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Commentary on Romans

by Michael Bugg

Chapter 8

The Two Laws

Rom 8:1  Therefore, there is no longer any condemnation awaiting those who are in union with the Messiah Yeshua.

Rom 8:2  Why? Because the Torah of the Spirit, which produces this life in union with Messiah Yeshua, has set me free from the "Torah" of sin and death.

  1. Following his passionate depiction of the believers’ dilemma, Sha’ul is quick to assure his audience that they are under God’s love rather than His judgment.
    1. Stern (Comm. 380) links 7:25 to 8:1 to convey Sha’ul’s thought:  “To sum up: although with my mind I am a slave to God’s Torah, but with my old nature a slave to sin’s “torah,” nevertheless, therefore, [i.e., because of Yeshua, as explained above], there is no longer any condemnation awaiting those who are in union with the Messiah Yeshua.”
  2. “Torah” of sin and death
    1. Here Stern would probably have been better off simply translating nomos as “law”
    2. The “law of sin and death” is that sin leads to death, not that the Torah itself leads to death

                                                              i.      In contrast to “the Torah of the Spirit” which we are told is the Torah in 7:14.

                                                            ii.      Lev 18:5 - You are to observe my laws and rulings; if a person does them, he will have life through them; I am ADONAI.

The Weakness of the Torah

Rom 8:3  For what the Torah could not do by itself, because it lacked the power to make the old nature cooperate, God did by sending his own Son as a human being with a nature like our own sinful one [but without sin]. God did this in order to deal with sin, and in so doing he executed the punishment against sin in human nature,

Rom 8:4  so that the just requirement of the Torah might be fulfilled in us who do not run our lives according to what our old nature wants but according to what the Spirit wants.

  1. “what the [written] Torah could not do” – lit. “what is impossible for the Torah”
    1. The problem is not in the Torah, but in ourselves

                                                              i.      The written Torah cannot by itself change a person’s basic nature, the desire to rebel. 

1.      In fact, it inspires our nature to rebel.

                                                            ii.      It takes being given a new life by the Breath of God, having the Torah written on our hearts by the power of the Spirit (Jer. 31:31ff, Ezk. 36:26f).

    1. Nevertheless, even before the pouring out of the Spirit “on all flesh” (Joel 2:28), the Torah still had an important function beyond simply showing the wickedness of human nature:

                                                              i.      Gal 3:21-24  Does this mean that the legal part of the Torah stands in opposition to God's promises? Heaven forbid! For if the legal part of the Torah which God gave had had in itself the power to give life, then righteousness really would have come by legalistically following such a Torah.  But instead, the Tanakh shuts up everything under sin; so that what had been promised might be given, on the basis of Yeshua the Messiah's trusting faithfulness, to those who continue to be trustingly faithful. 
     Now before the time for this trusting faithfulness came, we were imprisoned in subjection to the system which results from perverting the Torah into legalism, kept under guard until this yet-to-come trusting faithfulness would be revealed.  Accordingly, the Torah functioned as a custodian until the Messiah came, so that we might be declared righteous on the ground of trusting and being faithful.

1.      If God could make men walk righteously before Him simply by giving them His teachings, the Torah would have sufficed.

2.      But since it is our nature to rebel against any law at all, the Torah shows us all to be sinful, so that we will instead throw ourselves upon God’s loving grace in Yeshua.

3.      “imprisoned in subjection to a system . . . [of] legalism”

a.       lit. “kept in custody under the law”

b.      Stern (Comm. 552) states that legalism was the particular sin of the Jewish people; the Gentiles, of course, had their own sins that they fell into. 

c.       However, perhaps we should not see the construction of fences around the Torah as a sin so much as a necessity:

d.      Not having a supernatural ability to resist the yetzer ha’ra, a society must continually construct new fences (cf. Avot 1:1) to fill in the “loopholes” that our sinful nature seeks out.

                                                                                                                                      i.      Just look at the tangled mess of the American legal system!

