by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 9 Paragraph # 1 Study # 5 August 12, 2008 Lincolnton, N.C.
4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
1901 ASV Translation:
4 who are Israelites; whose is the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
5 whose are the fathers, and of whom is Christ as concerning the flesh, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
I. Paul's Focus Upon His "Brethren".
II. Paul's Description of His "Brethren".
A. The first question is why Paul goes through the list of his "brethren's" identity issues [See Notes for July 29, 2008 (420)].
B. He clarifies the concept of "brethren" with "my kinsmen according to the flesh" [See Notes for July 29, 2008 (420)].
C. Then he calls them "Israelites" [See Notes for Aug. 5, 2008 (422)].
D. From "Israelites" he moves to the issue of the "adoption".
1. In 8:23 he revealed his concept of "the adoption": he calls it "the redemption of our body". This is in harmony with the explanation of the quotation from Psalm 2:7 in Acts 13:33. It is "resurrection" that ultimately gives meaning to "Thou art My Son". In other words, the idea of "adoption" is not that one which pervades 21st century American English (where "adoption" means taking the child of another and formally identifying him/her with a new family). Rather, "adoption" according to Paul is an event in the actions of God toward those who are already His children whereby God moves them into a new state and stage of experience and privilege/responsibility. The "adoption" has to do with placing a person into the Kingdom of God as a "Son". This has always been the intention of God toward the "Israelites". The "nation building" that God did by means of the deliverance from Egypt, the giving of the Law at Sinai, and the conquest of Canaan was a detailed illustration of His plans regarding the nation in respect to its privilege in the final Kingdom of God.
2. Paul's "to whom pertaineth the adoption" does not mean that any of the Israelites had already experienced it, nor that simply being an "Israelite" includes getting in on what "adoption" means. It simply means that this is the revelation of the plan of God for "Israel": it is His "intention" to place the nation (and, consequently, those who make up that nation) into His Kingdom as a "Son" with high privileges.
3. The revealed plan of God to "adopt" the "Israelites" has always been a part of the rich heritage of the nation. But, that plan does not "automatically" include all who are "Israelites" in the sense of physical descent from "Israel" and "Abraham". Paul would have no need for his continual pain if this inclusion was "automatic" to the birth reality. God has made the "offer"; they who "receive" the offer by faith get to participate and those who "reject" in unbelief will be excluded...thus Paul's pain -- in his setting, they are "rejecting".
E. From the "adoption" Paul moves to "the glory".
F. From "the glory" Paul moves to "the covenants".
G. From "the covenants" Paul moves to "the giving of the Law".
H. From "the giving of the Law" Paul moves to "the service of God".
I. From "the service of God" Paul moves to "the promises".
J. From "the promises" Paul moves to "whose are the fathers".
K. From "whose are the fathers" Paul moves to "of whom as concerning the flesh Christ".