Paul gave an epistle to the Romans but it was never the message of modern day Christianity. Written well before the synoptics it stands alone as a testament, a personal gospel. It is very different to our contemporary western panorama and it needs investigation.
Only the texts can give us insight into his thinking and so let’s look at some highlights:
Rom. 1:1 – “separated unto the gospel of God”
Paul immediately appeals very broadly to the gospel of God. Paul speaking to Romans spoke not of a Jesus Christ. God’s gospel came first and foremost. The Romans had never literalised as the Sadducees did. They had adopted many polytheistic gods from surrounding cultures. “The Romans thought of themselves as highly religious, and attributed their success as a world power to their collective piety (pietas) in maintaining good relations with the gods.” – Wikipedia.
Rom. 1:2 – “(Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scripture)”
Diplomatically Paul mentions that this gospel had been mentioned “afore” bracketing to indicate that the philosophy was very ancient. In his epiphany he had awakened to the importance of the written word recorded by the prophets of the O.T. Paul was retelling a very ancient story. All the “prophetic” books of the O.T. concerned Jewish governance primarily in the Pre-exilic (pre-Babylonian) and Post-exilic (to Judas Maccabees victory and restoration). Paul was stamping a seal on “his” gospel. He was preaching as a pedagogical exercise.
Rom. 1:3 – “Jesus Christ … was made of the seed of David”
Paul infers that the ancestry goes way back to the seed of David.
Rom. 1:4 – “according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead”
The “resurrection from the dead” was a reference to all “dead works” coming from man’s vanity. Paul never accepted the array of gods the Romans worshipped. Paul wanted a greater grace that derives from the Spirit emanating throughout, from one, and that one he called the unnameable.
Rom. 1:8 – “I thank my God”
Clearly Paul thanked “his” God but never a person called Jesus Christ.
Rom. 1:11 – “that I may impart to you some spiritual gift”
Paul wanted to impart his experience of epiphany, the “spiritual gift”.
Rom. 1:14 – “I am debtor to the Greeks and to the barbarians”
Paul knew he was indebted to both the Greeks, and barbarians. Paul was certainly appealing to his audience. Paul’s epiphany had shown him the absolute hypocrisy of the Pharisees and Sadducees. The Sadducees never believed in an afterlife and willingly interpreted Jesus Christ as an ordinary rebellious citizen. Accepting the story of crucifixion was the end of the matter. There would be no resurrection as there was no afterlife. Paul however saw Christ abstractly as a very real symbol of the struggle of the populace against gross persecution – since the time of the Hasmoneans to the tyrannical rule of the Herod the Great from 73 BC. The era culminated in the Massacre of the Innocents (order to kill all boys two and under), enslavement, forced labour, impoverishment, forced migration from agricultural subsistence to city, taxes, building works – cities, seaports, and ritualizing practices to name a few. Paul’s Christ was very different.
Rom. 1:16 – “the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation”
Again it is the “gospel of Christ”, the anointing power within the body and soul – “and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also Christ” – 1 Cor. 12:12 – “same God which worketh in all” – 1 Cor. 12:6. Christ symbolises the eternal power of God until salvation. There is no reference to a Jesus Christ here.
Rom. 1:20 – For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made”
Paul wanted the script to be more specific noting the numerous gods of the Romans. His mission was to move from the many to one. So he boldly said you could only understand by “the things that are made”. Paul emphasised the reflective mind – objects could always be used to depict subjective abstractive. The objects could be “things made” or the forms of governance from time to time.
Paul was trying to decipher “What is man”.
Rom. 1:22 – “And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into the image made like to corruptible man”
Paul always condemned all those who changed the uncorruptible God into an image like to corruptible man! This statement is so absolutely amazing. This is a direct, head-on criticism of those who literalised Christ, making Christ into the image of corruptible man. No wonder Paul said “what shall I more say?” – Heb. 11:32. And still we are where we are bogged in a quagmire.