                                                                                                                                    ii.      It should also be noted that many rabbinic traditions actually attempt to make keeping the Torah easier, not harder, making allowances for living in imperfect circumstances.

e.       But a body that is “in Messiah,” partaking of His Spirit, would not need such safeguards, since each member would be expected to seek the good of others instead of loopholes for themselves.

  1. “a human being with a nature like our own sinful one” – lit. “in the likeness of sinful flesh”
    1. As we saw in 5:12-13,

                                                              i.      Adam was reduced from a reflection of the Divine glory to the condition of “sinful flesh”

                                                            ii.      Yeshua was born “in the likeness of sinful flesh” and raised back up to the glory of Deity by His obedience to the Father in all things, reversing Adam’s curse.

  1. “so that the just requirement of the Torah might be fulfilled in us”
    1. This is not to say that when we “believe” in Yeshua we automatically fulfill the just requirement of the Torah,
    2. but rather that by turning from our old nature, our yetzer ha’ra, to the Spirit, we are given the power to live our lives in accordance to the Torah’s teachings.

                                                              i.      1Jn 1:6, 3:4-6 - If we claim to have fellowship with him while we are walking in the darkness, we are lying and not living out the truth. . .  Everyone who keeps sinning is violating Torah - indeed, sin is violation of Torah.  You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and that there is no sin in him.  So no one who remains united with him continues sinning; everyone who does continue sinning has neither seen him nor known him

    1. This truth is proven by Sha’ul’s point continued in the next verse.

Choosing Our Identity

Rom 8:5  For those who identify with their old nature set their minds on the things of the old nature, but those who identify with the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.

Rom 8:6  Having one's mind controlled by the old nature is death, but having one's mind controlled by the Spirit is life and shalom.

Rom 8:7  For the mind controlled by the old nature is hostile to God, because it does not submit itself to God's Torah - indeed, it cannot.

Rom 8:8  Thus, those who identify with their old nature cannot please God.

Rom 8:9  But you, you do not identify with your old nature but with the Spirit - provided the Spirit of God is living inside you, for anyone who doesn't have the Spirit of the Messiah doesn't belong to him.

Rom 8:10  However, if the Messiah is in you, then, on the one hand, the body is dead because of sin; but, on the other hand, the Spirit is giving life because God considers you righteous.

  1. In 6:6, we learned the nature of our present struggle:
    1. Our old self has already been put on a cross if we have chosen to follow Messiah.

                                                              i.      Not yet destroyed,

                                                            ii.      but held up to shame and contempt, immobilized

    1. However, this was done so that “our sinful propensities might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.”

                                                              i.      The subjunctive voice indicates that this is final destruction of our predilection to sin is not a given.

    1. The point that we have an ongoing choice to make is repeated here by Paul.
  1. We have to decide what kind of mind we will have
    1. A “mind of the flesh” (lit.), which leads to separation from God, or
    2. A “mind of the Spirit” is given the life and peace of God’s Breath.
  2. When we decided to come to Messiah, we made our choice; crucifying our old nature, showing it to be shameful and not worth following. 
    1. What remains is to finish putting to death our propensity to sin.
    2. In other words, we have been saved and justified, but sanctification, being set apart from the ways of the world, is an ongoing process.

                                                              i.      This is why so many of our prayers begin, “Blessed are You O L-RD our God, who has sanctified us by His commandments, and has commanded us . . .”

The Promise of Life in the Spirit

Rom 8:11  And if the Spirit of the One who raised Yeshua from the dead is living in you, then the One who raised the Messiah Yeshua from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit living in you.

  1. “is living” is the present condition, “will also give life” is the future promise
  2. This is a reiteration of the promise of 6:5, from a different angle
    1. Before, our Resurrections assurance is the Resurrection of Messiah
    2. Here, our Resurrection assurance is the Living Breath already dwelling inside of us

                                                              i.      Eph 1:13-14 – Furthermore, you who heard the message of the truth, the Good News offering you deliverance, and put your trust in the Messiah were sealed by him with the promised Ruach HaKodesh, who guarantees our inheritance until we come into possession of it and thus bring him praise commensurate with his glory.

