The Epistles of Paul - Romans Part 17, 08-15-2014: The Living Sacrifice
In the last segment of our presentation of Paul's epistle to the Romans, we discussed Romans chapter 11 and the broken and grafted branches of Paul's famous analogy depicting wild and cultivated olive trees. We asserted that the Romans, being wild olives, must have therefore been Israelites who, as a society, grew up and developed without the law and the prophets. Yet there are many who would assert that simply anyone who believes in Jesus is somehow grafted onto the olive tree. There is nothing more important to proper Biblical interpretation than context. Yet again, there is nothing more divisive when properly interpreting Scripture than context. Christ came not to bring peace, but a sword, and Paul said in Hebrews chapter 4 “12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” The keeping of the Word of God certainly has real-life consequences for those who abide by it.
Paul said in Romans chapter 8 “29 Because those whom He has known beforehand, He has also appointed beforehand, conformed to the image of His Son, for Him to be first born among many brethren. 30 Moreover, those whom He has appointed beforehand, these He also calls; and those whom He calls, these He also deems worthy; while those whom He deems worthy, these He also honors.” In Romans chapter 9 Paul had said that “the purpose of Yahweh concerning the chosen endures, not from rituals, but from the calling”. Paul said at Romans 11:29 that “Indeed the favor and the calling of Yahweh are not to be repented of.”
If the Romans as well as the Israelite Judaeans were not among the foreknown, the predestined, the called, the chosen and the appointed beforehand, then the purpose of Yahweh does not endure, but rather, it would be broken. However in Romans chapter 4 Paul explained that the promise was sure to all the seed of Abraham in reference to the nations which were of that seed, which proceeded from Abraham's loins, and that the Romans themselves were one of those nations. In Romans chapter 10 Paul quoted both Hosea and Isaiah, from prophecies which were specific to the children of Israel of the ancient dispersions which occurred over the many centuries before the advent of Christ and which eventually resulted in the settlement of the nations of Europe. Then after his explanation of the broken and grafted branches Paul said in Romans 11: “30 Even as you were at one time disobedient to Yahweh, but now are shown mercy due to their disobedience; 31 in that manner these also are now in opposition to your mercy, so that they may have mercy shown to them. 32 Therefore Yahweh has enclosed all in disobedience, that He may show mercy to all.”