Romans 9 : 1 – 5 Verse by Verse Bible Teaching
Romans 9 : 1 – 5 New King James Version (NKJV)*
1 I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit,
2 that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart.
3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh,
4 who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises;
5 of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.
Check out this weeks teaching from Pastor Terry Martens available below in Video, Audio Podcast, and transcribed text.
Other studies from the Romans series are available at the following link https://www.ccn.org.au/romans
Audio Podcast Version of Romans 9 : 1 – 5
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Transcript of Romans 9 : 1 – 5
Welcome to Calvary Chapel, Newcastle verse by verse study of the book of Romans. For other studies from the book of Romans, go to our series on Romans at www.ccn.org.au/Romans. Join us now for this week’s message from Pastor Terry Martens as he teaches from Romans.
All right, welcome to the book of Romans. It’s great to be with you, before we get into it, let’s pray and ask God to bless His Word. And to open up our ears to hear what he would want to say to us from the Word of God, Lord, we thank you so much for your word, we thank you that it is sharp, it is clean, it is clear. And it’s able to save a man’s soul by the preaching of it. We asked now, for us as believers that we would be sanctified through the Word of God, that our minds would be cleaned, that our hearts would be lifted up in Praise to you as the Almighty God, the one who is the creator of heaven and earth, and all that is in them. And I asked that you would help me to teach with clarity, with precision, and also with conviction to not only teach it accurately, but to be one that lives it out. That we would be people who are not just hearers only, but that we would be people who are doers of the word, and by your spirit and your grace, working in and through us. Many men and many women and children come to know you, and to have an eternal hope that is found only in Jesus Christ. And so he asked us all in the name of Jesus. Amen.
All right, we are in Romans, chapter nine, Romans 9, 10 and 11. A fantastic portion of Scripture, where we’re going to be looking at specifically verses one through five where we see Paul the apostles heart for his kin for the nation of Israel. We are going verse by verse through the book of Romans, and it’s really good to be with you in God’s word. Now, to recap very briefly, Paul begins with his greeting in chapter one, his desire to visit Rome. And then he intersects his theme, the theme of the book of Romans, which is found in verses 16 and 17 of chapter one which reads this way, for I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for his the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first, and also for the Greek, or for the Gentile, for those who are non Jewish. For it is the righteousness of God. For in it the righteousness of God has revealed from faith to faith, with as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
Now, at the end of chapter one, we looked at the spiralling morality of man, and there’s a tremendous list of how man does indeed spiral into more depravity, as well as Paul taking us forward, he builds a case that people fall short, that they are not justified by God through their merits, through their religion, through their Mosaic law that Israel experienced, or even the morality of man, but we are simply justified by faith. And he gives us examples through the life of Abraham, and David. And then of course, as we came into chapter eight, that hope that is ours in Jesus Christ, that there’s no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, we suffer now, but we also realise that our suffering will cease that we will enter into the new heaven and the new earth.
And then at the end of chapter eight, we saw the sovereignty and the love of God, as it’s brought to our attention. Now, as we move on to chapter nine, Paul draws our attention to Israel to his kinfolk to his fellow men in the nation of Israel, which is fascinating, really, because that is no longer where Paul found his identity, he found his identity in Christ and amongst the very believers within the world who embraced the gospel of Christ, those from every tribe, nation, tongue and language he identified with the church, but he couldn’t ignore the fact that he had a heritage in Israel. And he brings up this in the book of Romans 11, Chapter 10, verse 12, he says, There is no distinction between Jew and Greek. For the same Lord is overall and is rich to all who call upon them, crisis, his identity without a doubt.
But Paul can’t escape the plan of God for a people group, a specific people group, called the nation of Israel through their covenants, and promises over the next several weeks, we’re going to look God’s plan for the nation of Israel. And it’s going to be an interesting journey to say the least. I hope you’re blessed with it. And I hope it reminds you that God also has a unique plan for yourself for the church for those that are redeemed in this particular time in world history. Again, in Romans 9, 10 and 11, Paul deals with the problems associated with the condition of Israel. Here’s a few things that we’re going to consider.