1.      “guarantees” = ἀρραβὼν, lit. is our pledge (money) or downpayment

                                                            ii.      2Co 1:21-22 - Moreover, it is God who sets both us and you in firm union with the Messiah; he has anointed us, put his seal on us, and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee for the future.

  1. “mortal bodies" = soma, not sarx, as when Sha’ul is speaking of the “flesh” as in “ the old sinful nature” or “the external appearance”

I Set Before You Life and Death

Rom 8:12  So then, brothers, we don't owe a thing to our old nature that would require us to live according to our old nature.

Rom 8:13  For if you live according to your old nature, you will certainly die; but if, by the Spirit, you keep putting to death the practices of the body, you will live.

Rom 8:14  All who are led by God's Spirit are God's sons.

Rom 8:15  For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to bring you back again into fear; on the contrary, you received the Spirit, who makes us sons and by whose power we cry out, "Abba!" (that is, "Dear Father!").

Rom 8:16  The Spirit himself bears witness with our own spirits that we are children of God;

Rom 8:17  and if we are children, then we are also heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with the Messiah - provided we are suffering with him in order also to be glorified with him.

  1. “God’s sons” vs. “slavery”
    1. A parallel in the Exodus

                                                              i.      Exo 4:22-23 - Then you are to tell Pharaoh: 'ADONAI says, "Isra'el is my firstborn son.  I have told you to let my son go in order to worship me . . .”

                                                            ii.      Heb 2:14-15 - Therefore, since the children share a common physical nature as human beings, he became like them and shared that same human nature; so that by his death he might render ineffective the one who had power over death (that is, the Adversary) and thus set free those who had been in bondage all their lives because of their fear of death.

1.      Like Pharaoh had the power of life and death over the Hebrews and used that power and the fear it engenders to subject them to slavery.

    1. The same word for slavery (δουλεία) is used in Gal. 4:21-5:1, where Sha’ul uses it to describe what the Judaizers were trying to do to the Gentile converts:

                                                              i.      By forcing them to become Jewish (circumcise) and give up their own ethnic backgrounds for salvation (Acts 15:1), the Judaizers were essentially doing exactly what Pharaoh had tried prior to the Exodus by slaying the male children:  Forced assimilation.

1.      Sadly, it would later be the official Church which would take up the mantle of Pharaoh to the Jews during the Middle Ages.

                                                            ii.      Further, by trying to force the Gentiles to keep a Pharisaic level of Torah and tradition (Acts 15:6)—something even those trying to force the issue of circumcision weren’t doing (Rom. 3:17ff, Gal. 6:13)!—those who didn’t believe in Yeshua were trying to demonstrate their dominance over those who did.

1.      This is one reason why Messianic Judaism has to develop its own rabbis and halakhah:

a.       Not only is it necessary to be taken seriously by the Jewish community,

b.      but we must also assert our freedom to develop halakhah consistent with a New Covenant understanding of the Scriptures.

  1. “Abba!  Father!”  (ἀββᾶ, ὁ πατήρ)
    1. Mark 14:36 uses the same combination of Aramaic and Greek in Yeshua’s cry to remove the cup.

                                                              i.      Yeshua, in extremis in Gethsemene, reverts to the Aramaic of His native Galilee over the Hebrew Avi.

    1. “The repetition is probably from a liturgical formula which may have originated among the Hellenistic Jews who retained the consecrated word Abba. Some find here a hint of the union of Jew and Gentile in God.”  (VWS on Rom. 8:15).
    2. In the Talmud, it is recorded that slaves were not to call the Patriarchs and Matriarchs “father” and “mother,” e.g. “Father Abraham” (b. Berakhot 16b).

                                                              i.      Neither could we as merely God’s slaves call Him “Abba,” a familiar term—for that, we had to be adopted as children.

1.      John 1:12 - But to as many as did receive him, to those who put their trust in his person and power, he gave the right to become children of God . . . Rom 8:29 – that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

    1. In the Jewish liturgy,

                                                              i.      God is mostly referred to as Melekh haOlam, King of the Universe.

