Summary: An exposition of Romans 9:1-5

Islington Baptist Church

April 14, 2002

Romans 9:1-5

Scriptures: Romans 3:1-8, Philippians 3:1-9

8 special blessings that those born Jewish have

In Romans 3:1 Paul asks this question: “What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision?”

Paul’s answer is this: Romans 3:2 “Much in every way! And then he gives one reason: “First of all they have been entrusted with the very words of God.”

Today we are starting a new series that is going to be centered around Romans 9-11. I have chosen these chapters because they raise, and to a degree, answer important questions for us regarding what our views of Jewish people are to be today.

The importance of doing such, given what is currently going on in Israel right now and given the current negative, and almost worldwide sentiment towards Jews.

Paul’s question and answer from Romans 3:1-2 is followed up in Romans 9:1-5ff. (please turn there with me) (READ TEXT)

8 special blessings that a person born Jewish has to draw on.

Major caveats:

a. Does not mean that a Jewish person is any better than anyone else.

b. These blessings do not give Jewish people a special in with God in respect to salvation. The way of salvation is the same for all people: by faith in Jesus Christ.

The blessings that Paul here lists that belong to those born Jewish.

1. The adoption by God as sons

The O.T scriptures communicate to us that the nation of Israel had been specially set apart by God above all the other nations and that they were God’s children

Now note this: this adoption as sons and daughters prefigured and pointed to our adoption as the children of God. Our adoption as the children of God is as different as night and day, as compared to the Jewish nations. Our adoption means that we are saved and that Heaven is our home. The Jewish nations adoption as sons did not have this meaning.

2. The divine glory

As a nation the Israelites had behold the glory cloud of God. Through the wilderness God had led them by a pillar of holy fire by night. Upon the temple the glory cloud of God’s presence had descended. After meeting with God, Moses face would be so radiant and bright from the presence of God that he would have to veil his face.

Paul says to us: this is one of the great privileges, above other people that the Israelites had and have in their history.

3. The covenants

God enters into relationship with people by means of covenants. With no other nation or distinct people group did God make covenants, yet with the Israelites he did—entering into relationship with them such means.

For us who are the followers of Jesus Christ, we are in relationship with God by means of the new, better, superior covenant, instituted by Christ and his shed blood at Calvary. For us who are Christians the blood of Christ has been spiritually applied to us and we have been cleansed of all of our sins and have access to God because of Christ’s work in our lives.

4. The receiving of the law

The 10 commandments is what Paul is talking about here. It was to the Jews that God firstly gave the 10 commandments—that they might know His holy standards.

Devout Jews treasure the law of God.

Yet note this: as we have learned week after week of late: the law cannot save. What the law does is to show a person and prove to a person how much of a sinner they are and how much they need Jesus to be their Savior..

5. Temple worship

Of all the nations of the world only the Jews had a temple in which the true God presenced himself in a special way.

In Christ, this to has been fulfilled, for we who are Christians are the temple of God—for by Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, dwells in each one who has given their hearts and lives to God in Christ.

6. The promises

Another privilege that Jews had and have by nature of their nationality is the promises of God. Promises that find their way back into the earliest chapters of the book of Genesis (Genesis 15,etc). Promises such as land, seed, blessing, being made into a great nation.

The OT scriptures are full of the promises of God, many already fulfilled, many fulfilled in Jesus Christ, some yet to be fulfilled.

My understanding of the scriptures is that God still has some promises to be fulfilled in regards to those of Jewish descent, promises that God will keep—for God is not finished with those who are Jewish yet. (note Romans 11)

7. The patriarch’s

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