Additions to Romans 1 notes (Point # 1):
* “works of the law” (i.e. circumcision – the sign given to Abraham and passed on thru Moses as the necessary for entrance into covenant w/God and receiving forgiveness/cleansing thru its corollaries – separation and sacrifice Rom 2:25-29, 3:1, 3:23-21, 4:1-12; See also Eph 2:11-22; 1Co 7:19; Gal 2:1-16, 5:2, 6:15; Gen 17:9-14).
**Considering this phrase (“the obedience of faith”) from an OT perspective (something that sb done w/all NT scripture since a large part of what is said in the New finds its origin in the Old), yields Gen 22:1-18 as its possible source – especially in light of how James understands the relationship between faith and obedience (Jam 2:21-24).
- It is not just those who know God’s righteous decrees (yet approve of sin) who are without excuse and unable to “escape the judgment of God”, but also those who are hypocrites (i.e. people who “practice the very same things” they condemn in others) (1-3).
- Interpreting God’s “kindness and forbearance and patience” toward you when you are in sin as the sign you don’t need to repent – or that you have somehow escaped His wrath and judgment, is the very wicked and false presumption of a very “hard and impenitent heart” that is “storing up (or accumulating additional) wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment is revealed” (4-5).
- Possessing God’s “Law” and condemning those who reject it or approve of its rejection in others will provide you with no more of an “excuse” or “escape [from] the judgment of God” than those people: 1) if you (too) reject His law by the way you live (i.e. “practice such things…yourself”) (1-5), 2) since the final judgment for all people will be determined by their “works” (or obedience to His Law) regardless of whether they had faith, possessed His law or were His covenant people (“For God shows no partiality”) (6-13).
- According to Paul, the “gospel of God” views obedience to “the law” as: 1) necessary to salvation (1-13; Jam 2:22-23), 2) the thing that gives “value”/legitimacy to the sign, of who is – or remains, in covenant relationship with God (13-29; 1Co 7:19; Gal 6:15; v26a – “man who is uncircumcised but keeps the Law” = God-fearer – those Gentiles who followed Judaism but were not circumcised – e.g. Act 10:2; See also Act 13:16, 26; v26b – “will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision?” – i.e. will it not make him eligible to receive circumcision? Evidence suggests this as the point of transition from God-fearer to proselyte, the demonstration of obedience to the Law. IOW: his probation is now over and he is welcome to God).
- Paul had a bipartite understanding of the Law (25-26 = Circumcision was a part of the Law. The only way v26 makes sense is if Paul viewed circumcision is a subset within the Law. Otherwise, how can the “uncircumcised man be said to be keeping the “precepts of the Law”? Consider Gen 17:14 w/Deu 4:12-13; *this bi-partite understanding is key to deciphering the upcoming terms “under the law” and works of the law”).
- The “Law” is “a light to those in darkness” and “the embodiment of knowledge and truth”. Who would therefore be so stupid as to want to get rid of it?
- Robbing temples may have been an ancient Jewish idiom referring to masturbation or sexual immorality in general based on: 1) the immediate context (22 = Sexual in nature), 2) no Jew would go near the temple of a false religion or take its idols, 3) our bodies are considered temples (1Co 6:15-20).
- How do you honor God without obedience to the Law if it is only through obedience to the Law that we do that? (23)
- What causes the world to mock Christianity is not their faith, but their dishonoring of God thru disobedience to His Law (23-24; Contra Deu 4:6-8).