A Study in Romans
Paul says that the Scriptures of the prophets have been made known to all nations which leads to obedience of faithfulness. The Gospel of the Kingdom leads to obedience that only comes from faithfulness. Faithfulness to Yeshua Messiah will bring about obedience of Torah among the Gentiles. That is the message Paul is giving us. Faithfulness in Yeshua will bring transformation of our lives to desire to live according to the Instructions (Torah) of Elohim.
Paul designates those who came out of idolatry and could not eat meat because of the imagery of that meat being an animal sacrificed to an idol, as being “weak” in faithfulness. He was speaking of how we need to be patient and non-judgmental of those who are weak in their faithfulness in this manner. While there is nothing Scripturally wrong with eating meat, eating meat appeared to be an act of idolatry to those who were weak. He tells us to bear the weaknesses of those without strength. We are not to just live for ourselves.
Paul is only addressing disputable issues, gray areas, or people’s opinions. He makes that abundantly clear in his first verse. Even a man like J. Vernon McGee agrees that this chapter is about things that are up for dispute and that are doubtful. Paul tells the people to accept those who are weak in faithfulness. But don’t accept them merely to pass judgment upon their opinions. Paul spends some time addressing the opinions of those weak in faithfulness.
Paul is giving the Roman assembly a lesson in Torah. Every person is to be subject to the governing authority (Deut. 17:12, Numbers 15:30-31). All authority is established by Elohim. This is a well established fact of Torah and Tanakh (Prov. 8:15-16, Jer. 27:5-8, Dan. 2:21-22, 4:32).
We are to present our bodies as a living and set-apart sacrifice acceptable to Elohim. This is not a new concept (Psalm 116:12-19, 50:13-15, 69:30-31). Regardless, if we are not obedient to Him, He is not interested in any sacrifice we have to offer (Jer. 6:19-20, Psalm 40:6-10). The point Paul is obviously making here is that we are to submit our lives to His will and to obedience to His Instructions (Torah).
Israel of the flesh had a zeal for Elohim. But that zeal is misplaced. That zeal is pointed in the wrong direction. They wanted Elohim to award them righteousness on their own terms instead of on His terms. They did not subject themselves to the righteousness of Elohim which is forever (Isa. 51:6-8). Israel ignored Elohim’s righteousness and tried to substitute their own rules, regulations, and dogma.
Elohim has not rejected all of the descendants of Abraham. The people are not rejected simply because they are of the blood of Israel or because they are of Jewish descent.. Paul had just quoted that Elohim had been holding out His arms to a stubborn and obstinate people all day (Romans 10:21). Paul is not coming back now and saying that Jews who reject Messiah are still somehow saved. The point Paul is making is that there are still blood descendants of Abraham that have not rejected Elohim and His Messiah that He sent to Israel. It may seem like they have all rejected Him, but that is not the case.
This is a familiar expression for Paul (2 Cor. 11:31, Gal. 1:20). He is emphatic in what he knows to be true. This section of Romans doesn’t deal as much with the beautiful, lofty, and comforting doctrine of obedience to Torah that was dealt with in the previous chapters. Paul left chapter 8 telling us that absolutely nothing can separate us from the love of Messiah Yeshua. It seems now that Paul is going to fall into a deep depression. I think he does, to an extent. Paul is now going to discuss the sadness he has over the fact that most “Israelites according to the flesh” (his words) rejected the New Covenant offered to them through Yeshua Messiah.
This chapter brings us to the conclusion of sanctification. This is considered by most Christian Bible scholars to be one of the high water marks in Scripture. But Paul has made it abundantly clear up to this point that obedience to Torah is of the utmost importance to the believer in Messiah.
Torah has jurisdiction and should be followed by a person as long as he lives. Paul never taught against following Torah. He says here a man should follow it all his life.
A true union with Messiah as our Master means that we are no longer slaves to sin and we will break free from that bondage. Sanctification gives us freedom, but that freedom is not a license, as we shall soon see.
We are justified through the blood of Messiah. It is through His blood that we are delivered from the wrath of Elohim (His judgment). It is through the faithfulness of the Father (who promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that He would save their people) that He sent Yeshua Messiah to justify His people through His blood. While all people will still have to give an account for all that we do, His chosen ones avoid the wrath of total destruction caused by sin.
Paul is now going to use the examples of two of the most revered men of Elohim in the history of Scripture and demonstrate that salvation only came from their faithfulness, not from their works they performed from their own efforts..
Being a Jew has no value in and of itself. The heart must be right with Elohim. The prophet Isaiah spoke the Words of Elohim concerning the people of Israel who merely go through the motions (Isa. 1:11-15). But Paul is going to answer the question: What is the advantage of being a Jew? There is no salvation in being a member of a particular group or race, even in being a Jew. But there are some benefits and a great history with the Father.
Elohim takes HIS time in judgement. He is long-suffering. We need to understand that this trait of long-suffering is what saved you and saved me. If Elohim doesn’t judge others quick enough to suit us, we should be thankful He doesn’t judge you or me quick enough to satisfy someone else.
What does Paul mean here by being “set apart to the Gospel of Elohim?” He means that he has passed beyond the things of the world and is totally dedicated to the message of Yeshua Messiah. Paul is not longer living for the Talmudic teachings that he learned most of his life. He is now dedicated to spreading the message of Messiah, teaching the ways of Elohim (His Torah), and separated from the traditions of man.
By Patrick McGuire Many have heard of the alleged “Roman Road to Salvation.” It tells of how one can lead oneself to salvation by reading a few disconnected phrases in Romans (with a John 3:16 thrown in there for good measure) and viola! You’re saved! The...
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