Rom. 1:25 – “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator”
There was a direct lie that had been promulgated. Paul said, “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not” – Rom. 9:1 and “Lie not to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man” – Col. 3:9. Paul was speaking of a risen Christ and preached “to put on the new man (man – inserted by translators). Paul wanted to move to a new testament revamping the gospel of God, but retaining essential elements.
He lambasted dead works of multiple tongues – your members suffer “fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry”. The Sadducees were the leaders of this degradation for their own ends. The goal was to stop any further insurrection as they called it. Paul saw the equivalence in all the gods of Rome. And still today we have authoritarian to liberal gods of all persuasions.
Rom. 1:27 – “for even their women did change the natural use into that which was against nature”
Paul stated the same degradation but spoke of it in various ways having criticised both “the Jew first, and also to the Greek”.
Paul state’s that even “their women” (life-giver) did change. Paul knew that man (male and female) represented the rib-cage structure of society. A great change of governance had been implemented. He described the life-giving element of society as having changed from nature’s community way to against nature (principalities).
Rom. 1:29-31 “unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers…backbiters, haters of God, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents…without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful”
Paul lashed out at the failure of governance and the human condition. There were innumerable elements which he so loathed. Paul was always appreciative of the holistic. Early chapters of the O.T. highlight the possessiveness – “my” and “mine” in everything. And Paul’s answer was to take up preaching and the inkhorn as a disposition of “making”, climbing to that higher elevation. That’s what Paul was saying. We have not found this heaven on earth.
Rom. 2:1 – “for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself”
Paul longed for each person to look at themselves, not others, not anyone else. Judge yourself, convict yourself. For self-enlightenment, higher ethics go travelling to places you have never been.
Rom. 2:6 – “will render unto every man according to his deeds”
Paul drags in the fishing net. Your contribution renders you a sustaining life. There was no vicarious saviour supplement for meek mild faith. When everything boils down you have responsibility to leaven. Pass the baton once before your race is run, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Celebrate, civilisation awaits and is always becoming.
Rom. 2:11 – “For there is no respect of persons with God”
Paul articulated that there is no regard for those advocating a balanced, egalitarian respect of a God filled cosmos. Wonder each day. Untie yourself from any small world and praise being. Come out of her my people, have life, is the carillon call.
Rom. 2:16 – “shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel”
Even Paul, was happy to play along … according to “my” gospel. Paul was saying he had a gospel. And it chimes exposing “the secrets of men”, all those “dead works”, expletives, descriptive lashes, violation.
Rom. 2:24 – “For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written”
Everyone blasphemes, likewise yesterday likewise today – from woe to go.
Rom. 2:28 – “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly…But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly”
Whatever genes we have, wherever we come from, we aren’t necessarily in the land of plenty. Not in the land of milk and honey.
Rom. 3:1 – “what profit is there in circumcision?”
We first learn by association of ideas with an object. A is for apple. But we can really get ourselves caught up in knots. Paul’s sarcasm was pertinent to his day. He used circumcision, a horrific practice, for objective edification. It certainly has twirled about to this day. Paul only wanted circumcision of the heart and soul.
Rom. 3:12 – “there is none that doeth good, no, not one”
Paul knew there was not one was in “his” gospel. Wow, did he feel isolated. Seclusion tests the will. Psychologists may ponder how Paul’s gospel came to universal acceptance. But lo, Paul’s gospel has never been accepted.
Rom. 3:31 – “through faith…we establish the law”
Paul found the laws of his day a little contrary. He said through faith we establish law. Perhaps we could tell that to the Sadducees of today. Laws change with the times, and we primarily need a graceful outlook to establish the law.
Rom. 4:9 – “we say…faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness”
Paul takes us on a time-warp again. He gracefully lands us at the feet of Abraham. He certainly mixes and mashes. His flash-back to Abraham forms his gospel. No more iconic figure was there but Abraham, the father of the multitude, the populace. No half-God and half-human figure or any combination. Paul was saying a symbolic Christ configures just like Abraham. In all eras mankind is very optimistic. But now we must move beyond any precedent into perfection, into a new 21st century testament, discerning and stil revering the old.
