by Mike Ratliff
8λεγω γαρ χριστον διακονον γεγενησθαι περιτομης υπερ αληθειας θεου εις το βεβαιωσαι τας επαγγελιας των πατερων 9τα δε εθνη υπερ ελεους δοξασαι τον θεον καθως γεγραπται δια τουτο εξομολογησομαι σοι εν εθνεσιν και τω ονοματι σου ψαλω 10και παλιν λεγει ευφρανθητε εθνη μετα του λαου αυτου 11και παλιν αινειτε παντα τα εθνη τον κυριον και επαινεσατωσαν αυτον παντες οι λαοι 12και παλιν ησαιας λεγει εσται η ριζα του ιεσσαι και ο ανισταμενος αρχειν εθνων επ αυτω εθνη ελπιουσιν 13ο δε θεος της ελπιδος πληρωσαι υμας πασης χαρας και ειρηνης εν τω πιστευειν εις το περισσευειν υμας εν τη ελπιδι εν δυναμει πνευματος αγιου (Romans 15:8-13)
Christ the Hope of Jews and Gentiles
Sadly, the visible Church has become mostly Christless. I heard a definition for the opposite of “pride” today from John Piper. I thought he was going to say genuine humility was the opposite of pride, but instead he said that it was genuine saving faith. Christian authenticity, then, belongs to those whose pride is the process of being eradicated and replaced by a walk of faith as a result of their regeneration. This faith is not in a religion nor is it placed on a Christian leader, preacher, or teacher. It is totally focused and wrapped up in our Lord Jesus Christ. Through our Lord, the only Hope for Jews and Gentiles, is found genuine fulfillment and the spiritual growth that results from being a living sacrifice produces a life that can laugh with those rejoicing and weep with those sorrowing because it is not self-focused, but is taking on the very character of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.”
And again it is said, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.”
And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples extol him.”
And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.”
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans 15:8-13 ESV)
Our Lord Jesus Christ is God. He left His rightful place with God the Father in Heaven to become one of us. He was born a Jew. He was circumcised and identified physically with the sign of the Abrahamic Covenant. Does this mean that His mission was to the Jews alone? Paul quotes from 2 Samuel 22:50, Psalm 18:49, Deuteronomy 32:43, Psalm 117:1 and Isaiah 11:1,10 in vv9-12 passages that show that God’s plan has always been to bring Jews and Gentiles alike into His Kingdom. Interestingly, these quotes come from the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms. These are the divisions of the Old Testament. Paul is proving that all parts of God’s Word proclaims this truth to the Jews. Why? He is attempting to soften the prejudice of Christian Jews against Gentile Christians.
In these quoted passage Paul shows that God extended His grace and mercy to those outside of the covenant. Gentile salvation is found in the Old Testament and, therefore, our Lord Jesus Christ is the hope of BOTH Jews and Gentiles. The only source of hope Man has is God. I know that the apostasy today is deluding more and more people to trust in the idol of Human Reason, those falling for include many professing Christians, but it is all a complete waste of time. Our hope is rooted in God by the power of the Holy Spirit. I have been receiving more and more complaints and outright attacks from those who refuse to believe that the Bible is the only source of genuine truth we have. However, it is only through God’s Word that the Holy Spirit applies to the hearts of genuine believers that our hope becomes manifest in us.
This concludes our study of Romans 12-15:1-13. I am very glad that I obeyed God in working through these passages. A blog is, perhaps, not the best medium for this sort of Bible study, but I pray that you have been blessed by it. Please pray for God to take these truths and manifest them in your heart so that your walk will be marked with the genuineness that belongs only to those who have truly believed in Christ.