Who am I to Judge?

This phrase “Who am I to judge?” is a creche and it is very misleading and can be wrongly used among Christians quoting from the scriptures, causing mishaps and undesirable life application and usage because of the contexts they are in. I am concerned that we can be constrained to rebuke sins or correct them and speak the truth because of this phrase, and it does sound humble and making sense on the surface. That’s the problem, because it is sneaky and in reality it contradicts the scriptures among themselves, because they are used in different contexts. I have explored those instances when this phrase is used, and looked at the context they are in.

We are not to judge one another on disputable matters like eating food

Romans 14:1–4 Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

This verse in Romans is really written in the  context of those with strong faith and those with weak faith that we do not quarrel over disputable matters. Example given there like one can eat anything, but some whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. Paul exhorts us to not to treat with contempt the one who does not, and hence so not judge the ones who do eat, because God has accepted them all. It is in that context that Paul says “Who are you to judge someone else’ servant?”

It’s about food, in this context. And Paul asked “who are you to judge one another in their own conscience or faith in terms of eating food according to their faith”. It has nothing to do with disputing someone who has sinned.

Issue of Community Dissension

James 4:11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?

This is about community dissension, about slandering one another.[1] Overtly critical spirit, judgmental. This is talking bad on others, quarrelling. Therefore James is talking about do not judge your neighbor because you are judging the law. Believers who judge one another ignore the law, and , in effect, think they are superior to it.  So this so called ‘who are you to judge’ is in the context of dissension, very critical spirit, and ignoring the law.

Do not Judge in the sense of Condemning or Judging harshly

Matt 7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

The Greek word for ‘judge’ here is Krino meaning to condemn overly judge overly harshly.[2] The main thing here the judgment here refers to overly harshly, condemningly, that’s entirely not what we talk about when we correct or rebuke some wrong doings or sins by our friends or loved ones. To extend blanket view for the word judge therefore completely does not do justice to rebuking and correcting and speaking in truth. Remember, judging critically or even condemning is definitely different from rebuke to speak the truth in love.

We rebuke, not judge someone when they have sinned

Because there is nothing to judge, it is plainly in the scriptures. Scriptures is the judge if you like, we are just following the scriptures.

We are following the word of God, and indeed, if you don’t expose them and speak the truth in love, you are not following the scriptures. Too many times we have heard people say ‘who am I to judge?  because I am also a sinner’,  when they deal with someone who has sinned and grieved the Lord in a particular area. Of course, we are sinners, but we should be open to rebuke by anyone as well so we repent if we have sinned. But we should not stop rebuke and sweep sins under the carpet. Sin is a sin, we have to confront it, acknowledge it, confess it, and repent. And it is in the job of the community friends to confront and rebuke our friends and loved ones when they sin, in a gentle way, but firm way.

We are Called to Speak the Truth in Love

 Ephesians 4 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.

If we don’t speak the truth to one another in love, our dear ones will be continually be tossed back and forth by the weaves and winds of the world, the cunning and craftiness of the deceitful scheming of the world. So very much we need to exhort, correct and speak the truth. And don’t drag in the label “Who am I to judge?” Because that’s meant for disputable matters like what food to eat, community dissension, and some very condemning critical sprit.  But when you deal with murder, stealing, lying, homosexuality, adultery, etc., this is no disputable matters anymore, this is sin, and we have to speak it and expose the deeds of darkness in love.

Remember if you will have to be perfect before you correct rebuke a sinner friend of yours, there will never be any rebuking and correction.

Shalom, peace.

[1] Don Carson, NIV Study Bible, Zondervan

[2] Ibid

Gospel Centered Preaching Must Go Beyond the Sufferings of Christ

All Roads Lead to Christ

I have heard so many sermons of Gospel centered for the last few years. It’s an amazing projection from any scripture to Christ in preaching, and I see the impact of that. I have also just learnt to preach Christ from Old testament in my seminary RTS, and indeed its powerful and refreshing. Because all scriptures in OT speak of Christ, and indeed Spurgeon says all roads lead to London, the same way, all scripture in OT and NT lead to Christ.

But if we preach a sermon and ends up with the sufferings of Christ, and his eventually taking the wrath of God with darkness descended on him on the cross, so we can be reconciled to God, and we stop at that, it will be intriguingly inadequate and doesn’t do justice.

Christ did not Incarnate into this World Just to Die for Us

It will be preposterous for God to incarnate into this world just to die for mankind. You know you hear sermons when Jesus suffered in the darkness so we can have the light of God, Jesus being condemned by God, so we can be accepted by God, etc., this is absolutely true and biblical, but the problem is, we are not supposed to stop there. Because it leaves us the lingering question in my mind, did Jesus come to this world to suffer and that’s it? We all know there is the resurrection of Jesus, but we don’t see that being articulated in the gospel centered messages ending part of the sermons, because I think many preachers want to push the narrative of Christ’s sufferings, exchange his immortality for our mortality, etc., the penal substitution doctrine.

Christ Died for us Knowing that He will resurrect later and Win Humanity Over

Yes, that is definitely the big story of the gospel, but it’s not completely correct and adequate, because Christ didn’t come to exchange our pain only, because he knows there is the resurrection and the glory that awaits him. There is, so to speak, an amazing reward waiting for him. He did this for winning back the elect humanity back to God, and he will be enthroned forever and ever with his new brethren that he won by his blood.