Rom. 5:1-6 – “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” … “and rejoice in the hope of the glory” … “but we glory in tribulations” … “patience, experience; and experience, hope” … “love … shed abroad by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us”
The Holy Ghost (hagion pneuma) is given.
Ghost here at Rom. 5 derives from 4151 – a current of air, i.e. breathe or breeze; by analogy or figuratively a spirit, i.e. (human) the rational soul, (by implication a vital principle, mental disposition, mind).
The word Holy derives from 40 – sacred, physically pure, morally blameless, and ceremonially consecrated. Holy is a separation, a setting apart. Ref. nos. Young’s concordance.
Breath (air, wind, spirit) is used throughout the testaments to show conscious, mindful life – “the breathe of his nostrils” – Job. 4:9, “falsehood … (there is) no breathe” – Jer. 10:14…etc. Bringing breathe to dry bones.
And conscious life is Holy life – completely “separated” from all other forms of placid life and boisterous physicality.
Paul fully appreciated that as long as humankind was free, at liberty, anything was possible. Mankind was anointed and had unlimited potential. God was at rest, portrayed in prime number of seven days of completion. Mankind now had the responsibility, through sentience that set him (male and female) apart from all other species.
We can only come towards God through oneness of purpose, love, benevolence and charity. Christ is that key symbol. You never require wisdom nor a sign but experience of life’s struggle to be at liberty, especially from all codes and creeds – the dead works of men.
Rom. 5:14 – “death reigned from Adam to Moses”
Paul notes the warrior Nimrod world, the world of giants, reigned from the very beginning – there were three kinds of people – Ham (unproductive), Shem (renowned) and Japeth (extender) – symbols, without intentional discrimination, of humanity. Paul knew it was a world of “my” and “mine”. There were renowned persons who had moved from phonetics to writing words – “The Word of God” – away from the layabouts and the extenders (belligerent warmongers). Only certain kinds, whether introvert or extrovert, could lift humanity to a raised up level – shemayin – heaved up learned condition. Paul was covering all aspects of “his” gospel in “his” epistle to the Romans far away from the turmoil engulfing the Jewish race. But with so many gods to face Paul lived out his life in peace in Rome having run his race.
Rom. 5:17 – “if by one man’s offence death reigned by one”
Paul uses the word “if”. It was ever by one man’s offence indicated by the particle “my” that “death” reigned supreme. The particle “my” was a linguistic systematisation of this trait of possessiveness used by the writers throughout all testaments.
As the birth of humanity was represented by one – Adam (man and women) then death had to be represented by one. Jesus Christ must be a personification (derived from symbolic O.T. characters – Mara – bitter (conceived in book of Ruth), Joseph – increaser (Genesis), Hezekiah – Immanuel (Isaiah), when he became a man was called Wonderful, Counsellor). Jesus born of a virgin pathenos was conceived in the O.T. books such as “for the virgin (bethulah- separation) daughter of my people” – Jer. 14:17.
Rom. 5:19 – “as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous”
The personification was literalised by the Sadducees. All who do so in Paul’s eyes are sinners. The Christian churches of our millennium have been too ready to blindly accept inherited paganism. Paul never literalised God as man, never as a solitary figure. It is a simple story that no gloss can distort. Jesus Christ is an anointing of steadfastness of the populace imprisoned time and time again.
Rom. 6:4 – “we should also walk in newness of life”
Paul always believed in moving on … “leaving behind the principles of the doctrine of Christ to move into perfection” – Heb. 6:1. There was always a new testament pending. It was never an icon two thousand years ago. Whilst doctrine persists perfection is unachievable, spoken well by Paul. Further articles will show the synoptics are confirmation of Paul’s message. The synoptics are not the new testament. The new testament was given by Paul. The synoptics are written as confirmation, documentation, of the tyrannical rule of the Pharisees and Sadducees. One hundred percent of the synoptics rallies against the misdirection of Jewish leadership. Paul could foresee pending destruction. In the synoptics the Jewish rulership takes full responsibility for the demise of the third temple era. The later burning of Jerusalem in 70 AD was not the subject. Western theological mysticism has brainwashed our greatest scholars. But we must set ourselves free from all the cobwebs.
