The Church Is Not IsraelAs Paul was writing this Roman epistle he had no thought of seeing the church becoming a new Israel. Israel is (present tense) still Israel. And while they sinned and rejected their Savior, God is not through with them, nor has He canceled the promises made to the Jewish fathers!
Vine says on who are Israelites: "This is the national name, including all the descendants of Jacob." (p. 394) It does not refer to the church! Only foolish allegorists, preterists, Covenant guys, believe that God has gone back on His Word concerning Israel!
The adoption as sons is actually two Greek words put together: uios=son, thesia=placement. To adopt then is to position one as a son who was not previously. God began His sovereign work with the Jewish people by calling Abram out from Ur (Gen. 11:31-12:3). The Lord designated him and his descendants as His own special earthly race. Abraham was a Semite. God isolated him and his family for His own special purposes! The Lord repeated the promises to Abraham in Genesis 15, 17. To Abraham’s physical seed He said: "I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God" (17:8). Again, God emphasized: "Thus shall My covenant be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant" (v. 13). Here the Lord was speaking of the Jewish circumcision rite that would remain as a constant symbol that all His promises would constitute "My covenant" to Abraham’s children after him "throughout their generations" (v. 9). The sonship for the Jews is mentioned many times in the Old Testament (Exod. 4:22-23; Deut. 14:1-2; Mal. 1:6).
The glory (doxa) refers to the fact that God has placed His own stamp of glory upon the Jewish people. His glory appeared at Sinai (Exod. 24:22-23) and it filled the Tabernacle (40:34-38). While the Jews have been imperfect and rebellious they still belong to Him. He has made promises and those promises will not be cancelled, abrogated, turned into mush, and somehow strangely now applied to the church!
The covenants (diathakai) would be the Abrahamic, the eternal promises to Israel, the three mini-covenants: Land, Seed, Blessing). These covenants really form the driving force of God’s dealing with the Jewish people. The covenants
The service is actually the Greek word latreia, referring to the entire body of worship given to Israel in order that they might know and love God properly. The nations of the world practiced false worship, or distorted praise to the deities that were meaningless. This service has to do with the worship of the Tabernacle and the Temple—the only legitimate worship in the dispensation of the Law in the world. (Nicoll, p. 657)
The promises for Israel would refer to the coming of the Messiah and His literal earthly messianic reign in Zion. It would also include personal salvation and a promise of resurrection from the dead. There are promises to Israel and promises to the church saints. Some of them may be similar but many may also be distinct.
The Lord Jesus Christ of course comes through Israel in the sense of His earthly birth. He was the eternal God the Son, the second person of the Trinity, who invaded earth in a human body (though without sin) in order to become a part of humanity. According to the flesh "is solid proof that the promises of God were not made to the Chinese, the Arabs, the Swedes, or anyone but the Jews." (Kroll, p. 155) The expression according to the flesh is an accusative of general reference, "as to the according to the flesh." Paul limits the descent of Jesus from the Jews to His human side as he did in 1:3-on. (A. T. Robertson, p. 381)
There are differences of opinion as to whether Paul is referring to Christ as blessed by God "into the ages," or if this is a reference to God the Father Himself being blessed forever. The early church applied the clause to Christ saying that He is indeed God the Son who is blessed forever. "A clear statement about [Christ’s] humanity. This is the natural and the obvious way of punctuating the sentence." (A. T. Robertson, p. 381)