Hebrews 12 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

So why and how did Jesus endure the cross? For the joy set before him, he endured the cross. Brothers, Jesus didn’t come to the world for a sad ending, though we know that, we don’t preach it, so the sake of pushing the narrative of his sufferings to move the hearts of the congregation. That’s why I think we missed out the victorious aspect of Jesus’ ministry by doing that in reformed circle, while the charismatics focus on the victorious aspects and lack the sufferings part of Jesus.

Why is this Important to Us ?

Why is that important? Because that will affect our doctrine, our lifestyle, because the perception of Christ is very important. If we walk away from sermons with the deep impression of Christ died to set us free, etc., but not mentioning and exalting Christ in his victorious resurrection that defeats death, Christians may begin to develop the heart of gratitude and love to wards Christ, but not getting the sense of victorious Christ, and hence victorious life and ministry. We lament, but we must also, at the same time look forward to celebration, laughter’s, rejoice, like Psalms say: Rejoice in the Lord, Rejoice!

Psalm 32:11 (NIV) 11 Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you are righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!

In conclusion, we must preach Christ’s victorious ascension from the death that triumphs over death when we preach the sufferings of Christ on the cross to take our place. Amen.

God Acted before Joshua Asked

I love the fact that God just showed up and spoke to Joshua as he’s already marching with thousands of his best fighting men to face the five kings and armies. And of course God blew them apart! It’s a no sweat for Joshua thereafter as God threw them into confusion even before Joshua arrived at the scene. That’s such a welcome way of God!

Joshua 10. 6 The Gibeonites then sent word to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal: “Do not abandon your servants. Come up to us quickly and save us! Help us, because all the Amorite kings from the hill country have joined forces against us.” 7 So Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his entire army, including all the best fighting men. 8 The LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.” 9 After an all-night march from Gilgal, Joshua took them by surprise. 10 The LORD threw them into confusion before Israel, so Joshua and the Israelites defeated them completely at Gibeon. Israel pursued them along the road going up to Beth Horon and cut them down all the way to Azekah and Makkedah.

As Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his entire army, the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand., not one of them will be able to withstand you”. Wow what a promise, what a swift answer to prayer! Wait, there was no prayer, God responded! Another wow! Joshua weas marching God came and affirmed him. Why? He didn’t ask God to. He was marching out with his best men to fight against the 5 kings.

The Zeal of God

So why did God volunteering responded to help Joshua without even his asking him. It speaks to me about the zeal of God. When it’s in God’s will, and in line with his overall plan, there is nothing that will stop God.

It’s one thing for God to respond as we prayed and cried out to him, but it’s another  thing for him to respond and act even before you ask him! Fancy that! That’s what happened to Joshua marching out to fight the five king’s that had come to invade Gibeon a protected tribe of Israel. But it’s amazing because Joshua never asked for God to help them though it’s clear that it’s in the overall plan and mission from God to destroy them all and take the land.  Therefore if you are moving in the will of God and obviously in line, you don’t have to worry of he’s going to help or not, especially it’s for the expansion of His Kingdom, and magnify His Name. So I often thought about what about thousands of us wanting to serve Him in what we think it’s God’s will? Think about Moses in Egypt, when he killed the Egyptian guard who whipped a Jew, don’t you think in his mind it’s in the Jewish God’s will to protect him and help him? Many have asked God for deliverance, healing, protecting, setting free their loved ones from deception, bringing someone to salvation, isn’t all that in God’s will? But alas, many have not heard, and I am one of them. So what’s going on here?

Taking the example of Moses, we can easily answer that, it is God’s will to deliver Israel from Egyptian Pharaoh’s slavery, but it’s not his timing yet, not his way either. Because when the time finally comes, that’s 40 years later, Moses is a changed man, much more humbled, much more exposed to the wiles of the world without the privilege of the Egyptian palace. Then God moved!

God’s Sovereignty and the responsibility of men

You see a pattern here which is the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of men. Joshua had to March out and fight! We have to do the work. But all these have to be penned out in God’s way, not our way. It will be too easy to assume God will do it in our ways, or requests, what we think it’s the most expedient way to do it, and worse still, what’s we think this is what God should do. But God is not answerable to us, He is the Almighty transcendent God who answers to no one, and everything is done on his on wisdom and love, and pleasure. May God teach us more and more to wait up[on the Lord.

I simply love this:

Isaiah 40 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

You cannot never soar like an eagle, if you don’t wait upon the Lord. You can’t never wait upon the Lord, if God doesn’t stay silent on your prayers. We all grow tired, but those who wait upon the Lord, those who hope in the Lord, shall renew their strength, soar with wings like eagles….will run and not grow weary.

Hope in God, Wait in the Lord,

You will SOAR.

Applying Your Heart to Understanding

Proverbs 2:1–2 (ESV)
The Value of Wisdom
2 My son, if you receive my words
and treasure up my commandments with you,
2  making your ear attentive to wisdom
and inclining your heart to understanding;

What’s the meaning of applying your heart to understanding? We say apply common sense to your problem. So we  say apply your heart to understanding? Apply lotion to you skin; apply your heart to understanding, that means put your heart into understanding.

ESV says incline your heart to understanding. I think first treasure God’s word or command in your heart, then listen with spiritual ears carefully to wisdom, exegete the wisdom, extract the wisdom of the word of God, and then apply this understanding to your heart. Knowledge and understating means nothing if we don’t apply our hearts to it. It will still be just head knowledge, but not heart knowledge.