Rom. 6:14 – “for ye are not under the law, but under grace”
Mankind was never going to be restricted by contemporaneous laws. To Paul to be in the law one had to be psychologically in grace. Legal eagles would agree. Your heart needed to accept the law. First and foremost before law you have grace towards law. To Paul the “ten commandments” were “to make” content of the inner temple. Work in your tent-studio. The words “to make” are used over 200 times in Exodus and Genesis. The emphasis is also on possessiveness – “my” and “mine”, bondage and remembrance. It is not that the law was not necessary. Paul always accepted structure (Adam – the rib cage) but gave prominence to Eve (life-giver) drawn from man. Eve was nature’s own law-making evolutionary force. Luckily we certainly keep on changing laws and regulations to keep up with the times.
Paul took his cue from the Ancients who recorded ten commandments (not laws) to make objects for reflection:
I — “make an ark of shittim wood” (Exod. 25:10–22)
II — “make a mercy seat of pure gold” (Exod. 25:17–22)
III — “make a table of shittim wood” (Exod. 25:23–30)
IV — “make a candlestick of pure gold” (Exod. 25:31–40)
V — “make ten curtains of fine twined linen for walls” (Exod. 26:1–6) “and curtains of goat’s hair for covering” (Exod. 26:7–13)
VI — “And thou shall make a covering for the tent of ram’s skins dyed red and a covering above of badgers’ skins” (Exod. 26:1)
VII — “make boards for the tabernacle of shittim wood standing up” (Exod. 26:15) “and make bars of shittim wood” (Exod. 26:26)
VIII — “make a vail.… Hang up the vail under the taches.… Bring in thither within the vail the ark of the testimony: and the vail shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy.… And thou shalt set the table without the vail, and the candlestick” (Exod. 26:31–37)
IX — “make an altar of shittim wood” (Exod. 27:1–8). In archetype the court and its trimmings are “without the temple, leave out, measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles” (Rev. 11:2)
X — “make an atonement” (Exod. 30:6–8, 10
Rom. 6:17 – “ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you”
Paul said to the Romans that they too obeyed only doctrine. A doctrine is only a doctrine, a precedent only a precedent. But perception sets our ethics, morality, respect. Churches have failed to look after their flock, dumbfounding adults and abusing young children likewise. Revelation says they end in the lake of fire and brimstone.
Paul gives out encouragement to the Romans to return to glorification of the highest but never that of conjured beliefs. Paul was not preaching a Jesus Christ to the Romans. His doctrine was not a take-on of the Sadducees denial of an afterlife. He spoke of the gospel of eternal life, the gift of “God”, the gift of consciousness, the ability to rise higher and higher. Sin is all the lies of the spoken flesh. Paul’s message is one of honesty of not knowing, but glorifying civilisation in the highest. We would not be where we are without his testament.
The Romans too had to clean the inside of the cup.
Rom. 6:23 – “the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”
Paul glorified human potential. He had absolute confidence in celebrating the knowledge that mankind was so creative that anything could be possible. Jesus Christ represented that glorification, a symbol of the conquering positivity, we celebrate. Paul was a great believer in “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be … and there is no new thing under the sun” – Eccl. 1:9. He believed all “dead works” were vanities and vexation of the spirit. In the end all returns unto God, who gave it. He is not waiting for a lost Christ to return from a sanctuary above. He taught a panoramic new gospel, counterpoising against all the gods being worshipped in Rome and elsewhere.
Paul certainly believed that increasing (Joseph, the increaser or Jesus in Greek) anointing, would lead to a day of final atonement. Let’s not take Paul wrongly.
Rom. 7:6 – “that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter”
Paul’s psychology was always extreme happiness, extreme positivity, and extreme enjoyment. Better things were coming. There was always new newness. All “letters” would be replenished. The old guidelines are to be revered. It was never intended to plague and stifle the new. Locusts would eat every new green shoot but some seeds would always survive and germinate.
