by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 9 Paragraph # 1 Study # 8 September 2, 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" [See Notes for Aug. 12, 2008 (424)].
E. From the "adoption" Paul moves to "the glory" [See Notes for Aug. 19, 2008 (426)].
F. From "the glory" Paul moves to "the covenants". [See Notes for Aug. 26, 2008 (428)].
G. From "the covenants" Paul moves to "the giving of the Law".
1. The "giving of the Law" was, from the positive side of its content, a very significant revelation of the character of God.
a. It is impossible to read Psalm 119 and not come away with the fact that the Psalmist saw "the Law" as an enormous benefit.
b. Even the apostle, in his criticism of Judaism, said that those who possessed "the Law" thought of themselves as having "the form of knowledge and of the truth" in that Law (Romans 2:20). He clearly agreed. In Romans 7 Paul says of the Law that it is "holy", "just", "good", "spiritual", and a beneficial revealer of sin.
2. But the "giving of the Law" had a downside as Paul revealed in Romans 3:20: it provided not only "the knowledge of sin", but revealed the fact that men are inveterate sinners by nature. In addition, it is the "Law" that Sin uses to sponsor sins in us (Romans 7:11). Additionally, Paul goes to great pains to insist that we, as believers, are "free" from the Law. This could not be an actual fact unless man's condition and the impact of the Law are at serious odds (6:14).
3. Therefore, "the giving of the Law" was a huge advantage fraught with a terrible impact.
4. Paul, however, goes on to argue in Galatians 3 that the law was "given" because of a breakdown in the impact of "faith" and "promise". If the offspring of Abraham, the father of those who believe, had pursued their father's course of "faith", the Law would not have been a necessary "addition". And, according to Galatians 3:17, the "giving of the Law" did not supplant "the covenant" which preceded it by 430 years. It simply served as a "tutor" to bring us to faith in Christ and, having accomplished that task, it has been set aside as a tutor (not as a revelation containing enormously beneficial truths).
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".