This is the sequence:

Store up God’s words within you

Or treasure up God’s words in your heart. That means read it carefully, slowly, digest it, pray through it, and ask the Lord to open your eyes that you may see the wonders of his law. A good helpful tool is a study Bible to cross check . Though remember this tool acts only as supplement, the most important thing is the meditation between you and God. I sometimes read the commentary notes from my NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible, Zondervan, which I highly recommend. Then I think through what it means from historical, theological perspectives to intersect what my thoughts are with God. They may be good or may not be relevant at all, but it’s good to take a look when you need it, though not all the time.

Sometimes, in fact, the times that really impressed in my heart, is when I felt impressed in my heart a certain verse as I read through the passage of the day. It’s amazing how the Holy Spirit works, and indeed this blog is written with a verse that’s stuck in my mind, Prov 2:2 in my morning devotion this morning. I haven’t had a verse stuck to me this way for more than a week or two. So I decided to expound it. So when that happens, I look it up in the commentary, read it in context, and pray and ask the Lord to open my eyes. Prayerful meditation is the most powerful way to exegete a passage. With eyes closed and a calmed down heart. If you feel a verse quickened or spoken unto your heart, it will stick with you, and that’s the treasure of that verse, or store up God’s word, ESV & NIV bibles, depending on version. KJV says hide my commandments with thee. Hide, put it inside of your soul.

Make Your Ear Attentive to Wisdom

It means listen carefully to the wisdom of that verse, with you heart and ear. With all your heart, ask questions, analyze it, think about your own life, let it flow through your soul, soak in your being. Come out of the closet with God a changed person. Meditation is the single most powerful way to connect with God together with worship. Without the Word (Bible), we can’t worship properly. The Lord says you will worship him in Spirit and truth. They go hand in hand.

We crave for wisdom. I try to read Proverbs, every other day when I read Psalm daily, with meditation of course. Take your time in the morning. Remember, not being legalistic, prayer and meditation is best on mornings. Psalms 1 does say blessed is the man who meditates upon the word of God day and night. So morning and night. Proverbs provides multitude of wisdom.

And Apply Your Heart to Understanding

Proverbs 2:2 (ESV)
2  making your ear attentive to wisdom
and inclining your heart to understanding;

After you treasured the word, then listen carefully, finally apply your heart to understanding. You got understanding from the first two steps, you want to apply your heart to it. Usually we say apply understanding to your heart, but it’s the reverse here. ESV says incline your heart to understanding. Incline means lean into it. Feel willing or favorably disposed toward (an action, belief, or attitude)

Favorably disposed towards understanding. Incline means favored towards it. Favored towards understanding. In a sense, you may get understanding, but you may dislike it, or unwilling to embrace it, and hence reject it. But the wisdom exhortation here is to be favorably disposed towards it. You like it, you feel drawn towards it, you feel convicted, touched. All words to describe it, it’s very important emotionally we are drawn towards it. The presence of God must be there to happen.

One we have inclined to understanding, our decision making will be favorably disposed towards God’s wisdom, understanding, and this will make a lot of difference in life, this will make a difference between life and death, good marriage and bad one, good children or bad, good ministry or distraught ministry, and the list goes on and on.

Finally, Jesus is the wisdom, the logos of God.

John 1:In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

Christ is the embodiment of all wisdom and understanding, all things were made through him and for him. Accept Jesus into your life and walk with the Holy Spirit daily, for the Lord Jesus is our redeemer, he opens up the door to commune with God who is the source of all understanding and wisdom. Jesus changes our hearts. Run to Jesus every day, and pray and read and meditate. God bless!

Debunking Queerness-Origination & Nature

Darel E Paul wrote an article in First Things in June 2020:

Queerness has conquered America because it is the distilled essence of the country’s post-1960s therapeutic culture. The therapeutic originates with Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. From its beginning, the goal of psychoanalysis has been the salvation of the suffering self. Therapeutic practices of introspection seek to reveal the unacknowledged sources of psychic suffering. Sexual desire plays an especially prominent role in therapeutic narratives. For Freud, sexual drive was the engine of the personality. He believed both men and women are bisexual in nature and direct their sexual drives toward diverse objects. In this way, the therapeutic not only obscures gender differences and grants wide berth to atypical sexual expressions, but it also blurs the distinction between normality and pathology, making every self a neurotic one on an eternal quest for “mental health.”[1]

A real important eye opener to many of us from where exactly queerness come from? Didn’t know that it’s all about therapeutic culture which is ordinarily aimed at identifying and reducing and managing psychic suffering. The therapeutic started with Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. Freud believes men and women are bisexual in nature and his therapeutic obscures gender differences and gives rise to this unusual, atypical, abnormal sexual expression which is called out numerous times big time in the Bible. So this is very important for us Christians to understand in our applications of the scriptures to this present days of sexuality and transgender craze that’s erupted aggravated by the present administration.

Yet the therapeutic turns traditional American individualism into individuality, [2] wedding the former to a romantic sensibility of the self as a unique and creative spirit whose reason for existence is its own expression. [3]

This is one heck of description on the rationale and cause of queerness, which Carl Truman has also written brilliantly. Essentially it all boils down to self-expression. It was Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in 1992 who argued that it’s the woman’s right to define one’s own concept of existence, and the mystery of life. It is such a departure from honoring or at least acknowledging at least where a person comes from to be given such heavenly right, to define life? Who are we to define life as we like?