What does it mean that Israel has missed the Messiah? Also, what does it mean? Or what does it say about God? What does it say about Israel? What does it say about our the church’s present position in God? Or the question could look like this? How can I be securing God’s love and salvation? When it seems that Israel was once loved and saved, but now seems to be rejected and cursed? Will God also reject and curse me one day? Well, we’re gonna look at these things as we travel through this section of Romans. Now, if you’re taking notes, here’s an outline for us to consider as we travel through, specifically chapter nine. Again, in verses one through five, our study today, we see Paul’s heart for Israel being revealed, as we move on to verses 6 through 29.
Why is Israel or why Israel is in its present condition from God’s perspective. And then we’re going to look at Israel’s condition today, from man’s perspective concerning God’s perspective, Israel, missed Messiah, because it was according to God’s sovereign plan, and from man’s perspective, Israel, missed Messiah, because they refuse to come in faith. And that’s going to be found specifically in verses 30 through 33, at the end of chapter nine, today, we’re going to be looking at the first five verses, where we see Paul’s heart for his people, Israel in verses one through five. Let’s begin by reading the text. And then we’ll try our best to bring explanation to it. In verse one of chapter nine, I tell you the truth in Christ, I am not lying, Paul says, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed for Christ for my brother and my countrymen, according to the flesh, who are Israelites to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises of whom are the fathers, and from whom according to the flesh, Christ came, who is overall the Eternally blessed God, Amen. Paul’s heart is laid wide open concerning this, watch what grieved him, he was burdened by the condition of the nation of Israel.
So let’s begin by reading verses one and two, again, where his sorrow is raw. I tell you the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. In chapter eight, Paul left us at the summit. He really did. He left us at the summit, explaining to us and assuring us that the love of God found in Jesus Christ, nothing can separate us from that truth that God loves us. Can anything separate us from the love of God can tribulations can circumstances No, nothing can separate us from the love of God? That’s the summit, that we found ourselves that last week. And now all of a sudden Paul seems to go into the valley of sorrow, when he reflects upon the reality of his nation Israel. He says this, I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. Why so? Well, simply because they rejected the promise of the coming Messiah. Now he is an individual embraced Christ, and other Jews did embrace Christ as individuals. We’ll treat that a little bit later on as we move along in this study, but he comes to Christ and yet he sees a nation who by the broad scope of it rejected the Messiah and he finds himself in this sombre mood. I have great sorrow and continued grief within my heart over this reality. I tell you the truth I am not lying. My conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit. He uses every possible assurance, to state his sadness over Israel’s condition of unbelief. Something that really bothered Paul, to his core. He’s emotional, and he’s extreme. And we’ll see this emotion and this extreme sense that he brings to the table.
As we move on into verses three, through five, let’s read verses three through five. For I can wish that I myself were cursed from Christ for my brother, and strong language anathema that I’d be completely removed from my salvation, that many, many the nation of Israel would come to know the Lord. I could wish that I myself were cursed from Christ for my brother and my countrymen, according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises of whom are the fathers, and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is overall, the eternally blessed God, amen. Or so be it. In verse three, as we continue in this exposition, Paul says this, I could wish that I, myself were a curse from Christ. For my brethren. He’s dramatic. And he’s probably following the suit of the emotional, Middle Eastern man, who was just throwing his arms up, and just saying, God, what is going on. And he describes it to us here on paper, that I could wish myself anathema for Christ’s sake, from Christ, that my brethren would come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, he is dead serious, when he is emotionally sharing his heart with us, and also his words with us. In fact, if you go back to verse one, he reminds us that I tell you the truth in Christ, I am not lying. This is my hearts posture, that my conscience is also bearing witness to me, in the Holy Spirit.
