Matt Denzer
Student at Bethlehem Seminary. Strongly helped by my wife and completely sustained by my God.
User since 2015
Matt's published pages
Let us persevere in the shadows of the dawn, receiving grace to help us in every time of need until the Son shines in his fullness.
Romans 7:25–8:30
The law of God is holy and good, but I can't fulfill it. When I recognize this, I am either driven to despair or to the cross of Christ.
Romans 7:7–25
Since we are no longer slaves to sin, let us pursue righteousness with all of our might, even as we once pursued sin with all of our might.
Romans 6:1–7:6
Far greater will be the life-giving effects of the free gift of God's grace in Christ than the death-bringing effects of Adam's sin.
Romans 5:1–21
Abraham was justified by faith in order that the promise might be fulfilled for all of his offspring
Romans 4:1–25
True Jews are Jews inwardly, and the truly circumcised are those whose hearts and spirits have been circumcised.
Romans 2:2–29
There is no room for boasting, for those who are righteous are made righteous only by grace through faith in Christ.
Romans 3:1–31
The gospel of Jesus Christ was promised beforehand in the holy Scriptures and has been fulfilled for the sake of all who are called.
Romans 1:1–2:1
The depth of God's riches, wisdom, and knowledge are decisively revealed in his unfathomable judgments and unsearchable ways.
Romans 11:33-36
Those who are hardened and remain in unbelief will be rejected, but those whose sins have been forgiven will dwell securely.
Romans 11:23-32
Do not boast over another as if you have done anything to deserve the glorious position in which you stand, lest you forfeit the prize.
Romans 11:16-22
God uses even the exceeding sinfulness of sin to bring about ends that resound to his glory and the good of his people.
Romans 11:11-16
There remains a remnant of true Israelites, for the Lord has not rejected any of his people whom he foreknew.
Romans 11:1-10
Those who are sent to proclaim the good news are those who have heard it and obey it.
Romans 10:14-21
The only option we have to attain to the righteousness of God is to renounce all attempts to do the works of the law unto salvation.
Romans 10:5-13
The One who has accomplished all of the law's demands offers righteousness and life to all who believe.
Romans 9:30-10:5
Everyone whom the Lord saves, whether Jew or Gentile, he sovereignly calls when they were not his people.
Romans 9:24-29
God's sovereign freedom to have mercy on whomever he wills and to harden whomever he wills further establishes his purpose of election.
Romans 9:18-23
The justification of God is the justification of God.
Romans 9:14-18
The Word of God has not failed, for he has been faithful to those whom he has called according to his purpose.
Romans 9:6-13
When we yearn with an affectionate longing for those who have become beloved to us, we overflow in joyfully steadfast, sacrificial ministry.
1 Thessalonians 2:8
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How Can We Know This Is True?
Romans 8:31–9:5
Paul is concerned that the glories of Romans 8 will not produce assurance in the heart of his hearers.
Published December 13th, 2016; Updated December 15th, 2016
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Main point summary
8:31–9:5 Arc
Grammar Notes, Questions
Other Notes
Main point summary
Paul is concerned that the glories of Romans 8 will not produce assurance in the heart of his hearers, so he takes up his discourse to establish the unfailing word of God, for if those to whom these things belonged no longer have them, then how can we be confident of his keeping the promises of Romans 8?
8:31–9:5 Arc
Romans 8:31-9:5
Τί οὖν ἐροῦμεν πρὸς ταῦτα;
What then are we saying to these things?
εἰ ὁ θεὸς ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν,
If God is for us,
τίς καθʼ ἡμῶν;
who is against us?
ὅς γε τοῦ ἰδίου υἱοῦ οὐκ ἐφείσατο
The one who did not spare his own son
ἀλλʼ ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν πάντων παρέδωκεν αὐτόν,
but on behalf of all of us gave him over,
πῶς οὐχὶ καὶ σὺν αὐτῷ τὰ πάντα ἡμῖν χαρίσεται;
how will he not also with him graciously give all things to us?