Former  Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who in 1992 famously defended “the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” …. as he constitutionalized same-sex marriage in 2015 as an expression of the right “to define and express [one’s] identity.” [4]

Who is Anthony Kennedy to write that kind of opinion? That argument is really putting man and woman in the place of God to define life. How do we get to define life, if we didn’t create life on the first place? Who gave us that authority to define life, calling it as our right. Like driving on the road is a not a right, it’s a privilege, so better drive carefully, not exceeding speed limit, etc., all these aimed at protecting the lives of other drivers on the word, pedestrians, and us too! Same thing our life is a privilege, an honor bestowed by the Almighty God, not a right that we have. God can take it away anytime, anywhere, anyhow he likes, or God can create life and put in a woman’s womb any time, any where, and any how. Surely he will stand before God one day and face the wrath of God.

The therapeutic organization together with the queer group has taken it to another level. Using rational logic argument, they demanded not only for authentic self-expression, (notice it’s all about self, to the exclusion of the family, community, and God), but also for social recognition. Darel Paul wrote:

The therapeutic demands authentic selves that are not only expressed but also socially recognized. Mental health professionals …. Under the therapeutic, they now advocate for the wholesale transformation of all of society in order to facilitate self-actualization[5]bIt’s called self-actualization, defined as “highest level of psychological development where the “actualization” of full personal potential is achieved, which occurs usually after basic bodily and ego needs have been fulfilled.” [6]bThis is why simple tolerance is wholly inadequate, for without recognition, selves will internalize a sense of inferiority and thus fail to become authentic.[7]

Therapeutic argues that without recognition, selves will suffer a sense of inferiority, and hence fail to become authentic. Again, in the name of needing to be authentic, they pushed for recognition. But the question is, we should settle the question if its right or wrong first, before going into being authentic. The thing is, you can be authentic to be yourself, but authentically wrong! Have they thought of that? To pull the line of conclusion based on authenticity is insufficient, and deficient. It has to be based on right or wrong, that’s where one goes back to the Bible, which us abundantly clear about queerness being wrong.

Romans 1 26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Their women changed natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. What’s that? Of course, in the context, it’s the relating between a woman and another woman, which is termed as unnatural. Men committed shameful acts with other men. What’s it called? Shameful. That’s God’s Word, not some mere mortal’s opinion. With that, who wants to be authentically in the wrong side?

1 Cor 6 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men

Clearly men having sex with other men will not inherit the Kingdom of God. He may inherit the riches and pleasures of the world, but the Kingdom of God will not accept him, and that’s for eternity


Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a] 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 

So again homosexuals, thieves, greedy, drunkards, slanders, swindlers, all with not inherit the kingdom of God.

[1] Darel E Paul, Under the Rainbow Banner, https://www.firstthings.com/article/2020/06/under-the-rainbow-banner

[2] Individualism: the habit or principle of being independent and self-reliant. Individuality: the quality or character of a particular person or thing that distinguishes them from others of the same kind, especially when strongly marked.

[3] Darel E Paul, Under the Rainbow Banner, https://www.firstthings.com/article/2020/06/under-the-rainbow-banner

[4] Ibid

[5] Ibid

[6] Self-actualization, in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, is the highest level of psychological development where the “actualization” of full personal potential is achieved, which occurs usually after basic bodily and ego needs have been fulfilled.– https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-actualization

[7] Darel E Paul, Under the Rainbow Banner, https://www.firstthings.com/article/2020/06/under-the-rainbow-banner

Your Body Is a Temple of the Holy Spirit

I listened to John Piper preached on this topic and was struck by the same verse I have read many times before, about your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. In this article I just want to bring up one aspect of the power of that verse.

He mentioned that 85% of abortions today are committed under fornication, a word that doesn’t even get used much anymore but in the older bibles. The bible today translates it as sexual immorality. Fornication is sex outside of marriage. It can be adultery as well.

But no matter how you try to preach against abortions, Christians still do that, though it has declined recently.

God Saw Our Form in Mother’s Womb

I have looked at it purely from the word of God prohibition against killing, and the verse that says even when we are in our mother’s wombs, God saw our form, and we are wonderfully and fearfully made in our mothers wombs. To terminate life of these unborn babies, is to kill the child inside his or her mother’s womb, and it is so against God’s word. To argue that before birth, babies are not life, but only tissues, is abominable, looking at psalm

Psalm 139:13–14 (NIV)
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

God created my inmost being, God knit me together in my mother’s womb, I am fearfully and wonderfully made, how beautiful these words are. How can any Christians kill the inmost being in his or her mother’s womb??

Holy Spirit Lives in our Bodies

That’s one argument, but the temple of the holy Spirit hit me hard.

As young women pregnant with a child, she will have to think twice if she wants to abort that baby of hers. As the man who caused her pregnancy, by looking at these verses, he will have to think hard before asking the woman to abort. The blood of such cries out for justice to God. But the very thought of God living in our bodies is a staggering thought.

Our bodies is the temple of the Holy Spirit. The word temple goes back to the Old Testament, like David worshipped God in the temple. Solomon built the most glamorous temple, and he offered hundreds of thousands of sheep, lambs as sacrifice and sang unto the Lord in the temple. The holy of holies is in the temple. So when Holy Spirit dwells in our bodies, calling bodies as temples for him, that is sacred.

1 Corinthians 6:18–20 (NIV)

18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

Imagine the Spirit of God dwells in our bodies. Doesn’t that scare you? In other words, wherever you go, and whatever you do, the Spirit of God, or Holy Spirit, is with you, because he dwells in you. Your bodies is the temple of God now. What does the temple do in OT? Place where people come to sacrifice to God, worship God. So our bodies is really a place of sacrifice to God.

Romans 12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Paul says, in view of God’s mercy, offer your bodies as a living sacrifice to God. There you go, our bodies is the temple of God, where Spirit lives, and yet, Paul exhorts us, because of God’s mercy, offer up our bodies as a living sacrifice to God. Wow, so our bodies is the temple of God, it is also a living sacrifice to God!