                                                            ii.      But when we pray the Benedictions of Repentance and Forgiveness, we address Him as Father.

1.      “A father has the responsibility of teaching his son the proper way to conduct his life.  Yet, even if a son has rebelled against his father and has become estranged from him, when the son repents and seeks forgiveness, his fathers compassion will assert himself.”  (Etz Yosef, quoted in the Artscroll Siddur 108)

2.      Yeshua Himself refers to this quality in the Parable of the Prodigal Son.

  1. “the Spirit bears witness with our own spirit” or “to our own spirit”
    1. Spirit () can mean both “the [natural] controlling directive power in man” and “’supernatural influences’ or ‘a divine invasion’” (Davies, Paul 185)
    2. The fruits and gifts of the Spirit, God’s transformative power in our lives an hearts, bears witness that He has accepted and even adopted us.

The Revelation of the Children of God

Rom 8:18  I don't think the sufferings we are going through now are even worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed to us in the future.

Rom 8:19  The creation waits eagerly for the sons of God to be revealed;

Rom 8:20  for the creation was made subject to frustration - not willingly, but because of the one who subjected it. But it was given a reliable hope

Rom 8:21  that it too would be set free from its bondage to decay and would enjoy the freedom accompanying the glory that God's children will have.

Rom 8:22  We know that until now, the whole creation has been groaning as with the pains of childbirth;

Rom 8:23  and not only it, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we continue waiting eagerly to be made sons - that is, to have our whole bodies redeemed and set free.

  1. “sufferings” = παθήματα, suffering, pain, weakness, illness; “pathology” is the study of illness
    1. Can mean persecution:

                                                              i.      John 16:33 - "I have said these things to you so that, united with me, you may have shalom. In the world, you have tsuris. But be brave! I have conquered the world!"

                                                            ii.      1Th 3:4 – [W]e kept telling you in advance that we were about to be persecuted; and indeed it has happened, as you know.

    1. but is not limited to it; everyday sufferings and struggles—particularly the struggle with sin and the old nature—are also very much in Sha’ul’s view.
  1. “the creation waits eagerly . . . [because it] was made subject to frustration”
    1. “the creation,” the “whole creation” (πᾶσα ἡ κτίσις) in v. 22

                                                              i.      Used to refer to the whole human world, not the whole natural world

1.      Mark 16:15 - Then he (Yeshua) said to them, "As you go throughout the world, proclaim the Good News to all creation.”

2.      Col 1:23 – This is the Good News that has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven; and I, Sha'ul, have become a servant of it.

a.       “has been proclaimed” (κηρυχθέντος) is in the aorist tense, not the past

    1.  “frustration” = ματαιότητι, perversity, frailty, futility

                                                              i.      That is, the whole human world was subjected to futility – this is referring to the corruption of the “world system” of human relations and government

                                                            ii.      Nevertheless, this corruption did extend into the natural world as well

1.      Gen 3:17-18 - To Adam he said, "Because you listened to what your wife said and ate from the tree about which I gave you the order, 'You are not to eat from it,' the ground is cursed on your account; you will work hard to eat from it as long as you live.  It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat field plants.”

2.      When Man, who was set in dominion over the earth (“Heaven belongs to ADONAI, but the earth he has given to humankind.” Psa 115:16) fell, the natural order was twisted as well.  Instead of turning the whole world into a garden, we have turned it into a graveyard.

