity, economic class, tongue, etc." Even while I acknowledge that idea, I also affirm what I believe the Bible asserts as a promise God made to national/ethnic Israel to save the entire lot of them as a group, at a time of his choosing, when it suits his purposes. Those who spiritualize the promise can not go there with me.

The primary argument against my opinion centers on the belief that God has rejected Israel because she has not met the conditions set forth in his word concerning their return to the land. God promised to bring them back to the land IF they would turn to him in faith, and etc.

Whether God is proactive or reactive seems to be the locus of the difference between my view and my opponents. The argument that God is waiting for Israel to repent and return to him wholeheartedly is predicated on the principle that God waits for repentance. He reacts to displays of faith; he remains uninvolved until he sees an overture toward him.

In a sense, you can see this kind of language, even in Paul. In Romans 2, earlier he points out that God's patience should be interpreted, not as approval, but as an open window of opportunity to repent -- a window that could close. We can live a life of wanton pleasure, and in the process fill up a storehouse of wrath for ourselves. Or we can repent now, and expect good things to come for us at the judgment seat.

It's easy to understand our personal journey this way. God was wooing us to come to him in faith, offering us his son as a way to find reconciliation, always remaining open to forgive our sins if we would only believe him and trust in his son.

However, this is not the only way God deals with human beings. For every passage we can find that speaks about how God is lovingly waiting for us to repent and come to faith, we can find a passage that demonstrates God's proactive choice to bring someone into the kingdom kicking and screaming (so to speak.) The conversion of Paul is a primary example. Paul wouldn't come to accept Jesus as Lord until Jesus knocked him off his horse, blinded him, and sent him by escort to live with a prophet for three days. After Paul spent a few days in blindness and apparent contemplation of what just happened, he emerged a believer.

Another passage critical to this discussion is found in Ezekiel in which God is shown to be proactive, not reactive. In that passage, God announces to Israel, though the prophet Ezekiel, that he will restore his name, i.e. his reputation among the peoples of the world. In order to do this, he will bring the people back to the land, and pour out his spirit on them all, and reestablish them as "his people", and he as "their God."

In this case, the central issue isn't salvation, but rather God's desire to restore his reputation. He is going to forgive an entire nation of Israelites, all at the same time, bring them back to the land, and cause the other nations to come against her, in order to demonstrate the fidelity of his covenant relationship with them. This has little to do with them but everything to do with God and his desire to restore his name. When he sets out to save the entire nation, he isn't going to wait for them to respond to his call, he is going to save them without their permission. Ultimately they will all repent and feel grateful that God forgave them and poured out his spirit on them. But he isn't going to wait for them to repent. He is going do it at his own initiative and for his own purposes.

To spiritualize the terminology being used to make this point is to obsure God's intended message to the world. He has announced to the world that he intends to sanctify his name through a process that will prove once-and-for-all that God is a God that can rule a people, protect her from her enemies, and cause her to live in peace and prosperity in the land of her fathers.

wpm
Oct 5th 2008, 08:27 PM
Well, I'm on this personal campaign to bring back the real distinction in our language and dialog between a person taken as an individual and a people taken as a whole.

I agree with your conclusion that God will take up his relationship with Israel on a national basis, I just think Paul begins to make this point earlier, beginning in chapter 9. This is where Paul begins to make comments related to Israel the nation, rather than his earlier Jew/Greek unification in Christ.

For me, the bottom line sticking point is this. The prophets speak about a time when God will forgive the entire nation of Israel and pour out his spirit on them as a people. I could multiply citations from many parts of scripture that all point to this event. To spiritualize THIS promise is to rob it of all significance to those who originally heard it.

I dialog with folks who spiritualize this promise, arguing that what God meant, originally, was that he would save those from every people group, nation, and tongue. He is going to save all believers, no matter what ethnic group they are.

It isn't enough for me to say, "I agree with you that God is saving people from every nationality, ethnicity, economic class, tongue, etc." Even while I acknowledge that idea, I also affirm what I believe the Bible asserts as a promise God made to national/ethnic Israel to save the entire lot of them as a group, at a time of his choosing, when it suits his purposes. Those who spiritualize the promise can not go there with me.

The primary argument against my opinion centers on the belief that God has rejected Israel because she has not met the conditions set forth in his word concerning their return to the land. God promised to bring them back to the land IF they would turn to him in faith, and etc.

Whether God is proactive or reactive seems to be the locus of the difference between my view and my opponents. The argument that God is waiting for Israel to repent and return to him wholeheartedly is predicated on the principle that God waits for repentance. He reacts to displays of faith; he remains uninvolved until he sees an overture toward him.

In a sense, you can see this kind of language, even in Paul. In Romans 2, earlier he points out that God's patience should be interpreted, not as approval, but as an open window of opportunity to repent -- a window that could close. We can live a life of wanton pleasure, and in the process fill up a storehouse of wrath for ourselves. Or we can repent now, and expect good things to come for us at the judgment seat.

It's easy to understand our personal journey this way. God was wooing us to come to him in faith, offering us his son as a way to find reconciliation, always remaining open to forgive our sins if we would only believe him and trust in his son.

However, this is not the only way God deals with human beings. For every passage we can find that speaks about how God is lovingly waiting for us to repent and come to faith, we can find a passage that demonstrates God's proactive choice to bring someone into the kingdom kicking and screaming (so to speak.) The conversion of Paul is a primary example. Paul wouldn't come to accept Jesus as Lord until Jesus knocked him off his horse, blinded him, and sent him by escort to live with a prophet for three days. After Paul spent a few days in blindness and apparent contemplation of what just happened, he emerged a believer.

Another passage critical to this discussion is found in Ezekiel in which God is shown to be proactive, not reactive. In that passage, God announces to Israel, though the prophet Ezekiel, that he will restore his name, i.e. his reputation among the peoples of the world. In order to do this, he will bring the people back to the land, and pour out his spirit on them all, and reestablish them as "his people", and he as "their God."

In this case, the central issue isn't salvation, but rather God's desire to restore his reputation. He is going to forgive an entire nation of Israelites, all at the same time, bring them back to the land, and cause the other nations to come against her, in order to demonstrate the fidelity of his covenant relationship with them. This has little to do with them but everything to do with God and his desire to restore his name. When he sets out to save the entire nation, he isn't going to wait for them to respond to his call, he is going to save them without their permission. Ultimately they will all repent and feel grateful that God forgave them and poured out his spirit on them. But he isn't going to wait for them to repent. He is going do it at his own initiative and for his own purposes.

To spiritualize the terminology being used to make this point is to obsure God's intended message to the world. He has announced to the world that he intends to sanctify his name through a process that will prove once-and-for-all that God is a God that can rule a people, protect her from her enemies, and cause her to live in peace and prosperity in the land of her fathers.

The "all Israel" that you battle to define is ably defined in the intro to Romans 11 in Romans 9. Here it is! Paul says in Romans 9:6-8, “for they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: neither, because they are the seed of Abraham (through the flesh), are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.”

wpm
Oct 5th 2008, 09:02 PM
Okay, let's look at Paul's argument to see how it functions. I think a fair reading will reveal that Paul compares, not "spiritually" circumcised men with "physically" circumcised men, but physically circumcised men with those not physically circumcised. In order for his argument to work, the term circumcision must refer to natural circumcision, which remains an outward sign of a man's father's commitment to the covenant.

If we represent physical circumcision with the letter (A), circumcision of the heart as (B), and lack of physical circumcision with (not-A), mathematically speaking, he has not compared (A) with (B); rather he compares (A) with (not-A). To be physically circumcised (A) is an entirely different thing than to be spiritually circumcised (B). One can be (A) but not (B) at the same time, or one can be (B) without being (A) at the same time. And since being without (A) is the same thing as being (not-A), then to be (not-A) does not necessarily mean a person is (B).

Given this fact, I insert the letter representations into the text in order to highlight the logic of Paul's argument.

For circumcision (A) verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision (A) is made uncircumcision (not -A). Therefore if the uncircumcision (not-A) keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision (not-A) be counted for circumcision (A)? And shall not uncircumcision (not-A) which is by nature, if it fulfill the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision (A) dost transgress the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision (A), which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision (B) is that of the heart, in the spirit.”

In this we see that Paul waits until the conclusion of his argument to bring out the distinction between (A) and (B), which he does in the context of what it means to be a covenant man in good standing. In order to draw this conclusion, he sorts out the difference between (A) and (not-A) from within the arena of keeping the Mosaic Covenant. To suggest that Paul is comparing a physically circumcised man (A) with a spiritually circumcised man (B) is to say that Paul's premises assume his conclusion, which is a major logical fallacy.

And since we affirm that Paul would not make such a blatant error, we can not also assume that he has taken his argument outside the scope of a Jewish context. All he has set out to prove is that, from within the context of God's dealings with Israel, a true covenant keeper has to be both (A) and (B). His discussion in Romans 2:25-27 defines what it means to be both (A) and (B) by pointing out the logical possiblity that (non-A) might be considered (A) and stand in judgment of (A), having kept the Mosaic Law.

[COLOR=black]No one is saying Paul is comparing "spiritually circumcised men with physically circumcised men,” as you claim, or is he comparing “physically circumcised men with those not physically circumcised,” as you contend. He is actually comparing those that are spiritually circumcised (representing all believers – both Jew and Gentile) to those that are spiritually non-circumcised (representing unbelievers – both Jew and Gentile).

Let us make this easier, more accurate and biblical. There is a grave need to re-categorise.

(A) Physical circumcision
(B) Physical non-circumcision
(C) Spiritual circumcision of the heart
(D) Spiritual non-circumcision of the heart

What Paul is saying is that A and B means nothing. Salvation is not a natural matter. He is emphasizing here as he continually does in his writings, C and D are what it is all about. This is how God truly views all men. Nothing else matters. He shows that C refers to all irrespective of race, nationality or status that accept Christ. He especially highlights how the Gentile who is by nature a B has been brought into this chosen grouping through the blood of Jesus. He equally shows that D refers to all irrespective of race, nationality or status who reject Christ. He especially highlights the fact there will be those of A that equally belong to D and therefore damned. Nothing could be simpler.

Acceptance with God is not on the grounds of race but grace. There is no division in the body on ethnic grounds – none.

wpm
Oct 5th 2008, 11:02 PM
In this case, the central issue isn't salvation, but rather God's desire to restore his reputation.

Where did you get this one? God doesn't in any way need to restore His reputation, it is fine, well and perfect – as it always has been. This is totally untrue. The whole issue that you miss is salvation - it is written throughout the whole book of Romans and the whole of Scripture. This is all that matters – saved or lost, heaven or hell. Your whole argument is wedged down in the irrelevant natural physical domain. Again for the umpteenth time – one’s physical birth or natural birthright means absolutely to God, He is only interested in penitent hearts throughout all nations – equally. Your elevation of Israel is wrong and is repeatedly rebuked in the sacred pages of the NT.

Nihil Obstat
Oct 5th 2008, 11:06 PM
The "all Israel" that you battle to define is ably defined in the intro to Romans 11 in Romans 9. Here it is! Paul says in Romans 9:6-8, “for they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: neither, because they are the seed of Abraham (through the flesh), are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.”

Wow, tell me you did not just do an English word study on "all Israel", and expect us to turn and convert to your position! Check the Greek language and verbs; those 'natural' Israelis in 9:6-7 are PRESENTLY and ACTIVELY not 'true' Israel, but as 11:26 makes plain, they all WILL (future) become 'true' Israelis PASSIVELY when Jesus returns. Would you comment on Deut. 30:6, 8 in the context of its greater context, 29-30? Because here Moses writes plainly that all 'natural' Israel will be saved in the generation of their supernatural regathering, something that has still yet to happen, but will after Jesus' return to the earth (for one of a multitude of examples, see Luke 21:28 in context). Thanks! - Lk.11

Nihil Obstat
Oct 5th 2008, 11:10 PM
Your elevation of Israel is wrong and is repeatedly rebuked in the sacred pages of the NT.

Your denunciation of Israel is wrong and is repeatedly rebuked in Rom. 11:18-22.

wpm
Oct 5th 2008, 11:15 PM
Wow, tell me you did not just do an English word study on "all Israel", and expect us to turn and convert to your position! Check the Greek language and verbs; those 'natural' Israelis in 9:6-7 are PRESENTLY and ACTIVELY not 'true' Israel, but as 11:26 makes plain, they all WILL (future) become 'true' Israelis PASSIVELY when Jesus returns. Would you comment on Deut. 30:6, 8 in the context of its greater context, 29-30? Because here Moses writes plainly that all 'natural' Israel will be saved in the generation of their supernatural regathering, something that has still yet to happen, but will after Jesus' return to the earth (for one of a multitude of examples, see Luke 21:28 in context). Thanks! - Lk.11

You totally misunderstand what Paul is saying. Through election all the elect (spiritual Israel) will make it. There will be no empty seats. Again, you ignore the context and defining of "all Israel" and quickly glide past it as if it has no bearing on what true "Israel" actually is. You have to do that to sustain your salvation by race and not by grace theory. I utterly reject it, as does Paul.

Israel has never been saved by race, it has always been grace. You need to read what Paul's position is before expounding what you do. Moreover, Premil must stop ignoring the surrounding context and interpret Romans 11:26 in a grammatical / historic manner - they will find it fits perfect.

Acts 10:34-35 confirms, “God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.”

Romans 3:22-23 speaks of “the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

Paul asks in Romans 3:29-30, “Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.”

Romans 9:24 confirms: “he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?”

Please exegete each one of these. Tell me what they mean.

wpm
Oct 5th 2008, 11:30 PM
Your denunciation of Israel is wrong and is repeatedly rebuked in Rom. 11:18-22.

You fail to see the two Israels in Romans 9-11. That is the reason how you sustain your argument. Natural Israel is no different from any other Christ-rejecting nation - therefore, like every rebellious nation, they are under the wrath of God. The large bulk of Israel is of their father the devil, as they were when they rejected Christ 2,000 yrs ago.

True Israel is the Church of Jesus Christ (made up of Jews and Gentiles). They are the election or elect or chosen of God. There is none other today. It is not the land-mass based in Palestine. A true Jew, as we have seen here, is a born again believer. We are the circumcision today.

Romans 2:28-29 plainly states, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter.”

God was never going to graft the believing Gentiles into a proud rebellious Christ-rejecting nation, but rather a vibrant believing spiritual organism that glorified Christ. God has a spiritual edifice that is called “the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10). There was no way that the Gentiles would ever have been required to partake of a natural imperfect Israel but rather a perfect Christ.

Revelation 2:9, which said, “I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.”

This passage clearly reveals that the natural Jews, who are outside of Christ, are religiously deluded in confessing and believing that “they are [true] Jews,” when in reality they “are not.” In fact, Christ goes on to strongly condemn such a defective assumption as blasfeemian or “blasphemy.” Thus indicating, as in previous passages, they that are merely born of natural Israeli stock are not the true Jews through the flesh, but that they (Jew and Gentile alike) that are born of the Spirit through the supernatural second-birth assuredly are.

The Lord similarly condemns the unbelieving natural Jew in Revelation 3:9 for imagining that he was real Jew. Whilst speaking to the church at Philadelphia, He said, “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.”

In Revelation 2:9 and 3:9 Christ succinctly describes the Jew that rejects Himself and what He achieved at the cross as those who “say they are Jews, and are not.” In short, they are nor real Jews.

You have to ignore so much Scripture - even in Romans 9-11 to let your elevation of natural fleshly Israel fit. Again, I would appreciate if you would start to address passages outside of Romans 11 as they are all inspired and give us a broad understanding of the heart of God.

Nihil Obstat
Oct 6th 2008, 12:31 AM
You totally misunderstand what Paul is saying. Through election all the elect (spiritual Istrael) will make it. There will be no empty seats. Again, you ignore the context and defining of "all Israel" and quickly glide past it as if it has no bearing on what true "Israel" actually is. You have to do that to sustain your salvation by race and not by grace theory. I utterly reject it, as does Paul.

And I utterly reject it as well, as I wrote just a few posts ago (link (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1812673&postcount=63))... But please read and pray through Deut. 30:6, 8 in it's broader context, for there is one of the clearest examples from Scripture that all 'natural' Israel will be saved in the last generation. Not all Jews throughout history are saved simply because they're Jews; no one is saying that here. But all the prophets and the NT writers agree and are clear on this point: all Israel will be saved in the generation of their regathering from their dispersion. Jesus tells us this will happen after His return (Luke 21:28; Isa. 27:12-13).

To say that the elect unto salvation are the "all Israel" Paul speaks of in Rom. 11:26 would be redundant, and quite anticlimactic. Not only this, but you continually call the remnant of 11:5 a "people", which by its very definition cannot be so. A remnant is NOT a people, but is OF a people - an ethnic people.

- Lk.11

John146
Oct 6th 2008, 01:15 AM
The issue at hand is the exegesis of Romans 2. We are discussing what Paul intends to say in Romans 2:25-29. For some reason, I am finding it frustrating that folks can't or won't attempt to understand the passage in consideration of the surrounding discourse and attempt to adhere to conventional word usage rules.

Secondly, wpm seems unable or unwilling to acknowledge that his dualism is unbalanced. astrongerthanhe has been attempting to draw out this imbalance, to get wpm to see his exegetical error without much success. wpm's theory about the passage forces the Apostle to make a flawed and imbalanced comparison, which looks like the following.

Jew outwardly:

A Jew who does not believe that Jesus is the Christ, etc.

Jew inwardly:

A Jew or Gentile who believes that Jesus is the Christ, etc.

astrongerthanhe asked wpm where the non-believing Gentile fit. I assume the reason astrongerthanhe asked about the non-believing Gentile has to do with the obvious imbalance of wpm's formula. The non-believing Gentile is no where to be found in the "Jew outwardly" category.

And why is that? The obvious answer is this. To place the non-believing Gentile into the "Jew outwardly" category is to create a major contradition in terms. What astrongerthanhe and I are trying to get wpm to see, is that the Gentile doesn't belong in either category. It's not that we are suggesting that Galatians 3 is wrong. We are saying that the Apostle Paul is not making the same point in Romans 2:28-29 that he makes in Galatians 3:28. I disagree because when describing a Jew outwardly, Paul makes absolutely NO mention of one's race or nationality or anything physical having anything to do with it. The way someone is the type of Jew that Paul is speaking about in Romans 2:28-29 it by being circumcised of the heart, in the spirit. That's it. Therefore, a Gentile believer is included in this because Gentile believers are circumcised of the heart, in the spirit.

I don't see any mention by Paul that an inward Jew must also be an outward Jew. In fact, he specfically points out that being an outward Jew (circumcised of the flesh) has nothing to do with being an inward Jew (circumcised of the heart, in the spirit).

John146
Oct 6th 2008, 02:24 AM
If I understand your point, this idea runs up against a difficult challenge to explain it means to be "Jewish" on the inside. I know what it means to be a believer on the inside, but if Paul is saying that it's possible for a Gentile to be Jewish on the inside, then we are left to discover what that means on our own because Paul never defines it outside of a Jewish context. Is it really that difficult to discern what being circumcised of the heart, in the spirit means? What we know for certain is that it has nothing to do with being circumcised physically, as he explains in Romans 2:28. Agree? Based on Paul's description of the type of Jew he's talking about in verse 29, the qualifications for being this type of Jew (true, spiritual, whatever you want to call it) are to be circumcised of the heart, in the spirit. This type of Jew is spiritual in nature rather than physical. So, the question is, are Gentile believers circumcised of the heart, in the spirit? If so, then they meet the criteria Paul describes for "a Jew, which is one inwardly".

So, is there any scriptural evidence that a Gentile believer is ever described as being circumcised inwardly or spiritually? Yes, there is.

Paul, speaking "To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse" (Col 1:2) said this:

Col 2
9For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
10And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
11In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

Here, Paul tells the Gentile believers he wrote to that they were circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, which he calls "the circumcision of Christ". That is the same circumcision of the heart, in the spirit that he mentions in Romans 2:29. Therefore, Gentile believers are Jews inwardly because they meet the description Paul gives for "a Jew inwardly" by virtue of having been circumcised "of the heart, in the spirit", which is the circumcision of Christ.

wpm
Oct 6th 2008, 02:55 AM
And I utterly reject it as well, as I wrote just a few posts ago (link (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1812673&postcount=63))... But please read and pray through Deut. 30:6, 8 in it's broader context, for there is one of the clearest examples from Scripture that all 'natural' Israel will be saved in the last generation. Not all Jews throughout history are saved simply because they're Jews; no one is saying that here. But all the prophets and the NT writers agree and are clear on this point: all Israel will be saved in the generation of their regathering from their dispersion. Jesus tells us this will happen after His return (Luke 21:28; Isa. 27:12-13).

Where in Deuteronomy 30:6-8 does it say "all 'natural' Israel will be saved in the last generation"?

Deuteronomy 30:6-8 says, "And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee. And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day."

Where in Luke 21:28 or Isa. 27:12-13 does "Jesus tell us this will happen after His return"?

Luke 21:28 simply says, "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."

Isaiah 27:12-13 says, "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem."

Where is your evidence that this is Jesus talking? Whre is the Second Coming even mentioned here?



To say that the elect unto salvation are the "all Israel" Paul speaks of in Rom. 11:26 would be redundant, and quite anticlimactic.

You need to look at it again. Romans 11:26-27, which declares, “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”

This reference is significantly based upon, and taken from, Isaiah 59:20 which specifically qualifies the saying, stating,“And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.” “Sion” in reference to “Jacob” relates to the elect – spiritual Israel. Christ the Messiah (the deliverer) will come out from among true Israel, not natural Israel (Jacob).

As we have found “they are not all Israel, which are of Israel” (Romans 9:6). Messiah was prophesied to come to elect Sion, however, not all Jacob is Sion; only the remnant that “turn from transgression in Jacob.” This is the vital condition for participation in election. It is the penitent Israeli that is true Israel. It is the penitent Israeli that will graciously be delivered by the deliverer. Once again, there is no salvation through race, as some intimate in regard to this, but rather grace.

Those who have bowed the knee in repentance are those that “turn from transgression in Jacob” (Isaiah 59:20), “the rest were blinded” (Romans 11:7). Plainly there are two groups. Paul wasn’t saying that every Israeli would be saved. Paul is literally saying, “And so houto (Strong’s 3779) (or) in this manner (or on this fashion) all Israel (all those that bow the knee to Christ in repentance) will be saved.”

The Deliverer/Redeemer here is Christ. Also, the covenant that would “take away their sins” was the new covenant. There was/is no other covenant that could meet the demand to “take away their sins.” The Old Testament ordinances and sacrifices were imperfect and could never take away sin.




Not only this, but you continually call the remnant of 11:5 a "people", which by its very definition cannot be so. A remnant is NOT a people, but is OF a people - an ethnic people.

- Lk.11


I feel you are playing with words here to sustain your argument. I therefore have to differ with your conclusion. So far in your post I don't believe you have presented anything of a definite evidential nature to support what you are actually claiming. Maybe you should re-check your references.

third hero
Oct 6th 2008, 04:09 AM
Well, I'm on this personal campaign to bring back the real distinction in our language and dialog between a person taken as an individual and a people taken as a whole.

I agree with your conclusion that God will take up his relationship with Israel on a national basis, I just think Paul begins to make this point earlier, beginning in chapter 9. This is where Paul begins to make comments related to Israel the nation, rather than his earlier Jew/Greek unification in Christ.

For me, the bottom line sticking point is this. The prophets speak about a time when God will forgive the entire nation of Israel and pour out his spirit on them as a people. I could multiply citations from many parts of scripture that all point to this event. To spiritualize THIS promise is to rob it of all significance to those who originally heard it.

I dialog with folks who spiritualize this promise, arguing that what God meant, originally, was that he would save those from every people group, nation, and tongue. He is going to save all believers, no matter what ethnic group they are.

It isn't enough for me to say, "I agree with you that God is saving people from every nationality, ethnicity, economic class, tongue, etc." Even while I acknowledge that idea, I also affirm what I believe the Bible asserts as a promise God made to national/ethnic Israel to save the entire lot of them as a group, at a time of his choosing, when it suits his purposes. Those who spiritualize the promise can not go there with me.

The primary argument against my opinion centers on the belief that God has rejected Israel because she has not met the conditions set forth in his word concerning their return to the land. God promised to bring them back to the land IF they would turn to him in faith, and etc.

Whether God is proactive or reactive seems to be the locus of the difference between my view and my opponents. The argument that God is waiting for Israel to repent and return to him wholeheartedly is predicated on the principle that God waits for repentance. He reacts to displays of faith; he remains uninvolved until he sees an overture toward him.

In a sense, you can see this kind of language, even in Paul. In Romans 2, earlier he points out that God's patience should be interpreted, not as approval, but as an open window of opportunity to repent -- a window that could close. We can live a life of wanton pleasure, and in the process fill up a storehouse of wrath for ourselves. Or we can repent now, and expect good things to come for us at the judgment seat.

It's easy to understand our personal journey this way. God was wooing us to come to him in faith, offering us his son as a way to find reconciliation, always remaining open to forgive our sins if we would only believe him and trust in his son.

However, this is not the only way God deals with human beings. For every passage we can find that speaks about how God is lovingly waiting for us to repent and come to faith, we can find a passage that demonstrates God's proactive choice to bring someone into the kingdom kicking and screaming (so to speak.) The conversion of Paul is a primary example. Paul wouldn't come to accept Jesus as Lord until Jesus knocked him off his horse, blinded him, and sent him by escort to live with a prophet for three days. After Paul spent a few days in blindness and apparent contemplation of what just happened, he emerged a believer.

Another passage critical to this discussion is found in Ezekiel in which God is shown to be proactive, not reactive. In that passage, God announces to Israel, though the prophet Ezekiel, that he will restore his name, i.e. his reputation among the peoples of the world. In order to do this, he will bring the people back to the land, and pour out his spirit on them all, and reestablish them as "his people", and he as "their God."

In this case, the central issue isn't salvation, but rather God's desire to restore his reputation. He is going to forgive an entire nation of Israelites, all at the same time, bring them back to the land, and cause the other nations to come against her, in order to demonstrate the fidelity of his covenant relationship with them. This has little to do with them but everything to do with God and his desire to restore his name. When he sets out to save the entire nation, he isn't going to wait for them to respond to his call, he is going to save them without their permission. Ultimately they will all repent and feel grateful that God forgave them and poured out his spirit on them. But he isn't going to wait for them to repent. He is going do it at his own initiative and for his own purposes.