We Are Not Our Own

We are bought with a price, that’s the death of Jesus Christ, and his resurrection. Therefore we can’t mess around with our bodies. V19 says we are not our own. That’s huge. You can’t decide to do what you want with your body anymore, because Jesus bought it back from condemnation, now we belong to Christ. Besides He has sent the Holy Spirit to live in us. That will take time to sink in. That will be the hardest for modern American Christians to absorb as we love liberty and freedom. But that’s a fact, otherwise we will be far worse off, doomed for eternity. You don’t want that!

Say No to Sexual Immorality & Abortion

We must respond to God now we know who own our bodies, and meditate on that, and let it resonate in us, and that will be a far better and stronger ways to fight sexual immorality and abortion.

God and the Problem of Evil

Attended a good talk by Dr James Anderson (RTS Professor) today on The Reformed Response to the Problem of Evil. Fascinating if you think about it, an Almighty omnipotent omnipresent and omni knowing God would tolerate or allow the even mere existence of evil in this world? By the title of omnipotent, surely it is within his power to have stopped that. But he could possibly be framed as micromanaging God or all controlling God, and that pops in the most lethal question of “Free Will”. I believe this “Free Will” issue is the single most important and palatable answer to the whole question of evil.

Let’s take the case of the original sin by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3 . It is absolutely mind blowing that it takes literally less than an hour for Satan to trip up Eve and Adam to the collapse of the entire mankind, in handing over the dominion of this entire earth, world, cosmos from Adam to Satan, and it activated the salvation redemption plan of God into action, sending the most powerful precious very Son of God himself God, to a wooden cross for torture, bleeding, blasphemed, slapped, mocked, ultimately separated from God the Father, to act as the lamb of God sacrificed to take the judgment of God upon mankind. Jesus became the Savior of the world, by a sacrificial substitutional sacrifice as the lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.

All these to describe the deep damage that’s been inflicted upon mankind and even God himself, by a single act of temptation by Satan in the form of a serpent. No one can believe that Eve is not premeditating upon taking the forbidden fruit, her desire to be like God, meaning taking over ultimate control of herself over her life, effectively sending a message to God, “I want to be in charge of my life, not you”. She essentially rejected God, and put her onto the control seat. And her husband of hers who’s supposed to be in charge, meekly and tamely consented to such the most important and biggest decision in life, without struggle, argument whatsoever, much to my shock and dismay, and to the disgrace of the entire man race. But the point here in this essay is God “allowed” it, with full foreknowledge, with full “power” able to intervene and even killed the serpent if needed. But the entire discourse of the interaction between Satan and Eve, God was visibly absent. Did he see all these happenings, of course he did. He knows everything, but remained quiet. Why? The only reason I can think of is that he gives enough free will choice to mankind to choose him or the power of self-autonomy. In a sense he watches from behind to find out what’s really in a man’s or woman’s heart that he created in his own image. The troubling part for me, which I have no answer to, is that God knew before hand, but that’s not too bad, but the doctrine of predestination truly throw me off in this.

Did God predestine that? That will not make sense. I can see that he foreknew that or foresaw that, and he let it float, so therefore in a complicit way, he predestined it. But he did not predestine it, to become evil, he predestined it to let it play it out, in order to bring out his ultimate beauty and glory in his selfless love to save entire mankind by dying on the cross to save them. (Anderson’s point on bringing out the better good) We humans would not been able to perceive God’s love today as the way we see of the cross, without the cross. But there would be no cross needed without the falling into sin by Adam and Eve! So in a roundabout way, this helps me to understand better. I can see that God, in an indirect way, predestined the fall of Adam and Eve to bring about his ultimate glory, by letting it float. The other doctrinal issue is that the Omnipotent holy God created Adam in his image. So does that mean that the image of God is flawed? If it is so, that won’t be Adam’s fault, should it be God’s fault? How dare would I say that, but God’s image is put to the test, to see what’s really in God’s created man. I keep coming back to this, it seems. But some may argue doesn’t God already know what’s in their hearts? Sure he does, but he will let it play it out from knowledge into experiential, and that’s bringing knowledge into reality. That’s big, and important.

In my mind the predestination of Christ to be crucified on the cross is a hugely heroic selfless sacrificial act by God in response to the fall of Adam, and as such definitely in line with who He is. But the predestination of Adam’s sin, will not be in line with God’s character of holiness, compassion, righteousness. 

Therefore I called it a complicit predestination of Adam’s fall, while the predestination of Christ’s crucifixion was totally glorious and reflecting who God is.

With that, I will say God allows evils to let it play it out to the fullest and ultimately express his glory and love to us. Amen.

You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound

Psalm 4: 6 There are many who say, “Who will show us some good?
Lift up the light of your face upon us, O LORD!”
7 You have put more joy in my heart
than they have when their grain and wine abound.

“Who will show us some good?” That’s the question everyone in the world is asking for themselves.