Rom. 7:22 – “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man”
There was only one thing to delight in, the inner person. Paul wanted “eternal life” for humankind. He knew that “eternal life” had been promised “before the world began”. It was not something that came only to his generation. It was ever eternal.
Rom. 7:25 – “So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin”
There’s a longing for stability – the law of flesh. But a much higher law is the natural-common law (call it scientific if you like). Any thought of Jesus Christ being a person had been annulled by Paul in his epiphany. But the Sadducees insistently claimed that he had been crucified, once and for all. Paul’s appeal is never to those egotistical works of men. He appealed to the broader all-inclusive. Never could his gospel be labelled any ism, of any particular type. It is untouchable.
Apart from Christ being literalised the cross was also. But the story is about a crossing, a fork in the road, a crossway, crossing the Jewish pavement. Jesus, was crucified by false righteousness. Jesus was never hanged not on a cross but on a tree as stated in N.T. texts.
Rom. 8:1 – “to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit”
Paul deliberately reverses all perspective – now it’s Christ Jesus.
Paul refers Christ walking after the “Spirit”. Paul never named names. Paul was moving forward. There was no definitiveness in a name. Paul never could be called or labelled, this or that. After his epiphany he avoided any hint of dogma, creed or code. He never belonged. He scoffed at all “dead works”. He lived intuitively. There was always something unattainable but longed for.
Rom. 8:11 – “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you”
Paul makes another “if”. How many times does it have to be said. Maybe the spirit dwells in you … simply meant to have confidence in what you do. Never flinch. March onward soldiers.
Rom. 8:15 – “but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba Father”
Where oh where has Jesus gone. To the Roman, as with the Hebrews, Paul moved the conversation to Abba Father. This is not the Abba modernity praises. Abba is Aramaic or Chaldean signifying “father” – vocative – grammatical case of something addressed. It was certainly not an apparition, neither was Christ attributed human form.
Rom. 8:19 – “waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God”
Everything waits for the sons of God – anyone, everyone at any place. The sons of man had to overcome constant distraction; “dead” works would in time be surpassed. Job had spoken of these works – “works in the earth” – Job 37:12 and Isaiah asked “Is it man that made the earth to tremble … that made the world as a wilderness” – Isa. 14:17. Will we have to wait indefinitely? Can we have the manifestation now?
Rom. 8:21 – “delivered from the bonds of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God”
Bonds of corruption have flooded every nook and cranny, right through academia, pastors accepted watered down Grecian philosophy, adopted as Christianity all to white-wash the Hebraic original – infiltrated to every nook and cranny.
Rom. 8:25-27 – “Spirit also helpeth our infirmities”… “Spirit itself maketh intercession”
Searching for “what is man” gives us great inspiration, love, friendship, charity and joy in everyday life and things. It is a search for answers. It motives. We crave that great inner spirit for our health and wellbeing. The Spirit has no precedents.
Rom. 8:36 – “For thy sake we are killed all the day long” … nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”
We are overwhelmed all day long by machinations – left and right, believers and non-believers, theists and atheists, couch nerds and annual rituals that the parrot could recite. Alas, all to no little avail. But Paul was very much a realist, a humanist wearing a coat of many colours with much spark. Paul understood the human condition. He had great consternation at the state of civilisation. Paul knew that the victors had justified a Christ. Many zealots had conjured a want to be that one. Paul always had great confidence in man. They could overcome adversity everyday yearning for self-improvement.
Rom. 9:4 – “Who are the Israelites”… “For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel”
Paul’s gospel was never about glorifying a particular nation. The story had to be written around a semblance. He happily had friendly discourse with the citizens of Rome. He could appeal to Gentiles as much as anyone
Rom. 9:9 – “At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son”
Over and over Paul talks about a new birth. Can we have a new birth after being drowned in senseless, meaningless twaddle, intellectual abuse, for two thousand years? Great judgements have perpetrated our 24/7 world. No one has been prepared to stop this extreme adult abuse and exploitation. Commissioners still pay attention to those with the truth. Our daily hope is to aid ourselves. Oh, can we have a new birth – a new testament – moving on from those older principles of Christ towards perfection.