To spiritualize the terminology being used to make this point is to obsure God's intended message to the world. He has announced to the world that he intends to sanctify his name through a process that will prove once-and-for-all that God is a God that can rule a people, protect her from her enemies, and cause her to live in peace and prosperity in the land of her fathers.

So, it appears that at least on this issue, you and I are in agreement. Like you, I believe that God will restore Israel to Himself, and OT scriptures point to this event. I also believe that the figurating of this event is to miss out on the significance of not only this event, but the power of God altogether. For if God can take a relbellious nation and straighten them out corporately, BEFORE Lord Jesus returns, then that will show all of us that God takes His word very seriously, and that the nation in which He created, He will preserve, even when that nation rejected Him.

third hero
Oct 6th 2008, 04:22 AM
You fail to see the two Israels in Romans 9-11. That is the reason how you sustain your argument. Natural Israel is no different from any other Christ-rejecting nation - therefore, like every rebellious nation, they are under the wrath of God. The large bulk of Israel is of their father the devil, as they were when they rejected Christ 2,000 yrs ago.

It is my opinion that you continue to make the mistake in believing that there are two Israels whereas there is only one. Israel is the descendents of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the Son of Abraham. Why do you think that Paul asks the question concerning Israel in Romans 11:1?

Paul is trying to convey something that apparently, many still do not understand today. The concept is tied to the vine imagery in Romans 11. The vine itself is God's vine. Israel is a natural branch. Those of Israel who are dead are cut off, and because of what the Pharisees and the high priests said right before the Lord's death, Israel as a nation was cut off. Those who still produced fruit from Israel were left on, even though the nation itself was cut off. Paul warns us that if we, the wild branches, do not produce fruit, that we would suffer the same fate. In that same prose, he states that if they repent of their sins, meaning if Israel as the nation repents, they will corporately be restored to the vine.

Even though those who are still on the vine are True Israel, that does not mean that Israel had become two distinct nations. Israel is still a nation, and there are members of that nation that are part of the vine. However, when Paul said that a Deliverer will remove iniquity from Jacob, that implies not those who are already part of the vine, but the other part, those who are currently cut off. This is meant as Israel, the nation that was once God's chosen, now is not, will become God's chosen once again as a whole nation.

However, I feel as though we have gone off topic here, and ventured into the same debate that we have been dealing with for quite a while now. If we are going to have at it again concerning Israel, then let's start another thread. If we are going to continue with the discussion concerning Romans 2, then let's go back there, and like some in here are still doing, debate the arguments from the bountaryies of Romans 2.

BroRog
Oct 6th 2008, 02:45 PM
So, it appears that at least on this issue, you and I are in agreement. Like you, I believe that God will restore Israel to Himself, and OT scriptures point to this event. I also believe that the figurating of this event is to miss out on the significance of not only this event, but the power of God altogether. For if God can take a relbellious nation and straighten them out corporately, BEFORE Lord Jesus returns, then that will show all of us that God takes His word very seriously, and that the nation in which He created, He will preserve, even when that nation rejected Him.


Absolutely. (Is that 15 characters?)

BroRog
Oct 6th 2008, 04:44 PM
I disagree because when describing a Jew outwardly, Paul makes absolutely NO mention of one's race or nationality or anything physical having anything to do with it.

Here you are denying the obvious. Just read chapter 2, beginning in verse 17 and try to follow Paul's train of thought.


The way someone is the type of Jew that Paul is speaking about in Romans 2:28-29 it by being circumcised of the heart, in the spirit. That's it. Therefore, a Gentile believer is included in this because Gentile believers are circumcised of the heart, in the spirit.


Your conclusion is false because your generalization is faulty. You suppose that if a Jew is one with a circumcised heart, all those with circumcised hearts are Jews. Jewish believers and Gentile believers share this in common that each of the have a circumcised heart. But, just because they share this in common doesn't mean they are exactly the same.


I don't see any mention by Paul that an inward Jew must also be an outward Jew.

If you don't see it, you must be ignoring the argument beginning in 2:17. His conclusion in 2:29 is predicated on the fact that the focus of his attention is on those who are already outwardly Jewish. When he says that a Jew is one inwardly, he is talking about folks who are already Jews outwardly.

Go back and look at the argument from 2:17.


In fact, he specfically points out that being an outward Jew (circumcised of the flesh) has nothing to do with being an inward Jew (circumcised of the heart, in the spirit).


That is not his point. Your conclusion is based on a literal reading of verse 28, which, if taken literally, is a contradiction. Paul does not literally mean to say that a Jew is not one outwardly because that would be patently false.

BroRog
Oct 6th 2008, 05:25 PM
Where did you get this one? God doesn't in any way need to restore His reputation, it is fine, well and perfect – as it always has been. This is totally untrue.

Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. `Your kingdom come . Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. `Give us this day our daily bread. `And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. `And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Here we see that Jesus teaches his disciples to request that the Father restore his name. The petition is literally, "Father, sanctify your name." Obviously, Jesus would not ask his followers to petition the Father to sanctify his name if his name was already sanctified.

As I said, the idea that God wants to restore his reputation through a national salvation of natural Israel comes from the prophet Ezekiel. I want to point out a verse in the context of Romans 2 that is relevant to this point.

Indeed, this verse comes just one verse before the main focus of this thread.

For "the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you," just as it is written.

One could assume that the Gentiles need no provocation or excuse to blaspheme the name of God. But in Paul's day, many of the peoples of the earth were theists and didn't hate God for just being God. The issue for them was whether the Jewish God, or any god for that matter, was able to give his people peace and prosperity in the land. And if a foreign nation was able to capture and kill the people, it could only mean that the god of the foreign nation was stronger than the local god.

Historically, it would appear from the outside, that the Hebrew God was weak and unable to protect his people or care for them economically. This wrong impression of the Hebrew God is the cause for why the Gentiles speak falsely (blaspheme) about him. They speak falsely about him because by all appearances the Hebrew God looks weak. So, in essence, it was Israel's behavior and God's subsequent punishment that became the basis for the Gentile blaspheme against the Hebrew God.

In reality, as we know, the Hebrew God sent his people into exile due to their disobedience to the covenant. But the world does not know this.

Now to show you the passage in which God explicitly says his purpose for Israel's salvation is to restore his holy name. First, an appetizer from Isaiah 52:5

5 "Now therefore, what do I have here," declares the Lord, "seeing that My people have been taken away without cause?" [Again] the Lord declares, "Those who rule over them howl, and My name is continually blasphemed all day long. 6 "Therefore My people shall know My name; therefore in that day I am the one who is speaking, `Here I am.' "

In this passage we have the two concepts tied together: 1.) his people being taken away, and 2.) blaspheme of his name.

Ezekiel 36:22 "Therefore say to the house of Israel, `Thus says the Lord God, "It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. 23 "I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord," declares the Lord God, "when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. 24 "For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. 25 "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. 28 "You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God. 29 "Moreover, I will save you from all your uncleanness; and I will call for the grain and multiply it, and I will not bring a famine on you. 30 "I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field, so that you will not receive again the disgrace of famine among the nations. 31 "Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and your abominations. 32 "I am not doing [this] for your sake," declares the Lord God, "let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel!"

The God of Israel is going to bring Israel back to the land, pour out his spirit on them. He says that he is not doing this for their sake, but to restore his holy name among the nations where they have lived.

The rest you can read for yourself if you want.

wpm
Oct 6th 2008, 05:32 PM
Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. `Your kingdom come . Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. `Give us this day our daily bread. `And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. `And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Here we see that Jesus teaches his disciples to request that the Father restore his name. The petition is literally, "Father, sanctify your name." Obviously, Jesus would not ask his followers to petition the Father to sanctify his name if his name was already sanctified.

As I said, the idea that God wants to restore his reputation through a national salvation of natural Israel comes from the prophet Ezekiel. I want to point out a verse in the context of Romans 2 that is relevant to this point.

Indeed, this verse comes just one verse before the main focus of this thread.

For "the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you," just as it is written.

One could assume that the Gentiles need no provocation or excuse to blaspheme the name of God. But in Paul's day, many of the peoples of the earth were theists and didn't hate God for just being God. The issue for them was whether the Jewish God, or any god for that matter, was able to give his people peace and prosperity in the land. And if a foreign nation was able to capture and kill the people, it could only mean that the god of the foreign nation was stronger than the local god.

Historically, it would appear from the outside, that the Hebrew God was weak and unable to protect his people or care for them economically. This wrong impression of the Hebrew God is the cause for why the Gentiles speak falsely (blaspheme) about him. They speak falsely about him because by all appearances the Hebrew God looks weak.[/size][/font][/color] So, in essence, it was Israel's behavior and God's subsequent punishment that became the basis for the Gentile blaspheme against the Hebrew God.

In reality, as we know, the Hebrew God sent his people into exile due to their disobedience to the covenant. But the world does not know this.

Now to show you the passage in which God explicitly says his purpose for Israel's salvation is to restore his holy name. First, an appetizer from Isaiah 52:5

5 "Now therefore, what do I have here," declares the Lord, "seeing that My people have been taken away without cause?" [Again] the Lord declares, "Those who rule over them howl, and My name is continually blasphemed all day long. 6 "Therefore My people shall know My name; therefore in that day I am the one who is speaking, `Here I am.' "

In this passage we have the two concepts tied together: 1.) his people being taken away, and 2.) blaspheme of his name.

Ezekiel 36:22 "Therefore say to the house of Israel, `Thus says the Lord God, "It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. 23 "I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord," declares the Lord God, "when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. 24 "For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. 25 "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. 28 "You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God. 29 "Moreover, I will save you from all your uncleanness; and I will call for the grain and multiply it, and I will not bring a famine on you. 30 "I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field, so that you will not receive again the disgrace of famine among the nations. 31 "Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and your abominations. 32 "I am not doing [this] for your sake," declares the Lord God, "let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel!"

The God of Israel is going to bring Israel back to the land, pour out his spirit on them. He says that he is not doing this for their sake, but to restore his holy name among the nations where they have lived.

The rest you can read for yourself if you want.


This is not the Lord's reputation you are talking about (because it is always perfect and mighty) but His glory. Anyway, this is deviating off topic big-time. It would be profitable to get back on line. I noticed you ignored my main rebuttal of your take on Romans 2.

BroRog
Oct 6th 2008, 05:40 PM
This is not the Lord's reputation you are talking about (because it is always perfect and mighty) but His glory. Anyway, this is deviating off topic big-time. It would be profitable to get back on line. I noticed you ignored my main rebuttal of your take on Romans 2.

This subject is NOT off topic. The title of this thread is "The Spiritual Jew" An Exegetial Dialog on Romans 2." My comments relate to Romans 2:24, which is certainly found in Romans 2. And just as significantly, my last post to you refutes you generalization that God has nothing left to do with natural Israel.

John146
Oct 6th 2008, 10:29 PM
Here you are denying the obvious. Just read chapter 2, beginning in verse 17 and try to follow Paul's train of thought. Not so. I believe you are denying that Paul only spoke of a Jew inwardly as being one who was circumcised of the heart, in the spirit, with nothing physical having anything to do with it.


Your conclusion is false because your generalization is faulty.Oh, well that clears things up. ;)


You suppose that if a Jew is one with a circumcised heart, all those with circumcised hearts are Jews.I don't see that Paul said otherwise. The only qualification that he gives for being an inward Jew is to be circumcised of the heart, in the spirit.


Jewish believers and Gentile believers share this in common that each of the have a circumcised heart. But, just because they share this in common doesn't mean they are exactly the same. Are Gentile believers somehow circumcised of the heart in a different way than Jewish believers?



If you don't see it, you must be ignoring the argument beginning in 2:17. His conclusion in 2:29 is predicated on the fact that the focus of his attention is on those who are already outwardly Jewish. When he says that a Jew is one inwardly, he is talking about folks who are already Jews outwardly. Actually, he specifically says that one is NOT a Jew by virtue of being one outwardly. Therefore, the type of Jew he was speaking about had nothing to do with being an outward Jew.


That is not his point. Your conclusion is based on a literal reading of verse 28, which, if taken literally, is a contradiction. Paul does not literally mean to say that a Jew is not one outwardly because that would be patently false.He's not denying the existence of outward Jews (hence his words "who is one outwardly"). He is only saying that the type of Jew he was speaking about was not determined by being an outward Jew and being circumcised in the flesh but rather was determined by whether or not one was circumcised of the heart.

third hero
Oct 7th 2008, 12:13 AM
Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. `Your kingdom come . Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. `Give us this day our daily bread. `And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. `And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Here we see that Jesus teaches his disciples to request that the Father restore his name. The petition is literally, "Father, sanctify your name." Obviously, Jesus would not ask his followers to petition the Father to sanctify his name if his name was already sanctified.

As I said, the idea that God wants to restore his reputation through a national salvation of natural Israel comes from the prophet Ezekiel. I want to point out a verse in the context of Romans 2 that is relevant to this point.

Indeed, this verse comes just one verse before the main focus of this thread.

For "the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you," just as it is written.

One could assume that the Gentiles need no provocation or excuse to blaspheme the name of God. But in Paul's day, many of the peoples of the earth were theists and didn't hate God for just being God. The issue for them was whether the Jewish God, or any god for that matter, was able to give his people peace and prosperity in the land. And if a foreign nation was able to capture and kill the people, it could only mean that the god of the foreign nation was stronger than the local god.

Historically, it would appear from the outside, that the Hebrew God was weak and unable to protect his people or care for them economically. This wrong impression of the Hebrew God is the cause for why the Gentiles speak falsely (blaspheme) about him. They speak falsely about him because by all appearances the Hebrew God looks weak. So, in essence, it was Israel's behavior and God's subsequent punishment that became the basis for the Gentile blaspheme against the Hebrew God.

In reality, as we know, the Hebrew God sent his people into exile due to their disobedience to the covenant. But the world does not know this.

Now to show you the passage in which God explicitly says his purpose for Israel's salvation is to restore his holy name. First, an appetizer from Isaiah 52:5

5 "Now therefore, what do I have here," declares the Lord, "seeing that My people have been taken away without cause?" [Again] the Lord declares, "Those who rule over them howl, and My name is continually blasphemed all day long. 6 "Therefore My people shall know My name; therefore in that day I am the one who is speaking, `Here I am.' "

In this passage we have the two concepts tied together: 1.) his people being taken away, and 2.) blaspheme of his name.

Ezekiel 36:22 "Therefore say to the house of Israel, `Thus says the Lord God, "It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. 23 "I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord," declares the Lord God, "when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. 24 "For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. 25 "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. 28 "You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God. 29 "Moreover, I will save you from all your uncleanness; and I will call for the grain and multiply it, and I will not bring a famine on you. 30 "I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field, so that you will not receive again the disgrace of famine among the nations. 31 "Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and your abominations. 32 "I am not doing [this] for your sake," declares the Lord God, "let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel!"

The God of Israel is going to bring Israel back to the land, pour out his spirit on them. He says that he is not doing this for their sake, but to restore his holy name among the nations where they have lived.

The rest you can read for yourself if you want.


excellent post BroRog. I couldn't have made a better presentation myself, although I did try.

Matthehitmanhart
Oct 7th 2008, 01:28 PM
Actually I am quite convinced by your reasoning and arguments and always find myself surprised by your conclusions. I agree with most of your exegesis, but you seem to jump the track at the end as if you couldn't bring yourself to agree with yourself. This phenomenon always fascinates me when I see it in action.

I wasn't aware that I couldn't bring myself to agree with myself... Interesting. Could you be a bit more specific? Where exactly have I "jumped the track" in my reasoning?


Again, I find agreement with your view that the term "Jew" is being used in the covenant sense. I suppose, and I'm just guessing, that you would disagree with me that Paul, in Romans 2, has the Old Covenant in view, not the New Covenant. His discussion of what it means to be a covenant keeping Jew is still in the context of the Covenant at Mt. Sinai, which is the reason why he will continue to keep that Covenant in view as he makes his way.Ah, good guess. I would say that he has both in view and that he's juxtaposing them, showing the inadequacy of the Old and introducing the efficiency of the New. He does this rhetorically by contrasting two subjects; the first a circumcised law-breaker, representing unsaved ethnic Israel, and the second an uncircumcised law-keeper, representing the renewed and reconstituted Israel, the Jew-plus-Gentile family of God in Christ, with a special emphasis obviously on the Gentile counterpart since the ultimate purpose of his letter is to break down the prejudices existing between the two groups in Rome. It seems to me that this juxtaposition is a constant theme throughout the letter, as I dealt with in some detail near the end of the OP, and I never see Paul addressing the Old Covenant on the one hand without holding the New Covenant in the other.


Since I do not bring Christian covenental theology into Romans 2, you can not expect me or anyone else to insert it here. I suppose if you wanted to continue the discussion, you could start by making a case from the text for why you believe the topic of Paul's discourse is the New Covenant. I don't see it myself.

For this reason, while I am sympathetic to your view that the term "Jew" is used in a covenental sense, which speaks about believers, I am not at liberty to generalize the term to cover any and every believer. I still think this extrapolation goes beyond the text in front of us. Since the passage is a critique of those who "bear the name Jew" (vs 17) in the context of keeping the requirements of the Law of Moses, (vs 26) we understand the conclusion to the matter in terms of a person under that covenant. The implied question is: who is actually keeping the Mt. Sinai covenant in it's fullest, deepest and most essential sence?

At this point in Paul's argument, I am not free to make an extrapolation of the point to those outside the Mt. Sinai Covenant. Why do you feel free to do so?There are a few reasons from the text why I feel like Paul has the New Covenant in view right along side the Old, and I would in no way feel justified in making an extrapolation were that not the case.

In the midst of his polemic against the self-proclaimed "Jew" who breaks the law, in v. 14 Paul introduces Gentiles into the discussion, suggesting that there are some who "by nature" do the things in the law even though they do not possess it or hear it taught in the synagogue. Judging from his earlier analysis of Gentile idolatry and degradation in 1:18-32, wherein he accused them of leaving what is "natural" for what is "against nature", it doesn't seem likely that he is leaving open the possibility that some of these idolaters could just naturally come to walking according to God's law. No, it appears that by "natural" Paul means to point toward God's original intent for humanity in the garden, that they would reflect his image out to creation. That is what it means to be fully and "naturally" human, and Paul's point in 1:18-32 is that this natural image-bearing quality has been distorted and suppressed by sin.

So then, when he suggests in 2:14 that there are Gentiles who "by nature" meet the heart-level requirement of the law, he means that their natures have been renewed and regenerated, lifted from the curse of the fall and the downward spiral of sub-human rebellion. This is confirmed once more when we read in the next line that these Gentiles "show the work of the law written in their hearts". Here Paul is alluding to the two great New Covenant passages in the OT, Jeremiah 31:33 and Ezekiel 36:26.

"But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people." (Jer 31:33)

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." (Ezek 36:26)

The obvious fact is that the Gentile law-keepers here are Christians. That's why Paul says they have the natural ability to keep the law; they possess the Holy Spirit, which is the sign that God has renewed the covenant and the new age has dawned. Now, if this were not enough to show that the New Covenant is in view, Paul goes on to explicitly state that these ones who keep the righteous requirement of the law do so by the circumcision of the heart, "in the Spirit" and "not in the letter" or "in the flesh". This is a clear contrast, in typical Pauline fashion, between the Old and New Covenants.

the rookie
Oct 7th 2008, 02:17 PM
Hitman -

Your exegesis, then, leads me to ask you two simple questions:

1. Does Paul's statement in Rom. 2 now free you to refer to yourself as a Jew? Or, to put it even more simply, do you think of yourself as a Jew and refer to yourself that way amongst your comrades?

2. Does Paul's statement in Rom. 2 then subsequently free you to refer to the church as Israel? Thus, in Rom. 9, when Paul is speaking of Israel he is referring to the saved corporate entity that we today think of as the church?

Thus "Israel" is filled with "Jews"? (according to Paul - or at least, your exegesis of the passages in question and their logical conclusions)

wpm
Oct 7th 2008, 03:29 PM
Hitman -

Your exegesis, then, leads me to ask you two simple questions:

1. Does Paul's statement in Rom. 2 now free you to refer to yourself as a Jew? Or, to put it even more simply, do you think of yourself as a Jew and refer to yourself that way amongst your comrades?

2. Does Paul's statement in Rom. 2 then subsequently free you to refer to the church as Israel? Thus, in Rom. 9, when Paul is speaking of Israel he is referring to the saved corporate entity that we today think of as the church?

Thus "Israel" is filled with "Jews"? (according to Paul - or at least, your exegesis of the passages in question and their logical conclusions)

Yes. We are spiritual Israel, spiritual Jews, the spiritual circumcision and the spiritual children of Abraham. Notwithstanding, there is a natural Israel, natural Jews, the natural circumcision and the natural children of Abraham, however, this is counted nothing in God's eyes, no more than being a Gentile today.

Galatians 6:15 is proof: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature."

John146
Oct 7th 2008, 03:39 PM
Yes. We are spiritual Israel, spiritual Jews, the spiritual circumcision and the spiritual children of Abraham.Amen. Upon being circumcised of the heart, in the spirit, we have come unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem (Heb 12:22), and are now heavenly Jews. Spiritual Jews. True Jews. Jews inwardly. Whatever you want to call it, our citizenship is in heavenly Jerusalem, which is the mother of us all (Gal 4:26).

Gentiles were once aliens from the commonwealth of Israel but because of Christ are no more strangers and foreigners and are fellowcitizens with their Jewish brothers and sisters in Christ. The children of God and of the promise are counted for the seed of the Israel which is not of Israel (Rom 9:6-8). Jew and Gentile believers alike are the children of God by faith in Christ and are both "heirs according to the promise" (Gal 3:29).

Matthehitmanhart
Oct 7th 2008, 03:47 PM
Hitman -

Your exegesis, then, leads me to ask you two simple questions:

1. Does Paul's statement in Rom. 2 now free you to refer to yourself as a Jew? Or, to put it even more simply, do you think of yourself as a Jew and refer to yourself that way amongst your comrades?

2. Does Paul's statement in Rom. 2 then subsequently free you to refer to the church as Israel? Thus, in Rom. 9, when Paul is speaking of Israel he is referring to the saved corporate entity that we today think of as the church?

Thus "Israel" is filled with "Jews"? (according to Paul - or at least, your exegesis of the passages in question and their logical conclusions)

1. In the covenantal sense in which Paul means it, yes it does. It's unfortunate that such a statement should become so bound up in supersessionist thinking, but that does not therefore give us a right to react against (what seems to me to be) the most sensible reading of Rom 2. It's a glorious thing to know that in the kingdom there are no second class citizens, that all are one in the Messiah, that together we are the Israel of God. IMO, if we refer to ourselves as "Israel" with the right understanding of what that means, we fortify ourselves against two reactionary postures, both of which operate off of the dualism which Origen and Augustine introduced, an historic schism which, IMO, is unavoidably anti-Judaic at its root.

While it may be well intended, to make a covenantal distinction between "Israel" and the "church" in the process of seeking to exalt God’s plan and heart for unsaved ethnic Israel is unknowingly working off of the same platonic foundation as replacement theology. It’s simply erroneous, and if followed to conclusion ultimately damaging, to postulate one set of promises for Israel and another set of promises for the church, earthly promises for the one and heavenly promises for the other, for it stems from a world view that disdains the natural order. And so, no matter how pro-Israel it seems in light of current events, in the end it’s throwing the crumbs off the table to ethnic Israel while giving the higher, more “spiritual” promises to the church.

When we read Paul's whole argument through to his own conclusion, instead of short-circuiting that argument by standing on one text to the exception of another, we find that he's clear about the fact that God has not rejected the original people He called, that it’s not as if the Gentiles have replaced the Jews in His plan. His call for ethnic Israel stands now as it always has, for “the gifts and callings of God are irrevocable” (11:28-29). He has not ditched the old and started anew (supercessionism). And yet neither does Paul suggest that God has split His covenant family into two separate groups (dispensationalist zionism). No such dualism exists in his thinking. Rather, according to Paul, the Gentiles have been “grafted in” to the faithful Israel, the one historic people of God (11:16-17). Therefore they should not boast against the Jews, for it’s upon the shoulders of Jews that they stand; they have accepted a torch which was first received and for two thousand years carried almost entirely by Jews (11:18). As Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, “salvation is of the Jews”.

This is precisely why, in my estimation, Paul did refer to Gentiles as "Jews" (which, I stress again, was not a new use for the term: Esther 8:17), because God's rescue operation began with Jews - and thus when we Gentiles come to faith we are entering into an historic family bearing the God-given title of Israel; we become Jews. That's why he includes the Corinthian Christians in the story of God's past deliverance of Israel at the red sea, saying that "all our fathers were under the cloud, all past through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea" (1 Cor 10:1-2).

2. Yes, I do believe that Paul intends to include Gentile Christians in the true Israel he speaks of in Rom 9:6. Standing alone it’s true that the phrase “they are not all Israel who are of Israel” doesn’t necessarily imply that Gentiles are included in the true Israel; in and of itself it only insists negatively that not all Jews are included in that company. However, Paul doesn’t mean for that to be a stand-alone statement. He goes on to state positively: “But the children of the promise are counted as the seed”. The question is, who are the ones that are counted as Abraham’s descendants? Considering the foundation he has laid already in ch. 4 and following the logic of the present passage to his own conclusion in vv. 23-33, it seems hard to deny that Paul includes Gentiles in the “children of promise”, the “seed”, and thus in the true eschatological “Israel” of v. 6.

the rookie
Oct 7th 2008, 06:08 PM
Yes. We are spiritual Israel, spiritual Jews, the spiritual circumcision and the spiritual children of Abraham. Notwithstanding, there is a natural Israel, natural Jews, the natural circumcision and the natural children of Abraham, however, this is counted nothing in God's eyes, no more than being a Gentile today.

Galatians 6:15 is proof: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature."