We Christians asked the same question again and again especially if our answers are not yet answered. I wonder Samuel’s mum will be asking that question when she pressed unto the Lord and cried unto the Lord pleading with him for a child, as she was barren and was mocked by her husband’s second wife. The Lord out of his exceedingly goodness and kindness, answered Hannah on the spot and she became pregnant. I wish that would be the same case for many thousands of Christians praying to the Lord and crying to him, not on something not legit, but totally in line with the scriptures. How about praying for your child to come to Christ? How about for those parents crying to God to make amends on the wayward behavior of sexuality of their kids? I have heard of heartbreaking stories of men and women unto God and some have rightly claimed their shaking of their faith in their belief in the goodness of the Lord. That’s always the dilemma of Christianity, a mystery that we somehow cannot put our hands on. To exemplify the cries , it seems the Lord doesn’t hear. I don’t know if certain prayers will ever be answered in life or not, even if takes 40 years of Moses cries to liberate Israel from the slavery bondage of Egypt, that will be phenomenal! Regardless, that will be a solid answer from the Lord, no one can dispute. Moses delivered by the power and glory of Yahweh, the like of kind that’s not seen or heard in the entire world, 4000 years ago, and still up to this day. No one can challenge that. Hannah’s cries unto the Lord, brought forth one of the most prominent prophets in the Old Testament, Samuel. What a sweet fragrant answer from the Lord, and she promised to the Lord to offer him to the service of the Lord at young age full time. (Good he doesn’t even need to apply for full time ministry). I have yet found a case where the prayers and cries of the saints not answered by the Lord, have you? I haven’t. What does that tell us, if God doesn’t answer our prayers, or not yet. But there again, Jesus did say that Elijah was sent to the leprous in Samaria, but not in Israel. I am sure many Jews with leprosy would have cried out to the Lord, but they never got sent a prophet to heal them.

Of course there is this argument that says the Lord our God is sovereign, and we will put our trust in him completely, and his love endures forever, and he’s faithful. That’s what we shall hang onto even without seeing clearly what our future, or their future hold. Some parents prayed for their kids to come to Christ, and after like 20 years, they came to Christ. Many have testified on the faithfulness of our God. We shall put our faith in him, Amen!

That’s where this psalms seem to fit in well, among many others.

Or “Where can I find some good?” Or “How do I get some good for my life?” That’s what David describes as ‘many’ who say….”

David’s response to that question is “Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!” David’s immediate default response is he turns to the Lord. He didn’t turn to his career advancement, not to some pleasures in the world, or some ball games he can attend, or some Broadway show. He immediately cried to the Lord asking the Lord to shine the light of his face upon him and them, the light of God’s face means the favor of God, the presence of God. You see how important the favor of God is? Nothing else matters, or compares even remotely. God’s favor is all what it matters.

Lately I have been thinking of this myself. I am sure we all have things of requests and petitions we have made and making continually crying out to him in prayers. Have we gotten the favor of God? Have we gotten the light of the face of God? Remember David was so successful,

1 Samuel 18:14 In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him.

It means God was with David. And Calvin rightly commented on it, that David’s sole primal wish in life is God’s favor, God’s presence with him, above everything else in life, above every seeming prosperity in his life, which he had plenty.

God can give us more Joy in Our Hearts than any Abundance from the world

A godly answer that David provided in this Psalm, is that he finds more joy in God’s favor, presence than all the things, pleasures, comfort and ease from this world.

Psalm 4:6–7 (ESV)
6 There are many who say, “Who will show us some good?
Lift up the light of your face upon us, O LORD!”
7 You have put more joy in my heart
than they have when their grain and wine abound.

That’s the case. David is so firm in his conviction that there is more joy in his heart when the light of God’s face shines on him, than whatever the world can offer him, because God can put more joy in his heart than when people get their grain, harvest, dividends, profits, and wine abound, speaking of the comfort and pleasures of the world. It is this conviction of David that’s so compelling, and attractive to God that God puts his favor upon David. That stamp of favor. Because David delights in God more than all the world comfort and ease can offer him, and he had a lot of wealth, possessions, wives, women, concubines, pleasures from the world in his palace, and yet none of those things ever moved his heart. You see, that’s the man after God’s heart.

God is looking for that kind of man.

All Israel Will Be Saved

 (Romans 11:25-27)

I love these verses, and Israel has been such a fond nation in the minds of Christians, especially you read the Old Testament. Israel also occupies a special place in the teachings of many evangelical churches especially the charismatic churches, and from growing up in it, I have a sense of closeness to it. I mean who won’t be, after reading Psalms daily in my personal morning devotion, Zion, Jerusalem, pops up almost every other sentence, and definitely every chapter. My most beloved book of the Bible is Psalms, and love it.

Romans 11: 25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”; 27      “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”

Now the struggle going through reading Romans 11:25-27, it is really astonishing. Now that I am also living in a part of New York city with many Jews, my eyes are bewildered by these 2 simple verses, in fact, Paul calls it as “mystery” in v25…. 25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.—There is a mystery!

What’s the Mystery?

A partial hardening has come upon Israel. Hardening of hearts in believing Christ as their Messiah. I wish that all my Jewish friends would read this article, though it will be one heck of a debate, which I am very consciously aware that no intellectual debate has ever won a soul to Christ, though such debate and provocative theology does pave the way for pondering and the Holy Spirit’s work in God’s sovereignty. Never underestimate what God can do.

The mystery is in v25-6 a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,
“The Deliverer will come from Zion,
he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;
27 “and this will be my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.”

Partial hardening of Israel towards faith in Christ. Why? It’s not mentioned here, but from the pattern in Romans like God gave them over to their lust in Romans 1, the Jews have started to disbelieve in Christ, as you can see in the Gospels, though some 3000 Jews accepted Christ on the day of Pentecost, but that’s a very small number after what Christ has done like feeding the 5000, raising the dead, casting out demons, and healing all the blinds, crippled, deaf, and leprous etc. Okay that hardening actually paved the way, interestingly for the Gentiles to be added into the kingdom of God, because it says “until the fullness of gentiles has come in.” So there is clearly a predetermined fullness by the predestination of God, and then thereafter all Israel shall be saved. That’s the mystery.

