Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, January 15, 2024

Salutations and Summary, part 9 – Romans, part 259

Romans 16:26b  …according to the commandment of the eternal God to bring about obedience of faith.

Paul is directing his final comment in his letter to the Romans “to the One.”  He is dedicating what he has just written to the One God.  This is not the only time he did this.  1Timothy 1:17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.  Now, he is saying that what he is writing is “according to the commandment” of God.  And for what purpose?  “To bring about obedience of faith.”  That’s our focus for the rest of today.

Paul specifically says “obedience of faith.”  Is there any other kind?  Well, yes.  There is obedience by works.  Romans 9:31 But Israel, who pursued a Torah of righteousness, did not reach the Torah. 32a Why? Because they pursued it not by faith, but as if it were from works.   Both faith and works look similar from the outside.  The difference is found in the motivation of the heart.

God knows (and Paul teaches) that when God has our hearts, everything else falls into alignment (it a heart thang).  However; without Yeshua, we have a heart problem.  Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and incurable—who can know it? (This is a direct quote from Proverbs 4:23.)  Paul is also similarly focused.  Romans 13:12b  … let us put off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light….14  Instead, (of living in sin) put on the Lord Messiah Yeshua, and stop making provision for the flesh—for its cravings.  

The idea put forward by what are known as “seeker friendly” churches is that faith does not require a change in lifestyle.  Such a heresy is not found in Scripture.  What is found in Scripture is an expectation of “transformation.”  Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

The difference between the people of God and the rest of the world, is not that the people of God have arrived and are perfect; it is that their hearts are changed and their intent and faith lead them into conformity with the will of God as expressed in His commandments.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any virtue and if there is anything worthy of praise—dwell on these things.  Shalom shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
5 Sh’vat Monday 15-Jan-24
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