So I want to be clear:

1. You and I are Jews.

2. We are a part of Israel.

3. The Old Testament promises for the Jews and Israel were about us and for us.

And Galatians 6:15 is the proof.

third hero
Oct 7th 2008, 06:19 PM
Yes. We are spiritual Israel, spiritual Jews, the spiritual circumcision and the spiritual children of Abraham. Notwithstanding, there is a natural Israel, natural Jews, the natural circumcision and the natural children of Abraham, however, this is counted nothing in God's eyes, no more than being a Gentile today.

Galatians 6:15 is proof: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature."

So let me get this straight. Israel is now the church, and Jews are believers? What about the Israel that exists today, and what about the prophecies concerning Israel in the OT?

John146
Oct 7th 2008, 06:26 PM
So let me get this straight. Israel is now the churchThe Israel of God is the church, yes. In Ephesians 2:12 it is called the commonwealth of Israel, which Gentiles were once aliens from, but are now fellowcitizens with the Jewish saints.


and Jews are believers?Spiritual Jews are, yes. Are you ethnically a Jew or Gentile? Most here are probably ethnically Gentiles. Have we not been circumcised of the heart, in the spirit? Sure we have. Being circumcised of the heart, in the spirit is the qualification for being a Jew inwardly, according to Paul in Romans 2:29.


What about the Israel that exists today,Most of them need to repent and surrender to Christ, it seems. Doesn't seem like a Christian nation, wouldn't you agree?


and what about the prophecies concerning Israel in the OT?Such as? We can see that prophecies like Jeremiah 31:31-34 (quoted in Hebrews 8:8-12) and Isaiah 59:20-21 (quoted in Romans 11:26-27) both find their fulfillment in the New Covenant which was established long ago by the blood of Christ. What others do you have in mind?

third hero
Oct 7th 2008, 06:36 PM
The Israel of God is the church, yes. In Ephesians 2:12 it is called the commonwealth of Israel, which Gentiles were once aliens from, but are now fellowcitizens with the Jewish saints.

Eric, that was not the question, and you know it. My question was clear, and I know that you can not answer it, because it is not your view that brought this question on. IF you read my post concerning the term saint, I am certain that you will agree with it. I am not questioning you, Eric, because I know where you stand on this issue. I am questioning wpm, for the exact same reason that Rookie is.


Spiritual Jews are, yes. Are you ethnically a Jew or Gentile? Most here are probably ethnically Gentiles. Have we not been circumcised of the heart, in the spirit? Sure we have. Being circumcised of the heart, in the spirit is the qualification for being a Jew inwardly, according to Paul in Romans 2:29.

Again, Eric, I knew you were going to go there. I agree with you that a Spiritual Jew is a True Jew, which is what I calll, a Saint. Their natioonality is not physical Israel though. Their nationality is New Jerusalem, of Lord Jesus's Kingdom of Israel, otherwise known as the Kingdom of Heaven. I believe that we are in agreement. I am asking wpm a question for a reason. I can not reveal it yet, but I am certain that you can figure it out just from my response to you.


Most of them need to repent and surrender to Christ, it seems. Doesn't seem like a Christian nation, wouldn't you agree?

This was why I did not want you to answer that question, Eric. Of course I agree!


Such as? We can see that prophecies like Jeremiah 31:31-34 (quoted in Hebrews 8:8-12) and Isaiah 59:20-21 (quoted in Romans 11:26-27) both find their fulfillment in the New Covenant which was established long ago by the blood of Christ. What others do you have in mind?

Here is where we disagree, but this is not where I was going with my question. The prophecies that I was looking at are Zechariah chapters 12 and 14, as well as Ezekiel 36-39. (notice I did not include 40-48).

the rookie
Oct 7th 2008, 06:56 PM
1. In the covenantal sense in which Paul means it, yes it does. It's unfortunate that such a statement should become so bound up in supersessionist thinking, but that does not therefore give us a right to react against (what seems to me to be) the most sensible reading of Rom 2. It's a glorious thing to know that in the kingdom there are no second class citizens, that all are one in the Messiah, that together we are the Israel of God. IMO, if we refer to ourselves as "Israel" with the right understanding of what that means, we fortify ourselves against two reactionary postures, both of which operate off of the dualism which Origen and Augustine introduced, an historic schism which, IMO, is unavoidably anti-Judaic at its root.

While it may be well intended, to make a covenantal distinction between "Israel" and the "church" in the process of seeking to exalt God’s plan and heart for unsaved ethnic Israel is unknowingly working off of the same platonic foundation as replacement theology. It’s simply erroneous, and if followed to conclusion ultimately damaging, to postulate one set of promises for Israel and another set of promises for the church, earthly promises for the one and heavenly promises for the other, for it stems from a world view that disdains the natural order. And so, no matter how pro-Israel it seems in light of current events, in the end it’s throwing the crumbs off the table to ethnic Israel while giving the higher, more “spiritual” promises to the church.

When we read Paul's whole argument through to his own conclusion, instead of short-circuiting that argument by standing on one text to the exception of another, we find that he's clear about the fact that God has not rejected the original people He called, that it’s not as if the Gentiles have replaced the Jews in His plan. His call for ethnic Israel stands now as it always has, for “the gifts and callings of God are irrevocable” (11:28-29). He has not ditched the old and started anew (supercessionism). And yet neither does Paul suggest that God has split His covenant family into two separate groups (dispensationalist zionism). No such dualism exists in his thinking. Rather, according to Paul, the Gentiles have been “grafted in” to the faithful Israel, the one historic people of God (11:16-17). Therefore they should not boast against the Jews, for it’s upon the shoulders of Jews that they stand; they have accepted a torch which was first received and for two thousand years carried almost entirely by Jews (11:18). As Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, “salvation is of the Jews”.

This is precisely why, in my estimation, Paul did refer to Gentiles as "Jews" (which, I stress again, was not a new use for the term: Esther 8:17), because God's rescue operation began with Jews - and thus when we Gentiles come to faith we are entering into an historic family bearing the God-given title of Israel; we become Jews. That's why he includes the Corinthian Christians in the story of God's past deliverance of Israel at the red sea, saying that "all our fathers were under the cloud, all past through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea" (1 Cor 10:1-2).

2. Yes, I do believe that Paul intends to include Gentile Christians in the true Israel he speaks of in Rom 9:6. Standing alone it’s true that the phrase “they are not all Israel who are of Israel” doesn’t necessarily imply that Gentiles are included in the true Israel; in and of itself it only insists negatively that not all Jews are included in that company. However, Paul doesn’t mean for that to be a stand-alone statement. He goes on to state positively: “But the children of the promise are counted as the seed”. The question is, who are the ones that are counted as Abraham’s descendants? Considering the foundation he has laid already in ch. 4 and following the logic of the present passage to his own conclusion in vv. 23-33, it seems hard to deny that Paul includes Gentiles in the “children of promise”, the “seed”, and thus in the true eschatological “Israel” of v. 6.

I think that you are making some assumptions about why I would ask those questions, and possibly reacting to some theological excesses in your own right.

I am not asking because of my objection to a supersessionist viewpoint of this passage. I am asking because I want to know if Paul the Apostle truly thought of Gentile believers as Jews, and of the body of Christ as Israel. Your Esther reference aside, that would have been a radical leap, IMO, theologically, culturally, and socially in that day - that a Gentile could go from the designation "God-fearer" to "actual Jew".

I think that you are overdoing the rhetorical argument Paul is posing in Romans 2. It would be no such "short-circuit" related to his conclusion in verse 29 to interpret the entire presentation as one that reflects the preaching of John the Baptist to Israel a generation prior. IOW, Paul is speaking to the "you" of verse 17 - a Jew. He is defining for that particular Jew what it means to actually be a Jew - or how to be "authentically Hebraic", as Art Katz would say.

Can a Gentile be "authentically Hebraic" inwardly? Of course, and that is part of the provocation of God towards the Jew - that He can empower a Gentile by grace to walk in an manner more authentically "Jewish" than the Jew himself. But that does not make the Gentile an actual Jew. You are seeming to want it both ways for some reason - both maintaining and eradicating the distinction between Jew and Gentile. I think that is a valid point to make apart from Romans 2, and as was said earlier one I could agree with until you "jump the tracks" and assert that we are Jews and the church is Israel. I'm not sure why you feel the need to go so far in defining the distictiveless distinctions. Presumably this is related to your desire to eradicate the "second-class citizen" status that exists, it seems in some theological camps.

When it comes to salvation, ethnic distinctions are meaningless. When it comes to the ultimate promises of God, they are likewise meaningless. When it comes to function or role, they really do matter - why? Because the manner in which those promises come to pass involve ethnic distinctions related to provocation of a people and the salvation and deliverance of a nation. While the inheritance of that promise is not restricted by race, the means to bring about the promise happens because of race.

Side note: I do find it comical that many who chant, "ethnic and gender distinctions are meaningless" often won't let a woman preach.

wpm
Oct 7th 2008, 07:32 PM
So I want to be clear:

1. You and I are Jews.

2. We are a part of Israel.

3. The Old Testament promises for the Jews and Israel were about us and for us.

And Galatians 6:15 is the proof.

:D Rookie, I think you know what my position is and what I believe Scripture says.

Firstly, there not only two Israels but two circumcisions, two types of Jew and two types of children of Abraham. One is identified with natural birthright and one with spiritual birthright. It is the last that is entered by faith and a living relationship with God. It is the last that carries God’s special favour.

Secondly, Scripture is repeatedly showing the natural title as impotent and worthless.

Thirdly, Scripture is repeatedly showing the spiritual title as essential to make heaven.

Here is what I believe is compelling biblical evidence that God's sees no merit in a man's natural Jewishness or physical birthright. If you want the converse evidence that we are the true, I would be happy to furnish you with that.

Natural Jewishness means nothing

Romans 2:28-29 plainly states, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter.”

Revelation 2:9, which said, “I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.”

The Lord similarly condemns the unbelieving natural Jew in Revelation 3:9, “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.”


Natural circumcision means nothing

I Corinthians 7:17 declares, “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing"

Galatians 5:2 declares, “if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing."

Galatians 5:5 declares, "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love."

Galatians 6:15 reinforces that, saying, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.”


Natural child of Abraham means nothing

Romans 9:6-8 confirms this, saying, “for they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.”

Matthew 3:7-12 tells us: “when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father:for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.”

Christ is seen challenging the religious Jews of His day, in John 8, saying, “ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” To which they responded,“We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?” (vv 32-33).

The Jews again declared, “Abraham is our father” (v39).

Whereupon Christ responded,“If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father… If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it”(vv 39-44).

Natural Israel means nothing

Romans 9:6-8 confirms this, saying, “for they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.”

John146
Oct 7th 2008, 07:51 PM
Eric, that was not the question, and you know it. My question was clear, and I know that you can not answer it, because it is not your view that brought this question on. IF you read my post concerning the term saint, I am certain that you will agree with it. I am not questioning you, Eric, because I know where you stand on this issue. I am questioning wpm, for the exact same reason that Rookie is.And when was this new rule put into effect that we are not allowed to respond to posts unless they are directed to us specifically? Please give me a link to this new rule so that I can save it for reference to make sure that I remember not to do that again. ;)

John146
Oct 7th 2008, 07:57 PM
I think that you are making some assumptions about why I would ask those questions, and possibly reacting to some theological excesses in your own right.

I am not asking because of my objection to a supersessionist viewpoint of this passage. I am asking because I want to know if Paul the Apostle truly thought of Gentile believers as Jews, and of the body of Christ as Israel. Your Esther reference aside, that would have been a radical leap, IMO, theologically, culturally, and socially in that day - that a Gentile could go from the designation "God-fearer" to "actual Jew".

I think that you are overdoing the rhetorical argument Paul is posing in Romans 2. It would be no such "short-circuit" related to his conclusion in verse 29 to interpret the entire presentation as one that reflects the preaching of John the Baptist to Israel a generation prior. IOW, Paul is speaking to the "you" of verse 17 - a Jew. He is defining for that particular Jew what it means to actually be a Jew - or how to be "authentically Hebraic", as Art Katz would say.

Can a Gentile be "authentically Hebraic" inwardly? Of course, and that is part of the provocation of God towards the Jew - that He can empower a Gentile by grace to walk in an manner more authentically "Jewish" than the Jew himself. But that does not make the Gentile an actual Jew.What is an "actual Jew"? Is that the type of Jew you believe Paul is speaking about in Romans 2:28-29?


When it comes to salvation, ethnic distinctions are meaningless. When it comes to the ultimate promises of God, they are likewise meaningless. When it comes to function or role, they really do matter - why? Because the manner in which those promises come to pass involve ethnic distinctions related to provocation of a people and the salvation and deliverance of a nation. While the inheritance of that promise is not restricted by race, the means to bring about the promise happens because of race. Likewise, when it comes to spiritual things such as the circumcision of the heart, in the spirit, ethnic distinctions are meaningless. You have yet to show how being circumcised of the heart, in the spirit, has anything to do with one's ethnicity.

the rookie
Oct 7th 2008, 08:07 PM
What is an "actual Jew"? Is that the type of Jew you believe Paul is speaking about in Romans 2:28-29?

In terms of the conversation, I am speaking of an ethnic Jew, or a member of the Jewish race and a citizen of Israel. I am also speaking of one who is authentically Hebraic and a true son of Abraham. So I am speaking of two different things simultaneously.


Likewise, when it comes to spiritual things such as the circumcision of the heart, in the spirit, ethnic distinctions are meaningless.

Then why call an authentic believer a "Jew" at all? Why take an ethnic distinction and make it a spiritual term?


You have yet to show how being circumcised of the heart, in the spirit, has anything to do with one's ethnicity.

Huh? I'm kind of trying to do the opposite.

wpm
Oct 7th 2008, 08:09 PM
So let me get this straight. Israel is now the church, and Jews are believers? What about the Israel that exists today, and what about the prophecies concerning Israel in the OT?

We are true Israel - spiritual Israel. Natural Israel is no different from any other nation, they need to repent and be spiritually circumcisied - the only circumcision God recognises or carries favour.

God's dealing with Israel as per the old covenant have been desolved through the cross. The old theocracy has gone forever. God now works through all nations equally. Israel like all nations are bekoned to come to Christ by simple faith and therefore enter into the benifits of the good olive tree.

The vision of the unclean animals coming down on a sheet is here specifically related to the spread of the Gospel to the Gentiles. This caused Peter (that Jew of the Jews) to testify, “I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every ethnos (or) nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all)” (Acts 10:34-36).

Things have all changed today. We are the chosen people. We are now citizens of Israel. Not national Israel, but spiritual Israel. We are the circumcision today; we are the true Jews and the true children of Abraham. We the redeemed Church today have entered into “the citizenship of Israel” through the work of in Christ. We have become fellow citizens of the Israel of God today.

Nihil Obstat
Oct 7th 2008, 08:12 PM
In wrestling through Rom. 2 along with all of you, I'd like to know if anyone disagrees with the observations I've made below, and why:

1) Salvation (or, circumcision of the heart) has always been by faith, open to all; never by circumcision of the flesh, open to few - in other words, circumcision of the heart is not a "Jewish" thing. (Romans 4:9-10)

2) Circumcision of the flesh was intended by God to be the outward sign of the inward reality. (Romans 4:11)

3) Only a few, Abraham and his natural descendants (and to their slaves), were commanded by God to have the outward sign (circumcision of the flesh) of the inward reality (circumcision of the heart), for they have an elect calling as a people. (Romans 3:1; Acts 13:47; Genesis 12:1-3; 17:9-14; cp. Eph. 2:11)

4) Therefore (since the outward was meant to be a sign of the inward), those naturally descended from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (being the tribes of Israel, or, the Jews) were all commanded by God to be circumcised of heart (and this hardly by inference; it was explicit - also, though this was a command, this could and often was rejected by many of his descendants, but in the last generation it will not be; Deut. 30:6; Jer. 30:7; Eze. 36; etc.). (Romans 4:12)

5) It follows, then, that a Jew (one born naturally of the twelve tribes of Israel) who was outwardly circumcised only, and not inwardly, by very definition was not a Jew, but was cut off from his own people. (Romans 2:28-29; etc.)

6) However, Gentiles could (and needed to, in order to receive the same salvation as Jews) be circumcised of heart as well, for salvation has always been by grace (not race) through faith. (Romans 10:11-13; Galatians 3:11)

7) Believing all of the above (and who here wouldn't?), it's okay and correct to conclude that Gentiles who are circumcised of heart by the Spirit (and who were grafted into the Jews' covenants) are not called Jews in Rom. 2:29, since by very definition a Jew was not just circumcised of heart, but of the flesh too (as a natural descendant of the tribes of Israel, who had the law), as God commanded them (and not Gentiles, who did not have the law).

Does this mean then that we saved Gentiles, who also have the Jerusalem above for our mother (cp. Gal. 4:26), are second-rate citizens in that city? No, of course not. Paul was a Jew (Acts 21:39), yet was also a citizen of the Roman Empire (Acts 22:25-29), therefore having equal claim to the commonwealth of Rome, just as the Romans did (and that in a wicked kingdom; how much more then do we in the kingdom of God). But this did not make Paul a Gentile, any more than we saved Gentiles become Jews by being fellow citizens of Israel with the Jews. Paul was a Roman, not a Gentile; we are Israelites, not Jews. If you want to "become a Jew" (in the Esther 8:17 sense), then you need to become physically circumcised and take up the law and observe their traditions (becoming a proselyte; cp. Acts 2:10; Gal. 4:21), though this will be accounted to you as merely a preference before God, and have absolutely no positive (or even negative, unless you trust in it) bearing whatsoever on your salvation or reward. We saved Gentiles are of equal standing with our saved Jewish brethren, saved by the same gospel as they, "for [the gospel of Christ] is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. ... For there is no partiality with God" (Rom. 1:16; 2:(9-)11).

- Lk.11

wpm
Oct 7th 2008, 08:30 PM
When it comes to the ultimate promises of God, they are likewise meaningless. When it comes to function or role, they really do matter - why? Because the manner in which those promises come to pass involve ethnic distinctions related to provocation of a people and the salvation and deliverance of a nation. While the inheritance of that promise is not restricted by race, the means to bring about the promise happens because of race.

Side note: I do find it comical that many who chant, "ethnic and gender distinctions are meaningless" often won't let a woman preach.

All the passages that we have been debating here are focused in on salvation. That is the issue as stake. And since we are in agreement race means nothing then there can be no dissecting of the body in salvation. It is an international community containing all the redeemed of all diversities. Entry into this body renders race a non-issue. In salvation there is no difference. It is therefore an error for Premil to attempt to build up a wall of difference and distinction within the realm of God. It doesn't exist. It is wrong for Premil to elevate Israel as they frequently do.

If Scripture said under the new covenant Israelites were to remain silent in Church then race would be an issue, but it isn't. Your argument with women is therefore moot. Galatians 3:26-29 says, “For ye are all the children of the God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

This reading is not in any way saying that one's race, natural standing, or gender is cancelled out by conversion. That would be absurd. What it is saying is in God’s spiritual house of faith – the redeemed Church of all generations – one’s ethnic background, sex or personal status means absolutely nothing to the Lord.

Our nationality, race, parentage, birthplace, colour or gender has no bearing on how God’s views or deals with us, neither does it affect the blessings He bestows upon each redeemed member of the body of Christ. Race carries no special treatment, benefits or merit in this New Testament era. What this passage confirms is (and despite what Dispensationalists argue), when it comes to salvation ethnicity means nothing to God. Although the convert obviously maintains his nationality (in a natural sense), in a spiritual sense he becomes part of a new arrangement with a new identity. His heritage becomes spiritual and favoured and he enters into the fellowship of the redeemed of God. He automatically becomes the spiritual offspring of Abraham by faith. It is an environment where one’s natural background, identity or ability counts for nought. Within God’s kingdom everyone stands on a level playing field.

John146
Oct 7th 2008, 08:30 PM
Then why call an authentic believer a "Jew" at all? Why take an ethnic distinction and make it a spiritual term? As I have said before, I believe the reason for it is because our true citizenship is in the heavenly Jerusalem, which is all that really matters when it comes down to it. Being a true or spiritual Jew is what really counts spiritually. Circumcision of the heart is what matters. Circumcision of the flesh "is nothing" and does not "availeth anything".


Huh? I'm kind of trying to do the opposite.Okay, then you agree that being a Jew inwardly and being circumcised of the heart, in the spirit has nothing to with one's ethnicity. Great! So, how do you then conclude that an ethnic Gentile who is a true believer can't be that type of Jew who is circumcised of the heart, in the spirit? We know from Colossians 2:11 that Gentile believers are included among those who are "circumcised with the circumcision made without hands", which is "the circumcision of Christ", so it doesn't seem like much of a stretch to me to say that both ethnic Jew and Gentile believers are Jews inwardly because we are all circumcised of the heart, in the spirit.

wpm
Oct 7th 2008, 08:39 PM
Why take an ethnic distinction and make it a spiritual term?


You have just did it yourself by admitting we the Gentile are the "authentically Hebraic and a true son of Abraham." So, how then, if you want to be consistent, can you oppose others for doing what actually you are doing?

You also said:


Can a Gentile be "authentically Hebraic" inwardly? Of course

So, you are happy to admit we are "authentically Hebraic" and "a true son of Abraham" but you wince at the thought we are the true "circumcision," "Jew" or "Israel." This just doesn't add up. I feel you are actually contradicting your own argument.

wpm
Oct 7th 2008, 08:47 PM
In wrestling through Rom. 2 along with all of you, I'd like to know if anyone disagrees with the observations I've made below, and why:

1) Salvation (or, circumcision of the heart) has always been by faith, open to all; never by circumcision of the flesh, open to few - in other words, circumcision of the heart is not a "Jewish" thing. (Romans 4:9-10)

2) Circumcision of the flesh was intended by God to be the outward sign of the inward reality. (Romans 4:11)

3) Only a few, Abraham and his natural descendants (and to their slaves), were commanded by God to have the outward sign (circumcision of the flesh) of the inward reality (circumcision of the heart), for they have an elect calling as a people. (Romans 3:1; Acts 13:47; Genesis 12:1-3; 17:9-14; cp. Eph. 2:11)

4) Therefore (since the outward was meant to be a sign of the inward), those naturally descended from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (being the tribes of Israel, or, the Jews) were all commanded by God to be circumcised of heart (and this hardly by inference; it was explicit - also, though this was a command, this could and often was rejected by many of his descendants, but in the last generation it will not be; Deut. 30:6; Jer. 30:7; Eze. 36; etc.). (Romans 4:12)

5) It follows, then, that a Jew (one born naturally of the twelve tribes of Israel) who was outwardly circumcised only, and not inwardly, by very definition was not a Jew, but was cut off from his own people. (Romans 2:28-29; etc.)

6) However, Gentiles could (and needed to, in order to receive the same salvation as Jews) be circumcised of heart as well, for salvation has always been by grace (not race) through faith. (Romans 10:11-13; Galatians 3:11)

7) Believing all of the above (and who here wouldn't?), it's okay and correct to conclude that Gentiles who are circumcised of heart by the Spirit (and who were grafted into the Jews' covenants) are not called Jews in Rom. 2:29, since by very definition a Jew was not just circumcised of heart, but of the flesh too (as a natural descendant of the tribes of Israel, who had the law), as God commanded them (and not Gentiles, who did not have the law).

Does this mean then that we saved Gentiles, who also have the Jerusalem above for our mother (cp. Gal. 4:26), are second-rate citizens in that city? No, of course not. Paul was a Jew (Acts 21:39), yet was also a citizen of the Roman Empire (Acts 22:25-29), therefore having equal claim to the commonwealth of Rome, just as the Romans did (and that in a wicked kingdom; how much more then do we in the kingdom of God). But this did not make Paul a Gentile, any more than we saved Gentiles become Jews by being fellow citizens of Israel with the Jews. Paul was a Roman, not a Gentile; we are Israelites, not Jews. If you want to "become a Jew" (in the Esther 8:17 sense), then you need to become physically circumcised and take up the law and observe their traditions (becoming a proselyte; cp. Acts 2:10; Gal. 4:21), though this will be accounted to you as merely a preference before God, and have absolutely no positive (or even negative, unless you trust in it) bearing whatsoever on your salvation or reward. We saved Gentiles are of equal standing with our saved Jewish brethren, saved by the same gospel as they, "for [the gospel of Christ] is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. ... For there is no partiality with God" (Rom. 1:16; 2:(9-)11).

- Lk.11

Do you believe that women were natural Jews?

John146
Oct 7th 2008, 08:50 PM
In wrestling through Rom. 2 along with all of you, I'd like to know if anyone disagrees with the observations I've made below, and why:

1) Salvation (or, circumcision of the heart) has always been by faith, open to all; never by circumcision of the flesh, open to few - in other words, circumcision of the heart is not a "Jewish" thing. (Romans 4:9-10)

2) Circumcision of the flesh was intended by God to be the outward sign of the inward reality. (Romans 4:11)

3) Only a few, Abraham and his natural descendants (and to their slaves), were commanded by God to have the outward sign (circumcision of the flesh) of the inward reality (circumcision of the heart), for they have an elect calling as a people. (Romans 3:1; Acts 13:47; Genesis 12:1-3; 17:9-14; cp. Eph. 2:11)

4) Therefore (since the outward was meant to be a sign of the inward), those naturally descended from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (being the tribes of Israel, or, the Jews) were all commanded by God to be circumcised of heart (and this hardly by inference; it was explicit - also, though this was a command, this could and often was rejected by many of his descendants, but in the last generation it will not be; Deut. 30:6; Jer. 30:7; Eze. 36; etc.). (Romans 4:12)

5) It follows, then, that a Jew (one born naturally of the twelve tribes of Israel) who was outwardly circumcised only, and not inwardly, by very definition was not a Jew, but was cut off from his own people. (Romans 2:28-29; etc.)

6) However, Gentiles could (and needed to, in order to receive the same salvation as Jews) be circumcised of heart as well, for salvation has always been by grace (not race) through faith. (Romans 10:11-13; Galatians 3:11)

7) Believing all of the above (and who here wouldn't?), it's okay and correct to conclude that Gentiles who are circumcised of heart by the Spirit (and who were grafted into the Jews' covenants) are not called Jews in Rom. 2:29, since by very definition a Jew was not just circumcised of heart, but of the flesh too (as a natural descendant of the tribes of Israel, who had the law), as God commanded them (and not Gentiles, who did not have the law).