Paul had a passion for souls, he loved people, sure, he loved himself in Christ, we are to love ourselves much, but not to love ourselves at the expense of others. God loved him, we also have a have a love for ourselves. But we see in the evangelists heart here, that he has a call a plea, that his countrymen would come to Christ, and it gave him perspective, to have a heart for those who would not spend eternity with God. It’s severe, it’s desperate, the reality of those who are eternally separated from Christ should draw us to a greater display of evangelism, a greater expression of witness, so that it’s not just our own little monistic religion that we service and we care for, but that a true faith is extended. There’s an extension from a vital faith with Christ, where we pour out into the lives of other people, and Paul’s expressing this to us, and he’s expressing it to the Romans, that don’t just be happy in your little holy huddle. Make sure that there is room always for one more or many more in the kingdom of God. And therefore our witness needs to be prudent. And our words need to be sharp, but also be done in the love that God has given us to exercise to be patient to be kind to be gentle to be, you know, in the community with a sense of graciousness.
I love what Spurgeon writes, he says lesser things, do not trouble him because he was troubled by a great thing. The souls of men get love for the souls of men, Spurgeon writes, then you will not be whining about a dead dog or a sick cat are about the twists of a family, and the life disturbances that John and Mary may make by their idle talk. You’ll be delivered from petty worries, if you’re concerned about souls, the souls of men get your soul full of a great grief and your little griefs will be driven out. Oh, that was the heart of Paul. It was the heart of Charles Haddon Spurgeon. And it’s our heart. It’s the heart of those who love Christ in complete purity and devotion. Paul says in verse three, a, I could wish that I myself were accursed here reflects the same heart of Moses, doesn’t he? They’re in Exodus chapter 32. When Moses Moses returned to the Lord, and said, Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold. Yet now, if you will forgive their sin, but if not, I pray blot me out of your book, blot me out of your book, which you have written.
Again, Paul also borrows from the heart of Jesus in Galatians chapter three, when it says that he Christ was a cursed for the benefit of those who might be saved. We need to remember that when it came to ministry, the Jews were Paul’s worst enemy. The Israelites were Paul’s an enemy in the ministry, they harassed him, they persecuted him, they defamed him, wherever Paul went, it was the Israelites, the unconverted Jews, who would cause Paul the most grief, and stirring up the churches into doubt and despair concerning the faith that was precious to them at the beginning.
And Paul also had some stern words for those Judaizers at that time, Bengal in his commentary says this, it’s not easy to estimate the measure of love in a Moses and a, Paul, for a limited reason, you know, for our limited reason, doesn’t grasp it, as a child can’t comprehend the courage of warriors. Sometimes we have a hard time understanding Paul’s passion for his countrymen when he writes these words. But it’s childish, really, if we don’t share in that same conviction of Moses and Paul, that we should desire our neighbours to come to Christ, that we should desire our fellow workers to come to Christ, that there should be an urgency that they would come to know him, that we don’t just get comfortable in our little circles and in our little environments, and our little private spaces, at the expense of someone being eternally separated from God. Paul got it. Moses understood it. Now we must understood it, stand it and apply it as well.
In verse four, Paul refers to his fellow countrymen, the Israelites as having six profound blessings. Let’s look at them, one by one. He says, the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the services of God, and the promises were given to the nation of Israel as tremendous blessings.
The first concerns adoption. It’s not that they were better than the other nations. In fact, in many ways, they were worse off than the other nations. They were weaker than the other nations. And yet God in His sovereignty in power, begins a remarkable work with that which is weak. Okay. God, in Corinthians declares to us that not many mighty, not many noble, not many strong are called, but God has chosen the weak things of the world to profound the wise and I think Israel is a classic example this throughout the Old Testament testimony.
