Chapter 6

This Chapter 6, “Reworking of God’s People” focuses on Paul’s emphasis and convincing argument that ALL people belong to God’s family.  N.T. Wright points out that throughout the Old Testament, it is shown that God chose Israel as His chosen people and it was the belief of the Jews that because of this, only Jews were the selected people, the special people, of God, who were to be His royal nation, His holy priests and the light of the world.  Paul takes this thought and shows how election is redefined through the Messiah.  As seen in Galatians 3, God desires a family of all people, Jews and Gentiles alike, and this is very difficult for the faithful Jews to accept.  Wright shows that Paul preached unity of God’s people through this redefinition of election and that God has one family, not two.  His family consists of all those who believe in the gospel.  This family is defined as the people of the Messiah, no longer Jew or Gentile.

Wright shows that the “Messiah represents His people so that what is true of Him is true of them.  He has been crucified; therefore they have been crucified with Him.  They share His new life, not in terms of fleshly identity, that is, of Jewish ethnicity, but in terms of the Messiah’s own new life, a life in which all nations can share equally (p. 113)”. This is not an abandoning of the Jewish ways, but a reworking of God’s people in the Messiah to unite His family as one people.

This is a beautiful way to express the intense love that God has for all His people.  In Christ, we are united as faithful believers.  The Messiah came not to divide but to unite and those who participate in both faith and works are called to become one family in Christ.

11 thoughts on “Chapter 6”

  1. Great Job, Nick! The best summary of the class that I have read so far. You really have a great insight. Superbly done. I think if N.T. Wright has a commentary on Pauls companion Timothy you should read that too and discuss it at the dinner table. I would love to know what he thinks of Timothys letter. But when you do I will be having dinner out. lol No seriously, great job. A tough protestant influenced chapter that you graciously overlooked.

  2. Nice Nicky – I agree with you- like the last chapter – would have been tough to digest for many of the Jewish people and like last chapter the ability to “change” the thinking has to be in the Messiah on the cross and that cross is the thing that allows unity.

  3. Good job Nicky. I really enjoy Wright’s section on justification by faith. I really thought this quote was a beautiful summary “…all who believe in the gospel belong, and that is the only way you can tell….”

  4. Thanks Nicky for the summary, well done! I often need to be reminded that “all people” belong to God’s family. Even the ones I have difficulty forgiving. Christ died for “all” we only need to believe in the gospel.

  5. Nice review of the chapter Nicky, you hit all the strong points on this one. I thought the author did a great job explaining how Paul reworked the Jewish Doctrine around the Messiah.

  6. Thanks for summarizing! Wright’s emphasis on how the Jewish people failed in their mission to be a light to other nations has been fruitful for me in seeing the continuity between the Old and the New Covenant, and will help me explain more clearly when this comes up in my Religion classes. I was particularly struck by the section where he spoke of how the Jewish people were only “hearers” of the word because they could not look upon the glory of God in the face of Moses, but that the followers of Jesus, in possessing the Spirit, can look on one another and “be transformed from one degree of glory to another.” (p. 123) At last, man is as God intended him to be in and through Jesus Christ.

  7. Thanks Nicky nice summary. “change” as in Transfiguration on the mountain top. change our ways and realize we are all brothers and sisters To believe in the gospel, is to believe in Jesus Christ. God the Father almighty. .

  8. Great summary Nicky. I had not given much thought to the concept of “Election” and specifically as to how Jesus the Messiah and Paul’s views would have impacted the Jewish people of his time. Obviously I knew that Jesus was a Jew as were his Apostles but it is easy to lose sight of that 2,000 later and specifically how radical Paul’s theology was. Thanks Nicky.

  9. Beautiful summary Nicky…. You realize as you read on chapter to chapter the impact Paul makes in the formation of our faith as Christians. God truly had Paul in His equation in the creation of His church. As Paul states, those who are baptized in Jesus Christ the Messiah form one single family. His death on the Cross changed the cosmos.

  10. Great Summary Nicky
    This chapter really made me think a lot about reading Romans and 1 Corinthians in a new perspective to find new ways of how Paul talks about the Messiah without mentioned it in the these reads . Something that was great to hear was the way we can now see the face of God in each other

  11. Excellent summary Nicky. Wright makes the eye opening point that the defining characteristic of God’s people has been their faith, particularly focusing on the faith of Abraham, which predated the Mosaic law, continuing to the present with the faith of all who believe in Jesus Christ

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