Does this mean then that we saved Gentiles, who also have the Jerusalem above for our mother (cp. Gal. 4:26), are second-rate citizens in that city? No, of course not. Paul was a Jew (Acts 21:39), yet was also a citizen of the Roman Empire (Acts 22:25-29), therefore having equal claim to the commonwealth of Rome, just as the Romans did (and that in a wicked kingdom; how much more then do we in the kingdom of God). But this did not make Paul a Gentile, any more than we saved Gentiles become Jews by being fellow citizens of Israel with the Jews. Paul was a Roman, not a Gentile; we are Israelites, not Jews. If you want to "become a Jew" (in the Esther 8:17 sense), then you need to become physically circumcised and take up the law and observe their traditions (becoming a proselyte; cp. Acts 2:10; Gal. 4:21), though this will be accounted to you as merely a preference before God, and have absolutely no positive (or even negative, unless you trust in it) bearing whatsoever on your salvation or reward. We saved Gentiles are of equal standing with our saved Jewish brethren, saved by the same gospel as they, "for [the gospel of Christ] is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. ... For there is no partiality with God" (Rom. 1:16; 2:(9-)11).

- Lk.11You don't seem to take into account that circumcision of the flesh "is nothing" and does not "availeth anything". Do you agree with the scripture that says circumcision of the flesh "is nothing" and does not "availeth anything"? You seem to be saying here the circumcision of the flesh is something and does availeth something. But it doesn't.

In Romans 2:28 Paul very specifically says "he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh". I don't know how much more clear he could be that being a Jew outwardly, as evidenced by having been circumcised of the flesh, has nothing to do with being the type of Jew that he's talking about, which ONLY has to do with one being circumcised of the heart, in the spirit. He's not saying that one who is a Jew outwardly can't also be a Jew inwardly, but he is saying that being a Jew outwardly has no bearing on being a Jew inwardly.

Eric

Nihil Obstat
Oct 7th 2008, 09:28 PM
Do you believe that women were natural Jews?

Um, yeah, of course; some Jews were female. Clearly only the males were circumcised in flesh. Not sure how this contradicts point #5, any more than it would Gen. 17:9-14... It takes males to further the natural descendants (the seed) of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob... This outward sign was only "outward" to the man of the household and his wife... The outward, albeit secret sign served as a reminder for each individual household within the common family of Israel to raise their children and live their lives as people of covenant. However, any person, regardless of lineage, could be saved and in covenant with God, and this before outward circumcision was commanded the Jews. Both Abraham the Hebrew (Gen. 14:13) and Melchizedek, who was not a Hebrew, were circumcised of heart, but of the two only Abraham was a Jew. An outward sign doesn't make one of greater importance to God, though it is meant to train them up in His ways by continual reminder. It's like a wedding ring; you can be married without the ring, but with it, you and others know you are married.

John146
Oct 7th 2008, 09:41 PM
Um, yeah, of course; some Jews were female. Clearly only the males were circumcised in flesh. Not sure how this contradicts point #5, any more than it would Gen. 17:9-14... It takes males to further the natural descendants (the seed) of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob... This outward sign was only "outward" to the man of the household and his wife... The outward, albeit secret sign served as a reminder for each individual household within the common family of Israel to raise their children and live their lives as people of covenant. However, any person, regardless of lineage, could be saved and in covenant with God, and this before outward circumcision was commanded the Jews. Both Abraham the Hebrew (Gen. 14:13) and Melchizedek, who was not a Hebrew, were circumcised of heart, but of the two only Abraham was a Jew. An outward sign doesn't make one of greater importance to God, though it is meant to train them up in His ways by continual reminder. It's like a wedding ring; you can be married without the ring, but with it, you and others know you are married.Do you believe that God still requires ethnic Jews to be physically circumcised? If so, why, and do you disagree with the scripture that says circumcision of the flesh "is nothing" and does not "availeth anything"?

wpm
Oct 7th 2008, 09:55 PM
You don't seem to take into account that circumcision of the flesh "is nothing" and does not "availeth anything". Do you agree with the scripture that says circumcision of the flesh "is nothing" and does not "availeth anything"? You seem to be saying here the circumcision of the flesh is something and does availeth something. But it doesn't.

In Romans 2:28 Paul very specifically says "he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh". I don't know how much more clear he could be that being a Jew outwardly, as evidenced by having been circumcised of the flesh, has nothing to do with being the type of Jew that he's talking about, which ONLY has to do with one being circumcised of the heart, in the spirit. He's not saying that one who is a Jew outwardly can't also be a Jew inwardly, but he is saying that being a Jew outwardly has no bearing on being a Jew inwardly.

Eric

As we moved from the old covenant to the new covenant the whole ethnic bias towards Israel was removed, so was the unique theocratic system of government that existed within that land (Matthew 21:42-43, Luke 13:5-9, 28-29, 34-35). No longer would race be a special privilege in regard to election. All men would now approach God equally on the grounds of the blood of Jesus.

Physical circumcision was closely tied to the old covenant arrangement. It was a sign of being part of God's covenant nation. This in itself did not denote salvation but did outwardly represent one's identification with Jehovah. This was all done away in Christ. He is true Israel, those that enter into Him become citizens of true Israel.

The elect of God among the nations (Gentiles) would be brought into a spiritual union with believing Jews on the grounds of the atoning work of Christ on the cross. They were both brought into this new arrangement on spiritual grounds alone. Old Testament circumcision which served as an outward sign of covenant identity would be replaced solely by an inward sign – simple faith in Christ. The olive tree had progressed into an organism solely for the family of faith of all nations. The nationalistic preference toward natural Israelis was removed and the Israel of God became a covenant people who knew Christ personally as Lord and Saviour. Natural Israeli birth and submission to the rite of circumcision no longer mean anything; it was superseded by a superior system built upon better principles.

John146
Oct 7th 2008, 09:59 PM
As we moved from the old covenant to the new covenant the whole ethnic bias towards Israel was removed, so was the unique theocratic system of government that existed within that land (Matthew 21:42-43, Luke 13:5-9, 28-29, 34-35). No longer would race be a special privilege in regard to election. All men would now approach God equally on the grounds of the blood of Jesus.

Physical circumcision was closely tied to the old covenant arrangment. It was a sign of being part of God's covenant nation. This in itself did not denote salvation but did outwardly represent one's identification with Jehovah. This was all done away in Christ. He is true Israel, those that enter into Him become citizens of true Israel.

The elect of God among the nations (Gentiles) would be brought into a spiritual union with believing Jews on the grounds of the atoning work of Christ on the cross. They were both brought into this new arrangement on spiritual grounds alone. Old Testament circumcision which served as an outward sign of covenant identity would be replaced solely by an inward sign – simple faith in Christ. The olive tree had progressed into an organism solely for the family of faith of all nations. The nationalistic preference toward natural Israelis was removed and the Israel of God became a covenant people who knew Christ personally as Lord and Saviour. Natural Israeli birth and submission to the rite of circumcision no longer mean anything; it was superseded by a superior system built upon better principles. I agree. I didn't intend to imply that physical circmcision never had any significance. I'm not sure if my post seemed to imply I believed that or not, but I just want to be clear. But I, like you, am only trying to say that it no longer has any significance. I don't think scripture could be any more clear about that.

wpm
Oct 7th 2008, 10:00 PM
of the two only Abraham was a Jew. An outward sign doesn't make one of greater importance to God, though it is meant to train them up in His ways by continual reminder. It's like a wedding ring; you can be married without the ring, but with it, you and others know you are married.

How can you say this when Jews didn't come about until Abraham's great grandchildren (the children of Judah)?

Nihil Obstat
Oct 8th 2008, 03:41 AM
How can you say this when Jews didn't come about until Abraham's great grandchildren (the children of Judah)?

Actually, the "Jews" didn't come about until the Babylonian exile, and the term included both the northern (Samaria / Ephraim / Israel) and southern (Jerusalem / Judah) kingdoms' remnants of natural Israelites (as you note yourself, by the way - oops). This is why Paul used "Jew", "Hebrew", and "Israelite" to mean the same natural people interchangeably, calling himself a Jew though he was of the tribe of Benjamin. But, this whole time we've all been using the term "Jew" (when speaking of ethnicity) to include Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and those in Israel's twelve tribes - and so I was using the word for (I thought) clarity's sake.

Still not sure how this relates to my seven points, though... I've shown you by Scripture and simple logical steps that Gentiles aren't called Jews, not even 'spiritually' (whatever that means; it sounds quasi-Gnostic, if you ask me), and that this is okay - perhaps you should address the actual major points of my post (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1815694&postcount=101)?

- Lk.11

third hero
Oct 8th 2008, 04:03 AM
We are true Israel - spiritual Israel. Natural Israel is no different from any other nation, they need to repent and be spiritually circumcisied - the only circumcision God recognises or carries favour.

God's dealing with Israel as per the old covenant have been desolved through the cross. The old theocracy has gone forever. God now works through all nations equally. Israel like all nations are bekoned to come to Christ by simple faith and therefore enter into the benifits of the good olive tree.

The vision of the unclean animals coming down on a sheet is here specifically related to the spread of the Gospel to the Gentiles. This caused Peter (that Jew of the Jews) to testify, “I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every ethnos (or) nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all)” (Acts 10:34-36).

Things have all changed today. We are the chosen people. We are now citizens of Israel. Not national Israel, but spiritual Israel. We are the circumcision today; we are the true Jews and the true children of Abraham. We the redeemed Church today have entered into “the citizenship of Israel” through the work of in Christ. We have become fellow citizens of the Israel of God today.

I am sorry, but you are incorrect. Israel is a REAL nation right now, and the people there are living in the REAL nation that God REALLY establish. Whether they be believer or not, they are still Jews.

The "Israel" that you are talking about, and calling it the "True Jew" is "The SAINT", a member of God's Kingdom, which is the Israel from above, otherwise known as the Kingdom of Heaven.

wpm, here is what I want you to understand. You are never going to convert a single Jew saying that Gentiles are Jews. Really. You have to understand what point that Paul was trying to make to both the Jew and the Gentile. We, both Jew and Gentile, are not the Israel that exists today. We are the FUTURE ISRAEL, the one whereas the Lord will rule over, and the ones who will rule both this world and the one to come. We are not Israel. We are the Saints of God, the TRUE CHOSEN PEOPLE.

Here is another reason to understand this concept. There are scriptures in both the OT and the NT that are directed at the descendents of Jacob. We can not juxtapose the "Spiritual Israel" into the OT, because before Christ, "Spiritual Israel" did not exist. "Spiritual Israel" is a NT concept, one that Lord Jesus and Paul used to describe us, the believer, the SAINT. When we interpret the OT with concepts that are found exclusively in the NT, then we often fall short on what those passages mean. Portions of the Bible like Zechariah 12 and 14 can NOT be interpreted with the NT lens, because if we are Israel, then we can not repent for piercing Lord Jesus, and we can not be saved twice. We are saved once, when we believe. We keep what we believe by following Lord Jesus. There are prophecies that can not be attributed to us because we are not the focal point.

We did not pierce the Lord. We will not need to be saved when the Mount of Olives attack us. We will not have our city attacked, and the abomination that causes desolation be used against. We are not the "remnant" who repents after the Lord goes through great pains to save their undeserved hides, especially after He went through the trouble of sending two prophets to specifically warn them about the coming advent of the Beast.

This is why I can not accept your view. The scope is too large for me to accept. The unintended consequences of such a belief system will only cause confusion. We are not members of this Israel, the ones that live on this earth right now. We are members of the Kingdom of Heaven, both the Jew that converts, and the converted Gentile.

wpm
Oct 8th 2008, 04:34 AM
Actually, the "Jews" didn't come about until the Babylonian exile, and the term included both the northern (Samaria / Ephraim / Israel) and southern (Jerusalem / Judah) kingdoms' remnants of natural Israelites (as you note yourself, by the way - oops). This is why Paul used "Jew", "Hebrew", and "Israelite" to mean the same natural people interchangeably, calling himself a Jew though he was of the tribe of Benjamin. But, this whole time we've all been using the term "Jew" (when speaking of ethnicity) to include Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and those in Israel's twelve tribes - and so I was using the word for (I thought) clarity's sake.

Still not sure how this relates to my seven points, though... I've shown you by Scripture and simple logical steps that Gentiles aren't called Jews, not even 'spiritually' (whatever that means; it sounds quasi-Gnostic, if you ask me), and that this is okay - perhaps you should address the actual major points of my post (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1815694&postcount=101)?

- Lk.11

Perhaps you would address my previous response to you which you avoided completely: http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1812966&postcount=64 (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1812966&postcount=64)

I feel it would have saved you writing that last post.

wpm
Oct 8th 2008, 04:41 AM
I am sorry, but you are incorrect. Israel is a REAL nation right now, and the people there are living in the REAL nation that God REALLY establish. Whether they be believer or not, they are still Jews.

The "Israel" that you are talking about, and calling it the "True Jew" is "The SAINT", a member of God's Kingdom, which is the Israel from above, otherwise known as the Kingdom of Heaven.

wpm, here is what I want you to understand. You are never going to convert a single Jew saying that Gentiles are Jews. Really. You have to understand what point that Paul was trying to make to both the Jew and the Gentile. We, both Jew and Gentile, are not the Israel that exists today. We are the FUTURE ISRAEL, the one whereas the Lord will rule over, and the ones who will rule both this world and the one to come. We are not Israel. We are the Saints of God, the TRUE CHOSEN PEOPLE.

Here is another reason to understand this concept. There are scriptures in both the OT and the NT that are directed at the descendents of Jacob. We can not juxtapose the "Spiritual Israel" into the OT, because before Christ, "Spiritual Israel" did not exist. "Spiritual Israel" is a NT concept, one that Lord Jesus and Paul used to describe us, the believer, the SAINT. When we interpret the OT with concepts that are found exclusively in the NT, then we often fall short on what those passages mean. Portions of the Bible like Zechariah 12 and 14 can NOT be interpreted with the NT lens, because if we are Israel, then we can not repent for piercing Lord Jesus, and we can not be saved twice. We are saved once, when we believe. We keep what we believe by following Lord Jesus. There are prophecies that can not be attributed to us because we are not the focal point.

We did not pierce the Lord. We will not need to be saved when the Mount of Olives attack us. We will not have our city attacked, and the abomination that causes desolation be used against. We are not the "remnant" who repents after the Lord goes through great pains to save their undeserved hides, especially after He went through the trouble of sending two prophets to specifically warn them about the coming advent of the Beast.

This is why I can not accept your view. The scope is too large for me to accept. The unintended consequences of such a belief system will only cause confusion. We are not members of this Israel, the ones that live on this earth right now. We are members of the Kingdom of Heaven, both the Jew that converts, and the converted Gentile.

I have never said we are natural Israel, natural Jews, natural circumcision, or natural children of Abraham. I have consistently said there are 2 Israels, 2 types of Jew, 2 circumcision, 2 children of Abraham. We are spiritual Israel, spiritual Jews, spiritual circumcision, and spiritual children of Abraham - all that believe in Christ and who are the saints of God.

Nihil Obstat
Oct 8th 2008, 05:02 AM
Do you believe that God still requires ethnic Jews to be physically circumcised?

You know, this is a good question that I've been wrestling through for awhile now. Since physical circumcision in itself never saved anyone, but was a sign of present salvation and was commanded by God only to Abraham and his natural descendants; and since the new covenant did not make the Abrahamic covenant obsolete, but only the Mosaic (old) covenant is being made obsolete by the new, in order that the Abrahamic covenant (as well as the Land and Davidic covenants) could come to pass literally, as the new had - since these two premises are true, the conclusion would seem to be that He does in fact still require physical circumcision of them (Rom. 2:25; 3:1-2, 30; 4:9-12, 16; cp. 1 Cor. 7:18-20; Col. 4:11), again, not for obtaining or even maintaining salvation, but simply to be called a Jew.

*pause for exploding heads and clean-up crew*

For there must be a physical people called the Jews in every generation; when Jesus returns, He does so to redeem them all (Luke 21:27-28; Rom. 11:26), and by their redemption, all of creation will enter into the times of restoration (Acts 3:21; Rom. 11:15) - as all the prophets spoke (Eze. 36:23; etc). So their physical circumcision would "avail" in at least one major way: to help preserve them in exile / dispersion until their complete regathering (of course, the 'down side' is that they are singled out and oppressed by this outward sign; Jer. 30:7). The passages you speak of, which say circumcision of the flesh is of no value, are saying (as Rom. 2:17-29 is) that an outward sign if pointing to no inward reality is worthless to the Jew, and that physical circumcision is of no salvific profit to the Gentile.

But as I said, I'm still wrestling with this question, and would love to see discussion on this as well. - Lk.11

Nihil Obstat
Oct 8th 2008, 05:03 AM
Perhaps you would address my previous response to you which you avoided completely: http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1812966&postcount=64 (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1812966&postcount=64)

I feel it would have saved you writing that last post.

I've actually addressed this several times, both before and after that post, in this thread and others...

Matthehitmanhart
Oct 8th 2008, 02:52 PM
I think that you are making some assumptions about why I would ask those questions, and possibly reacting to some theological excesses in your own right.

I am not asking because of my objection to a supersessionist viewpoint of this passage. I am asking because I want to know if Paul the Apostle truly thought of Gentile believers as Jews, and of the body of Christ as Israel. Your Esther reference aside, that would have been a radical leap, IMO, theologically, culturally, and socially in that day - that a Gentile could go from the designation "God-fearer" to "actual Jew".

Well, grammar and exegesis of Rom 2, 9, Gal 6 and Eph 2 aside, Paul and the other NT writers often used titles for the church that in the first century carried the equivalent meaning of "Israel" and "Jew" - one that's not commonly recognized actually being the term "church" itself, or as Steven says it in Acts 7 when referring to the children of Israel at Mt. Sinai, the "congregation (ekklesia) in the wilderness".

The term "saints" is another one that we don't commonly think of as a title for Israel, but a quick brush through the OT should give us a clue. After Paul says of the Gentile Christians in Ephesus that they were "once aliens of the commonwealth of Israel", he then goes on: "Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints". Notice that he doesn't call the Ephesian Christians themselves "saints" here, but instead says that they've become "fellow citizens with the saints". That's not because he doesn't think they are saints, in fact his point is exactly the opposite. But this does show how the designation "saints" was used in Paul's day - as a title for the nation of Israel, Jews, the historic people of God, and never as a title for Gentiles.

This is why it was such a dramatic shift in thinking - a complete change of world view - when the Lord commanded Peter to share the gospel with the household of the God-fearing centurion Cornelius, and when upon doing so that whole family was saved and filled with the Spirit. Luke notes that all the Christian Jews who saw this were astonished, because the Lord showed no partiality, made no distinction, and poured out the gift of the holy spirit upon the Gentiles also.

But again, there are many other even more overt titles that deserve recognition; "Sons of God", for one; or "kingdom of priests", or "special people", or even "the circumcision". These were all synonyms for "Israel" in the first century, and they are all used by the NT writers to refer to the renewed Jew-plus-Gentile family of God in the Messiah. Using any one of those terms to refer to a Gentile would be absolutely offensive to the sensibilities of a Second Temple Jew, and that's precisely the point. So I just don't see why referring to that renewed family as "Israel" would be any more of a "radical leap", either theologically, culturally or socially, than any other of the Jewish designations that were broadened by the early church to include Gentiles. Why, in your thinking, should that one term be the "odd man out" when the NT writers were so liberal with all of its synonyms?


Can a Gentile be "authentically Hebraic" inwardly? Of course, and that is part of the provocation of God towards the Jew - that He can empower a Gentile by grace to walk in an manner more authentically "Jewish" than the Jew himself. But that does not make the Gentile an actual Jew.I've stressed this repeatedly - and I understand that this is a difficult place to hold this discussion, because of all the different opinions chiming in using nearly the same language - but I am not in any way saying that a Gentile in Christ is an "actual" Jew. I could re-post all of the times I've emphasized that, how I've stressed that Paul is speaking of being a Jew in the covenantal sense and not in the ethnic sense, but I know you've already seen all of those posts, so I'll spare you. However I must admit that this is frustrating, ideas being placed in my mouth which I never said and have in fact been very intentional to avoid. My point throughout has actually been precisely what you're saying here; I simply think that it has more theological and rhetorical import to Paul's developing argument related to where it's going in chapters 4-8 and 9-11 than you allow for, I suppose.


You are seeming to want it both ways for some reason - both maintaining and eradicating the distinction between Jew and Gentile. I think that is a valid point to make apart from Romans 2, and as was said earlier one I could agree with until you "jump the tracks" and assert that we are Jews and the church is Israel. I'm not sure why you feel the need to go so far in defining the distictiveless distinctions. Presumably this is related to your desire to eradicate the "second-class citizen" status that exists, it seems in some theological camps.

When it comes to salvation, ethnic distinctions are meaningless. When it comes to the ultimate promises of God, they are likewise meaningless. When it comes to function or role, they really do matter - why? Because the manner in which those promises come to pass involve ethnic distinctions related to provocation of a people and the salvation and deliverance of a nation. While the inheritance of that promise is not restricted by race, the means to bring about the promise happens because of race. I've talked to you about this before, but I think this is a point of the discussion in need of clarification. If what you mean by saying that Israel has a distinct "function" or "role" within the unity of the body of Christ is simply that they, as a particular ethnicity, have a gift mix that some other ethnicities don’t share to the same degree (1 Cor 12 style) – well in that case I could agree wholeheartedly with no headache involved. Jews have a knack for business, for instance, that most Hawaiians don’t share. That’s a gift we can track all the way back to the patriarchs in Genesis. But it seems to me like there’s a big difference between all of the various gifts that individuals, families, and whole ethnicities hold respectfully and the one great covenantal calling which incorporates each of those respective gifts, the call to be the people of God for the world. Distinction with regard to the former obviously stands true now as it ever has for ethnic Israel, but with regard to the latter it most emphatically does not.

And here lies the problem, IMO, with saying that Israel still holds a “different calling” from Gentiles in Christ; it’s a statement seeking to maintain Israel’s separateness and singular covenantal role as seen in the OT, which was precisely the one great calling to be the people of God for the world, under the false assumption that such a separateness is coherent with the NT, which consistently declares that through Christ God has opened the door of the covenant for the Gentiles to be the people of God themselves. In other words, it’s not simply saying that Jews have a distinct role from Chinese who have a distinct role from Russians who have a distinct role from Americans, as if this were a holistic “diversity within unity” where everyone is special in their own way; rather it’s inescapably saying that Jews have a distinct role from everyone else, that they are, not as the redeemed but as Jews, a “peculiar treasure above all people” (Ex 19:5; Deut 14:2; cf., Tit 2:14). And the NT, from beginning to end, declares exactly the opposite, that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob shows no partiality; He does not call and reward according to race or social status, He calls and rewards according to faithfulness.

Again, just so it's clear where I'm coming from, the problem I found myself faced with recently while grappling with all of this was that I wanted to reserve a special place and calling for Israel in the millennium, thinking that this would sort out all the seeming discord between the Old and New Testaments, but I hadn’t really thought about what exactly that calling would be. Then I realized that Israel’s calling under the Old Covenant and the place which the prophets declare she will have in the future was not just a sub-calling or one-place-among-many within the covenant, like the “hand”, “foot” and “eye” illustration which Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 12, but was in fact the overarching call of the redeemed to be the light of the world - the place and calling of the faithful Israel which Jesus opened up for the Gentiles.

Thus, as I said in another thread recently, I now believe that the OT promises made to Israel must be understood, in light of what Jesus has done, to include saved Gentiles in every respect. I honestly don’t see how another conclusion can be reached if we are to take the NT writers seriously. I can totally buy into the fact, and actually think its kind of obvious, that the way in which history plays itself out in the leadership of God - with the different ethnicities provoking each other to jealously and whatnot - at the end of the day we will all come out together, humbled and exulting in the wisdom and mercy of the God who "works all things out for good". That's pretty darn awesome!

However, it seems to me like when we use the OT and the way it speaks of the covenant family (which used to be ethno-centric but is such no longer) to bolster a mandate to pray and reach out to ethnic Israel, we end up coming out with lots of mixed up soteriological thoughts about their distinctiveness that are not limited to the way you described that distinctiveness in your last paragraph. What I'm thinking is that there may be better and more theologically accurate ways of arriving at an Israel mandate than by retrogressing into (what appears to me to be) Old Covenant categories. And I don't say that to assert myself, as if I always know best, but rather I say it to encourage further dialog in an "iron sharpening iron" spirit.

I hope that all makes sense. I really appreciate this!

wpm
Oct 8th 2008, 03:47 PM
their physical circumcision would "avail" in at least one major way: to help preserve them in exile / dispersion until their complete regathering (of course, the 'down side' is that they are singled out and oppressed by this outward sign; Jer. 30:7). The passages you speak of, which say circumcision of the flesh is of no value, are saying (as Rom. 2:17-29 is) that an outward sign if pointing to no inward reality is worthless to the Jew, and that physical circumcision is of no salvific profit to the Gentile.

But as I said, I'm still wrestling with this question, and would love to see discussion on this as well. - Lk.11

No, it is saying circumcision (full stop) means nothing. It is not that circumcision carries some merit if it is accompanied by a circumcised heart. It means nothing at all today. It is Christ alone in the heart that matters. Circumcision or uncircumcision means nothing - whether saved or unsaved.

I think you are trying to understand NT truth with and an OT understanding. You seem to be hanging unto a future physical hope for natural Israel that is built upon a false Premil expectation. You fail to see that the kingdom of God rests on all nations equally today and that natural racial distinctions mean absolutely nothing to God. I'm afraid, what you define a true Jew as and what Scripture does are in conflict. You are always arguing natural, physical and temporal, whereas it is spiritual, internal and eternal today.

I quoted some of my thoughts below earlier in this thread, I will quote it again as you may have missed it. Racial distinction means absolutely nothing today - nothing. Under the new covenant all men equally approach God on the grounds of the blood of Jesus. As in the old covenant, salvation comes through grace by faith. You cannot add to that. Scripture rebukes those who elevate the Jewish race or place any favour on their ethnicity. This is an error and conflicts with repeated Scripture.

