He declares that they have the privilege of being the depositories of divine revelation (Rm 3:1-2). Nevertheless, this privilege has not exempted them from sin’s dominion over them (3:9-19), hence it is still necessary to gain justification by faith in Christ rather than by the observance of the Law (3:20-22).
When he considers the situation of Jews who have not followed Christ, Paul insists on affirming his profound esteem for them by enumerating the marvellous gifts which they have received from God: “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 them, according to the flesh, comes the Messiah, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen” (Rm 9:4-5). 340 Despite the absence of verbs, it can scarcely be doubted that Paul wishes to speak of these gifts as still actually possessed (cf. ), even if, from his viewpoint, possession of them is not sufficient, for they refuse God’s most important gift, his Son, although physically he is one with them. Paul attests that “they are zealous for God”, adding: “but it is not enlightened. For being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they have not submitted to God’s righteousness” (10:2-3). Nevertheless, God does not abandon them. His plan is to show them mercy. “The hardening” which affects “a part of” Israel is only provisional and has its usefulness for the time being (); it will be followed by salvation (). Paul sums up the situation in an antithetical phrase, followed by a positive affirmation:
“As regards the Gospel they are enemies of God for your sake;as regards election they are beloved, for the sake of their ancestors;for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (-29).
But at a level deeper than opposition there exists from now on a loving relationship that is definitive; the other is only temporary
Paul views the situation realistically. Between Christ’s disciples and the Jews who do not believe in him, the relation is one of opposition. These Jews call the Christian faith into question; they do not accept that Jesus is their Messiah (Christ) and the Son of God. Christians cannot but contest the position of these Jews.
This phrase, which recalls the teaching of Ga 3:28 and Rm , denies any importance to being a Jew from the point of view of a relationship with Christ
82. The Letter to the Colossians contains the word “Jew” only once, in a sentence that says, in the new man “there is no longer Greek and Jew”, adding as well a parallel expression: “circumcised and uncircumcised”; there is only Christ “who is all and in all” (Col 3:11). It passes no judgement on Jews, any more than it does on Greeks.
The value of cirumcision before the coming of Christ is indirectly affirmed, when the author recalls for the Colossians that formerly they were “dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of [their] flesh” (2:13). But the value of Jewish circumcision is eclipsed by “circumcision in Christ”, “a circumcision not made with hands, by putting off the body of the flesh” (2:11); there is here an allusion to Christians’ participation in Christ’s death through baptism (cf. Rm 6:3-6). The result is that Jews who do not believe in Christ are in an unsatisfactory situation from a religious point of view; but this is not expressed.
The Letter to the Ephesians does not use the word “Jew” even once. It mentions only once “uncircumcision” and “circumcision”, in a phrase alluding to the contempt that Jews have for pagans. The latter were “called ‘the uncircumcision’ by those who are called ‘the circumcision’” (2:11). Elsewhere, in conformity with the teaching of the Letters to the Galatians and Romans, the author, speaking in the name of Jewish-Christians, describes in negative terms the situation of Jews before their conversion: they were among the “sons of disobedience” together with the pagans (2:2-3), and their conduct served “the passions of [their] flesh”; they were hookupdate.net/escort-index/baton-rouge/ then “by nature children of wrath, like everyone else” (2:3). However, another passage in the Letter indirectly gives a different image of the situation of the Jews, this time a positive image, by describing the sad lot of non-Jews who were “without Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world” (2:12). The privileges of the Jews are here recalled and greatly appreciated.