Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Romans 15:7-13
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Romans 15:7-9
v7: Paul comes back to the word he used in Romans 14:1. There he told those who are strong in faith to “take to themselves” those who are weak, meaning to enter into true friendship with them. Now he applies this same word to us all. He says “take to yourselves one another, just as Christ took us to Himself to the Glory of God” (literal). Jesus said the same thing this way, “Love one another as I have loved you” (Jn 13:34; 15:12). vs8-9: The diversity of the church is not an accident of history, it is God’s will (Ro 9:24-29; 10:19, 20; 15:8-12). Paul wants us to see that the Father sent Jesus to save both Jews and Gentiles, and to gather them together into one new community (1Co 12:13; Gal 3:28; Eph 2:11-19; Col 3:11).

Monday: Romans 15:8, 9
vs8-9 (continued): Paul uses two short, succinct statements to prove this point. In the first he tells us why God sent Jesus to save Jews, and in the second he tell us why He sent Jesus to save Gentiles. Concerning Jews he says: …Christ has become a servant (diakonon, one who serves food at a table) to the circumcision (Jews, the people descended from Abraham, Ge 17:9-14; Ro 3:30; 4:9-12) because of the truth of God (He is trustworthy, reliable, nothing about Him is false or deceptive) in order to confirm (make firm, to secure something so it doesn’t slip or fall) the promises that belong to the fathers (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Ge 12:1-3; 18:18; 22:16-18; 26:24; 35:10-13; 48:3, 4; 49:8-12). In other words, God promised the patriarchs He would send a Savior to the nation descended from them, and He never breaks a promise.

Tuesday: Romans 15:8, 9
vs8-9 (continued): With this statement Paul reminds Gentle believers that Jesus is the fulfillment of a long-standing commitment made to the Jews. Regardless of the fact that Jews at that time were responding to the Gospel in small numbers, Jesus is, first of all their Messiah. Jesus Himself had said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Mt 15:24), but later, made it clear that these words merely pointed to Israel’s priority in the historical order of God’s plan. Jesus was first sent to Israel to provide a salvation that would later be preached to the Gentiles (Jn 10:16; 11:51, 52; Mt 28:18, 19; Lk 24:47; Ac 1:8).

Wednesday: Romans 15:9
v9: Paul’s second statement concerns God’s plan for Gentiles. He says Jesus came also “…to confirm the promises that belong to the Gentiles based on God’s mercy, that they too will glorify God just as the prophets have written…” (my paraphrase). Then, to prove that God has promised that someday Gentiles would join Israel in worshipping Him, Paul lists four different quotes, selected from three different prophets, each of which looks forward to a time when God will draw Gentiles to Himself in order to worship Him in community along with believing Jews.

Thursday: Romans 15:9
v9 (continued): His first selection is from 2 Samuel 22:50 (or Psalm 18:49) in which David declares that he would worship God among the Gentiles because God had subdued his Gentile enemies under him. Here is Israel’s greatest human king saying, “…I will give praise to you (openly confess you, Ro 14:11) among the Gentiles and I will sing to your name.” The next statement he makes in that psalm is that God “…gives great deliverance to His king, and shows lovingkindness to His anointed (messiah), to David and his descendants forever” (Ps 18:50). The use of the term “messiah” in the Hebrew text and the reference to David’s descendants makes it possible to interpret this passage as David speaking not only for himself, but also prophetically on behalf of the coming Messiah. In that case, not only will David worship God in the midst of Gentiles, but the coming Messiah will do so as well. Regardless of how the passage is interpreted, at least one of Israel’s leaders can be seen worshipping God among like-minded Gentiles.

Friday: Romans 15:10, 11
v10: Paul’s next quote is from Moses’ great song, “Rejoice O’ Gentiles with His people” (Dt 32:43). The preposition “with” is specifically there in the Septuagint (the ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament). Moses calls for Jews and Gentiles to rejoice together. Like David, he says the occasion for this joyful celebration is God’s vengeance on His adversaries (Dt 32:40-43). v11: In this verse Paul quotes again from the Psalms, this time Psalm 117. The psalmist tells Gentiles to “Praise the Lord… for His lovingkindness (promised mercy) is great toward us (Jews and Gentiles), and the truth of the Lord (He is trustworthy, He keeps His promises) is everlasting…” (Ps 117:1, 2). The psalm invites Gentiles to join Jews in worship and implies that they too may experience God’s “lovingkindness.”

Saturday: Romans 15:12, 13
v12: Finally, Paul quotes from Isaiah who, in a passage unquestionably describing the glories of the future Messianic kingdom, says, “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse (David’s father), and he shall arise to rule over the Gentiles; in Him shall the Gentiles hope, and His rest shall be glorious” (Septuagint). The term “root of Jesse” is a poetic way of saying the coming Messiah would be born to a humble member of David’s family (Mary of Nazareth) because the main line of his dynasty will have ceased before He arrives. Isaiah adds that He will stand as a “signal for the peoples” meaning a standard which is raised on a battlefield to gather the troops. The point is that the Messiah will call believing Gentiles to Himself. They will joyously come to Him and He will not reject them. v13: Paul has shown us that it had been prophesied that Gentiles, as well as Jews, would place their hope for salvation in Israel’s Messiah. Then he prays for his readers. He asks this God in whom they have placed their hope to fill them with the joy of His presence and the peace which comes when believers love each other (Ro 14:12). He says God gives these qualities to those who actively place their faith in Him as their Savior. Then he asks God to give them the power of the Holy Spirit until they overflow with His hope. He wants them to have more hope than their hearts can contain. 

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