I believe where you err is in your belief that the natural nation of Israel is still God's chosen people. This is a mistaken concept spawned by Dispensationalism. Only those who love Christ are under the favour of God and are viewed as His elect. What is more, you have a future expectation for national Israel that has been long demolished when Christ cursed the fig tree, bringing an end to the old covenant theocratic system.

Mark 11:13-14, which records, “seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever.”

After this the Lord headed for the very epicentre of the Jewish religion – the temple – and overturned the tables, demonstrating that He had had enough with their religious hypocrisy and stubborn rebellion.

Jesus also said in Matthew 21:42-43, “Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof."

You say that natural Jewishness avails something (even outside of salvation), Scripture says it means nothing

Romans 2:28-29 plainly states, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter.”

Revelation 2:9, which said, “I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.”

The Lord similarly condemns the unbelieving natural Jew in Revelation 3:9, “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.”

You say that natural circumcision avails something (even outside of salvation), Scripture says it means nothing

I Corinthians 7:17 declares, “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing"

Galatians 5:2 declares, “if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing."

Galatians 5:5 declares, "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love."

Galatians 6:15 reinforces that, saying, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.”

You say being a natural child of Abraham avails something (even outside of salvation), Scripture says it means nothing

Romans 9:6-8 confirms this, saying, “for they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.”

Matthew 3:7-12 tells us: “when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.”

Christ is seen challenging the religious Jews of His day, in John 8, saying, “ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” To which they responded,“We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?” (vv 32-33).

The Jews again declared, “Abraham is our father” (v39).

Whereupon Christ responded,“If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father… If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it”(vv 39-44).

You say that belonging to natural Israel avails something (even outside of salvation), Scripture says it means nothing

Romans 9:6-8 confirms this, saying, “for they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.”

What you consider “the circumcision,” “Jew,” “Israel” and “children of Abraham” and what God does (I believe) are different. We are the true “circumcision,” “Jew,” “Israel” and “children of Abraham” today. We are the only Israel that is chosen.

larry2
Oct 8th 2008, 03:52 PM
Dear Matthehitmanhart, the judgment of God is shown for the most part from Romans 2:18 through Romans 3:23 against mankind. It starts of with judgment against the immoral man, the moral man, and the religious man; all are guilty before God.

When we read in Romans 2:28 that a Jew is not a Jew who is one outwardly, it is to show judgment against the Jew that thinks his law keeping is getting him somewhere with God, but he is told that circumcision is of the heart. Now this does not mean that a Gentile becomes a Jew, but we can be fellow heirs with those that are in Christ. There is what is known as replacement theology where Gentiles have replaced the Jews as God's people. God is nowhere near being done with Israel, and there remains a remnant to this day, so we are not to brag against them.

wpm
Oct 8th 2008, 04:21 PM
When we read in Romans 2:28 that a Jew is not a Jew who is one outwardly, it is to show judgment against the Jew that thinks his law keeping is getting him somewhere with God, but he is told that circumcision is of the heart. Now this does not mean that a Gentile becomes a Jew, but we can be fellow heirs with those that are in Christ. There is what is known as replacement theology where Gentiles have replaced the Jews as God's people. God is nowhere near being done with Israel, and there remains a remnant to this day, so we are not to brag against them.

It says more than that. The Apostles expands in Romans 2:25-29, saying, “For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit (pneumatic).”

This is defining what true circumcision - a true Jew - is. Read the blue highlighted area. Please also note that we who are circumcised in heart (who he has just established includes Gentiles - the uncircumcision) who are "in the spirit" area true Jews. We are the circumcision in God's eyes. We are the chosen people. We are true Israel. We are the children of Abraham today.

Paul reaffirms this in Philippians 3:3, speaking of the Church, “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the Spirit (pneumatic), and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”

This couldn't be clearer: "we are the circumcision" who are "in the Spirit."

We are not natural Israel or natural Jews or natural circumcision or natural sons of Abraham (that means nothing anyway), we are the spiritual circumcision - the true circumcision. We are the only chosen people on planet earth.

larry2
Oct 8th 2008, 05:31 PM
I have no doubt that we are the circumcision (All believers in Christ), but I do not see where we become a Jew. Ephesians 3:6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.

Then I see in Romans 11:23 talking of Israel, "And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again." I'm not quite sure what you are implying concerning Israel: is God done with them in your view?

wpm
Oct 8th 2008, 05:46 PM
I have no doubt that we are the circumcision (All believers in Christ), but I do not see where we become a Jew. Ephesians 3:6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.

Then I see in Romans 11:23 talking of Israel, "And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again." I'm not quite sure what you are implying concerning Israel: is God done with them in your view?

Who does "the circumcision" naturally refer to?

What does the "good olive tree" represent?

Nihil Obstat
Oct 8th 2008, 06:17 PM
I think you are trying to understand NT truth with and an OT understanding.

Um, that could be the weirdest thing I've ever been "accused" of. Of course I understand NT truth with an OT understanding (cp. 2 Tim. 3:15-17)! Do you know how the NT writers proved that Jesus was the Messiah? - the OT! Of all the promises made to 'natural' Israel, God literally fulfilled the "most impossible" one by becoming a Jewish Man Himself, so the "easier" literal promises should be just as believable. Do you know how the NT writers proved that these promises would be fulfilled literally for 'natural' Israel? - Jesus' resurrection from the dead, which was another OT Scriptural proof (cp. 1 Cor. 15:4)! Do you know what you're problem is (because that's what it is: it's a problem)? - you do not understand NT truth with an OT understanding! Because what did Jesus say to the Pharisees? - "if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?" (John 5:46-47)

third hero
Oct 8th 2008, 06:26 PM
I have never said we are natural Israel, natural Jews, natural circumcision, or natural children of Abraham. I have consistently said there are 2 Israels, 2 types of Jew, 2 circumcision, 2 children of Abraham. We are spiritual Israel, spiritual Jews, spiritual circumcision, and spiritual children of Abraham - all that believe in Christ and who are the saints of God.

The problem is, wpm, when people read your posts, "We are natural Israel" IS the impression that people get. It wasn't until I have seen the word saint in the OT when I finally understood, at least I think I did, what you were saying. This is why people constantly ask you in particular "are you saying that God is done completely with Israel".

Now, I do not believe that we will ever agree on Romans 11, mainly because you believe that God already has, and continues to fulfil it with every Jew that converts to Christianity. I do not see it that way. I find what you believe to be the exact situation that precedes the Lord's salvation of all Israel.

This is why I say that if you truly want people to understand your point without all of the "Are you saying that God is done with Israel" questions, adopt the Saint doctrine. It is exactly as you believe, and it is proven through both the OT and the NT. What you are describing is what Paul noticed, that the "True Chosen People" are no longer ethnically based, which every believer agrees with you on, but the "Israel" that you propagate is actually "the Saint", which is now, and forever will be, God's chosen people, from all races, all ethnic backgrounds, and all sexes. Hence, "all are one in Christ Jesus".

larry2
Oct 8th 2008, 06:55 PM
To me Israel is the olive tree - the olive tree also refer to the promises.

Now the branches broken off refer to national Israel being broken off (not individuals) that we Gentiles might be grafted in, and those of us who believe are the ones graffed in, but in Romans 11:20 tells us to not be high minded. Some Christians believe they have become the olive tree. We are grafted into the good olive tree and, but if the natural branches continue not in unbelief God will graff them in again. Presently we Gentiles are fellow heirs with the believers of Israel in Ephesians in 3:6; we are made one in Christ with them. In this present time there is neither Jew nor Greek in Christ. We are all one in Christ Jesus. If you want to call yourself a Jew I have no argument with you. But in prophesy God is not finished with His work with Israel.

wpm
Oct 8th 2008, 07:20 PM
To me Israel is the olive tree - the olive tree also refer to the promises.

Now the branches broken off refer to national Israel being broken off (not individuals) that we Gentiles might be grafted in, and those of us who believe are the ones graffed in, but in Romans 11:20 tells us to not be high minded. Some Christians believe they have become the olive tree. We are grafted into the good olive tree and, but if the natural branches continue not in unbelief God will graff them in again. Presently we Gentiles are fellow heirs with the believers of Israel in Ephesians in 3:6; we are made one in Christ with them. In this present time there is neither Jew nor Greek in Christ. We are all one in Christ Jesus. If you want to call yourself a Jew I have no argument with you. But in prophesy God is not finished with His work with Israel.

Ok, if the good olive tree represents true Israel or the seed of promise then we have been integrated into that tree. This tree represents true Israel to me. Evidently it is not natural Israel today as mere race does not ensure survival upon the tree. We see that in the cutting off of the unbeliving natural branches. It is an Israeli tree - but a believing Israeli tree. That makes us spiritual Israel.

I asked a question which you failed to answer. What is your thought?

Who does "the circumcision" naturally refer to?

Finally, I never said that God is finished with Israel, salvation is still open to them like all nations. The only thin g today is that the old covenant theocracy has been abolished forever.

Paul, speaking to the Gentiles in Athens (in Acts 17), exposes their deluded “superstitious” worship of “the unknown god.” He then presents the Gospel to them and assures them that the Gentiles will no longer suffer in complete darkness, as they once did before the cross. Acts 17:30-31 says, “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”

wpm
Oct 8th 2008, 07:29 PM
Um, that could be the weirdest thing I've ever been "accused" of. Of course I understand NT truth with an OT understanding (cp. 2 Tim. 3:15-17)! Do you know how the NT writers proved that Jesus was the Messiah? - the OT! Of all the promises made to 'natural' Israel, God literally fulfilled the "most impossible" one by becoming a Jewish Man Himself, so the "easier" literal promises should be just as believable. Do you know how the NT writers proved that these promises would be fulfilled literally for 'natural' Israel? - Jesus' resurrection from the dead, which was another OT Scriptural proof (cp. 1 Cor. 15:4)! Do you know what you're problem is (because that's what it is: it's a problem)? - you do not understand NT truth with an OT understanding! Because what did Jesus say to the Pharisees? - "if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?" (John 5:46-47)

Ok, lets get unto the issues. You have totally ignored every single salient theological point, biblical passage and spiritual argument I have made and rather side-stepped on a minor passing point. Please address the real issues. How can we have a fruitful conversation when you are constantly avoiding the rebuttals that are been made in response to your claims? It is hard to get you to the important issues.

What you fail to see (or admit) is that we have moved from the old literal physical nation to the new spiritual nation. That is clear from my last post - filled with strong irrefutable scriptural evidence. I noted you didn't address any of these passages but quickly avoided them. I have showed you that. I have addressed your mistaken focus upon the old natural temporal arrangement that was merely a shadow and type of the new covenant substance and fulfilment and showed you how the NT forbids your thesis. The NT constantly points to a international spiritual nation today as His chosen nation. The only conclusion I can come to why you avoided this is that you reluctantly agree with me.

Back to the issues. Please address this:

I believe where you err is in your belief that the natural nation of Israel is still God's chosen people. This is a mistaken concept spawned by Dispensationalism. Only those who love Christ are under the favour of God and are viewed as His elect. What is more, you have a future expectation for national Israel that has been long demolished when Christ cursed the fig tree, bringing an end to the old covenant theocratic system.

Mark 11:13-14, which records, “seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever.”

After this the Lord headed for the very epicentre of the Jewish religion – the temple – and overturned the tables, demonstrating that He had had enough with their religious hypocrisy and stubborn rebellion.

Jesus also said in Matthew 21:42-43, “Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof."

You say that natural Jewishness avails something (even outside of salvation), Scripture says it means nothing

Romans 2:28-29 plainly states, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter.”

Revelation 2:9, which said, “I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.”

The Lord similarly condemns the unbelieving natural Jew in Revelation 3:9, “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.”

You say that natural circumcision avails something (even outside of salvation), Scripture says it means nothing

I Corinthians 7:17 declares, “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing"

Galatians 5:2 declares, “if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing."

Galatians 5:5 declares, "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love."

Galatians 6:15 reinforces that, saying, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.”

You say being a natural child of Abraham avails something (even outside of salvation), Scripture says it means nothing

Romans 9:6-8 confirms this, saying, “for they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.”

Matthew 3:7-12 tells us: “when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.”

Christ is seen challenging the religious Jews of His day, in John 8, saying, “ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” To which they responded,“We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?” (vv 32-33).

The Jews again declared, “Abraham is our father” (v39).

Whereupon Christ responded,“If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father… If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it”(vv 39-44).

You say that belonging to natural Israel avails something (even outside of salvation), Scripture says it means nothing

Romans 9:6-8 confirms this, saying, “for they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.”

What you consider “the circumcision,” “Jew,” “Israel” and “children of Abraham” and what God does (I believe) are different. We are the true “circumcision,” “Jew,” “Israel” and “children of Abraham” today. We are the only Israel that is chosen.

wpm
Oct 8th 2008, 07:39 PM
The problem is, wpm, when people read your posts, "We are natural Israel" IS the impression that people get. It wasn't until I have seen the word saint in the OT when I finally understood, at least I think I did, what you were saying. This is why people constantly ask you in particular "are you saying that God is done completely with Israel".

Now, I do not believe that we will ever agree on Romans 11, mainly because you believe that God already has, and continues to fulfil it with every Jew that converts to Christianity. I do not see it that way. I find what you believe to be the exact situation that precedes the Lord's salvation of all Israel.

This is why I say that if you truly want people to understand your point without all of the "Are you saying that God is done with Israel" questions, adopt the Saint doctrine. It is exactly as you believe, and it is proven through both the OT and the NT. What you are describing is what Paul noticed, that the "True Chosen People" are no longer ethnically based, which every believer agrees with you on, but the "Israel" that you propagate is actually "the Saint", which is now, and forever will be, God's chosen people, from all races, all ethnic backgrounds, and all sexes. Hence, "all are one in Christ Jesus".

Whilst I agree with your thoughts on the saint[s], you are asking me to refrain from using terms that the Holy Spirit equally and repeatedly applies to the redeemed Church. This is something I am not prepared to do. The saints are in fact true Israel, the spiritual circumcision, Jews and children of Abraham. We will just have to agree to disagree on this.

Nihil Obstat
Oct 8th 2008, 08:57 PM
Ok, lets get unto the issues. You have totally ignored every single salient theological point, biblical passage and spiritual argument I have made and rather side-stepped on a minor passing point. Please address the real issues. How can we have a fruitful conversation when you are constantly avoiding the rebuttals that are been made in response to your claims? It is hard to get you to the important issues.

What you fail to see (or admit) is that we have moved from the old literal physical nation to the new spiritual nation. That is clear from my last post - filled with strong irrefutable scriptural evidence. I noted you didn't address any of these passages but quickly avoided them. I have showed you that. I have addressed your mistaken focus upon the old natural temporal arrangement that was merely a shadow and type of the new covenant substance and fulfilment and showed you how the NT forbids your thesis. The NT constantly points to a international spiritual nation today as His chosen nation. The only conclusion I can come to why you avoided this is that you reluctantly agree with me.

Back to the issues. Please address this:

I believe where you err is in your belief that the natural nation of Israel is still God's chosen people. This is a mistaken concept spawned by Dispensationalism. Only those who love Christ are under the favour of God and are viewed as His elect. What is more, you have a future expectation for national Israel that has been long demolished when Christ cursed the fig tree, bringing an end to the old covenant theocratic system.

You say I "fail" practically every time you respond to my posts. Are you aware of this? You also quite often insinuate that I refuse to admit things. I'm not going to justify myself (as I was about to do); God will justify me.

As for "the issues", I'm not a dispensationalist; please quit using that term for me - if either of us believes in dispensations, it's you. You say God used to favor ethnic Israel, that worship used to be confined in the land of Israel, that circumcision of the flesh used to have value, yet somehow find a way to paint me, the one who sees all these as still 'availeth-ing', to be the dispensationalist. It amazes me. Do you even know what a dispensationalist is, or are you calling me that in spite of knowing I'm not one for ill purposes? This belief of mine does not come from a dispensationalist teaching I've heard - the Scripture is plain, and it'd take amil teachings to see what your seeing, not the other way around.

I'll have to get back with you later on the rest - I've lost track of time.

- Lk.11

larry2
Oct 8th 2008, 09:09 PM
Quoting wpm - Who does "the circumcision" naturally refer to?

Response - Sorry I didn't answer this - I had to leave in the middle of my reply. Circumcision was a term used by the Jews describing themselves. Now that there is neither Jew nor Greek, circumcision nor uncircumcision in the body of Christ, it has to refer to the condition of the heart in believers which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus.

In Titus 1:10 Paul says "For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:" Is Paul here talking of the Church when referring to the circumcision?

Quoting wpm - Finally, I never said that God is finished with Israel, salvation is still open to them like all nations.

Response - You say salvation is open to them like all nations. Are you referring to Isaiah 66:8? "a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children."

John146
Oct 8th 2008, 09:30 PM
You know, this is a good question that I've been wrestling through for awhile now. Since physical circumcision in itself never saved anyone, but was a sign of present salvation and was commanded by God only to Abraham and his natural descendants; and since the new covenant did not make the Abrahamic covenant obsolete, but only the Mosaic (old) covenant is being made obsolete by the new, in order that the Abrahamic covenant (as well as the Land and Davidic covenants) could come to pass literally, as the new had - since these two premises are true, the conclusion would seem to be that He does in fact still require physical circumcision of them (Rom. 2:25; 3:1-2, 30; 4:9-12, 16; cp. 1 Cor. 7:18-20; Col. 4:11), again, not for obtaining or even maintaining salvation, but simply to be called a Jew.

*pause for exploding heads and clean-up crew*

For there must be a physical people called the Jews in every generation; when Jesus returns, He does so to redeem them all (Luke 21:27-28; Rom. 11:26), and by their redemption, all of creation will enter into the times of restoration (Acts 3:21; Rom. 11:15) - as all the prophets spoke (Eze. 36:23; etc). So their physical circumcision would "avail" in at least one major way: to help preserve them in exile / dispersion until their complete regathering (of course, the 'down side' is that they are singled out and oppressed by this outward sign; Jer. 30:7). The passages you speak of, which say circumcision of the flesh is of no value, are saying (as Rom. 2:17-29 is) that an outward sign if pointing to no inward reality is worthless to the Jew, and that physical circumcision is of no salvific profit to the Gentile.

But as I said, I'm still wrestling with this question, and would love to see discussion on this as well. - Lk.11By taking that position you are making the scriptural statements that circumcision of the flesh "is nothing" and does not "availeth anything" out to be untrue and nonsensical.

wpm
Oct 8th 2008, 09:37 PM
You say I "fail" practically every time you respond to my posts. Are you aware of this? You also quite often insinuate that I refuse to admit things. I'm not going to justify myself (as I was about to do); God will justify me.

As for "the issues", I'm not a dispensationalist; please quit using that term for me - if either of us believes in dispensations, it's you. You say God used to favor ethnic Israel, that worship used to be confined in the land of Israel, that circumcision of the flesh used to have value, yet somehow find a way to paint me, the one who sees all these as still 'availeth-ing', to be the dispensationalist. It amazes me. Do you even know what a dispensationalist is, or are you calling me that in spite of knowing I'm not one for ill purposes? This belief of mine does not come from a dispensationalist teaching I've heard - the Scripture is plain, and it'd take amil teachings to see what your seeing, not the other way around.

I'll have to get back with you later on the rest - I've lost track of time.

- Lk.11

I didn't say you were Dispensational, I said some of what you are arguing was spawned by Dispensationalism. To spawn means 'to birth' or 'to arise from'.

John146
Oct 8th 2008, 09:40 PM
Whilst I agree with your thoughts on the saint[s], you are asking me to refrain from using terms that the Holy Spirit equally and repeatedly applies to the redeemed Church. This is something I am not prepared to do. The saints are in fact true Israel, the spiritual circumcision, Jews and children of Abraham. We will just have to agree to disagree on this. Exactly. We aren't the ones who wrote "they are not all Israel who are of Israel". We're not the ones who used the term "Israel of God" in Galatians 6:15-16. We're not the ones who wrote Ephesians 2, which indicates that Gentile believers were once aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers of the covenants of promise but are now no more strangers and foreigners and are fellowcitizens with the Jewish saints in the household of God. By saying that, Paul was clearly equating the terms "the commonwealth of Israel" with "the household of God".

We don't have to apologize for using terms that scripture uses to describe all believers together as one spiritual entity.

wpm
Oct 8th 2008, 09:43 PM
Quoting wpm - Who does "the circumcision" naturally refer to?

Response - Sorry I didn't answer this - I had to leave in the middle of my reply. Circumcision was a term used by the Jews describing themselves. Now that there is neither Jew nor Greek, circumcision nor uncircumcision in the body of Christ, it has to refer to the condition of the heart in believers which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus.

In Titus 1:10 Paul says "For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:" Is Paul here talking of the Church when referring to the circumcision?

Quoting wpm - Finally, I never said that God is finished with Israel, salvation is still open to them like all nations.

Response - You say salvation is open to them like all nations. Are you referring to Isaiah 66:8? "a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children."

Thanks for taking the time to reply. In the natural "the circumcision" always equates with natural "Jews." However, that term is taken in the NT, spiritualised and then applied to the redeemed Church of all nations. We are therefore "the circumcision" today, we are the true spiritual "Jews." We are the children of Abraham - true Israel.

Zion today is above. That nation was born at Pentecost.

John146
Oct 8th 2008, 09:48 PM
I have no doubt that we are the circumcision (All believers in Christ), but I do not see where we become a Jew. Does Paul give any qualifications in Romans 2:28-29 for being a Jew inwardly other than being circumcised of the heart, in the spirit? Not that I can see. You are acknowledging that all believers in Christ are the circumcision. So, why doesn't this mean that all believers are the type of Jew that Paul is speaking about in Romans 2:28-29, which he says is a different type of Jew than one who is only a Jew outwardly?

Nihil Obstat
Oct 9th 2008, 03:48 AM
That nation was born at Pentecost.

Wait a minute wait a minute... I thought you said the church / elect has always been around, and cited Acts 7:38 as "proof" of this... but now you're saying the church was born at Pentecost... which is it? Do you believe then that the covenants were first made to all natural Israel, but then at Pentecost they were spiritually applied to the church and forever denied all natural Israel? You (clearly) lost me with this sentence of yours. - Lk.11

wpm
Oct 9th 2008, 04:10 AM
Wait a minute wait a minute... I thought you said the church / elect has always been around, and cited Acts 7:38 as "proof" of this... but now you're saying the church was born at Pentecost... which is it? Do you believe then that the covenants were first made to all natural Israel, but then at Pentecost they were spiritually applied to the church and forever denied all natural Israel? You (clearly) lost me with this sentence of yours. - Lk.11

First of all, I didn't say the Church was born at Pentecost. That is your interpretation of my comments. What I believe happened was that the NT Church was empowered and properly commissioned to take this message out to the nations then. Prior to the cross the Gospel was worked for centuries through a natural theocracy - natural Israel. The nation changed from physical to spiritual after Christ's disciples travailed in one accord for God's annointing in that upper room.

Isaiah 66:8 predicted: "Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children."

Nihil Obstat
Oct 9th 2008, 04:27 AM
First of all, I didn't say the Church was born at Pentecost. That is your interpretation of my comments. What I believe happened was that the NT Church was empowered and properly commissioned to take this message out to the nations then. Prior to the cross the Gospel was worked for centuries through a natural theocracy - natural Israel. The nation changed from physical to spiritual after Christ's disciples travailed in one accord for God's annointing in that upper room.

Isaiah 66:8 predicted: "Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children."

And yet, haven't you been saying that the spiritual nation of Israel is the church...? Maybe I've misunderstood you?

wpm
Oct 9th 2008, 04:34 AM
And yet, haven't you been saying that the spiritual nation of Israel is the church...? Maybe I've misunderstood you?

I am saying that the plan of God has been a progressive revelation and development of the purpose of God. The Old Testament Church has changed into the New Testament Church in the same way as the development/change occurs between the caterpillar and the butterfly. They are the same developing entity - only taking on a changing progressive appearance.

The New Testament Church is a fuller revelation of the heart of God for mankind. No longer is the Gospel largely restricted to the borders of Israel. No longer is it overwhelmingly limited to natural Jews. There was predominately a natural, physical earthly aspect to God's dealing with natural Israel in the old economy, albeit the spiritual was interwoven within the natural constitution. Today, the New Testament redeemed Church (which is exclusively a spiritual nation) is an invisible spiritual entity filled with eternal life - embracing all nations, kindreds and colours.

larry2
Oct 9th 2008, 04:36 AM
Quoting wpm - What I believe happened was that the NT Church was empowered and properly commissioned to take this message out to the nations then.

Response - Scripture does not say that: in the following verses the gospel was preached to every creature. It's possible you are referring to Matthew 28:19 "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" This has not happened yet; there's no nation that has been baptized as yet.

Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Colossians 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

Quoting wpm - Isaiah 66:8 predicted: "Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children."

Response - How are you applying this verse to spreading the gospel?

Thanks wpm

wpm
Oct 9th 2008, 04:45 AM
Quoting wpm - What I believe happened was that the NT Church was empowered and properly commissioned to take this message out to the nations then.

Response - Scripture does not say that: in the following verses the gospel was preached to every creature. It's possible you are referring to Matthew 28:19 "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" This has not happened yet; there's no nation that has been baptized as yet.

Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Colossians 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

Quoting wpm - Isaiah 66:8 predicted: "Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children."

Response - How are you applying this verse to spreading the gospel?

Thanks wpm

I was talking about the empowerment of that spiritual organism - the NT Church. Jesus said in Mark 9:1, "And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power."

Jesus said in Acts 1:5-8: "For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."

Revival is often likened unto the birthing of children. That is what happned at Pentecost.

larry2
Oct 9th 2008, 05:14 AM
Quoting wpm - Isaiah 66:8 predicted: "Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children."

Quoting me - How are you applying this verse to spreading the gospel?

Quoting wpm - I was talking about the empowerment of that spiritual organism - the NT Church. Jesus said in Mark 9:1, "And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power."

Quoting wpm - Revival is often likened unto the birthing of children. That is what happed at Pentecost.

Response - I do not believe that is the meaning of Isaiah 66:8 because of the following verses. It happens during the tribulation, and then we must ask; who is the woman, and who is the man child?

