What Advantage Has The Jew?

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Rom 3:1
by Mike Vinson

Much in every way is the answer, but an explanation is given as to why the Jew has this advantage: For first indeed, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God (Rom 3:2 Concordant Version).

The advantage of being Jewish was that they were the first to hear the gospel. This is an advantage “in every way” if a person, as a Jew, avails himself of this glorious blessing. Just being Jewish in no way insures that one will avail himself of the blessing available “in Christ.” “The promises” are only “in Christ” (Gal 3:16): Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold and said, it was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing you put it from you and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles (Act 13:46).

This is a principle God has laid down and operates with: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first and also to the Greek (Rom 1:16). Tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that doeth evil, to the Jew first and also to the Gentile (Rom 2:9). …glory, honour and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first and also to the Gentile (Rom 2:10).

In Rom 2:25-29, Paul tells us that being Jewish and being circumcised are now both a matter of the heart. Also, in Php 3:3; For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the (Jewish) flesh.

This change from flesh to spirit in no way changes the principle of good or…evil, to the Jew first and also to the Gentile.

To anyone who thinks otherwise, Paul has this to say: …If God spared not the natural (fleshly Jewish) branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee…otherwise you also shall be cut off…if you continue (not) in his goodness (Rom. 11:21, 22).

The medium has changed from the flesh to the spirit, but the principle of rewards for obedience and curses for disobedience is constant.

Salvation is indeed inevitable. Christ has saved everyone who has ever lived (1 Cor. 15:22). …Neither death nor life,…nor things present, nor things to come…shall separate us from the love of God, (for Jews and Gentiles) which is in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:38, 39), but…thou also shalt be cut off, (from the first resurrection) if any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss (of his place in the first resurrection); but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by (the lake of) fire (1 Cor. 3:15).

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all (many are called), but one receiveth the prize… (but few are chosen- Mat 22:14). So run that ye may obtain (1 Cor. 9:24). Salvation is an inevitable free gift, secured for all through the finished work of Christ. There is a prize, however, that is only for those who “run that they may obtain.” Of course, it is all in the sovereign work of God, but it is that very sovereign God who encourages us to …press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling (not the free gift) of God in Christ Jesus (Php 3:14).

This prize is only for those who realize that Christ did not die to the flesh so we could live in it, but that he died to the flesh so that he could live his life in us (Gal 2:20).

This is what is meant by who now rejoice in my sufferings… and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake which is the church (Col 1:24).

Christ did not suffer so we would not have to suffer. He suffered so we could be counted worthy to suffer with him and fill up…the afflictions we are predestined to endure: If (only if) we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us (2 Tim. 2:12). For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake (Php 1:29).

We are joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together (Rom 8:7). And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name (Act 5:41). If we believe not…he is faithful; (even those in the second death are Christ’s) he cannot deny himself (2Ti 2:13).

Let us not make the mistake of confusing the free gift, the salvation of all mankind, with the mark for the prize of the high calling (Php 3:14).

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