Rom. 9:25, 27 – “I will call them my people, which were not my people” … “A remnant shall be saved”
A remnant shall be saved. Paul’s lifelong experience taught him that everything had been warped. The captains of cohesion have kept their boat afloat. They are content to sit in their bunker making no appearance on the deck. Paul knew that very few could consider seriously what he was actually saying. And if they did they would not understand. They change his gospel to their own preferences. Paul was concerned that if the oppressed Hebrews rejected who else could be saved. Paul knew it’s only a remnant always. So it turned out to be. But encouragingly he knew a little leaven would leaven the lot. Paul took to his raft and became a drifter.
Rom. 10:12 – “For there is no difference between Jew and Greek”
All leaders drum into us the critical importance of this moment. There is no more critical time –¬ jobs, growth, economy, wars. Paul’s vision encompassed a much greater inclusivity. It was not about any particular national shape. He believed mythos’ grace impacts logos’ aura.
The Ancient writers set a puzzle before us. Don’t merely look at the picture. See its contents. You gain far more looking under the surface, under the thin top layer.
Once you see its pillars you become amazed at the power of the words that were written, called Jesus Christ, “The Word of God”. It is a two edged sword when the book is opened. That time is now. You can turn the pages with confidence and fidelity. It’s going to be opened. All ministers and archbishops will be called to account in some court of justice.
Rom. 10:16 – “not all obeyed the gospel”
Paul displayed sophisticated humour. We can only laugh, the last laugh, today at yesterday, for tomorrow.
Rom. 10:20 – Esaias saith “I was found of them that sought me not”
Again Paul flashbacks to Isaiah – “I am found of them that sought me not … behold me unto a nation that was not called by my name” – Isa. 65:1. Plagiarising Isaiah was a perfect alignment for Paul’s refurbishment. Paul knew intimately the detail, the format, and the underlying message of the O.T. To us today it appears chaotic. Like Daniel, like Hezekiah – the book was opened to Paul – but closed to all want-to-be churches. He refreshed the Ancient’s message. Ask yourself, “Why backtrack to Esaias (the Greek form of Isaiah)”. But Paul knew the new always contains superlative content.
Rom. 11:2 – “Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias?” saying “Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thy altars; and I am left alone, and thy seek my life”
Likewise, as happened in the days of Elijah, all the old strivings had been destroyed (prophets had been killed, the booked closed, all the altars destroyed). For confirmation see O.T.’s “slain thy prophets with the sword” – 1 Kings 19:10 and “thrown down the altars” and “they seek my life to take it away” – 1 Kings 19:14. Elijah was that “still small voice” after the fire of that day but arose eating meat “forty days and forty nights” – our years of maturity out of three score and ten. Elijah “stood in the entering of the cave”. Paul’s alignment, to the Ancients amazes. Paul said he had been crucified! Paul stood at the entrance in Rome, his university. So much of the Ancient’s thought surpasses Paul’s old pharisaic world of persecution. The Ancient’s forgotten literature took precedence in Paul’s gospel. His small crucified voice cried in the wilderness of illiteracy.
Rom. 11:6 – “And if it is by grace, then it is no more of works”
Is this mind over matter, “God created man in his image of God created him” – Gen. 1:26. Man, man created his own image, of God. But, the eternal created man. Man – that is grace explaining to us “What is man”. And the man child concept goes back to Leviticus “have conceived seed, and born a man child” – Lev. 12:2. And additionally “every man child among you shall be circumcised” – Gen. 17:10, 12, 14. Every person (male and female) was a man child and all needed circumcision of the heart. But Paul knew circumcision – “Ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands” – Col. 2:11. Paul knew Christ was androgynous – a priest forever, without father, without mother, without descent, without precedence. How far away from home are we?
Rom. 11:9-11 – “And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: Let their eyes be darkened…Have they stumbled…their fall salvation is come to the Gentiles”
Paul believed that everyone has been given a chance. He warned that their truths would become a stumbling block. It would be their recompense. He said they missed the opportunity for rectitude. Now salvation would be offered to others. Paul once again traces way back to the time of David, into a faraway country. His contemporaneous world was a mismatch, disparate and incongruous.
