Chapter 7

This Chapter discusses how St. Paul reworks or rethinks the Jewish views of eschatology. The author shows that Paul makes Jewish eschatology come to pass in Jesus Christ, the Messiah. He writes, taken from Romans 8.17, 28-30, “the spirit conforms the Messiah’s people to his suffering and glory, so that the Jewish expectation of the coming of the Messiah is not just fulfilled in the Messiah himself, but, extraordinarily, in His people as well.” Jewish eschatology thinks God will put all things right. They are the chosen ones, they have covenants with God and if God doesn’t make all things right, and paganism not defeated, then even God is in question. Paul reshapes Jewish views by showing that though Jesus Christ and His death, resurrection and ascension, all is fulfilled. Paul paints a vision that the end of all things is derived from the Old Testament and is in two stages. He redefines the Jewish doctrine using both the Messiah and the Holy Spirit.

I most enjoyed the comparison to the exodus and the two comings of Jesus Christ. First we are baptized into the Messiah as when the Israelites crossed the Red Sea. Now we live in between times like the wandering in the desert. We sin and suffer, but still are walking with God. We are no longer slaves of the Torah when we walk with the Holy Spirit and keep Him as our guide. Till the second coming when there will be a new heaven and new earth, we then will reach the Promised Land.

11 thoughts on “Chapter 7”

  1. Thanks Tom! I felt that this chapter, in addition to laying out the practical details of Paul’s rethinking Jewish eschatology, also provided a lot of food for thought about our own lives. I was very struck by the part where the author writes that the living out of the gospel, which is the work of the Spirit, is a preview or down-payment within individual men, women, and children of the final “putting-to-rights” of the whole of creation that both the Jewish and Pauline worldview look forward to. This was a new and refreshing perspective to me of understanding how we are already living the Kingdom of God in a partial way in the here and now.

  2. Tom, excellent summary. Today, while we are walking with God and are justified by faith, We are also charged with advancing the gospel message of Jesus Christ. We are called to produce signs of God’s new world. To bring the joyful light of Christ to all we encounter.

  3. What a worldly and thought-provoking summary, Tom. You must be learning a great deal sitting in the back of the room! I agree with you on appreciating the exodus and the two comings of Jesus, as well as the importance of the Holy Spirit. I am enjoying seeing Paul in this important light.

  4. Well done Tom… N.T Wright does a wonderful job exposing how brilliant St Paul was. What a great “mind”, how Paul redefines the rite of election in that Israel’s future has come to pass through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

  5. Great job Tom! I liked the way you were able to boil this chapter down. What I liked was when Wright talks about one of the major eschatological tasks Paul ascribes to the Spirit is “of being arrabon, the down payment, of what is to come. The Spirit is a gift from God’s future, the gift which guarantees that future.” The concept of how this applies to the Spirit is awe inspiring.

  6. Nicely done Tom. Is easy to lose sight of the fact that Paul was a devout a Jew and how his belief in Jesus as the Messiah was to many Jews a radical revision of the Jewish eschatology. I am still struggling with the concert of the apocalypse halving already occurred in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ versus the parousia of Jesus which is yet to come and that Wright addresses in this chapter.

  7. Good job Tom – he does a good job of putting OT with the new covenant. The creation point of Wright’s keeps coming through. This is something that makes more and more sense as we go along. I also liked the reference to Abraham and God’s promise to Him – all people… not just Israel.

  8. Tom, good summary of the chapter, there is a lot in this one that I enjoyed especially the way the author discusses the spirit as well as Jesus in Paul’s writings.
    The last paragraph in your summary really summed it up nicely in comparing the exodus to the two comings of Jesus and how we are between times like the wandering in the desert.

  9. Tom, very nice.
    This chapter brought to me, in understanding the author, states, what we find in Paul at this point is four things, in each of which we see the still future Jewish eschatology redrawn around the Messiah. Read, and reread, of brilliants.

  10. Tom
    You said so well , this is a great chapter it make me relate Romans to the time the we are living today because we are still trying to reach the promised land.

    It makes me think about this lent and how i am going to renew my baptismal promise at Easter. And again cross the red sea to the promised land

  11. Tom, very nice summary. Wright clears up a lot of popular misconceptions that are floating around about the end times. I especially like his smack down of the whole “rapture” concept and particularly the “Left Behind” novels.

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