                                                          iii.      By “the one who subjected it”—he who rules the world system by fear and death, the Adversary

  1. “for the sons of God to be revealed,” lit, “the unveiling (apocalypse) of the sons of God”
    1. At the current time we exist, but the work of the Spirit is hidden within us, invisible to the outside world except through our actions, waiting for the day when it can be revealed in its fullness.
    2. 1Jn 3:1-2 - See what love the Father has lavished on us in letting us be called God's children! For that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it has not known him.  Dear friends, we are God's children now; and it has not yet been made clear what we will become. We do know that when he appears, we will be like him; because we will see him as he really is.
    3. See 5:12f for the rabbinic view of Adam’s glory before he fell
  2. “pains of childbirth”
    1. Known to the rabbis as the “birth pangs of the Messiah,” the tribulations that would precede His coming (cf. b. Ketubot 111a).
    2. Mat 24:4-8  Yeshua replied: "Watch out! Don't let anyone fool you!  For many will come in my name, saying, `I am the Messiah!' and they will lead many astray.  You will hear the noise of wars nearby and the news of wars far off; see to it that you don't become frightened. Such things must happen, but the end is yet to come.  For peoples will fight each other, nations will fight each other, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various parts of the world; all this is but the beginning of the `birth pains.'”

                                                              i.      The “birth pains” continue with the Great Tribulation in the next verses

  1. “to have our whole bodies redeemed and set free,” whereas now we have only been set free in our “true selves,” the new us that must still live within these bodies of sin and death (cf. 7:14ff)

Hope Without Uncertainty

Rom 8:24  It was in this hope that we were saved. But if we see what we hope for, it isn't hope - after all, who hopes for what he already sees?

Rom 8:25  But if we continue hoping for something we don't see, then we still wait eagerly for it, with perseverance.

  1. “hope” = ἐλπίς,
    1. not an uncertain possibility, as in the modern sense,
    2. but the expectation of something that is certain to occur.
    3. Thus, the translation could be, “It was in this certain expectation that we were saved.  But if we have what we expect, it isn’t expectation – after all, who expects what he already has? . . .”

The Spirit’s Intercession

Rom 8:26  Similarly, the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we don't know how to pray the way we should. But the Spirit himself pleads on our behalf with groanings too deep for words;

Rom 8:27  and the one who searches hearts knows exactly what the Spirit is thinking, because his pleadings for God's people accord with God's will.

  1. Why the Spirit?  The Spirit gives life (Gen 2:7, Job 33:4, Rom 8:10), and therefore works to counteract the death we invite with our sin.
  2. “Similarly” – continuing the thought of how God helps us in our present predicament to bring us to the day of full adoption:
    1. There is no longer any condemnation
    2. He gives us the right of children to call upon our Abba
    3. He gives us the certain expectation of the future revelation of His Sh’khinah (glory), which will transform the present corrupted world
    4. He gives us His Spirit/Breath as a down payment

                                                              i.      The Spirit gives us aid against our old nature, the yetzer ha’ra

                                                            ii.      And the Spirit intercedes for us, the subject of this passage

  1. “helps” 
    1. “’Helpeth’ is sunantilambanō, made up of sun, ‘together with,’ anti ‘over against,’ and lambanō, ‘to take.’ The word speaks of the action of a person coming to another's aid by taking hold over against that person, of the load he is carrying. The person helping does not take the entire load, but helps the other person in his endeavor. The word is used where Martha says to the Lord Jesus concerning Mary, ‘Bid her therefore that she help me’ (Luke 11:40). One could translate, ‘Bid her lend me a helping hand,’ the idea being that Martha would continue preparing the meal but needed Mary to help her.”  (Weust’s Word Studies on Rom 8:26)
    2. “I found Dauid my slave; with my holy oil I anointed him.  Indeed, my hand shall sustain (συναντιλημψεται, lit. “help support”) him; my arm also shall strengthen him.” (Psa 88[89]:21-22[20-21])
  2. “pleads on our behalf” – especially in regards to temptation and sin
    1. as Moses pled (interceded) for Israel when she sinned (Exo 32-33),
    2. as the High Priest interceded for Israel on Yom Kippur,
    3. as Yeshua intercedes for us in the Heavenly Mishkan (Tabernacle; Heb 5-10),
    4. so the Spirit intercedes from the Holy of Holies of the Temple of our bodies (cf. 1Co 3:16, 6:19; 2Co 6:16)
  3. “groanings too deep for words” – lit. “unutterable groaning/sighing/cries”
    1. Acts 7:34 - “I have clearly seen how My people are being oppressed in Egypt, I have heard their cry (groaning; στεναγμοῦ), and I have come down to rescue them, and now I will send you to Egypt.”
    2. Praying in tongues?