REvelation 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

Thanks wpm

third hero
Oct 9th 2008, 08:43 AM
First of all, I didn't say the Church was born at Pentecost. That is your interpretation of my comments. What I believe happened was that the NT Church was empowered and properly commissioned to take this message out to the nations then. Prior to the cross the Gospel was worked for centuries through a natural theocracy - natural Israel. The nation changed from physical to spiritual after Christ's disciples travailed in one accord for God's annointing in that upper room.

Isaiah 66:8 predicted: "Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children."

I disagree on this premise, before the cross, there was no salvation. No one was ever saved by means of honoring the Torah. Not a single soul. According to Jesus's parable in Luke 16, those who were blameless, (I know that this is a term straight from the book of Job), went to a place IN the Sheol known as Abraham's bosom. The blameless and the wicked could see each other, and yet, there was an incredible gulf that could not be crossed that separated them. The righteous in Israel, save for but a few, (notibly Elijah and Moses), (the transfiguration), never seen the light of heaven. Salvation was to come from the Jews, by means of the Messiah, who would save the entire world, all who would come to Him, but salvation was never brought by means of the Torah.

BroRog
Oct 9th 2008, 02:52 PM
A. The New Testament records that Jesus Christ fulfilled the law. Now what can that mean if he didn't also obey the law?

B. The Apostle says that the uncircumcised man fulfilled the law in righteousness in contradistinction to the circumcised man who transgressed the law.

C. Therefore, the uncircumcised inward Jew must continue to keep the Mosaic Law.

What is wrong with this logic, if anything?

Note: I am not advocating that we must keep the Mosaic Law. I am attempting to demonstrate the logical outcome of a particular point of view.

Matthehitmanhart
Oct 9th 2008, 03:46 PM
A. The New Testament records that Jesus Christ fulfilled the law. Now what can that mean if he didn't also obey the law?

B. The Apostle says that the uncircumcised man fulfilled the law in righteousness in contradistinction to the circumcised man who transgressed the law.

C. Therefore, the uncircumcised inward Jew must continue to keep the Mosaic Law.

What is wrong with this logic, if anything?

Note: I am not advocating that we must keep the Mosaic Law. I am attempting to demonstrate the logical outcome of a particular point of view.

And yet if Paul is suggesting that an uncircumcised man could keep the Mosaic law in every respect, civil aspects included, we find right away that he is blatantly contradicting himself. An uncircumcised man cannot keep the law and still remain uncircumcised, because circumcision itself is included in the law. However, his whole corpus considered, it seems like Paul has a very different definition of what it means to fulfill the law. Take, for example, what he says in 1 Corinthians 7:19.

"Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters."

Now, "the commandments of God" cannot be meant to include all 613 of the precepts and ordinances of Moses in abstraction. Paul must have a different delineation of what exactly "the commandments of God" entail, a different definition of what fulfilling Torah now means in the wake of Christ's resurrection. When we follow his argument in Romans through to 13:8-10, we find that he actually defines this for us:

"Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law."

BroRog
Oct 9th 2008, 09:50 PM
And yet if Paul is suggesting that an uncircumcised man could keep the Mosaic law in every respect, civil aspects included, we find right away that he is blatantly contradicting himself. An uncircumcised man cannot keep the law and still remain uncircumcised, because circumcision itself is included in the law. However, his whole corpus considered, it seems like Paul has a very different definition of what it means to fulfill the law. Take, for example, what he says in 1 Corinthians 7:19.

"Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters."

Now, "the commandments of God" cannot be meant to include all 613 of the precepts and ordinances of Moses in abstraction. Paul must have a different delineation of what exactly "the commandments of God" entail, a different definition of what fulfilling Torah now means in the wake of Christ's resurrection. When we follow his argument in Romans through to 13:8-10, we find that he actually defines this for us:

"Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law."

It would appear, given this translation of 1Cor. 7:19 that we are trying to solve one apparent contradiction with another one. :)

The wording of that translation sounds like Paul has contradicted himself, since circumcision is a commandment of God. If commandments of God are not-nothing, and given that circumcision is a commandment of God, then circumcision is also not-nothing. Then if Paul says that circumcision is nothing, he is saying that circumcision is both nothing and not-nothing at the same time. :)

In order for his statement to make rational sense, his declaration that "circumcision is nothing" has to be understood relative to the particular issue at hand -- the topic questions raised by the Corinthians. Should we marry; should we separate from our spouse, should we attempt to escape from our master; should we get circumcised, should we get uncircumcised?

What's the general concern all of these things have in common?

That's what I would want to know before I used 1Cor. 7:19 to inform my study of Romans 2. Maybe you have some thoughts on that.

With regard to the uncircumcised man of Romans 2, I wonder if a comparison between a circumcised man who transgresses the law and an uncircumcised man who keeps the law of love is a fair comparison? And what point could Paul possibly make of it?

If, in Paul's argument, the uncircumcised man is transgressing the civil statues of the Mosaic Law, while keeping the law of love (however that looks) why compare him to a circumcised man who is also transgressing the civil statues of the Mosaic Law? Where does Paul inform his reader that the circumcised man is not also keeping the law of love?

Wouldn't a balanced and fair comparison include a statement that the circumcised man, while transgressing the law, was also failing to keep the law of love? What in Paul's language gives us justification for assuming that the circumcised man is not keeping the law of love while the uncircumcised
man is?

Doesn't the term "transgress" strongly imply a comparison between a man who actively violates the actual, written statutes, and another man who does not violate the actual, written statutes? Doesn't his point seem to be, that a man who violates the statues, though circumcised, acts as if he isn't circumcised. And that a man who does not violate any of the statues (save the one about circumcision) acts as if he has already been circumcised?

What could he possibly mean in the following sentence, if he wasn't talking about a violation of the written statute?

For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice the Law; but if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.

The terms "practice" and "transgressor" seem to paint a picture of a man who, though having the cutting of his skin, does not act as if he does. His behavior with respect to the statutes is what seems to convict him, not his behavior with respect to the law of love. But if this language does not convey this idea, I wonder what language Paul might have used if he wanted to say something about the transgression of the actual statutes? I mean, I'm having a difficult time suspending the connotations behind the word "transgress" in order to provisionally adopt and work within the other point of view. It's hard for me to see how Paul might be speaking about a violation of the law of love, given that his term "transgress" strongly implies a violation of the actual statues. :)

I'm trying, but I just can't see it yet.

That's one issue I have. The second issue I have doesn't involve anything you have said, but the logic of wpm's position.

In his scheme, given his dualistic framework, the circumcised man is physically circumcised, but not circumcised of heart; and the uncircumcised man is not physically circumcised but rather, he is circumcised of heart.

(Now, if I am misrepresenting what wpm has said, I apologize in advance. My intent is merely to discuss the implications of one view over another, not to misrepresent anyone or put words in the mouth.)

In my mind, Paul's argument makes sense if his use of terminology remains consistently the same. And I can't quite make sense of it, if I provisionally adopt the idea that he is allowed to change the meaning of his terms in mid-sentence.

I suppose, had Paul wanted to coin a new term and use it in his argument, he might have set this up in advance, and perhaps adopt similar appellations wpm has introduced, i.e. natural Jew vs. true Jew, and etc. But the Apostle hasn't give his readers much warning that he is about to coin a new term. Also, I think an author, once having coined a new term, continues to use his new term consistently with its new meaning.

His next point, which concerns the historical Jewish advantage of proximity to the scriptures, relies on the conventional use of the terms "Jew" and "circumcised", rather than on its new meaning (granting provisionally that a new meaning is possible.)

But how to make sense of Romans 2:25-27 given these new meanings?

Let me begin with the first sentence.

For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice the Law . . .

Granting for the sake of discussion that the term "circumcision" can either mean "physical circumcision" or "spiritual" circumcision, let us see what are the implications of taking it one way or the other.

Given your citation from 1Cor. 7, and provisionally adopting your interpretation, we have Paul's word that circumcision means nothing. But here in Romans he says that it is an advantage under a certain condition. Assuming first, that the talk concerns natural circumcision, he asserts that natural circumcision has value if a man practices the law, which seems to fly in the face of bold statements to the contrary. It has been said many times in this thread that physical circumcision has no value at all. It availeth nothing as John said yesterday. And yet, Paul seems to say otherwise.

Second, supposing that Paul was using the term "circumcision" in a spiritual sense, we have Paul suggesting that "spiritual circumcision" has value if a man practice the Law. I have not heard anyone respond to this directly, but I wonder what wpm and the others would say to the fact that the Apostle appears to be suggesting that the spiritually circumcised should practice the law?

I could provisionally adopt this new scheme and try to make sense of Paul's argument in Romans 2:25-27 in terms of a comparison between two men, one who keeps the law of love and another who doesn't. But then I would run into the following troublesome phrase,

And he who is physically uncircumcised, if he keeps the Law, will he not judge you who though having the letter [of the Law] and circumcision are a transgressor of the Law?

This phrase, "the letter" bring us back to the actual statutes of the law, which sends us in the direction of a proviso that the first man is transgressing, not only the law of love, but the actual code itself. And given that verse 24 speaks to an event in the history of Israel in which she violated the statute concerning the Sabbath year, which provided a sabbath rest for the land, I can hardly make sense of the discourse in terms of the law of love, given that the comparison is between two men who either keep the statutes or not.

:hmm:

wpm
Oct 10th 2008, 12:21 AM
I disagree on this premise, before the cross, there was no salvation.

And where did I say that?

wpm
Oct 10th 2008, 12:25 AM
A. The New Testament records that Jesus Christ fulfilled the law. Now what can that mean if he didn't also obey the law?

B. The Apostle says that the uncircumcised man fulfilled the law in righteousness in contradistinction to the circumcised man who transgressed the law.

C. Therefore, the uncircumcised inward Jew must continue to keep the Mosaic Law.

What is wrong with this logic, if anything?

Note: I am not advocating that we must keep the Mosaic Law. I am attempting to demonstrate the logical outcome of a particular point of view.

Your logic is mistaken. It is like adding 2 + 2 and getting 22. We are justified by putting our trust in the law-keeper. He lived the life we could never live. He died the death we could never die. We are justified by simple faith in the perfect law-fulfiller, not by keeping the works of the law - which no man could do.

Paul says in Romans 3:20-22, “by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight.”

Galatians 3:10-13 says, “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.”

Galatians 2:16 declares, “a man is not justified by the works of the law … for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

BroRog
Oct 10th 2008, 12:45 AM
Your logic is mistaken. It is like adding 2 + 2 and getting 22. We are justified by putting our trust in the law-keeper. He lived the life we could never live. We died the death we could never die. We are justfied by simple faith in the perfect law-fulfiller, not by keeping the works of the law - which no man could do.

Paul says in Romans 3:20-22, “by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight.”

Galatians 3:10-13 says, “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.”


Galatians 2:16 declares, “a man is not justified by the works of the law … for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

Actually, it isn't my logic per se. It's my understanding of what your logic would look like written down. If that syllogism does not represent statements you made in this thread, can you correct them to more accurately reflect your view?

Did I misunderstand your position with regard to the uncircumcised man of Romans 2:26? I thought you said the uncircumcised man was a Jew inwardly, whom the Apostle commends as one who kept the requirements of the law. If you assign the uncircumcised man to the category of "Jew inwardly", it would seem that you must accept that the Jew inwardly keeps the letter of the law just as the uncircumcised man did.

How is that not an implication of your view?

larry2
Oct 10th 2008, 02:24 AM
Let's start over, all say it a different way, and still not be convinced. :)

How does everything simply fit with the following verse?

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

wpm
Oct 10th 2008, 04:28 AM
Actually, it isn't my logic per se. It's my understanding of what your logic would look like written down. If that syllogism does not represent statements you made in this thread, can you correct them to more accurately reflect your view?

Did I misunderstand your position with regard to the uncircumcised man of Romans 2:26? I thought you said the uncircumcised man was a Jew inwardly, whom the Apostle commends as one who kept the requirements of the law. If you assign the uncircumcised man to the category of "Jew inwardly", it would seem that you must accept that the Jew inwardly keeps the letter of the law just as the uncircumcised man did.

How is that not an implication of your view?

Obviously you are not reading my posts. I note you don't directly quote me or any Amil saying this. Why? Because it is your own opinion. You are simply constructing a straw man and then taking shots at it. Until you grasp the truth about the imputed righteousness of Christ and the current reality of the new covenant, which resulted in the removal of the old imperfect covenant then you will never see what Paul was truly getting at. You also fail to see that the ceremonial law has been totally superseded by Christ - this included circumcision. Circumcision was not part of the moral law (it did not involve one's relationship with God or his neighbour), it was part of the ceremonial law.

wpm
Oct 10th 2008, 04:35 AM
For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice the Law; but if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.


Doubly no!

Re keeping the law

Galatians 3:10-13 says, “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.”

Philippians 3:10 says, “not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law.”

Paul says in Romans 3:20-22, “by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight.”

Galatians 2:16 declares, “a man is not justified by the works of the law … for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

Ephesians 2:9 says, “Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Titus 3:5-7 says, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done.”

Romans 11:6 says, “if it be of works, then is it no more grace.”

Re circumcision

I Corinthians 7:17 declares, “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing"

Galatians 5:2 declares, “if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing."

Galatians 5:5 declares, "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love."

Galatians 6:15 reinforces that, saying, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.”

third hero
Oct 10th 2008, 04:39 AM
And where did I say that?
You didn't "say" that salvation was with the Jews. but after reading your prose, that was the unintended consequence that I keep telling you about. I felt that te salvation and the torah issue was implied by you, hence my objection.

wpm
Oct 10th 2008, 04:43 AM
You didn't "say" that salvation was with the Jews. but after reading your prose, that was the unintended consequence that I keep telling you about. I felt that te salvation and the torah issue was implied by you, hence my objection.

You and Bro Rog must be struggling to rebut my posts of late as you are now basing all your responses on things I suposedly "implied." Sorry, I am not chasing these white elephants. Stick to my own words and I will engage. ;)

third hero
Oct 10th 2008, 04:53 AM
You and Bro Rog must be struggling to rebut my posts of late as you are now basing all your responses on things I suposedly "implied." Sorry, I am not chasing these white elephants. Stick to my own words and I will engage. ;)

But is it just me and broRog? I have seen similar questions being thrown at you in particular even in this thread. And besides, we both know how to imply something while not directly saying what we want to say, so don't act innocent on this one Paul.

Anyway, a little proof-reading and maybe some editing/simplification of your prose could go a long way towards having others understand exactly what you are saying, and by doing so, reducing the amount of inference that can be attached to your words. That is all I am saying, and I am not trying to be rude or anything loke that. Simplicification does not make you look uneducated, but rather even more educated in my opinion, because you can break down difficult concepts, like the one at hand, into levels that all can understand, even those who do not believe as you do.

What I have done by researching the word "Saint" is come to the understanding of hat you are ACTUALLY saying. Of course, I see it from my POV, which is different from yours, but in this case, it actually carries the discussion forward, knowing that I now totally understand what you are saying. By doing so, I can debate what I really object to without implying that I am objecting to all of what you are saying.

Believe me when I tell you, wpm, that the questions that we are posing are not simply "white elephants". try it sometime, and you will notice a drastic reduction of objections that you have been receiving. Really!

John146
Oct 10th 2008, 05:13 AM
Well, grammar and exegesis of Rom 2, 9, Gal 6 and Eph 2 aside, Paul and the other NT writers often used titles for the church that in the first century carried the equivalent meaning of "Israel" and "Jew" - one that's not commonly recognized actually being the term "church" itself, or as Steven says it in Acts 7 when referring to the children of Israel at Mt. Sinai, the "congregation (ekklesia) in the wilderness".

The term "saints" is another one that we don't commonly think of as a title for Israel, but a quick brush through the OT should give us a clue. After Paul says of the Gentile Christians in Ephesus that they were "once aliens of the commonwealth of Israel", he then goes on: "Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints". Notice that he doesn't call the Ephesian Christians themselves "saints" here, but instead says that they've become "fellow citizens with the saints". That's not because he doesn't think they are saints, in fact his point is exactly the opposite. But this does show how the designation "saints" was used in Paul's day - as a title for the nation of Israel, Jews, the historic people of God, and never as a title for Gentiles.

This is why it was such a dramatic shift in thinking - a complete change of world view - when the Lord commanded Peter to share the gospel with the household of the God-fearing centurion Cornelius, and when upon doing so that whole family was saved and filled with the Spirit. Luke notes that all the Christian Jews who saw this were astonished, because the Lord showed no partiality, made no distinction, and poured out the gift of the holy spirit upon the Gentiles also.

But again, there are many other even more overt titles that deserve recognition; "Sons of God", for one; or "kingdom of priests", or "special people", or even "the circumcision". These were all synonyms for "Israel" in the first century, and they are all used by the NT writers to refer to the renewed Jew-plus-Gentile family of God in the Messiah. Using any one of those terms to refer to a Gentile would be absolutely offensive to the sensibilities of a Second Temple Jew, and that's precisely the point. So I just don't see why referring to that renewed family as "Israel" would be any more of a "radical leap", either theologically, culturally or socially, than any other of the Jewish designations that were broadened by the early church to include Gentiles. Why, in your thinking, should that one term be the "odd man out" when the NT writers were so liberal with all of its synonyms? Excellent points. Well said.

BroRog
Oct 10th 2008, 05:30 AM
Obviously you are not reading my posts. I note you don't directly quote me or any Amil saying this. Why? Because it is your own opinion. You are simply constructing a straw man and then taking shots at it. Until you grasp the truth about the imputed righteousness of Christ and the current reality of the new covenant, which resulted in the removal of the old imperfect covenant then you will never see what Paul was truly getting at. You also fail to see that the ceremonial law has been totally superseded by Christ - this included circumcision. Circumcision was not part of the moral law (it did not involve one's relationship with God or his neighbour), it was part of the ceremonial law.

Paul, you hold certain opinions of your own. And your opinions lead to contradictions. It's these contradictions that I am trying to flesh out. If you don't want anyone to examine what you say, then fine. I have decided to never engage you again.

BroRog
Oct 10th 2008, 05:34 AM
Let's start over, all say it a different way, and still not be convinced. :)

How does everything simply fit with the following verse?

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

What do you think Paul is getting at Larry? If there is neither male or female, Is the apostle so bold as to deny that human beings are male and female?

larry2
Oct 10th 2008, 07:05 AM
In this verse all pretenses such as position, heritage and nationality, or anything is concerned, we are all saved by grace, we are one in Christ and have the same promises. I have no advantage over you, or you over me. We are all in a race to win Christ as Paul said.

Galatians confronts grace verses law in many verses, and I believe this was to bring differences to light. One thought to bring the other under law, and Paul was having none of it. There is no profit in all the things people want to brag about, and Paul levels the field. And these are just my thoughts on this verse.

BroRog
Oct 10th 2008, 02:29 PM
In this verse all pretenses such as position, heritage and nationality, or anything is concerned, we are all saved by grace, we are one in Christ and have the same promises. I have no advantage over you, or you over me. We are all in a race to win Christ as Paul said.

Galatians confronts grace verses law in many verses, and I believe this was to bring differences to light. One thought to bring the other under law, and Paul was having none of it. There is no profit in all the things people want to brag about, and Paul levels the field. And these are just my thoughts on this verse.

Do you think that before Paul wrote Galatians the playing field wasn't level? Prior to Paul was God being partial to anyone?

larry2
Oct 10th 2008, 03:16 PM
Quoting BroRog - Do you think that before Paul wrote Galatians the playing field wasn't level? Prior to Paul was God being partial to anyone?

Response - You seem to be asking for conclusions based on what? Well my observation is that the playing field has never been even when people are involved. There are those not satisfied with something others are doing, and want change that they might glory in your flesh. Galatians 6:13. "For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh."

God's word is the standard, or level playing field in this case, and there should have been no problems, but there was and Paul is making corrections. I quoted one verse; do you have a problem with that? You seem to be pretty opionated of the subject, maybe you can tell me the answer.

wpm
Oct 10th 2008, 03:49 PM
Paul, you hold certain opinions of your own. And your opinions lead to contradictions. It's these contradictions that I am trying to flesh out. If you don't want anyone to examine what you say, then fine. I have decided to never engage you again.

I don't mind explaining anything I hold to, but I will not defend these strawmen you and 3H have been creating lately. Why? I don't believe them. Quote me, and challenge what I believe - that is fine, but don't expect me to justify imaginary beliefs that no one here holds.

Let us get back to the issues.

BroRog
Oct 10th 2008, 04:28 PM
Quoting BroRog - Do you think that before Paul wrote Galatians the playing field wasn't level? Prior to Paul was God being partial to anyone?

Response - You seem to be asking for conclusions based on what? Well my observation is that the playing field has never been even when people are involved. There are those not satisfied with something others are doing, and want change that they might glory in your flesh. Galatians 6:13. "For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh."

God's word is the standard, or level playing field in this case, and there should have been no problems, but there was and Paul is making corrections. I quoted one verse; do you have a problem with that? You seem to be pretty opionated of the subject, maybe you can tell me the answer.

I don't have a problem with you, your verse, or the fact that you quoted it. And you are correct, I am opinionated. At the same time though, the reason I ask questions is so that others, perhaps you, might have a fair chance to participate in the discussion. I didn't intend anything else by my questions. Honestly. If you don't want to answer, that's fine. I'm not trying to pressure you or single you out. I was just trying to have a nice discussion. You appeared to have something to say. I wanted to hear more and like a good listener, I was asking questions.

I suppose you may have interpreted my questions as hostile. If that is the case, I want to assure you that they weren't. Sorry if they sounded that way.

larry2
Oct 10th 2008, 04:43 PM
Dear BroRog, forgive me for misinterpreting your intentions as hostile, and with you I will not make that mistake again. Thank you for explaining it to me. I love good fellowship, and discussion of the word of God, and there is much for me to learn in these debates. I don't know if you've been around those that ask constant questions to create doubt, but I have and those questions remind me of "Hath God said?"

Thank you again in the precious name of Jesus -

wpm
Oct 10th 2008, 05:01 PM
Quoting wpm - Isaiah 66:8 predicted: "Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children."

Quoting me - How are you applying this verse to spreading the gospel?

Quoting wpm - I was talking about the empowerment of that spiritual organism - the NT Church. Jesus said in Mark 9:1, "And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power."

Quoting wpm - Revival is often likened unto the birthing of children. That is what happed at Pentecost.

Response - I do not believe that is the meaning of Isaiah 66:8 because of the following verses. It happens during the tribulation, and then we must ask; who is the woman, and who is the man child?

REvelation 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

Thanks wpm

I believe the woman refers to the Israel of Israel (God's true people). The child is Christ. The highlighted part above show the incarnation and resurrection.

BroRog
Oct 10th 2008, 05:02 PM
I don't mind explaining anything I hold to, but I will not defend these strawmen you and 3H have been creating lately. Why? I don't believe them. Quote me, and challenge what I believe - that is fine, but don't expect me to justify imaginary beliefs that no one here holds.

Let us get back to the issues.

Okay, here is a direct quote from you.


It starts off with Paul establishing an absolute fact: physical circumcision or Jewishness means nothing.

I pulled this quote from the first page of this thread.

Now, here is what Paul says to the Romans. If you like, I will make it bigger and put it in red for you.

For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice the Law . . .

What you said directly contradicts what the Apostle said. This is no strawman. It's a simple fact.

Nihil Obstat
Oct 10th 2008, 05:04 PM
I believe the woman refers to the Israel of Israel (God's true people). The child is Christ. The highlighted part above show the incarnation and resurrection.

How do you interpret 12:17? I ask because Rev. 12 intrigues me to no end!

wpm
Oct 10th 2008, 05:18 PM
Okay, here is a direct quote from you.



I pulled this quote from the first page of this thread.

Now, here is what Paul says to the Romans. If you like, I will make it bigger and put it in red for you.

For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice the Law . . .

What you said directly contradicts what the Apostle said. This is no strawman. It's a simple fact.

First, I don't know what version you are using or what passage you are quoting as evidence. Please furnish me with this before I respond. Second, evidently you have not read my previous response which covers this or the biblical evidence attached to it: http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1818982&postcount=153 (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1818982&postcount=153)

There is no contradiction. There is no contradiction in Scripture. If you want to develop this discussion on a biblical basis then please address each verse I previously quoted (which were ignored) and exegete them and explain what they are saying in the light of your last verse.

wpm
Oct 10th 2008, 05:22 PM
How do you interpret 12:17? I ask because Rev. 12 intrigues me to no end!

The remnant loipoy refer to the "remaining ones." Satan makes war against the saints throughout this intra-Advent period. Notwithstanding, he is restrained in his power and influence since Christ injured him at the cross. Satan has been placed in spiritual chains since Calvary, curtailing his once global control of the nations. Wherever the Church advances he is unseated or dethroned. The Gentiles have received the glorious light of the Gospel of Christ for near 2,000 yrs. The deception is now lifted - they are without excuse.

larry2
Oct 10th 2008, 05:56 PM
Dear wpm, I don't mind you believe that because it is not going to affect our salvation at all, but I have a different thought on the woman and man child. The woman indeed are Israel, but they are the saved remnant giving birth to one to rule the nations with a rod of iron. Revelation 2:26-27 Jesus says: "And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 27 And he shall rule them (the nations)with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

Then we see those overcomers Revelation 12:5. "And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne."

wpm
Oct 10th 2008, 06:46 PM
Dear wpm, I don't mind you believe that because it is not going to affect our salvation at all, but I have a different thought on the woman and man child. The woman indeed are Israel, but they are the saved remnant giving birth to one to rule the nations with a rod of iron. Revelation 2:26-27 Jesus says: "And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 27 And he shall rule them (the nations)with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

Then we see those overcomers Revelation 12:5. "And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne."

We reign because He reigns. That is speaking about Christ in my estimation and our rule is "in Christ." I guess the two are inseparable. We are reigning now in life. We are seated in heavenly places. Why? Because the man-child rose to the throne.

BroRog
Oct 10th 2008, 07:04 PM
First, I don't know what version you are using or what passage you are quoting as evidence.

NASB. The passage is Romans 2:25. I thought this was an exegetical study of Romans 2.


Second, evidently you have not read my previous response which covers this or the biblical evidence attached to it: http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1818982&postcount=153 (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1818982&postcount=153)

Since you didn't know what verse I was quoting, how can you say I haven't read your response to it?


There is no contradiction in Scripture.

