“A SURVEY OF THE BOOK OF ROMANS”

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Rev Johnny C Smith

Rev. Johnny C. Smith,
Pastor – Mount Moriah
Missionary Baptist Church

Romans 15:7-13

Paul’s Exhortation to Serve and Honor, Part II

The word “wherefore” in verse 7, builds upon Paul’s argument of the oneness that unity brings in the body of Christ; and because that fact is true, Paul exhorts Christians to “receive one another, as Christ has received us” (v. 7).  Just as Christ is our perfect example of humility and service (vs. 3-4), He too is our example for full acceptance of others.  The exhortation to “receive ye one another” (Romans 15:7) is addressed to the entire church, not just one segment of it as in Romans 14:1.  Whether you are strong or weak, Gentile or Jew, believers are supposed to accept one another without any conditions attached.

Our perfect example in accepting one another is Christ.  Thank God that Christ has accepted us on the basis of faith alone, regardless of our ethnicity or social status.  Whether we are Jew or Gentile, black or white, rich or poor, powerful or impotent, we are all welcome in the fellowship of faith.  Praise God!  When Christ accepted us, He did so “to the glory of God (Romans 15:7).  It also brings glory to God when we (Christians) receive one another in love.  In verses 8 and 9, Christ’s lofty example is now given additional emphasis as it relates to both Jews and Gentiles.

Christ is seen as “a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God (v. 8).  “Minister” is a term that denotes servant-hood.  To say that He was a servant of “the circumcision” suggests that He became a Jew and submitted to all the Jewish laws (see Galatians 4:4-5).  He was a minister “for the truth of God” – strictly speaking, it means that Christ appeared among the Jews on behalf of God’s truth.  He came to confirm the fact that God is truthful in all His words and deeds!  Speaking strictly again, Christ came “to confirm the promises made unto the fathers.”  His coming to the Jews guaranteed the truth of the promises God made to the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Through His mighty death and resurrection, Christ provided the means to fulfill all God’s promises to Israel.  Also, Christ came “that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy” (v. 9).   God had no promises to confirm to the Gentiles because He had given no covenants as He had Israel (Romans 9:4-5; Ephesians 2:11-12).  Any spiritual blessings they enjoy arise solely out of His mercy (Ephesians 2:4).  Our Lord’s coming confirmed God’s truth for the covenant people (Jews) and granted His mercy to those He would graciously bless through His people (see Genesis 12:3).

Continuing this great subject of God’s inclusion of the Gentiles in being blessed through the covenants and promises of God, Paul quoted four Old Testament passages, namely: Psalm 18:49, Deuteronomy 32:43, Psalm 117:1, and Isaiah 11:10.  These passages were quoted to establish the fact that God mercifully included Gentiles in the blessings that flowed from Israel’s covenants (vs. 9-12).  Paul closes this section with a wonderful benedictory prayer, having taught on the subject of Christian unity.  In verse 13, God is “the God of Hope” because we (Christians) have accepted Christ as Saviour; thus, we have the assurance of eternal life.  Paul prayed that God might give these believers the full measure of joy and peace.  Believing is the key to spiritual joy and peace.  As we apply this benediction, let us exercise faith in the God of hope, who alone brings joy and peace to all our relationships.  And as we submit to the Holy Spirit’s power, let us remain focused as we look “for that blessed hope,” the appearing of Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13).

May God Bless!

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