                                                              i.      “In my opinion . . . the one [interpretation] that is most objectionable is the one which declares that the Spirit’s intercession ‘for us with groanings too deep for words’ refers to praying in tongues.  If this were so we would have to affirm that Jesus never prayed in the Holy Spirit, for He is never recorded as speaking or praying in tongues.  This would also mean that when one prays with the mind (1 Cor. 14:14-19), that is, with the full use of his faculties, which is characteristic of all prayers recorded in Scripture, he is not praying in the Holy Spirit.  If not, then he is praying in the flesh.  Such a conclusion would be totally repugnant to most Christians.
     “Also, this would mean that Christians who do not have what is commonly called ‘a prayer language’ do not have the benefit of the Spirit interceding for them . . .”  (Murphy, Warfare 78)

                                                            ii.      Prayer language is not speaking in tongues

1.      Speaking in tongues means to speak in a language of human beings, as in Acts 2:6, 10:46 (see notes on Shavuot in The Feasts and the Exodus).

a.       Tongues may be spoken aloud if there is an interpreter (1Co 14:27f)

2.      What is called a ‘prayer language’ on the other hand, is deeply personal, a gift of hearing the intercession of the Spirit, even if we can’t fully understand it.

a.       Since by definition such intercession is “unutterable,” it must not be used in public worship.

  1. We may not understand the groanings of the Spirit, but our Father does.

The Election of the Individual

Rom 8:28  Furthermore, we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called in accordance with his purpose;

Rom 8:29  because those whom he knew in advance, he also determined in advance would be conformed to the pattern of his Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers;

Rom 8:30  and those whom he thus determined in advance, he also called; and those whom he called, he also caused to be considered righteous; and those whom he caused to be considered righteous he also glorified!

  1. “everything to work together for the good”
    1. When one of my brothers came out of the closet, this forced me to re-evaluate my own life and walk (or lack thereof) with God, bringing me to repentance.
  2. Predestination vs. Free Will
    1. The tension (typically framed as Calvinism vs. Arminianism):

                                                              i.      God is clearly sovereign (Rom 9:11), and orders everything according to His will

                                                            ii.      However, He also declares that He doesn’t wish the wicked to die but to turn and repent (Ezk 18:32)

                                                          iii.      So why doesn’t everyone turn and repent?

    1. A possible solution:

                                                              i.      A sovereign can sovereignly choose to give his subjects choices.

1.      R. Hanina said, “Everything is in the hands of heaven except fear of heavenas is said, “And now Israel what does your God ask of you except to fear [the Lord your God...?] (Deu. 10:12).” (b. Berakhot 33b, Megillah 25a)

a.       That is, if God asks for us to fear Him, then He has given that choice to give it or not in our hands.

                                                            ii.      The Sovereign can also choose how much light (revelation) to give:

1.      He can pursue the lost lamb (Luke 15:4f),

2.      or He can choose to judicially blind those who have chosen to ignore the light He previously gave them, as He did with Pharaoh and later Israel (Isa 6).

    1. The role of foreknowledge (“for those God foreknew”)

                                                              i.      Nevertheless, God is Eternal

1.      He knows our choice before we make it

2.      He knows what will influence that choice, if anything

3.      He therefore calls His sheep, those who know His voice and respond to His call (John 10:4, 16)

                                                            ii.      Therefore, He can choose to pursue one person and not another based on His foreknowledge of the results.

    1. Of course, we should not try to delve too deeply into the Divine Will—it is enough to know that God does not turn from His children or withdraw His election or gifts (Rom 11:29f)

God’s Proven Goodness to Us

Rom 8:31  What, then, are we to say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Rom 8:32  He who did not spare even his own Son, but gave him up on behalf of us all - is it possible that, having given us his Son, he would not give us everything else too?

Rom 8:33  So who will bring a charge against God's chosen people? Certainly not God - he is the one who causes them to be considered righteous!