John MacArthur notes this, in his commentary says, beyond their patriarchal answer ancestry, Jews are privileged to have adoption as God’s sons. God commanded Moses to say to Pharaoh, that says, The Lord Israel is my son, my firstborn in Exodus, chapter 4, verse 22. Through Hosea, the Lord declared that when Israel was a youth, I loved him. And out of Egypt, I called my son in Hosea 11, verse 1. At the covenant at Sinai, when the law was given through Moses, God declared to Israel, you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation in Exodus 19, verse 6, is there a separated out to be his unique and righteous witness to the rest of the world is clear from the context of these two verses, as well as from countless other parts of Scripture, that the nation of Israel was in some respect God’s child, salvation has always been on an individual basis. One person cannot be saved by another’s faith is Paul makes clear a few verses later. They’re not all Israel, who are descended from Israel in Romans nine, six. Yet while not in the sense of salvation, it was as a nation that God sovereignly bestowed on Israel, his special calling covenant blessing and protection. The Old Testament does not refer to God as the father of individual Jews, in the way the New Testament does of God as Father of individual Christians, but as the father of Israel. It was for that reason, among others, that the Jewish leaders were so incensed when Jesus referred to God in a personal relationship as his father.
So I hope you understood that God has given them the opportunity to be adopted out of all the nations that existed at that time for a specific purpose, bringing about the Messiah, and also having a future plan at the end of time to work with the nation of Israel and its 12 tribes.
Second Paul refers to their blessing as one concerning the glory. In other words, he’s taking them back to the time when Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, and the chakaipa glory was there, the cloud to protect them from the sunlight, and then the pillar of fire, to give them sight in the darkness constantly reminding them that he was among them as a special people among many nations for a tremendous purpose.
Third, concerning the covenant, it was Israel, it was with Israel and not with the Gentiles. The first covenant was with Abraham when he became their physical father, if you would, in Genesis chapter 12. And their spiritual father for all who believe in Romans chapter four, verse 11. That was a tremendous study when we’re looking at Abraham being saved by faith even as we are saved by faith. through Moses, Israel was given the covenant of the law at Mount Sinai there in Exodus chapter 19, through chapter 31. And in Deuteronomy chapter 29, and 33, David Israel was given the covenant of the eternal kingdom in Second Samuel chapter seven. And it would be through Israel, that God’s supreme covenant of redemption through his son would come as seen in Jeremiah chapter 31. And Ezekiel chapter 37. No other nation has ever been blessed with these kind of covenants. And as one commentator has observed, no aspect of Israel’s history pointed out their uniqueness as the recipients of redemptive revelation more than these covenant.
The fourth is concerning the law. It was to Israel that the law was given. They alone were the recipients of the law of God, in the Torah, and through the prophets. And they were held accountable by them. They became the Constitution of their nation, creating culture, creating a self policing society, and also the framework in which they were called to worship Yahweh or Jehovah or God.
Fifth, concerning the service of God with its elaborate rituals, they were given them. They were given the service of God connected to the tabernacle in the temple, as well as the priesthood. Look at the Book of Leviticus, and you will see all of the stringent measures that went into the priestly leadership, given specifically to the Levites and how they were to lead a spiritual life for the children of Israel. They were given to that nation, specifically.
And sixth, God made innumerable promises to Israel of protection of peace, and also prosperity specifically, again to the nation of Israel. And as Paul’s writing this out, he’s completely bombed out that they had all of these blessings, all of these promises. And yet when Messiah comes, they missed it. They rejected the Messiah, as the prophesy said would happen, but it’s breaking Paul’s heart. And it breaks our heart when we share the gospel. When we share the revelation of God in a way that matters. can be forgiven of his sin and enter into eternal life. And yet they walk away and say, Oh, that’s interesting, but it’s really not for me. It’s heartbreaking. In fact, 9 times out of 10, that is my reality, when I share the gospel, that men love their sin.
They love their lifestyle, and they’re afraid of change, thinking that is going to cost them too much. Israel was in the same mindset as that. And yet for us who believe there is tremendous joy. And that’s why we share it because we want to share good news, we want to share bad news. Good news is so much more fun to share. And it’s such a blessing when somebody receives the gospel, and you win a brother to Christ, and they see all that God has for them now. And also, in the future. Paul is bummed out because they rejected Christ. They rejected the Messiah, they rejected the gospel of God, the Israelites to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises, he continues in verse five, by saying of whom are the fathers, and from whom according to the flesh, Christ came, who is overall, the Eternally blessed God, amen, the coming of the Messiah is essentially the human legacy of being God’s chosen people, and they walk away from it is you’re not only gave us the great Fathers of the Old Testament, but they gave us Christ through the bloodlines of Mary, and obviously, Joseph, not his bloodline, but Joseph was called to be the father of Jesus or the dad of Jesus while he walked on the earth.
