The Marks of Such as Believe in Christ – Part 9

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.

14 thoughts on “The Marks of Such as Believe in Christ – Part 9

  1. Mike,

    Thanks for a great bible study in this wonderful book of Romans –
    and I am glad you obeyed God in working through these passages as well –
    it has been a blessing.

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  2. Thank you Mike. It was a good study. I also have questions regarding the last post. That is a hard one for me to grasp as well as legalism. I don’t want to be one as I think of people in religiosity. 🙂

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  3. The creation of the Jews was God’s plan to use a separated people to bring the Messiah to earth. But in the economyof redemption there is only saved sinners and lost sinners, and as you correctly noted, Mike, the only way to become saved is through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Even recently a prominent preacher said the Jesus never claimed to be the Messiah to the Jewish people. This same preacher believes Jews can be saved without Jesus. Anyone that says that is a false teacher and must be confronted.

    A great Bible study, Mike. You have now become a Greek Geek!

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  4. Mike,
    Were you listening to Piper’s, Live peacefully with all, if possible Part 1 sermon? I heard that yesterday morning and listened to it again today. That is very good isn’t it. I need to listen more carefully once again then need to go to part 2. He sure has some very thought provoking sermons.

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  5. Deb,

    Legalism is of the flesh. Being Spirit-filled is of faith. Do not look to your works as that which justifies you in God’s eyes. On the other hand, we must do good works, but in the power of the Holy Spirit as we walk by faith. I pray that helps.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

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  6. Amen Rick!

    You are right about ‘that teacher’ being false. That teaching is the result of radical dispensationalism.

    I wasn’t aware there was such a thing as a Greek geek. 🙂 I’m sure my son would agree with the “geek” part. 🙂

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  7. Mike, It’s ok if our children called us old or geeks! Our Adorable Grandchildren call them the same things they called us! 🙂 I have some 12 and 13 year old Grandchildren.

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  8. Deb,

    It is not official, but our daughter has taken about 5 different home pregnancy tests and they have all come back positive. So, I will be a granddad in about seven months, God willing!

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

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  9. Well done, Mike. I can only add (from Romans 16):

    Now to Him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and made known through the prophetic writings to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, for the obedience of faith,

    To the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.

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  10. CONGRATULATIONS!! They are so adorable and precious…. A real bonus to being a grandparent is you can send them home when you want! I have 7 of them. 1 girl and 6 BOYS!! 🙂

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