Rom. 11:12 – “I am an apostle of the Gentiles”
The message can only come from those outside. It cannot come from inside –they are blind bats. Those inside will never change. Paul’s herald like John of Patmos’s call was to “Come out of her, my people” – Rev. 18:4, “he that will come will come” – Heb. 10:37. Some beasts also “come up out” of the bottomless pit to terrorise the children of tomorrow. They are typically right and left conservatives conserving their truths. Many are in the Q society.
Rom. 11:20 – “because of unbelief they were broken off”
Their belief was unbelief! They needed clutches and crutches. But their belief is broken. It is yesterday’s belief and never a new testament.
Rom. 11:26 – “There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob”
Paul was always saying the truth will eventually “come out”. They will turn away from their ungodliness. Paul references Jacob (meaning follower after, supplanter) – way away back in Genesis. They are supplanted. Paul’s message is strangely distant but foreboding. It ousts westernisation. The new birth is called the Apocalypse.
Rom. 11:30 – “ye … have obtained mercy through their unbelief”
Many of those that espoused belief espouse unbelief. Can you believe it?
Rom. 12:5 – “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another”
Paul again appeals to the majority, the populace. Only in numbers can you be ever as one. We are just a part of the whole. We are not to be pew sitters though.
Rom. 12:17 – “Provide things honest in the sight of all men”
If you have honesty, rectitude, you will reap the fruit of abundance, decency without deceit.
Rom. 13:8 – “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another”
Don’t be encumbered to anyone else’s code, creed or stigma. Be yourself. Show kindness, love and charity to one another. Never get upset. It gets you nowhere. Appreciate each and every one. Respect life’s aesthetic.
Rom. 13:12-14 – “cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light … walk honestly … bow every knee”
Paul said to cast off “the works of darkness”. The appeal is to avoid lite faith, lite philosophy, lite theology. Put on real armour – “make”, “create”, and “construct”. There is no doubt about atonement, that last and greatest commandment.
Rom. 14:12 – “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God”
Give account by your own works.
Rom. 14:17 – “the kingdom of God is not meat and drink: but righteousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost”
Paul statements say we have been served stale, off “meat and drink”. Paul’s knew steadfastness guarantees peace, joy and inner contentment.
Rom. 15:4 – “For whatever things were written aforetime were written for our learning … so we may have hope”
Things were “written aforetime”. Certainly nobody, especially Paul and John of Patmos, deemed it necessary to write of their contemporaneous milieu. Paul concentrated on “aforetime” and John of Patmos prophesied the distant universal. But great writings pre-existed interwoven with a golden thread teaching the pedagogical – right from the very beginnings of the written word. Paul preached his own gospel by preaching the old verities but wanting the new. Only John of Patmos could give that insight into the future Chirst. You are invited to this wedding.
Rom. 16:25 – “to establish you according to my gospel”
Paul spoke of “his” gospel. Paul had seen the light. He knew the Sadducees proffered a Christ deceased, and no ongoing life. To Paul Christ could only be seen in the power of the inkhorn. To Paul, Christ was the “The Word of God” made by man, in man’s image. John of Patmos was about to reveal Jesus Christ once and for all, in the book of books. Revelation is a great additive, interlinking all types, antitypes into a final archetype.
The later three synoptics, placed ahead of Paul and John of Patmos, and called the N.T., are misnamed and misplaced. The primary role of the synoptics was to substantiate some facts of the tyranny inflicted by the Sanhedrin in liaison with governmental rulers. Up to then there was no recording of the factors behind the third temple downfall. Rome later felled Jerusalem in AD 70. The synoptics give great evidential credence to Paul’s and John of Patmos’ great insights. The fourth gospel of John substantiates Paul’s letters.
Rom. 16:25 – “be glory through Jesus Christ for ever”
No wonder Paul could say be – “be glory through Jesus Christ for ever”. Amen.