You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
18 And [kai] knowest [ginosko] his will [thelema], and [kai] approvest [dokimazo] the
things that are more excellent [diaphero],
being instructed [katecheo] out of [ek] the law [nomos]; KJV-Interlinear
18 and know
his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the
Paul continues his rebuke of the local Jews, as he continues his list of the various things that they held to be not only their own, but the things that they held to be at their advantage over other cultures, namely all gentiles.
We saw in the previous verse, that they held their identity as Jews, as above the identity of others. That they possessed the custody of the Law, written by Moses, a law that other cultures and races did not possess.
Now, they boast that they know the will of God, having the scriptures, which are the word of God, and therefore they have an advantage over others, by knowing exactly what God wants and expects.
And approve, means to be able to test a thing, as one tests metals by means of fire in order to gain their purity and correctness of their essence. And the scriptures allow anyone and everyone to test them, in order to see if the scriptures stand up to all tests that the world might bring against them. So, the Jews were in a position to test Gods word, whereas others could not.
More excellent, means things that differ from others. And certainly the entire content of the Mosaic Law is different from anything else that exists in the world and in all of human history.
The Law had all sorts of rituals for both instruction and learning the will of God and of learning of His plan for ones spiritual life. Other cultures had similar rituals, but they were frauds and abused rituals and were poor imitations of the Law at best.
Being instructed, means exactly that. God taught the Jews through the scriptures. The principle purpose of the scriptures is to teach of God, of His plan, of His purpose and so forth. And this all came directly from God, for all of the scriptures are God inspired or God breathed.
Therefore there are four more privileges that God gave to the Jews, that were not given to the gentiles. And yet we have already learned from Paul that the gentiles were able to figure out things of God, even without these advantages, while the Jews possessed these advantages and still failed.
And in boasting of their privilege, they exaggerate their failure even more.
Now, one more thought.
If the gentiles had no such advantages, and yet are able to figure things out through their own conscious effort, and the Jews had these advantages and could not, who then had the real advantage? Who then was the weaker culture?
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End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.