τίς ἐγκαλέσει κατὰ ἐκλεκτῶν θεοῦ;
Who will bring charges against God's chosen ones?
θεὸς ὁ δικαιῶν•
The one who is making righteous is God!
τίς ὁ κατακρινῶν;
Who is the one condemning?
Χριστὸς [Ἰησοῦς] ὁ ἀποθανών,
The one who died is Christ.
μᾶλλον δὲ ἐγερθείς,
Now, additionally [he is the] one who was raised,
ὃς καί ἐστιν ἐν δεξιᾷ τοῦ θεοῦ,
who also is in the right hand of God,
ὃς καὶ ἐντυγχάνει ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν.
who also is interceding on behalf of us.
τίς ἡμᾶς χωρίσει ἀπὸ τῆς ἀγάπης τοῦ Χριστοῦ;
Who will separate us from the love of Christ?
θλῖψις ἢ στενοχωρία ἢ διωγμὸς ἢ λιμὸς ἢ γυμνότης ἢ κίνδυνος ἢ μάχαιρα;
Tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
καθὼς γέγραπται ὅτι
Just as it has been written,
ἕνεκεν σοῦ θανατούμεθα ὅλην τὴν ἡμέραν,
"For your sake we are being killed all day,
ἐλογίσθημεν ὡς πρόβατα σφαγῆς.
we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered."
ἀλλʼ ἐν τούτοις πᾶσιν ὑπερνικῶμεν διὰ τοῦ ἀγαπήσαντος ἡμᾶς.
Rather, in all such things we are more than conquerers through the one who loved us,
πέπεισμαι γὰρ ὅτι οὔτε θάνατος οὔτε ζωὴ οὔτε ἄγγελοι οὔτε ἀρχαὶ οὔτε ἐνεστῶτα οὔτε μέλλοντα οὔτε δυνάμεις οὔτε ὕψωμα οὔτε βάθος οὔτε τις κτίσις ἑτέρα δυνήσεται ἡμᾶς χωρίσαι ἀπὸ τῆς ἀγάπης τοῦ θεοῦ τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τῷ κυρίῳ ἡμῶν.
for I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Ἀλήθειαν λέγω ἐν Χριστῷ,
I am speaking the truth in Christ,
οὐ ψεύδομαι,
I am not lying,
συμμαρτυρούσης μοι τῆς συνειδήσεώς μου ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ,
although my conscience bears witness to me in the Holy Spirit
ὅτι λύπη μοί ἐστιν μεγάλη καὶ ἀδιάλειπτος ὀδύνη τῇ καρδίᾳ μου.
that there is great sorrow in me and [there is] unceasing anguish in my heart,
ηὐχόμην γὰρ ἀνάθεμα εἶναι αὐτὸς ἐγὼ ἀπὸ τοῦ Χριστοῦ ὑπὲρ τῶν ἀδελφῶν μου τῶν συγγενῶν μου κατὰ σάρκα,
for I myself was wishing to be accursed from Christ for the sake of my brothers and sisters, my relatives according to flesh,
οἵτινές εἰσιν Ἰσραηλῖται,
who are Israelites,
ὧν ἡ υἱοθεσία καὶ ἡ δόξα καὶ αἱ διαθῆκαι καὶ ἡ νομοθεσία καὶ ἡ λατρεία καὶ αἱ ἐπαγγελίαι,
of whom [are] the adoption and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the law and the worship and the promises,
ὧν οἱ πατέρες
of whom [are] the fathers,
καὶ ἐξ ὧν ὁ Χριστὸς τὸ κατὰ σάρκα,
and from whom [is] is the Christ according to flesh,
ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων θεὸς εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας, ἀμήν.
who, being God over all, [is] blessed forever, amen.
Can separate here because of the conjunction and another nominative. Seems like two full propositions. "Grief to me is great, and anguish is unceasing in my heart."
Functioning as an "adverbial accusative" due to the switch to the neuter.