My previous post to you was a comparison between a statement you made and a passage from Romans 2, which is the topic of the OP. The contradiction is between your statement and scripture.


If you want to develop this discussion on a biblical basis then please address each verse I previously quoted (which were ignored) and exegete them and explain what they are saying in the light of your last verse.


No thanks. I'll pass. Do you want to defend your statement or not? You asked me to pick something you actually said. I did that.

wpm
Oct 10th 2008, 09:58 PM
NASB. The passage is Romans 2:25. I thought this was an exegetical study of Romans 2.

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Since you didn't know what verse I was quoting, how can you say I haven't read your response to it?



My previous post to you was a comparison between a statement you made and a passage from Romans 2, which is the topic of the OP. The contradiction is between your statement and scripture.



No thanks. I'll pass. Do you want to defend your statement or not? You asked me to pick something you actually said. I did that.

I don't think you are grasping Paul's argument. The law was fulfilled perfectly by Christ. Being "in Christ" and having put our trust in the law-keeper ensures our victory over the law. Those who are "in Christ" have no confidence in themselves, but the one who alone could fulfil the law. Only He could keep it. Salvation and perfection are therefore appropriated by faith in Him.

Your point re my link which you again ignored rebuts your overall argument, not just your belief on Romans 2:25. That was my point. With your repeated avoidance of my previous posts on this matter I can only conclude that they soundly rebut your theory of advocating the continued validity and relevancy of the old covenant abolished system. Can I remind you, that old inferior typical system has been superseded by the new eternal covenant? Christ has come and finished the work.

You need to address the following: http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1818982&postcount=153 (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1818982&postcount=153)

We are justified by putting our trust in the law-keeper. He lived the life we could never live. He died the death we could never die. We are justified by simple faith in the perfect law-fulfiller, not by keeping the works of the law - which no man could do. We are therefore the circumcision that are of the Spirit. It is a spiritual fulfilment today.

Romans 13:8-10 says, “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”

BroRog
Oct 11th 2008, 12:32 AM
Wpm, Romans 2:25, a verse in our text of study in this thread, contradicts a statement of yours. You say that physical circumcision doesn't matter and Paul says it does. If you can't admit your mistake, then what's the point of moving the conversation forward?

wpm
Oct 11th 2008, 02:53 AM
Wpm, Romans 2:25, a verse in our text of study in this thread, contradicts a statement of yours. You say that physical circumcision doesn't matter and Paul says it does. If you can't admit your mistake, then what's the point of moving the conversation forward?

The title Jew was a choice title that many wore on their sleeve as a badge of pride. Those who did this missed what salvation was all about. They failed to comprehend what a real Jew was. Romans 2:25 says, "For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision."

What this is saying is that one's Jewishness (circumcision) means nothing if one is not saved, if one is saved then his Jewish upbringing has benefited him by somewhere bringing him into contact with the truth (Christ). I don't in any way believe this is talking about the physical act of circumcision but rather one's Jewishness. Jews were known as "the circumcision." This was a title that really denoted "Jew." We know it cannot be the act of circumcision as it avails nothing.

This interpretation is in full agreement with the rest of Scripture on this matter. To take from this that circumcision somehow carries special favour means navigating round many passages that rebuke such a thought.

I Corinthians 7:17 declares, “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing"

Galatians 5:2 declares, “if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing."

Galatians 5:5 declares, "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love."

Galatians 6:15 reinforces that, saying, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.”

John146
Oct 11th 2008, 03:35 AM
Okay, here is a direct quote from you.



I pulled this quote from the first page of this thread.

Now, here is what Paul says to the Romans. If you like, I will make it bigger and put it in red for you.

For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice the Law . . .

What you said directly contradicts what the Apostle said. This is no strawman. It's a simple fact.Why only quote part of the verse?

Rom 2:25
For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.

Since all people break the law, circumcision is then rendered to be meaningless and of no value. Why not just agree with Paul when he says that circumcision of the flesh "is nothing" and does not "availeth anything"?

quiet dove
Oct 11th 2008, 04:19 PM
A thought that has just entered my mind, :eek: :lol:

Take Paul for example, or Moses, or whoever that was called by God. John the Baptist, whoever.

They were chosen by God for a reason and God had a purpose, now with Paul, for example, Paul was killing Christians, trying to destroy the new Jesus belief stuff, did the fact that Paul denied Jesus keep God from accomplishing His purpose with Paul, if no, then why would Israels denial of Christ preven God, from in the end, accomplishing all His has purposed for Israel as a nation?

Ethnic Israel having a God designed purpose takes nothing away from any promise or truth about believers in Christ being Israel, true Israel, and if God's purpose is to someday have ethnic Jews, Israel, become part of Israel in Christ, just like He did with Paul. Why is that such a difficult concept? Pauls denial, and murdering of believers did not stop or prevent any minute detail of God's plan for using Paul.

wpm
Oct 11th 2008, 04:31 PM
A thought that has just entered my mind, :eek: :lol:

Take Paul for example, or Moses, or whoever that was called by God. John the Baptist, whoever.

They were chosen by God for a reason and God had a purpose, now with Paul, for example, Paul was killing Christians, trying to destroy the new Jesus belief stuff, did the fact that Paul denied Jesus keep God from accomplishing His purpose with Paul, if no, then why would Israels denial of Christ preven God, from in the end, accomplishing all His has purposed for Israel as a nation?


Are you saying that God was the real force behind the murdering of His children?

third hero
Oct 11th 2008, 05:16 PM
Are you saying that God was the real force behind the murdering of His children?

Are you kidding me?

Seriously, where in this passage did you even see anything that even remotely points tothe charge that you are levying?


A thought that has just entered my mind, :eek: :lol:

Take Paul for example, or Moses, or whoever that was called by God. John the Baptist, whoever.

They were chosen by God for a reason and God had a purpose, now with Paul, for example, Paul was killing Christians, trying to destroy the new Jesus belief stuff, did the fact that Paul denied Jesus keep God from accomplishing His purpose with Paul, if no, then why would Israels denial of Christ preven God, from in the end, accomplishing all His has purposed for Israel as a nation?

Ethnic Israel having a God designed purpose takes nothing away from any promise or truth about believers in Christ being Israel, true Israel, and if God's purpose is to someday have ethnic Jews, Israel, become part of Israel in Christ, just like He did with Paul. Why is that such a difficult concept? Pauls denial, and murdering of believers did not stop or prevent any minute detail of God's plan for using Paul.

Upon reading this post, I find it to be a great xample of how God will not let anyone or anything, stop Him from fulfilling His plan. Paul, who was then named Saul, went about trying to stop God's work, and because God had a purpose for Saul, to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles, God made certain that His goal was fulfilled.

It is my opinion that the writer of this post is stating very clearly that God will fulfill what He says He will fulfill, and that is the reunification of Himself with Israel, ethnic Israel.

Now, will you stop circumventing the issue and deal with what was actually written in her post?

quiet dove
Oct 11th 2008, 05:58 PM
Are you saying that God was the real force behind the murdering of His children?

How does Jesus taking the rebellious-Christ rejecting Saul, convicting His heart, by the Holy Spirit, not to mention vision, saving Sauls soul, Saul who became Paul to then preach the Gospel, equate to God having Saul kill His own children? Seems like if Saul killing believers in Christ were what Saul was ordained by God to do, he would never have been saved, he would have kept on killing Christians.

Thats like saying every redeemed sinner can blame God for their sin. I mean if Pauls sins, prior to being redeemed in Christ, were God's will, then apparently all mine and your sins to, prior to our conversion, were also God's will? Is sin before conversion God's will and it is only sin after conversion that is a problem?

Let me add some clarification, maybe that will help


They were chosen by God for a reason and God had a purpose, now with Paul, for example, Paul was killing Christians, trying to destroy the new Jesus belief stuff, did the fact that Paul denied Jesus keep God from accomplishing His purpose with Paul, (saving his soul through Christ) if no, then why would Israels denial of Christ preven God, from in the end, accomplishing all His has purposed for Israel (saving their individual souls)as a nation?

Ethnic Israel having a God designed purpose takes nothing away from any promise or truth about believers in Christ being Israel, true Israel, and if God's purpose is to someday have ethnic Jews, Israel, become part of Israel in Christ (be saved souls), just like He did with Paul (he became a saved soul). Why is that such a difficult concept? Pauls denial, and murdering of believers did not stop or prevent any minute detail of God's plan (saving his soul) for using Paul.

wpm
Oct 11th 2008, 06:33 PM
How does Jesus taking the rebellious-Christ rejecting Saul, convicting His heart, by the Holy Spirit, not to mention vision, saving Sauls soul, Saul who became Paul to then preach the Gospel, equate to God having Saul kill His own children? Seems like if Saul killing believers in Christ were what Saul was ordained by God to do, he would never have been saved, he would have kept on killing Christians.

Thats like saying every redeemed sinner can blame God for their sin. I mean if Pauls sins, prior to being redeemed in Christ, were God's will, then apparently all mine and your sins to, prior to our conversion, were also God's will? Is sin before conversion God's will and it is only sin after conversion that is a problem?

I have obviously misunderstood your point (or wording of your last post). Sorry. I thought you were comparing Paul's activities to that of the Jews today and presenting that as evidence He will save them all. If you are saying God is able to save Jews or is going to then we are in full agreement, I just believe it will be in our age and into the same spiritual organism as we are in - the redeemed Church.

quiet dove
Oct 11th 2008, 06:47 PM
I have obviously misunderstood your point (or wording of your last post). Sorry. I thought you were comparing Paul's activities to that of the Jews today and presenting that as evidence He will save them all. If you are saying God is able to save Jews or is going to then we are in full agreement, I just believe it will be in our age and into the same spiritual organism as we are in - the redeemed Church.

But you still did not answer my question, and I do agree, we should preach the Gospel to Jews now, but that is not my point.

My point is, if even Pauls murderous ways against believers, Paul could be saved and used in such a mighty way by God, why would Israel's disobedience prevent God from, in the future, using Israel for His purpose according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. By that I mean, as a nation, using them to preach the Gospel because they themselves have accepted the truth of Jesus and there fore fulfilling the many OT prophecies given to the nation of Israel .

wpm
Oct 11th 2008, 06:57 PM
But you still did not answer my question, and I do agree, we should preach the Gospel to Jews now, but that is not my point.

My point is, if even Pauls murderous ways against believers, Paul could be saved and used in such a mighty way by God, why would Israel's disobedience prevent God from, in the future, using Israel for His purpose according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. By that I mean, as a nation, using them to preach the Gospel because they themselves have accepted the truth of Jesus and there fore fulfilling the many OT prophecies given to the nation of Israel .

I believe that the theocratic OT Israel has developed into the NT spiritual redeemed Church of Jesus Christ - true Israel, the Israel of God. We are the circumcision today. We are the true "Jew." We are the true "children of Abraham." Within this spiritual nation God can use individual nations (including natural Israel) but the old theocratic tree has been cut forever.

quiet dove
Oct 11th 2008, 07:38 PM
I believe that the theocratic OT Israel has developed into the NT spiritual redeemed Church of Jesus Christ - true Israel, the Israel of God. We are the circumcision today. We are the true "Jew." We are the true "children of Abraham." Within this spiritual nation God can use individual nations (including natural Israel) but the old theocratic tree has been cut forever.

Does that mean that instead of "all of Israel will be saved" it should read "all those who are saved are Israel"?

And "shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob" is not Jacob, Israel?

wpm
Oct 11th 2008, 08:11 PM
Does that mean that instead of "all of Israel will be saved" it should read "all those who are saved are Israel"?

And "shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob" is not Jacob, Israel?

Let us establish what "all Israel" is from Paul's introductory remarks in Romans 9:6-8, which confirms, “for they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: neither, because they are the seed of Abraham (through the flesh), are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.”

BroRog
Oct 11th 2008, 08:15 PM
The title Jew was a choice title that many wore on their sleeve as a badge of pride.

You know this how?


I don't in any way believe this is talking about the physical act of circumcision but rather one's Jewishness.


So "spiritual" circumcision can have value if one keeps the Mosaic Law? I don't think that's what the Apostle meant.


Jews were known as "the circumcision." This was a title that really denoted "Jew." We know it cannot be the act of circumcision as it avails nothing.

You are going in circles here. Paul says that circumcision has value if the circumcised man keeps the Mosaic Law. You say it doesn't. Your rational is that physical circumcision avails nothing, which is also your conclusion. Can't be both. :)

BroRog
Oct 11th 2008, 08:24 PM
Why only quote part of the verse?

Rom 2:25
For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.

Since all people break the law, circumcision is then rendered to be meaningless and of no value. Why not just agree with Paul when he says that circumcision of the flesh "is nothing" and does not "availeth anything"?

We each must speak for ourselves. Paul the Apostle did not break the law. He says he was blameless before the law.

If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless. Philippians 3:4-6


The idea that it was impossible to keep the law is a mistaken concept and a misunderstanding of the Apostle's point of view.

wpm
Oct 11th 2008, 08:27 PM
Paul says that circumcision has value if the circumcised man keeps the Mosaic Law.

It is time for you to explain your above statement. What do you mean by keeping the Mosaic Law? Are you saying that someone can be justified by keeping the Mosaic Law? Is it still active? What does it entail? Do you think the old covenant and new covenant are still vaild?

wpm
Oct 11th 2008, 08:29 PM
We each must speak for ourselves. Paul the Apostle did not break the law. He says he was blameless before the law.

If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless. Philippians 3:4-6


The idea that it was impossible to keep the law is a mistaken concept and a misunderstanding of the Apostle's point of view.

He was still going to hell in that state.

BroRog
Oct 11th 2008, 08:36 PM
It is time for you to explain your above statement.
It's not my statement. The apostle Paul said it in Romans 2:25.


What do you mean by keeping the Mosaic Law? Are you saying that someone can be justified by keeping the Mosaic Law?Are you asking me what I think or what the Apostle meant by his word that "Circumcision is of value if you keep the law?"

BroRog
Oct 11th 2008, 08:40 PM
He was still going to hell in that state.
Whether he was or he wasn't doesn't negate the fact that he was able to keep the Mosaic Law, which is the subject of John's post to me. Paul's confession that he was blameless before the law, answer's John's statement that no one could keep the law. Neither John, nor I were suggesting that keeping the law would merit salvation. That's an entirely different thing.

wpm
Oct 11th 2008, 08:41 PM
It's not my statement. The apostle Paul said it in Romans 2:25.

Are you asking me what I think or what the Apostle meant by his word that "Circumcision is of value if you keep the law?"

Take each question separate:

What do you mean by keeping the Mosaic Law?

Are you saying that someone can be justified by keeping the Mosaic Law?

Is it still active?

What does it entail?

Do you think the old covenant and new covenant are still vaild?

wpm
Oct 11th 2008, 08:48 PM
Paul's confession that he was blameless before the law

Paul outwardly kept the law and was strict in his adherence. However, this meant nothing. No one was justified by outward adherence to a set of religious ordinances. This is seen in the rich young ruler. To keep the outward exterior of the "Thou shalt not" did not denote salvation, it was faith in Christ that secured that - the true law-keeper.

One's own innate righteousness were/are filthy rags. Christ fulfilled the law for us, although it is still there to remind us of our still fallen old nature and proneness to wander.

larry2
Oct 11th 2008, 09:01 PM
I don't see where Quite Dove said that God caused the killing of His children, but that God accomplished His purpose in Paul regardless of that.

We can't say that God causes any sin because we read in James 1:13-14. "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed."

BroRog
Oct 11th 2008, 09:30 PM
I had no intention to offend you, so I have ammended my post likewise. You can ommit my comment from your quote if you wish.

Done. Thanks.


Take each question separate:

What do you mean by keeping the Mosaic Law?

The question is, what did the apostle mean by it? I think it means that he obeyed all the rules.


Are you saying that someone can be justified by keeping the Mosaic Law?

No, I think the Apostle says that no man can gain justification through the keeping of the law.


Is it still active? It depends on what you mean by "active". But I think the Mosaic Law is still active in the sense that it still contains God's moral vision. It isn't active in the sense that anyone is obligated to keep all the rules.


What does it entail?

To keep the Mosaic Law means that a person obeys all of its rules, ordinances, commandments, regulations etc. -- the whole thing.


Do you think the old covenant and new covenant are still vaild?

Before I answer, I need to clarify that the Mosaic Law is not the exact same thing as the Mt. Sinai Covenant, though they are very closely related. It should be noted that the Mt. Sinai Covenant is an agreement between the nation of Israel -- as a nation -- and God. Just as a single individual can not win or lose a baseball game by himself, a single individual can not break or keep the covenant by himself. Keeping the covenant is a team effort.

In terms of keeping the Mosaic Law, this is an individual effort. A man keeps the Mosaic Law if he obeys all the rules. Committing a sin is not necessarily breaking the Mosaic Law because the Law provides mercy for the offender if he offers the appropriate sacrifices.

The Mt. Sinai Covenant was in effect as long as the people were keeping the Mosaic Law. Once the people stopped keeping the Mosaic Law, the covenant was broken. Apparently, the covenant was broken in Jeremiah's time, because God declared that they had broken the covenant in Jeremiah 31.

In that same passage, God declares that he will make a new covenant with the house of Judah and the House of Israel.

wpm
Oct 11th 2008, 09:43 PM
Done. Thanks.



The question is, what did the apostle mean by it? I think it means that he obeyed all the rules.



No, I think the Apostle says that no man can gain justification through the keeping of the law.

It depends on what you mean by "active". But I think the Mosaic Law is still active in the sense that it still contains God's moral vision. It isn't active in the sense that anyone is obligated to keep all the rules.



To keep the Mosaic Law means that a person obeys all of its rules, ordinances, commandments, regulations etc. -- the whole thing.



Before I answer, I need to clarify that the Mosaic Law is not the exact same thing as the Mt. Sinai Covenant, though they are very closely related. It should be noted that the Mt. Sinai Covenant is an agreement between the nation of Israel -- as a nation -- and God. Just as a single individual can not win or lose a baseball game by himself, a single individual can not break or keep the covenant by himself. Keeping the covenant is a team effort.

In terms of keeping the Mosaic Law, this is an individual effort. A man keeps the Mosaic Law if he obeys all the rules. Committing a sin is not necessarily breaking the Mosaic Law because the Law provides mercy for the offender if he offers the appropriate sacrifices.

The Mt. Sinai Covenant was in effect as long as the people were keeping the Mosaic Law. Once the people stopped keeping the Mosaic Law, the covenant was broken. Apparently, the covenant was broken in Jeremiah's time, because God declared that they had broken the covenant in Jeremiah 31.

In that same passage, God declares that he will make a new covenant with the house of Judah and the House of Israel.

So, keeping the outward facade of the rules does not denote salvation, neither did it attract God's favour or blessing. Anyway, circumcision (which has been the issue of debate) was not part of the moral law. It was integral to the nation's ceremonial law which was done away with along with all the other superseded ordinances that were nailed to the tree. So physical circumcision means nothing. All that matters is the new birth. Circumcision has no special merit when it comes to redemption nor does it enhance one's chance of being saved.

All that matters is spiritual circumcision. This is Paul's whole overriding thesis. This is it. All the rest is irrelevant.

BroRog
Oct 11th 2008, 10:25 PM
So, keeping the outward facade of the rules does not denote salvation, neither did it attract God's favour or blessing. Anyway, circumcision (which has been the issue of debate) was not part of the moral law. It was integral to the nation's ceremonial law which was done away with along with all the other superseded ordinances that were nailed to the tree. So physical circumcision means nothing. All that matters is the new birth. Circumcision has no special merit when it comes to redemption nor does it enhance one's chance of being saved.

All that matters is spiritual circumcision. This is Paul's whole overriding thesis. This is it. All the rest is irrelevant.

I wouldn't put it that way. While it is true that keeping the Mosaic Law did not merit salvation, the refusal to keep it indicated a rebellious spirit. Both the OT and the NT teach us that obedience does not necessarily indicate the status of someone's heart, but disobedience does. So, it isn't as if keeping the rules is irrelevant.

It's one thing to say that circumcision means nothing and uncircumcision means nothing when it's a question of merit. But is quite a different thing to say that circumcision means nothing when it's a question of rebellion. If the rules meant nothing at all to God, he wouldn't have sent Israel into exile for disobedience. Obedience doesn't gain God's favor, but disobedience leads to his wrath.

The distinction you drew between the moral law and the ceremonial law is a distinction without a difference as it concerns a national covenant with God. A willing violation of the ceremonial law was just as evil as a violation of the moral laws due to the fact that God commanded that the civil laws be obeyed. That is, to disobey a civil law isn't intrinsically immoral, but to disobey a commandment of God is. To disobey anything that God commands is immoral, no matter whether his command is a civil law, a moral law, or a direct and personal command.

So then, it isn't as if circumcision has no value at all, even if it does not merit salvation.

In addition, I do not agree with those who say that all the ceremonial laws were nailed to the tree. I believe the Apostle spoke of a specific ordinance that kept the Gentiles from entering the area of the temple reserved for Jews. He illustrates his point that Jews and Gentiles gain access to God through the Holy Spirit using the wall of separation as a metaphor for Gentile separation. The Jewish leaders created an ordinance that restricted Gentiles from entering the temple beyond the "Wall of Separation." It was this ordinance that Christ, figuratively nailed to the cross. After the cross, the wall was still there and the ordinance was still in effect, but these did not restrict Gentile access to God via the Holy Spirit.

wpm
Oct 11th 2008, 10:32 PM
I wouldn't put it that way. While it is true that keeping the Mosaic Law did not merit salvation, the refusal to keep it indicated a rebellious spirit. Both the OT and the NT teach us that obedience does not necessarily indicate the status of someone's heart, but disobedience does. So, it isn't as if keeping the rules is irrelevant.

It's one thing to say that circumcision means nothing and uncircumcision means nothing when it's a question of merit. But is quite a different thing to say that circumcision means nothing when it's a question of rebellion. If the rules meant nothing at all to God, he wouldn't have sent Israel into exile for disobedience. Obedience doesn't gain God's favor, but disobedience leads to his wrath.

The distinction you drew between the moral law and the ceremonial law is a distinction without a difference as it concerns a national covenant with God. A willing violation of the ceremonial law was just as evil as a violation of the moral laws due to the fact that God commanded that the civil laws be obeyed. That is, to disobey a civil law isn't intrinsically immoral, but to disobey a commandment of God is. To disobey anything that God commands is immoral, no matter whether his command is a civil law, a moral law, or a direct and personal command.

So then, it isn't as if circumcision has no value at all, even if it does not merit salvation.

In addition, I do not agree with those who say that all the ceremonial laws were nailed to the tree. I believe the Apostle spoke of a specific ordinance that kept the Gentiles from entering the area of the temple reserved for Jews. He illustrates his point that Jews and Gentiles gain access to God through the Holy Spirit using the wall of separation as a metaphor for Gentile separation. The Jewish leaders created an ordinance that restricted Gentiles from entering the temple beyond the "Wall of Separation." It was this ordinance that Christ, figuratively nailed to the cross. After the cross, the wall was still there and the ordinance was still in effect, but these did not restrict Gentile access to God via the Holy Spirit.

First, we are not talking about the old economy. It has gone. What value is there in physical circumcision today? Please back it up with explicit Scripture.

Second, it wasn't one man made 'ordinance' (singular) as you allege that was nailed to the tree - it was the old covenant "ordinances" (plural). The Old Testament Judaic system of ordinances and sacrifices were nailed to the Cross and blotted out according to the New Testament. You forget Colossians 2:14 plainly and unambiguously declares, that Christ's atonement resulted in the “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.”

When Christ made that final sacrifice for sin He satisfied all God’s holy demands for sin and uncleanness and thus Christ became the final propitiation and substitution for the sinner. Ephesians 2:15 also says,“Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances.”The idea that Ezekiel is predicting a return to Old Covenant worship and the widespread slaughter of animals in a future millennium is preposterous and is dismissed by numerous explicit New Testament Scripture. Thus my question: Why would God restore animal sacrifices when He sent His Son to make one final all-sufficient sacrifice for sin?

BroRog
Oct 12th 2008, 03:02 AM
First, we are not talking about the old economy. It has gone. What value is there in physical circumcision today? Please back it up with explicit Scripture.

I'm not sure what you mean by "old economy." Do you mean "Old Testament?" If so, then I was under the impression that we were talking about living as a Jew under the Old Covenant because that is the time period in which Romans was written. And Romans chapter 2 is the topic of this thread.

If I understand the apostle correctly, the value of physical circumcision is similar to a signature on a contract. Just as a contract signature provides both a sign of identity and a proof of intent, the circumcision provides a mark of identification with the covenant and an expression of the will of a man's father that the son would keep the covenant. By analogy then, when a man signs a contract, he indicates that he intends to abide by the terms of the contract. In the same way, the circumcised man has agreed to keep the terms of Mt. Sinai Covenant.

If a man acts contrary to his contract, his signature on the paper is worthless, and meaningless. Likewise, if a man fails to keep the terms of the Mt. Sinai covenant, he has essentially defaulted on his agreement, and acts as if he never was circumcised. But if another man were to keep the terms of the Mt. Sinai Covenant, it would be as if he were circumcised, since circumcision is like the signature written on the flesh of that covenant.

Jesus uses this same reversal in a parable about two sons. One son disobeyed his father, even though he said he would obey. The other son obeyed his father even though he said he would disobey. Jesus asked, "which one did the will of his father?" The obvious answer is the boy who actually did what the father asked. In this, Jesus wants to point out that sometimes what we say we will do, is not the same thing as what we actually do.

The same general principle applies to the circumcised man who doesn't keep the terms of the covenant. What he says with his body, (circumcision) doesn't square with what he actually does, which is Paul's point.



Second, it wasn't one man made 'ordinance' (singular) as you allege that was nailed to the tree - it was the old covenant "ordinances" (plural). The Old Testament Judaic system of ordinances and sacrifices were nailed to the Cross and blotted out according to the New Testament. You forget Colossians 2:14 plainly and unambiguously declares, that Christ's atonement resulted in the “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.”Let me deal with the Ephesians passage first, since that passage, not the Colossians passage was the subject of my comments. In the Ephesians passage we read,

For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace,

The dividing wall was a literal wall in the temple complex that kept the Gentiles out of an area restricted to the Jews. According to one commentary I read, a placard was attached to the wall near the door into the Jewish area, which forbade entrance to the Gentiles punishable by death.

