Romans – a midway synopsis (after chapter 8)

At this stage of our study of Romans from chapter 1 to 8, I have decided to give a synopsis to illustrate its unified message which is consistent from chapter 1 through to chapter 16, (before we continue with the next chapters 9 to 11.

My reason for this unified synopsis is because there are a growing number of teachers who suggest that chapters 9 to 11 constitute a stand-alone supplement (codicil) inserted into Paul’s letter which they also suggest deals uniquely with God’s promises for Israel – (as if to suggest that the church is an unique assembly entirely separate from the nation of Israel and from God’s prophetic purpose for Israel).

However, to isolate chapters 9 to 11 from the rest of the body of Paul’s teaching in Romans is to create a distortion which unfortunately also leads to many other heresies which undermine the gospel of Christ as the only way of salvation and redemption for Jew and Gentile.

The promise of the coming of Jesus the Messiah was made in the very beginning to Adam and Eve.

When Eve gave birth to Cain, she thought that she had perhaps brought forth the promised Messiah who would redeem them from the consequences of their having transgressed God’s command.

According to a very direct word-for-word translation of Genesis chapter 4 verse 1, Eve said, “YHWH – with–man–I brought forth” or, in other words, quite literally, “I have brought forth the man, YHWH”.

The word “help”, as is found in some translations, “With the [help] of the LORD I have brought forth a man” is not in the Hebrew and has been inserted to offer some other erroneous meaning to her very significant words, and also because she was in fact mistaken, for she had not brought forth “the man, YHWH”– for “the man YHWH”, was destined to be born much later and of a virgin as the only begotten Son of God, – i.e. not fathered by Adam nor by any other sinful man descended from Adam.

Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With (the help of) the LORD I have brought forth a man” (Genesis 4:1 [NIV]).

And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, “I have gotten a man from the Lord [YHWH] (Genesis 4:1 [KJV]).

[Jesus Christ], who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man (i.e. quite literally describing, “YHWH the man” or YHWH, the eternal God, becoming a man), he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,…(Philippians 2:6-9).

The entire purpose and calling of Israel as a nation separate from all other nations was for the coming of the “man YHWH” who would be the Redeemer and King, who would set people free from their bondage to sin and death – since the transgression of God’s command by Adam and Eve.

The Church, which is the assembly of the redeemed people – called out from among Israel and the nations, into one new man – is certainly not a parenthesis in God’s dealing with Israel or, for that matter, with his dealing with all of mankind, – it is the essential purpose from which we should never detract.

Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of men? Will you try the patience of my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel [i.e. God with us in the appearance of a man] (Isaiah 7:13-14).

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end (Isaiah 9:6-7).

Israel was given the Law at Mount Sinai and then the nation sinned by breaking a commandment, similarly to how Adam had sinned by disobeying God’s command. Israel was exiled from the Land (the scattering of the northern and southern tribes) similarly to how Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden.

Israel was gathered from exile after Judah’s seventy years in Babylon to prepare the way for the gathering of the redeemed from all nations ultimately back to the Garden of Eden in the heavenly glory and free from all the curses since the fall of Adam and Eve.

Paul showed in the opening chapters of Romans how the people of Israel may have expected to be vindicated over all the other nations because they had been entrusted with the Law.

However, Paul also showed that the people would not be justified by having been entrusted with the Law if they were incapable of keeping the Law due to their bondage to the sinful nature.

For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous (Romans 2:13).

All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” 11 Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.” 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, “The man who does these things will live by them” (Galatians 3:10-12).

The Law set Israel apart from the other nations – but, as Paul taught, being set apart by the Law would not justify Israel and nor could righteousness be attained by sinful man’s effort to observe the Law.

Israel was called as the means to illustrate by shadows and types, the ultimate coming of the Redeemer – and that purpose, in Israel’s calling has been accomplished. The gospel of Jesus the Messiah has gone forth from Jerusalem, (to the Jew first), to the ends of the earth.

So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life (Genesis 3:23-24).

However, although the Way back into God’s presence has now been opened through the tearing of the veil, (which is Jesus’ earthly body – or flesh), and the way has been made known by which men may be cleansed of their sins and gain eternal life, unfortunately those who are proud and conceited, who try to conceal their sin, even with the rags of self-righteousness – and who continue to be deceived by the serpent’s cunning, remain in the darkness, trying to still hide away from God’s holy presence – and so they also remain blind to the glory of God revealed in Jesus Christ, who is “YHWH, the man”.

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water (Hebrews 10:19-22).

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs (Hebrews 1:3-4).

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4-6).

And now the LORD says– he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD and my God has been my strength– 6 he says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 49:5-6).

Paul’s message of the revelation of the glory of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as he introduced in chapter 1 as the main subject of his letter, (the gospel of God– 2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3 regarding his Son), remains the main subject throughout the entire letter including chapters 9 to 11.

However, as was prophesied by Isaiah – and as Paul reminds us, not all believe the good news and they remains lost in their sins, still hiding in spiritual darkness, cut off from the presence of the LORD.

And they refuse to respond to the call of the Redeemer.

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” 10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid” (Genesis 3:8-10).

Jesus said: “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God” (John 3:19-21).

Those who still try to hide from God and to conceal their sins will ignore this great gospel of salvation through faith in Christ – for which they will remain dead in their sins and transgressions and eventually be finally and eternally condemned, – whether they were born to Israel under the Law or born to other nations without the Law, makes absolutely no difference at all.

Through faith in Jesus Christ many gentiles are engrafted into the Israel of God which is re-constituted by the new covenant in Christ’s blood – and through rejecting Christ, many Jews are cut off – and remain cut off while they persist in their unbelief.

The consequence of people either being cut off or engrafted into the Israel of God, through the preaching of the gospel will, according to Paul’s teaching in Romans chapter 11, prevail right until the very end of the age.

However, those who insist upon making a distinction between Israel and the church, fail to appreciate that the church throughout the present age, is the redeemed part of Israel which is reconciled to God – whereas Jews who reject Christ, are cut off from the Israel of God – and such teachers also suggest that God has some future plan for the redemption of Israel apart from his present and only plan and purpose which is through the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.