How does it function? -Ground: relating primarily to Paul's desire to uphold the truth of God's word -Concessive: even though they are Israelites, they are accursed -Explanation:
The situation that elicits the response of vv. 1-2
Paul is grieved by the fact that the Jews have rejected their Messiah RATHER - Paul is concerned that the glories of Romans 8 will not produce assurance in the heart of his hearers, so he takes up his discourse to establish the unfailing word of God.
Romans 9:1-5
Romans 9:1
Romans 9:2
Romans 9:3
Romans 9:4
Romans 9:5
μοι here could be either IO or a Dative of association. The argument for the dative of association is the presence of the συν-prefix in the verb which tends to imply a "together with-" translation
cause or content? -content here. So it will fit into a noun slot in the diagram. Here, it is a noun clause in apposition to Αληθειαν
Does the presence of this εξ suggest that the previous uses of the genitive are not source?
-The infinitive clause here functions as the object of Paul's wishing. -ειναι takes a nominative subject when its subject is the same as the subject of the finite verb it is associated with.
Grammar Notes, Questions
Parsing συμμαρτυρούσης - imperfective, active, participle, genitive, female, singular - "bearing witness" ἀδιάλειπτος - feminine, nominative, singular - "unceasing" Translation I am speaking the truth in Christ, I am not lying, since my conscience is bearing witness to me in the Holy Spirit, that there is great sorrow in me and unceasing anguish in my heart, for I myself am wishing to be accursed from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my relatives according to flesh, who are Israelites, of whom are the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises, of whom are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to flesh, who, being God over all, is blessed forever, amen. Grammar Notes -Wallace says that the Genitive Absolute is normally (90%) used temporally, but it can be used to express any adverbial idea (655). I am taking this genitive participle in v. 1 to be the reason or ground that assures Paul that he is telling the truth. -The syntax of v. 2 is a bit choppy. I believe the datives μοί and τῇ καρδίᾳ are datives of location, describing where Paul is feeling sorrow and anguish --> in himself and in his heart. -v. 4a contains relative a clause describing Paul's brothers/relatives as Israelites, so I translated it as a dependent relative clause as opposed to ESV. -vv. 4b-5 contain two more relative clauses introduced by genitive plural relative pronouns and employing implied forms of εἰμί. I am taking these to be genitives of source or origin. These Israelites, who are Paul's relatives, are those people from whom came the adoption, glory, etc. Or, to put it another way, the adoption, glory, etc. are from the Israelites, who are Paul's relatives. Questions 1. Why do the ESV, NASB translate the relative clauses in vv. 4-5 with an implied verb of belonging? What is the reasoning behind this decision? 2. Is there any particular reason for the repetition of the prepositional phrase κατὰ σάρκα?
Other Notes
Exegetical Notes -Rom. 8:16 has a similar construction to Rom. 9:1 pertaining to the use of συμμαρτυρεω and οτι . The οτι in 8:16 introduces content, just as in 9:1, and it contains the content of the Spirit's witness. Although this might suggest that the use in Rom. 9:1 should be read the same way, a couple things seem to suggest otherwise. First, the oath-like reference "in the Holy Spirit" and the dative μοι seem to combine to suggest that Paul's conscience is not declaring the content of the οτι clause but rather he is comforted by his conscience that the truth he is about to speak in the οτι clause really is true. Second and related to this, the content of the οτι clause seems intended for the reader rather than for Paul. He is declaring to the reader that he has this anguish, whereas his conscience is bearing witness to himself. Thus it seems that the οτι clause is best taken to be the content of the truth that Paul is speaking, and the witness of his conscience provides the basis or ground for his statement that he is speaking the truth and not lying. -Rom. 2:15 also uses συμμαρτυρεω in a genitive absolute construction as a support for the fact that the law was indeed written on the hearts of the Gentiles who obeyed it. -vv. 4-5 provide more information about Paul's relatives. vv. 4b-5a in my arc appear to be in series, describing all of the benefits that belonged to the Israelites, and 5b-5c appears to be a progression from 4b-5a by moving toward the conclusion that in spite of all the benefits they received, the Israelites still rejected the Messiah. I don't think these verses are functioning as the primary ground for Paul's sorrow, but they appear to be providing more of a setting for the next stage of the discourse in v. 6. -v. 3 seems to be