Rom. 9:3-5 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.
This is quite a shocking statement from Paul; he actually says he would give his eternity with God as an exchange for the conversion of Israel. He continues to describe the Jews and their lack of appreciation for the blessing that was on their nation as the people of God. His list of the blessings that were treated as insignificant are actually quite disturbing, they are strangely familiar to the common attitudes in the modern church.
First, Paul says they did not appreciate their adoption. The nation of Israel had been chosen by the Lord to be adopted into God’s family. It’s hard to think of a greater honor. Today, Christians are the adopted sons and daughters of God. He has sent the Spirit of adoption into our hearts. Rather than appreciating this incredible blessing, we often would rather look and act like the rest of the pagan world. Next, the Jews took the Glory, the manifest presence of God, as unimportant. The local church is now intended to be the place where the Glory of the Lord is on display. This is the reason the church exists, to display God’s glory. Too often this is not acknowledged and even treated as some sort of fringe fanaticism. Paul continued to say that the Covenants were not appreciated. The Lord made a covenant with the people of Israel starting with their father Abraham. The Jews disrespected that covenant and treated it as insignificant. Today, we have received a new and better covenant established by the blood of the Son of God. Shockingly, this blood sacrifice, the New Testament of Jesus Christ is often treated with disrespect by the church and the blood is often ignored because of its offensive nature. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. These benefits are the very heart of our faith and were the very heart of the Jewish heritage. Rather than shunning these benefits we should embrace and relish our special blessings that belong to us.
To be continued….