Paul actually experienced the implications of this ordinance first hand when some of those hostile to Paul's gospel attempted to have him arrested and executed, which is an event Luke records in Acts 21.

I take note of Paul's wording as he describes the enmity Christ abolished on the cross, which was the Law of commandments contained in ordinances. If Paul had meant to suggest that the Mosaic Law was the enemy, he might have simply said "the law" rather than expanding it to such a lengthy description. The primary meaning of the term "ordinances" denotes public decrees similar to the placard on the barrier wall.

As I understand Paul's point, it wasn't the Mosaic Law that was the enmity between Jew and Gentile but the public decrees specifically designed to keep them apart. It wasn't the Law, with a capital 'L', but the commandments contained in ordinances. It was the public ordinances that kept Jew and Gentile apart.

So then, Paul uses a public ordinance, which ordered the separation of Jews and Gentiles as a metaphor in his epistle to the Ephesians. In his epistle to the Colossians, he uses an entirely different metaphor.

When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

While the Ephesians passage talks about a public decree concerning a wall, the Colossians passage speaks about a "certificate of debt". In this instance, the certificate of debt is like a promissory note declaring that payment must be made by the signatory. By analogy then, our sins and transgressions are like decrees of payment which we are obligated to pay. Christ's death on the cross cancels these debt obligation certificates, essentially paying them for us. The reality behind Paul's analogy is the fact that Christ's death on the cross became the basis of our reconciliation with God.


Thus my question: Why would God restore animal sacrifices when He sent His Son to make one final all-sufficient sacrifice for sin?This is the subject of another thread. However, my short answer is mere speculation. I think God will institute the animal sacrifices again for pedagogical reasons. As Paul says, the sacrifices became the tutor that lead people to Christ. Just before the Lord returns, the Jews will need to be trained up in the conceptual vocabulary that resonates with their history. This of course, is strictly a guess.

wpm
Oct 12th 2008, 03:38 AM
I'm not sure what you mean by "old economy." Do you mean "Old Testament?" If so, then I was under the impression that we were talking about living as a Jew under the Old Covenant because that is the time period in which Romans was written. And Romans chapter 2 is the topic of this thread.

If I understand the apostle correctly, the value of physical circumcision is similar to a signature on a contract. Just as a contract signature provides both a sign of identity and a proof of intent, the circumcision provides a mark of identification with the covenant and an expression of the will of a man's father that the son would keep the covenant. By analogy then, when a man signs a contract, he indicates that he intends to abide by the terms of the contract. In the same way, the circumcised man has agreed to keep the terms of Mt. Sinai Covenant.

If a man acts contrary to his contract, his signature on the paper is worthless, and meaningless. Likewise, if a man fails to keep the terms of the Mt. Sinai covenant, he has essentially defaulted on his agreement, and acts as if he never was circumcised. But if another man were to keep the terms of the Mt. Sinai Covenant, it would be as if he were circumcised, since circumcision is like the signature written on the flesh of that covenant.

Jesus uses this same reversal in a parable about two sons. One son disobeyed his father, even though he said he would obey. The other son obeyed his father even though he said he would disobey. Jesus asked, "which one did the will of his father?" The obvious answer is the boy who actually did what the father asked. In this, Jesus wants to point out that sometimes what we say we will do, is not the same thing as what we actually do.

The same general principle applies to the circumcised man who doesn't keep the terms of the covenant. What he says with his body, (circumcision) doesn't square with what he actually does, which is Paul's point.

The only problem with your belief is the old covenant is gone. The new covenant has arrived. Circumcision means nothing today under the new arrangement. There is neither Jew nor Gentile. It has no purpose under the new covenant. Only a circumcision is accepted.

quiet dove
Oct 12th 2008, 03:55 AM
Let us establish what "all Israel" is from Paul's introductory remarks in Romans 9:6-8, which confirms, “for they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: neither, because they are the seed of Abraham (through the flesh), are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.”

Ok, I am not disagreeing with that, all I am saying is that God has promised that at some point, all ethnic Israel, the Jews, they will be "the children of promise" because they will be in Christ Jesus. God has a purpose for whomever those particular Jews are at the time this happens and their current status of disobedience will not change that, just like Paul was brought to see the Light, so will they be. And as a whole, whoever is all of ethnic Israel at the time, will be saved and be a part of spiritual Israel (as those who are in Christ.- and not quite knowing how to word that as to be clear about the two uses of "Israel")

And you did not address the rest of my post about Jacob.

wpm
Oct 12th 2008, 05:13 AM
Ok, I am not disagreeing with that, all I am saying is that God has promised that at some point, all ethnic Israel, the Jews, they will be "the children of promise" because they will be in Christ Jesus. God has a purpose for whomever those particular Jews are at the time this happens and their current status of disobedience will not change that, just like Paul was brought to see the Light, so will they be. And as a whole, whoever is all of ethnic Israel at the time, will be saved and be a part of spiritual Israel (as those who are in Christ.- and not quite knowing how to word that as to be clear about the two uses of "Israel")

And you did not address the rest of my post about Jacob.

The last passage I posted rebuts that. Notwithstanding you continue on with your argument as if Romans 9:6-8 reinforces your position. It doesn't. It actually challenges it.

There is no such thing as corporate salvation. This is a modern theological invention. Whilst no one could deny that an all-powerful God would have any difficulty in performing that, Scripture does not present salvation as a national experience. It is very much an individual thing and is open to both Jews and Gentiles equally. Outside of Christ both are equally condemned; united to Christ through faith they are equally reconciled unto God. Romans 3:9-12 explains, “we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

Nothing could be clearer. This is the state of every unsaved man – he is lost. Those who label the unregenerate Jews as God’s chosen people do err in their understanding that there is no difference between a Christ-rejecting Jew and a Christ-rejecting Gentile. They end up elevating the flesh.

This is ably explained by Paul in his introduction to the whole subject in Romans 9:6-8, saying, “For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, in Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.”

This grouping described as “all Israel” is defined here as the promised seed that is found “in Isaac.” This is the people of God throughout time, who have come to Christ by way of faith. Paul explains this when speaking to the Gentile believers at Galatia, saying, “Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now”(Galatians 4:28-29). This is none other than the Church of Jesus Christ. Those that accepted Christ as Lord and Saviour have put on Christ and have therefore been reconciled onto an offended God. Christ is the promise; those who possess Him possess the promise. Redeemed believers of all nationalities (both believing Jews and Gentiles) are the “children of the promise” and are consequently “counted for the seed.” It is they that have experience the second birth and are therefore described as being “born after the Spirit.” There are no other children of promise. If one rejects Christ, they reject the promise.

Galatians 3:16 records, “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.”

Romans 15:8-9 tells us: “Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.”

2 Corinthians 1:20 “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” Hebrews 8:6-7 declares, “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.”

We should note, “the children of God” and “the children of the promise” are seen to be synonymous terms referring to the same people.The “children of the promise” are not divided into ethnic groups as our dispensational brethren would try and argue. They wrongly contend that the reference to “all Israel” in Romans 11:26 must relate to the full nation of natural Israel, however, Paul demolishes this faulty notion whilst specifically referring to this same party (“all Israel”) in Romans 9:6, stating, “they are not all Israel, which are of Israel.” This statement alone removes the Dispensationalist argument. We cannot overlook the fact that Israel “according to the flesh” is not true Israel. This is repeated time after time in the New Testament.

quiet dove
Oct 12th 2008, 06:36 PM
The last passage I posted rebuts that. Notwithstanding you continue on with your argument as if Romans 9:6-8 reinforces your position. It doesn't. It actually challenges it. .....There is no such thing as corporate salvation. This is a modern theological invention.


But I didn't say corporate, but what I said was misleading. The Jews alive at the time of the Millennium, those who go into the Millennium, will be saved, thus, all of ethnic Israel will be saved. I believe there will also be saved Gentiles who enter the Millennial however, they will be the "nations". But at any rate, the Jews who enter will have had to individually accept Christ, but those individuals will become the entire nation of Israel and all of Israel will be saved and there fore be children of promise. I have not contradicted Rom 9 here.

Using the word invention insinuates intentional deception, when it is not invention or deception to have a different understanding of what is stated in scripture. I'm pretty sure that you would not appreciate me describing your views as "invention"?


Nothing could be clearer. This is the state of every unsaved man – he is lost. Those who label the unregenerate Jews as God’s chosen people do err in their understanding that there is no difference between a Christ-rejecting Jew and a Christ-rejecting Gentile. They end up elevating the flesh......

......
This grouping described as “all Israel” is defined here as the promised seed that is found “in Isaac.”



I am not elevating ethnic Jews, it is not a matter of elevating anyone, it is a matter of scripture stateing that "all of Israel will be saved" and the context is ethnic Jews. I have not ever said they get saved because of their ethnic Jewishness, but, that, prophecy teaches God's purpose is to, during the Millennial, have a nation of Israel and the individuals of that ethnic nation be saved and in Christ Jesus.
Further on in Romans 11 Paul is clearly talking about ethnic Jews, the ones the covenant was made with. The same Israel that "the blindness in part has happen to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles come in." What Israel is blinded if there is no such thing spoken of as an ethnic nation of Israel?

"all Israel" must be taken in context or esle we have to go through the entire Bible and place the "Church" in every passage that states "all Israel".


Galatians 3:16 records, “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.”

Romans 15:8-9 tells us: “Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.”


Ok, in Galatians you have a promise to "the Seed" and in Romans you have a promise "unto the fathers"

Wasn't the promise "unto the fathers" the promise there would be "a Seed", or Salvation? So what is the promise to "the Seed", it can't be Salvation because the Seed is Salavation, the verses of Gen 12:7; 13:15; and 27:7 all make a promise to the Seed, IT IS LAND, hmmm, wonder if He takes possession of that land during the Millennium?

Back to Romans 9
6 But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, 7 nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.”8 That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed. 9 For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son.”

In the context here it is clearly stated that the children of promise were the descendents of Isaac. Applying the terminology "children of promise", to those who are saved, is not what these passages are stating, they are stating the children of the flesh were Abraham's and Sarah's attempt at an heir, Ishmael, being the children of flesh. However, God promised and heir, they had Isaac, thus, the children of promise. At least within the context of Rom 9:6 here.

10 And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac 11 (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls),

wpm
Oct 12th 2008, 06:57 PM
But I didn't say corporate, but what I said was misleading. The Jews alive at the time of the Millennium, those who go into the Millennium, will be saved, thus, all of ethnic Israel will be saved. I believe there will also be saved Gentiles who enter the Millennial however, they will be the "nations". But at any rate, the Jews who enter will have had to individually accept Christ, but those individuals will become the entire nation of Israel and all of Israel will be saved and there fore be children of promise. I have not contradicted Rom 9 here.

Using the word invention insinuates intentional deception, when it is not invention or deception to have a different understanding of what is stated in scripture. I'm pretty sure that you would not appreciate me describing your views as "invention"?

I apologise for my wording. I will rephrase.

Romans 8:8-9 explains this, saying, “they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit (pneumatic), if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”

I believe your premise contradicts Paul's earlier definition of "all Israel" in Romans 9. It is therefore mistaken to assume “all Israel” in Romans 11:26 must relate to the full nation of natural Israel. Paul attacks this notion whilst specifically referring to this same party (“all Israel”) in Romans 9:6, stating, “they are not all Israel, which are of Israel.” I feel this statement alone nulifies your hypothesis. Contrary to what you say, we cannot overlook the fact that Israel “according to the flesh” is not true Israel. This is repeated time after time in the New Testament.

After establishing who true Israel and who the true elect are in the earlier chapters in Romans Paul then progresses to make the long-debated passage in Romans 11:26-27, which declares,“And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”

This reference is significantly based upon, and taken from, Isaiah 59:20 which specifically qualifies the saying, stating,“And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.” “Sion” in reference to “Jacob” relates to the elect – spiritual Israel. Christ the Messiah (the deliverer) will come out from among true Israel, not natural Israel (Jacob).

As we have found “they are not all Israel, which are of Israel” (Romans 9:6). Messiah was prophesied to come to elect Sion, however, not all Jacob is Sion; only the remnant that “turn from transgression in Jacob.” This is the vital condition for participation in election. It is the penitent Israeli that is true Israel. It is the penitent Israeli that will graciously be delivered by the deliverer. Once again, there is no salvation through race, as some intimate in regard to this, but rather grace.

Those who have bowed the knee in repentance are those that “turn from transgression in Jacob” (Isaiah 59:20), “the rest were blinded” (Romans 11:7). Plainly there are two groups.



I am not elevating ethnic Jews, it is not a matter of elevating anyone, it is a matter of scripture stateing that "all of Israel will be saved" and the context is ethnic Jews. I have not ever said they get saved because of their ethnic Jewishness, but, that, prophecy teaches God's purpose is to, during the Millennial, have a nation of Israel and the individuals of that ethnic nation be saved and in Christ Jesus.
Further on in Romans 11 Paul is clearly talking about ethnic Jews, the ones the covenant was made with. The same Israel that "the blindness in part has happen to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles come in." What Israel is blinded if there is no such thing spoken of as an ethnic nation of Israel?

"all Israel" must be taken in context or esle we have to go through the entire Bible and place the "Church" in every passage that states "all Israel".


You have to see what Paul is saying in his whole narrative - the book of Romans. He is actually saying the opposite to what you are saying.

Romans 2, in accord with the rest of Scripture, is defining the only two groups that are on this earth – saved and lost. Paul says in verses 7-8, “To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath.”

Here he speaks of these two diverse spiritual groups: the redeemed carrying “glory and honour” and who inherit “immortality” and “eternal life” and the wicked that “do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness” they face “indignation and wrath.”

These two groups include Jews and Gentiles alike. There is no ethnic discrimination in these two divergent companies. This is demonstrated in the verse next verse.

The wicked: “Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile” (v9).

The righteous: “glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile”(v10).



Ok, in Galatians you have a promise to "the Seed" and in Romans you have a promise "unto the fathers"

Wasn't the promise "unto the fathers" the promise there would be "a Seed", or Salvation? So what is the promise to "the Seed", it can't be Salvation because the Seed is Salavation, the verses of Gen 12:7; 13:15; and 27:7 all make a promise to the Seed, IT IS LAND, hmmm, wonder if He takes possession of that land during the Millennium?

Back to Romans 9
6 But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, 7 nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.”8 That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed. 9 For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son.”

In the context here it is clearly stated that the children of promise were the descendents of Isaac. Applying the terminology "children of promise", to those who are saved, is not what these passages are stating, they are stating the children of the flesh were Abraham's and Sarah's attempt at an heir, Ishmael, being the children of flesh. However, God promised and heir, they had Isaac, thus, the children of promise. At least within the context of Rom 9:6 here.

10 And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac 11 (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls),


The seed is not salvation, as you say, the seed enter into salvation. They are saved (which is a state), salvation is actually the act of being saved.

quiet dove
Oct 12th 2008, 08:23 PM
I apologise for my wording. I will rephrase.

Romans 8:8-9 explains this, saying, “they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit (pneumatic), if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”

And I agree, we cannot please God in the flesh, and neither can the "children of promise" the seed of Isaac. If they do not realize the promises fulfilled in Christ Jesus, they will be cut off the vine and not be saved. But in the context of being the seeds of promise through Isaac, they still are, but unfortunately in rejecting Christ, they give up their birthright, like Esau and are cut off the vine.




The seed is not salvation, as you say, the seed enter into salvation. They are saved (which is a state), salvation is actually the act of being saved.

I commenting on the Galatians passages you had quoted which in the context specifically stated, "unto they seed, which is Christ" and speaking of the Covenant of Christ was not annuled by the Covenant of the Law which was made given the promise of a Seed and that promise being fulfilled.

Ok, I just lost the rest of my post, have to start over :mad::mad:

wpm
Oct 12th 2008, 08:41 PM
And I agree, we cannot please God in the flesh, and neither can the "children of promise" the seed of Isaac. If they do not realize the promises fulfilled in Christ Jesus, they will be cut off the vine and not be saved. But in the context of being the seeds of promise through Isaac, they still are, but unfortunately in rejecting Christ, they give up their birthright, like Esau and are cut off the vine.


No, I feel this is where you are missing it. The seed in Isaac were not the natural seed but the spiritual. If you don't see this then nothing else will add up. Ishmael was the natural seed. We are of the spiritual seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, not the natural.

John146
Oct 13th 2008, 08:54 PM
We each must speak for ourselves. Paul the Apostle did not break the law. He says he was blameless before the law.

If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless. Philippians 3:4-6


The idea that it was impossible to keep the law is a mistaken concept and a misunderstanding of the Apostle's point of view.He was found blameless, not by God, but by his fellow Pharisees. Because, on the outside, he appeared to do everything the law required. He met the low standards of the law set by the Pharisees but did not meet the true standards of the law set by God.

Sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4). Are you trying to suggest that Paul was sinless? Paul could not have been saying that he always perfectly kept the law at all times because that would mean he was without sin.

It is indeed impossible for anyone to keep the law perfectly at all times because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23) and "If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." (1 John 1:10).

What Paul is speaking about in Romans 2:25 is keeping the law perfectly before God without fail. If one can do that then being circumcised of the flesh would count for something.

Gal 5:3
For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

But, again, sin is the transgression of the law. To keep the law perfectly one would have "do the whole law" and never sin. No one can do that (except Christ). Our righteousness is as filthy rags. I'm going to agree with what Paul says elsewhere. Circumcision of the flesh "is nothing", does not "availeth anything", and "if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing".

BroRog
Oct 14th 2008, 01:00 AM
He was found blameless, not by God, but by his fellow Pharisees.

Where does he say that?

Anyway, his point depends on the relative value between something he used to value highly, and having Christ. If he didn't highly value his commitment to the covenant, and his pristine obedience, or if his obedience was shoddy or spotty, his saying that they are like dung wouldn't mean much, since they would have been like dung before he met Christ.


Sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4). Are you trying to suggest that Paul was sinless?

No, I'm not suggesting that Paul was sinless. Blameless doesn't mean sinless. The Law provides for the remission of sins through the sacrificial system. If a man offers the proper sacrifices, he is keeping the law. For some reason Christians have gotten the idea that in order to keep the law one had to be sinless, which isn't the case. Keeping the law merely means that a person does what the law says to do.

Paul isn't the only one who was blameless. Luke records that Zacharias and Elisabeth were also blameless and righteous. Luke 1:6


It is indeed impossible for anyone to keep the law perfectly at all times because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23) and "If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." (1 John 1:10).


Who said anything about being perfect? The law does not demand perfection. It accounts for imperfection and mistakes and makes provision for those who make mistakes.

As an example, most people in our country are law-abiding citizens. If they should happen to get a traffic ticket, we wouldn't conclude they were lawless citizens. If they pay the traffic fine, they are blameless before the law after that.


What Paul is speaking about in Romans 2:25 is keeping the law perfectly before God without fail. If one can do that then being circumcised of the flesh would count for something.


Actually, Paul is speaking about keeping the covenant in Romans 2:25. The value of circumcision is relative to keeping the covenant. If a man commits himself to the covenant, his circumcision has value in that arena. If a man repudiates the covenant, his circumcision has no value.

Everything has relative value. Jesus uses this fact in many of his parables as he teaches us to place value in the Kingdom. For instance, he tells a parable about a man who found a pearl of great price. He sold everything he had in order to buy the pearl. The effectiveness of this parable depends on the fact that the man made a value judgment between all of his possessions and the pearl. He weighed the relative value of the two and found that he valued the pearl more.

Likewise, a man's circumcision has relative value. With regard to his being a member in good standing of the Mt. Sinai Covenant, it has a lot of value as it is the mark of his father's commitment to it. But with regard to his being in Christ, it has no value at all. Both are true at the same time.

wpm
Oct 14th 2008, 01:28 AM
a man's circumcision has relative value. With regard to his being a member in good standing of the Mt. Sinai Covenant, it has a lot of value as it is the mark of his father's commitment to it. But with regard to his being in Christ, it has no value at all. Both are true at the same time.

Where do you get this? The old covenant, with the physical ordinance of circumcision, has been removed. Where do you get this teaching in the NT? It profits nothing in the spiritual life of a believer - whether Jew or Gentile. Under the new covenant it is spiritual circumcision alone that matters. The only profit that Scripture shows in being circumcised is that one was brought up with the truth and oracles of God Romans 3:1-2. That is not pointing to the actual value of the physical act of circumcision but in rather in the privildged upbringing among the theocratic nation.

Romans 2:25 says, "For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision."

What this is saying is that one's Jewishness (circumcision) means nothing if one isn’t saved, if one is saved then his Jewish upbringing has benefited him by somewhere bringing him into contact with the truth (Christ). I don't in any way believe this is talking about the physical act of circumcision but rather one's Jewishness. Jews were known as "the circumcision." This was a title that really denoted "Jew." We know it cannot be the act of circumcision as it avails nothing.

The physical act of circumcision today is meaningless. It belongs to a by-gone day before the cross when it was integral to the profession of the believer as an act of obedience. That is not so today. The old covenant has been replaced by the new.

I Corinthians 7:17 declares, “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing"

Galatians 5:2 declares, “if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing."

Galatians 5:5 declares, "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love."

Galatians 6:15 reinforces that, saying, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.”

BroRog
Oct 14th 2008, 07:13 PM
Where do you get this?

From the text of Romans 2:25. Paul says circumcision has value.


The old covenant, with the physical ordinance of circumcision, has been removed.

Did you know that although the command to circumcise males was repeated in Exodus in the context of the Mosaic Law, the command predated the Exodus and that God commanded Abraham to circumcise his males?

While the author of Hebrews says that the old covenant was passing away, he said nothing about circumcision, which was not a part of the covenant at Mt. Sinai, but rather part of God's covenant with Abraham.


Where do you get this teaching in the NT? It profits nothing in the spiritual life of a believer - whether Jew or Gentile.


You seem to forget that our project in this thread is to exegete Romans chapter 2. My comments were directed at the meaning of Romans 2:25, not the NT theology as a whole. Since Paul explicitly says that circumcision has value, a proper interpretation of that verse will understand what he means in the context of his argument here. Once I understand what he means in THIS context, then I am free to compare it to what he said elsewhere.


What this is saying is that one's Jewishness (circumcision) means nothing if one isn’t saved, if one is saved then his Jewish upbringing has benefited him by somewhere bringing him into contact with the truth (Christ).

That may be an implication of Paul's overall theology, but it isn't what he says here in Romans 2.


I don't in any way believe this is talking about the physical act of circumcision but rather one's Jewishness. Jews were known as "the circumcision." This was a title that really denoted "Jew." We know it cannot be the act of circumcision as it avails nothing.

And they were known as "the circumcision" why?

wpm
Oct 14th 2008, 07:31 PM
From the text of Romans 2:25. Paul says circumcision has value.

Did you know that although the command to circumcise males was repeated in Exodus in the context of the Mosaic Law, the command predated the Exodus and that God commanded Abraham to circumcise his males?

While the author of Hebrews says that the old covenant was passing away, he said nothing about circumcision, which was not a part of the covenant at Mt. Sinai, but rather part of God's covenant with Abraham.

You seem to forget that our project in this thread is to exegete Romans chapter 2. My comments were directed at the meaning of Romans 2:25, not the NT theology as a whole. Since Paul explicitly says that circumcision has value, a proper interpretation of that verse will understand what he means in the context of his argument here. Once I understand what he means in THIS context, then I am free to compare it to what he said elsewhere.

That may be an implication of Paul's overall theology, but it isn't what he says here in Romans 2.

And they were known as "the circumcision" why?

You would have Paul contradicting himself. Of course this is not true. Let us establish a biblical fact:

Physical circumcision is nothing and profits nothing.

I Corinthians 7:17 declares, “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing"

Galatians 5:2 declares, “if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing."

Galatians 5:5 declares, "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love."

Galatians 6:15 reinforces that, saying, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.”

Ok, now that we have established that, let us see what matters: "a new creature." Spiritual new birth is the only thing that matters in life. That is a repeated NT truth which no one could deny.

What about Romans 2:25 that you refer to? Does it contradict this? No, quite the opposite. Let us look at Romans 2:25-29 for context. I think your problem is: you often take a text out of context and make it a pretext. This is dangerous.

Romans 2:25-29 says, “For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit (pneumatic).”

It is not about one's natural state, birthplace, birthday or parents. It is not about the physical act of circumcision - that is meaningless, as we have seen. It is about spiritual birth. It is about becoming a new creature through an inward work of circumcising the heart. What this is saying is that one's Jewishness (circumcision) means nothing if one isn’t saved, if one is saved then his Jewish upbringing has benefited him by somewhere bringing him into contact with the truth (Christ). I don't in any way believe this is talking about the physical act of circumcision but rather one's Jewishness. Jews were known as "the circumcision." This was a title that really denoted "Jew." We know it cannot be the act of circumcision as it avails nothing.

This interpretation is in full agreement with the rest of Scripture on this matter. To argue that physical circumcision means anything is to argue with repeated Scripture, including Romans 2. It is wrong to say that that circumcision somehow carries special spiritual favour. One natural makeup is only profitable if we are saved. A Jew is a real Jew if they are saved. Their Jewishness then means something. It is real.

This is defining what the true circumcision – a true Jew - is. Read the blue highlighted area. Please also note that we who are circumcised in heart (who he has just established includes Gentiles - the uncircumcision) who are "in the spirit" are true Jews. We are the circumcision in God's eyes. We are the chosen people. We are true Israel. We are the children of Abraham today.

Paul reaffirms this in Philippians 3:3, speaking of the Church, “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the Spirit (pneumatic), and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”

This couldn't be clearer: "we are the circumcision" who are "in the Spirit."

We are not natural Israel or natural Jews or natural circumcision or natural sons of Abraham (that means nothing anyway), we are the spiritual circumcision - the true circumcision. We are the only chosen people on planet earth.

BroRog
Oct 15th 2008, 02:41 PM
Wpm we are just repeating ourselves. Thanks for the conversation.

quiet dove
Oct 15th 2008, 04:27 PM
I think you guys are repeating yourself on this topic in a couple threads. Let it rest a while.