Rom 8:34  Who punishes them? Certainly not the Messiah Yeshua, who died and - more than that - has been raised, is at the right hand of God and is actually pleading on our behalf!

  1. “He who did not spare even his own Son”
    1. God has already given up His most treasured possession for us, so what is left that He will begrudge giving us?
  2. Bringing charges in the Court of Heaven
    1. Zec 3:1-5 - He showed me Y'hoshua the cohen hagadol standing before the angel of ADONAI, with the Accuser [Hebrew: Satan] standing at his right to accuse him.  ADONAI said to the Accuser, "May ADONAI rebuke you, Accuser! Indeed, may ADONAI, who has made Yerushalayim his choice, rebuke you! Isn't this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?"
           Y'hoshua was clothed in garments covered with dung; and he was standing before the angel, who said to those standing in front of him, "Take those filthy garments off of him." Then to him he said, "See, I am taking your guilt away. I will clothe you in fine robes."  I said, "They should put a clean turban on his head." So they put a clean turban on his head and gave him fine robes to wear, while the angel of ADONAI stood by.

                                                              i.      “Angel of the LORD” = Yeshua

                                                            ii.      “garments” = atonement, righteousness, worn at the Wedding Feast (Mat 22:11f, Rev 19:7f)

Grace In Tribulation

Rom 8:35  Who will separate us from the love of the Messiah? Trouble? Hardship? Persecution? Hunger? Poverty? Danger? War?

Rom 8:36  As the Tanakh puts it, "For your sake we are being put to death all day long, we are considered sheep to be slaughtered."

Rom 8:37  No, in all these things we are superconquerors, through the one who has loved us.

Rom 8:38  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers, neither what exists nor what is coming,

Rom 8:39  neither powers above nor powers below, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God which comes to us through the Messiah Yeshua, our Lord.

  1. Here Sha’ul prepares his audience for the persecution that he knows is coming by the Lord’s own word.
  2. "For your sake we are being put to death all day long, we are considered sheep to be slaughtered." (Psa 44:21[22])
    1. Summary:

                                                              i.      The Psalm begins by recounting that Israel did not win the Land by her own might, but rather by God’s providence,

                                                            ii.      so when she fell away from the Holy One, the adversaries that she wasn’t strong enough to take on in the first place devoured her.

                                                          iii.      The Psalm is a plea by the faithful remnant who had not turned to idols (vv. 20f) and who had remained true to the Covenant (v. 17), but who nevertheless faced persecution because of the sins of the many (as recounted in the book of Judges).

    1. In the Talmud (b. Gittin 57b) connects this Psalm

                                                              i.      with the legend of the widow whose seven sons died refusing to bow down to Caesar—the story was originally of the seven sons refusing to bow to Antiochus Epimanes—and

                                                            ii.      with the tale of four hundred young people carried off as slaves to Rome who dived into the sea and drowned rather than be used for shameful purposes.

                                                          iii.      In both cases, the suffering of the righteous was caused by the sin of others.

    1. In Sha’ul’s thought:

                                                              i.      He knows prophetically that the Temple will soon be destroyed,

                                                            ii.      so he tries to prepare his audience once again to prepare to suffer for the sake of the Name because of the actions of the wicked.

                                                          iii.      Sadly, it didn’t take:  When the Roman Empire persecuted the Jews, the Church sought to distance itself from them:

1.      Forsaking the ceremonial portions of the Torah, starting in the time of Ignatius

2.      Petitioning Emperor Nerva to be considered a separate religion in c. 96 ce

3.      “A survey of Christian literature of the second century bears out that by the time of Hadrian most Christians assumed an attitude of reconciliation towards the empire but toward the Jews they adopted a policy of radical differentiation.”  (Koch, Sect 132)

                                                          iv.      Nevertheless, trying to foster brotherhood and a proper understanding of the Jewish people’s role in God’s plan is the subject of his next several chapters.  It is a shame that the Church, taking those passages out of context, has virtually reversed their meaning.


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