SO… Because Papa has completely embraced ALL of us (not just some of us), the only sensible response is to welcome that embrace. To live loved. With Sarayu’s help, dive face-first into Jesus’ life of being-loved by Papa. Hold nothing back. There is no such thing as a person whom Papa doesn’t love, so you can stop worrying that you might be one of them. Give yourself completely to Papa. Your heart and soul, your mind, your body, your relationships, EVERYTHING.
(2) Let go of your obsolete “Us vs Them” prejudices. The world organizes itself around its categories of “Insiders” and “Outsiders,” and that world has already begun to die. It’s time to disentangle yourself from it! Let the gospel re-arrange the furniture of your mind; let it change you from the inside-out. Only on this basis can you engage in the science of theology—experimentally and experientially.
NOTE FROM JOHN… Translating these 2 verses took FOREVER, as you may have noticed from how long it’s taken me to post it. Romans is such an incredible book, and so much of its meaning hinges on how we connect chapters 9-11 with the rest of the book, and it’s in these 2 verses that we make that connection plain. Chapters 9-11 are there to map out the Christian story’s embeddedness in the Jewish story, and how the Jewish story is a story of the dogged, never-give-up faithfulness of Papa. Is God on the side of the Jews or the non-Jews? Paul’s answer here is BOTH, and his hope is that this message can bring harmony back to the racial tensions that are causing such difficulty among the believers in Rome.
When I write my paraphrase, I like to have a verse-by-verse consistency with the original text. But when a verse is as momentous as this one, I feel the need to expand it to bring out the meaning that I think is there behind the text. I don’t like doing that, but I think it was warranted here.
So how did I do with these verses? Did I nail it, or is it a cosmic belly-flop? Probably somewhere in between. Regardless, I welcome feedback, especially on this!