And so this entire spiritual legacy really becomes a real problematic issue for this nation that Paul is addressing here. In verse five, b, Paul also makes a tremendous statement. Christ came, who is overall the Eternally blessed God, amen. This is one of Paul’s clearest statements concerning the divinity of Jesus. Now, if you’re ever dealing with the Jehovah’s Witness, or those cults that deny the divinity of Jesus, this is a great verse to bring to their attention. Okay, let me read it again. Christ came, who is overall, the eternal, a blessed God, so be it. It’ll never be changed. I love how he ends that statement with the word Amen. So be it it is established, it is solid, as rock.
Weast, quoting Robinson wrote this, this is a clear statement of the divinity of Christ, following the remark about his humanity, the humanity and the divinity of Jesus is what is known as the hypostatic Union, that Jesus is 100% man, and he is 100%. God, when we enter into heaven, and we embrace Christ, we are going to embrace him as a man, and yet also as God that is critical in Christian doctrine. You cannot have a Christian faith without embracing this doctrine of the divinity of Christ, and the humanity of Christ. And the humanity of Christ is as important as the divinity of Christ. And he associates himself with us in His humanity, he becomes our sin eater, our sin bear, the one who is able to remove our sin on the cross by being a man bearing our sin upon himself, and resurrecting from the dead, declaring himself to be what he’s always been God. And so Christians, embrace this, know this, love this and study this reality of who Jesus Christ is, yes, he is your brother. Yes, he is my friend. Yes, he is our king, but never strip away his Godhead. From that he is walks among us as equal, but yet he is even greater than that he is God. And so when we see him for who he really is, in all glory, we will cast our crowns at his feet, we will be so blessed. And yet he will approach us as a friend approaches another friend with a warm hug, and with all the blessings that are ours in His Kingdom.
So in conclusion, what we’re about to learn from Paul in these next three chapters will bring us all into a greater appreciation of God’s plan of grace, and mercy. In our previous study, we looked at a series of questions, what can separate us from the love of God? Well, he essentially says that nothing can separate us from the love of God. Israel, I believe becomes one of the greatest apologetics of the love and faithfulness of God, He who began a great work will complete it.
God is the same yesterday, today and forever. God has made promises to them, which he will fulfil, and he has made promises to us His Church, which he will also fulfil, nothing can separate us from the love of God, and nothing can separate God from his promises.
Let’s pray. I hope you have a great week. I hope you’re blessed. And I encourage you to read forward, read Romans 9, 10 and 11. And have a great appreciation for what has what God has said, concerning the nation of Israel and what his future plan is for them. And then as we get together on Sundays, we’ll be able to unfold it and unpackage it. But take a look at the forest first. And then we’ll begin to examine the trees. God bless you. Let’s pray. Lord, thank you so much for your word. Thank you so much that we can gather together and study it, that we can be private, and read it and study it. And we can see it for what it is we can read it and look at its most simple rendering and appreciate your faithfulness to a nation like Israel, who is petite, who is powerless. And yet, you brought them into great promises, great covenants, the giving of the law, all of these things that make us you know, worship you and be in awe of how you would work with a specific people group, and then how you work with the church, and how you have called us to be that parentheses within the plan of God to redeem all men from every tribe, nation, tongue and people that we too can worship the same God and have intimacy with you Christ. And yet, Lord, you love all people. And so take our feet abroad. Take our feet next door, take our feet, into our workspaces and into our play areas to be a clear representation of what it looks like to be a follower of Christ, with diligence, and with heart devotion, even as Paul’s heart was fully sold out for the souls of men. May our hearts be found in the same posture and we ask this in the name of Jesus, amen. God bless you guys.
* Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.