ALL Israel Will be Saved

Many reformed theologians think its all of God’s people (including Calvin) will be saved, but enough commentaries agree with me that it refers to the nation of Israel, not the body of Christ, as v25 talks about the hardening of Israel, then v26 says all Israel will be saved, that’s the same “Israel” as in v25. So it’s definitely the nation of Israel. So let’s dig out some big names on this mystery:

Ridderbos commentary: How it’s the relationship between Israel and the gentiles in salvation. The full number of Israel will come to the kingdom of Jesus through grace after the gentiles has reached its fullness. [1]

Douglas Moo wrote:   “Full number” (pleroma), as most commentators recognize, has a numerical reference (see comments on 11:12). In other words, God has determined the number of Gentiles to be saved. Once that number is reached, Israel’s hardening comes to an end (see Luke 21:23–24 for a partial parallel).[2] Therefore, in agreement with most commentators, we think “all Israel” refers to the totality of national Israel. This does not mean that every single Jew will be saved. The phrase “all Israel” occurs over a hundred times in the Old Testament, with a range of meanings.[3] We conclude, then, that Paul here predicts the salvation of a significant number of Jews at the time of Christ’s return in glory. The present “remnant” of Israel will be expanded to include a much larger number of Jews who will enter the eternal kingdom along with converted Gentiles.[4]

Love this most! RC Sproul wrote something most pertinent and potent here:

I don’t know whether this restoration is going to be sudden or gradual, or even if it is going to follow the return of the Jews to their own land. There is still quite a bit of debate about that. I remember sitting on my porch in Boston in 1967, and watching on television the Jewish soldiers coming into Jerusalem, dropping their weapons and rushing to the Wailing Wall, and weeping and weeping. Immediately I telephoned one of my dear friends, a professor of Old Testament theology, who does not believe that modern day Israel has any significance whatsoever. I asked him, ‘What do you think now? From 70 AD until 1967, almost 1900 years, Jerusalem has been under the domination and control of Gentiles, and now the Jews have recaptured the city of Jerusalem. Jesus said that Jerusalem will be trodden under foot by the Gentiles, until the fullness of the Gentiles be fulfilled. What’s the significance of that?’ He replied, ‘I am going to have to rethink this situation.’ It was indeed startling.

I will tell you this: we should be watching very carefully. It is a remarkable event in history that the city of Jerusalem is now back in Jewish hands, under Jewish control. As Jesus said, Jerusalem will be trodden under foot until the fullness of the Gentiles be fulfilled (Luke 21:24). And Paul says that after the fullness of the Gentiles have come in, there will be a restoration of the Jewish nation. All of these things are put in context by Jesus when he tells his followers to watch and pray, for their salvation is drawing near.[5]

Jerusalem will be trodden under foot until the fullness of the Gentiles be fulfilled (Luke 21:24).

Did you read this line from RC Sproul? In 1967, and watching on television the Jewish soldiers coming into Jerusalem, dropping their weapons and rushing to the Wailing Wall, and weeping and weeping.

What’s this? The return of Jerusalem back to Israel in 1967, soldiers dropping their weapons and rushed to the Wailing Wall, and weeping and weeping. What’s this scaredness of the wall?

I don’t know about you, I know that there are divergent views on “All Israel shall be saved” from Romans 11:25-27, but it is of such significance, that we should embrace it fully what the Word of God says. Since I joined Reformed theology in RTS, I have noticed that reformed theology pretty much washes down the importance or significance of Israel as a nation to just another nation, case in point, if that illustrates better, like Singapore, or Thailand or USA. No difference at all. This sounds like you just wiped away 2000 years of breath taking history of Israel, and all that taken place in the world. For a nation of such tiny size, it could be the center of world attention in the Middle eastern wars? For decades? Why?

Jerusalem has returned to Israel. From AD 70 to 1967, almost 1900 years, Jerusalem has been under the control of Gentiles, and now the Jews have captured the city!

Jesus said that Jerusalem will be trodden under foot by the Gentiles, until the fullness of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

What’s the significance of that?’

Does this make you think as Christians? Israel shall return to God in full. What does that mean to us?

I would say most importantly it brings OT to life, making God more real in our life, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. He just suddenly becomes more tangible in our modern daily memory and life, that we should start looking to the return of Christ, and before that the return of all Israel to Christ, the revival to bring in the harvest of both gentiles and Jews in this end time.

God has always been real, but to take Israel off the spiritual antenna, is missing a huge point of the connection of the old testament to the New testament. There is a reason. Why Gentiles make Israel jealous, they are the natural branches, we are the drafted in branches, but in Christ, we are all one, no Jews or Greek.

Galatians 3: 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

The Mystery of God. We shall march on with greater excitement and longing for the Yahweh of OT, and the Christ of the NT, and in fact, father Son and Holy Spirit, the Trinitarian God to be present in our lives as we face the end time looking forward to the return of Christ.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

Psalm 122:6–9 (ESV)
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
“May they be secure who love you!
7 Peace be within your walls
and security within your towers!”
8 For my brothers and companions’ sake
I will say, “Peace be within you!”
9 For the sake of the house of the LORD our God,
I will seek your good.


[1] Herman Ridderbos, Paul An Outline of His Theology (P. 358),William B Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Michigan

[2] Moo, D. J. (2000). Romans (p. 377). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[3] Ibid p. 379

[4] Ibid

[5] Sproul, R. C. (1994). The Gospel of God: An Exposition of Romans. Great Britain: Christian Focus Publications.

