Romans 8:26-39, pt.1

This week we will finish up our discussion of Romans 8 and begin a discussion in Romans 9.  Within the readings this week, we will run back into the story of Abraham once more.  In Romans 8:31, Paul writes that “If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare his own Son but also gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him.” In the Septuagint (the Greek Old Testament) the phrase “spare his own Son” is found twice in the story of the Sacrifice of Isaac in Genesis 22. (The same Greek word is translated as “spare” and “withheld.”) When the angel stays Abraham’s knife, the angel says “I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” (v.12). Likewise, at the end of the story, the angel speaks a second time saying “because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will indeed bless you.”  The angel continues to restate the promise that Abraham’s descendants will be as numerous as the stars and that all nations will be blessed through him.  Please re-read the story of the sacrifice of Isaac and think through how it fits within Paul’s concluding argument that our confidence rests in God alone.

In Romans 9:6-9, Paul references the story of Isaac’s birth.  Paul’s point is that the true descendants of Abraham are not biological but spiritual.  Paul makes this same argument in Galatians 4:21-31 where he explains this argument in greater detail.  As you know, Abraham had two children. The first child, Ishmael, was born to Abraham by Sarah’s maid Hagar.  His second son, Isaac, was born of God’s promise that Sarah would bear a child.  Please read Genesis 16 about the conception and birth of Ishmael, Genesis 18 about the conception and birth of Isaac, and how Paul allegorizes the two mothers in Galatians 4:21-31.

Dinner is at 6.  The menu is gourmet French toast and bacon. Discussion about 6:45.  Hope to see you here.

“Your father Abraham rejoiced that he was to see my day; he saw it and was glad.” The Jewish leaders then said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”

John 8:56-58

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