Romans 9:1-5 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertained the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
‘Say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost’ In Romans 1-8, we see prove that God’s grace extends to both Jews and Gentiles who believe. Romans 9-11 deals with the Jews and shows why they were rejected and cut off by God and why and how the Gentiles were called and elected to partake of gospel benefits.
‘Heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart’ sorrow and continued pangs.
‘I could wish that myself were accursed’ – this merely shows Paul’s willingness to be cursed, not it is necessity (John 15:13).
‘Adoption’ the Jews was all adopted by God (Ex. 4:22; Deut. 14:1; 32:18; Jer. 31:9; Hos. 11:1). In Exodus 4:22 we see that God calls the nation of Israel His son and firstborn as contrasted with the firstborn of Egypt. Pharaoh would understand this fully, for he himself was called son of Ra, or beloved of his god. God was telling him that He loved Israel as he himself loved his firstborn (Ex. 4:23). The whole life of the Israelites was regulated by this principle: You are the children of the Lord your God (Deut. 14:1; Ps. 87:6). God says He birthed Israel (Deut. 32:18). Isaac is spoken of as being born “after the Spirit” (Gal. 4:28-29). They were children of God by the new birth in the same sense that men are born again today, which is by adoption (8:15; 9:4; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:4).
‘Glory’ this refers to the Divine Presence (Ex. 16:7, 10; 24:16-17; 40:34-35; Lev. 9:6, 9:23; Num. 14:10, 21; 16:19, 42; Deut. 5:24; 1Sam. 4:21-22; 1Kin. 8:11; etc.).
‘Covenants’ the ones made with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and others. ‘Law’ – the law was only for Jews (2:12-16; 3:2; 9:4; Deut. 5:3; 29:14). ‘Service of God’ – the rituals of the law (Leviticus 1-12; etc.). ‘The promises’ of Canaan, Messiah, Kingdom, etc.
‘Fathers’ Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and 12 sons.
‘Concerning the flesh Christ came’ – according to human nature (9:3-5; 1Tim. 3:15; Heb. 2:7-18; 1Jn. 4:2) Jesus came in the flesh (Matt. 1:1, 6).
‘Came, who is over all’ – a true Jew is not the one who is circumcised in the flesh, neither is true circumcision in the flesh. A true Jew is one that has inward circumcision of the heart and in the spirit and has more than an outward cutting in the flesh and a profession of truth. This does not teach that every Christian is a Jew, but to be a true Jew one must be of the seed of Abraham, and have circumcision of the heart, and be a child of the promise (2:28-29; 9:6-7).