functioning as the primary ground for the great grief and unceasing sorrow that Paul experiences. How then does his wishing to be accursed for the sake of his brothers and sisters produce such grief and sorrow? Unlike Jesus suffering anguish in Gethsemane, Paul was not anticipating his own sacrificial death on their behalf. It seems clear that underneath Paul's wishing is the knowledge that his beloved kin are currently accursed, cut off from Christ. Thus, "for the sake of" his family likely means something close to "in the place of" or "instead of" them. Questions 1. Why do the ESV, NASB translate the relative clauses in vv. 4-5 with an implied verb of belonging? What is the reasoning behind this decision? -It seems as though the translators take the genitive to be indicating possession. I initially thought the genitive to be indicating source. Wallace on p.109 explains that this kind of genitive is rare in the NT Koine Greek and that it was being replaced by the prepositional phrase εκ + genitive. However, 2 of the 4 examples he gives for genitives of source come from Rom. 9 & Rom. 10, indicating that Paul was not rid of the convention himself and possibly supplying support for his use of a genitive of source here in these verses as well. Possible evidence to the contrary is that he explicitly employs the prepositional phrase εξ ων in v. 5, suggesting that he means the previous genitive relative pronouns to be understood not to indicate source but possession. Moo argues, " Rather than “belonging” to the Israelites, the Messiah “is from” 54 them. The shift is significant, suggesting, as do vv. 2–3 , that the Israelites, for all the privileges they enjoy, have not, as a group, come into genuine relationship with God’s Messiah and the salvation that he has brought (565)." This is convincing, as it seems to explain Paul's anguish more by contrasting all the wonderful things that belong to them with the single most important thing, the Christ, to whom all of the other "possessions" point, and whom they have not embraced. 2. Is there any particular reason for the repetition of the prepositional phrase κατὰ σάρκα? -As the second use seems to be highlighting the limited scope of the faithless Israelites' relationship to the Christ, it would seem that Paul is probably doing the same thing with the reference to his kinsmen. He identifies them as being biologically related to him, but that is as far as the identification goes now that he is in Christ. This implies (1) that flesh and blood family ties pale in comparison to the strength of the bond that is shared by the spiritual family of Christ, and (2) that those who embrace Christ as God over all and blessed forever are united with him in a truer sense than any of the Israelites who, though their blood ran through his veins, failed to believe in him. However, the love he still has for his kinsmen according to flesh moves him to wish that he himself could be accursed in their stead. This further implies (1) love for our Christian brothers and sisters should certainly move us to be willing to lay down our lives for them and (2) a greater, more intimate love for Christian brothers and sisters does not diminish or negate the compassion we should feel for the lost, especially those of our own flesh and blood. --Paul almost always refers to "brothers" in the spiritual sense, so for him to qualify with κατὰ σάρκα is important. Doxological Response Paul's love for his lost relatives is striking. The anguish he suffers is not merely because they are Israelites who are squandering their many privileges, but because he loves them. The impulse in his heart to exchange his salvation for their curse is not the result of a mere intellectual understanding of the consequences of their unbelief, but of a deep, heartfelt love that wishes for none to perish. Although Paul does not imply that by his becoming a curse he would actually save his relatives, his longing does not seem like mere hyperbole. Though Paul often suffered at the hands of his Jewish kinsmen, he still overflowed with the love of Christ for them. Glory be to God for setting our feet so firmly in Christ that we can love our enemies and do good to those who curse us, even to the point of laying down our lives for them. What a reminder that those who are persecuted for his name's sake are really blessed beyond all measure, and what an encouragement to endure all things for the sake of the elect. Meditating on this passage has suggested to me that Paul thought often about eternity: the ecstasy of eternal life and the horrors of hell. I am persuaded and encouraged by the missionary mindset of Paul that resulted from such thinking to do likewise. My prayer is that the things I study would not only be placed into categories of true and false or right and wrong but would maintain the urgency of life and death.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.