God Will Bring us Home

Home is the most attractive place to be. Two types of home, one is the sanctuary place of worship, and one is our own home. We all long to be home! We all want to be home. But I am referring to the eternal home which far exceeds the earthly home now. Just take a look now in winter New York, when I feel the cold outside, I long to be home. Do you have such longing to be home with our Father in heaven one day?

Jeremiah, Deuteronomy all spoke of the scattering of the Jews from Israel because of their sins against the Lord, and indeed they were scattered in exile numerous times, and the glorious temple built by King Solomon was totally destroyed and demolished. Such was the vengeance and fury of God towards the unfaithful Israelis in the Old testament. The result was devastating, and more in history.

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The song that really inspired me to write this blog comes from a beautiful song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_GsKLJcum8   by Aaron Shust. The song beautifully captures the mood and sentiment from the different prophetic scriptures in the Old Testament or Torah, and connects with the redemptive scriptures in Christ in the New testament.

Psalm 105: you his servants, the descendants of Abraham, his chosen ones, the children of Jacob. He is the Lord our God; his judgments are in all the earth. He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations, the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac.

Here God is speaking to the children of Abraham, the tribe of Israel that God remembers his covenant with forever, and the promises he made with Abraham, Isaac for a thousand generations. Of course, we now believers in Christ, are now the true children of Abraham.

Galatians 3 Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”

 Who are the children of Abraham? Those who have faith in Christ! Amen.

Gal 3: 26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

In Christ, we are all children of God through faith. God will bring home the physical tribe and the spiritual tribe home. Some of the physical tribe also belongs to the spiritual tribe. The Spiritual tribe is all those who put their faith in Christ, or the Elect, as in the bible ,

Matt 24 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

So there are two home comings for the people of God and the people of the physical Israel. Many theologians disagree on the importance of the Jewish nation to Christ.

Romans 11:25  I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, 26 and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written:

“The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. 27 And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”  zDid you see that? “”….in this way all Israel will be saved”. If you read:

Romans 11: 30 Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. 32 For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.

You will see that it appears to be the total sovereign mercy of God upon us, the elect or the people that been saved in Christ, and also the nation of Israel. It is all about the mercy of God! Because they Israel have disobeyed, they were cast off, until the time came when God showed his mercy to bring them back. Same thing as for the gentiles. We were rebellious and disobeyed, until God showed mercy to bring us back to him.

Paul maintains that the purpose of God stands firm and immovable, by which he had once deigned to choose them for himself as a peculiar nation. Since then it cannot possibly be, that the Lord will depart from that covenant which he made with Abraham, “I will be the God of thy seed,” (Gen. 17:7,) it is evident that he has not wholly turned away his kindness from the Jewish nation.[1]

And so this blindness served the providence of God in furthering the salvation of the Gentiles, which he had designed. And the fulness of the Gentiles is to be taken for a great number[2]

Romans 11:  25 ……. a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”; 27    “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”

Now Calvin has this commentary on this verse: [3]  But how does he make that connection and assertion? Here it is: [4]

How so? Because in Gal 6:15-16 Paul talks about the “Israel of God’. See below:

Galatians 6: 15 For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16 And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.

This “Israel of God” in v16 clearly refers to the spiritual Israel that includes everyone that have faith in Jesus Christ, as in v15 says “..neither circumcision not uncircumcision, but a new creation’. New Creation here means the Elect, the entire tribe of Gentiles and Jews that put their faith in Christ. I think we can agree with that. As per Calvin, with that as the basis, all those above about the Jews been hardened, so the gentiles being swept into God’s kingdom until their number is reached, then the whole of Israel shall be saved, refers to the whole Christendom.

Israel will come home. Christians will come home. But the way Paul articulated in Romans 11 shows how clearly he differentiated the Jews and Gentiles in the salvation, until all of Israel will be saved. Therefore I would contend that in this instance its all Israel (physical) will be saved after the Gentiles reached their number predestined by God, because in the verse prior, Paul says Israel has experienced partial hardening, that refers to the Jews, not the Christian body, but right after that it says after the gentiles reached their fullness, all Israel will be saved. I would say that’s the Jews.

The Jews are coming home to God, we the gentile believers are coming back to God our maker. So both Jews and gentiles are one in Christ Jesus for Christ has broken down the wall of hostility.

Ephesians 2: 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility..18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

We are all Coming Home, our Eternal Home

Jesus has made both Jews and Gentiles one, broken down in his own flesh the diving wall of hostility. Amen.

[1] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentary on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans (p. 441). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[2] Ibid (p. 436)

[3] Ibid (p. 437) “And so all Israel, &c. Many understand this of the Jewish people, as though Paul had said, that religion would again be restored among them as before: but I extend the word Israel to all the people of God, according to this meaning,—“When the Gentiles shall come in, the Jews also shall return from their defection to the obedience of faith; and thus shall be completed the salvation of the whole Israel of God, which must be gathered from both; and yet in such a way that the Jews shall obtain the first place, being as it were the first-born in God’s family

[4] Ibid This interpretation seems to me the most suitable, because Paul intended here to set forth the completion of the kingdom of Christ, which is by no means to be confined to the Jews, but is to include the whole world. The same manner of speaking we find in Gal. 6:16. The Israel of God is what he calls the Church, gathered alike from Jews and Gentiles; and he sets the people, thus collected from their dispersion, in opposition to the carnal children of Abraham, who had departed from his faith