Romans Chapter 15

Part 2

KLMX

August 2010

Bryan Kimsey

First Baptist Church

Des Moines, NM

Welcome back to the Ministerial Alliance program here on KLMX radio. Iím looking at Romans chapter 15 this week and weíre getting really close to finishing up this survey of Paulís letter to the church at Rome. Itís taken just over 2 years of Ministerial Alliance programs to get to this point and I donít know about you, but Iíve learned a lot! God permitting, Iíll finish up Chapter 16 the next time Iím here on the airwaves in September. Actually, God permitting, Iíll get to finish up this chapter! Given that, I should ask right now that God bless this message, that it reflect the truth that is Jesus Christ, and that we should have ears to hear the message of Romans. Amen!

Letís start by reviewing yesterdayís passage:

Romans 15:1-3 We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. (2) Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. (3) For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, "THE REPROACHES OF THOSE WHO REPROACHED YOU FELL ON ME."

The main points that I discussed in this one were that the strong should bear with the flaws of the weak. We do this because it is Christ-like and true Christians are being conformed to the image of Christ, usually through their various troubles and trials, although opportunity to bear with the weak is certainly right up there. Todayís message expands on the role of Christ in our lives:

Romans 15:4-13 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. (5) Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, (6) that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (7) Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God. (8) Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers, (9) and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written: "FOR THIS REASON I WILL CONFESS TO YOU AMONG THE GENTILES, AND SING TO YOUR NAME." (10) And again he says: "REJOICE, O GENTILES, WITH HIS PEOPLE!" (11) And again: "PRAISE THE LORD, ALL YOU GENTILES! LAUD HIM, ALL YOU PEOPLES!" (12) And again, Isaiah says: "THERE SHALL BE A ROOT OF JESSE; AND HE WHO SHALL RISE TO REIGN OVER THE GENTILES, IN HIM THE GENTILES SHALL HOPE." (13) Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Several things jump out at me in this passage. The first is that it calls for "hope". Paul says "Öthat we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope", and this passage ends with the prayer that "may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Hope is what the Christian life is all about. Itís not about blessings and prosperity here and now, although those things are certainly possible and definitely appreciated. Instead, the Christianís hope is that they, like Christ, will be resurrected and taken up to live in Godís glory. Paul discusses the importance of the resurrection of Christ in 1 Corinthians:

1 Corinthians 15:19-22 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. (20) But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (21) For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. (22) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

We already covered "hope" itself back in Romans 5 (and many other place), but that was a long time ago, so hereís that passage again:

Romans 5:1-5 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (2) through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (3) And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; (4) and perseverance, character; and character, hope. (5) Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Thereís another great discussion of hope in:

Romans 8:20-25 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; (21) because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. (22) For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. (23) Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. (24) For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? (25) But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

Hope is the first thing that jumps out at me from todayís passage. But from where does that hope come? Thatís, the second thing that jumps out at me. According to Paul, hope comes from the patience and the comfort of the Scriptures. Hereís the verse again:

Romans 15:4-13 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

The "Scriptures" that Paul is referring to is the Christianís "Old Testament". The term old testament is one that Paul himself uses in:

2 Corinthians 3:14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ.

Heís using it to emphasize the superiority and conclusiveness of Christ, as the New Testament. The term "new testament" or "new covenant" is one that Christ himself uses in:

Matthew 26:27-28 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. (28) For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

This term is prophesized in Jeremiah 31:31-33 and applied to Christ by the author of Hebrews in:

Hebrews 8:7-13 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. (8) Because finding fault with them, He says: "BEHOLD, THE DAYS ARE COMING, SAYS THE LORD, WHEN I WILL MAKE A NEW COVENANT WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AND WITH THE HOUSE OF JUDAH (9) NOT ACCORDING TO THE COVENANT THAT I MADE WITH THEIR FATHERS IN THE DAY WHEN I TOOK THEM BY THE HAND TO LEAD THEM OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT; BECAUSE THEY DID NOT CONTINUE IN MY COVENANT, AND I DISREGARDED THEM, SAYS THE LORD. (10) FOR THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS IN THEIR MIND AND WRITE THEM ON THEIR HEARTS; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. (11) NONE OF THEM SHALL TEACH HIS NEIGHBOR AND NONE HIS BROTHER, SAYING, 'KNOW THE LORD,' FOR ALL SHALL KNOW ME, FROM THE LEAST OF THEM TO THE GREATEST OF THEM. (12) FOR I WILL BE MERCIFUL TO THEIR UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE." (13) In that He says, "A NEW COVENANT," He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

The Jeremiah passage indicates that God was preparing a new covenant. This new covenant includes not only the Jews, but Gentiles as well, and thatís where Paul goes now in our Romans passage. He says:

Romans 15:8 Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers, (9) and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written: "FOR THIS REASON I WILL CONFESS TO YOU AMONG THE GENTILES, AND SING TO YOUR NAME." (10) And again he says: "REJOICE, O GENTILES, WITH HIS PEOPLE!" (11) And again: "PRAISE THE LORD, ALL YOU GENTILES! LAUD HIM, ALL YOU PEOPLES!" (12) And again, Isaiah says: "THERE SHALL BE A ROOT OF JESSE; AND HE WHO SHALL RISE TO REIGN OVER THE GENTILES, IN HIM THE GENTILES SHALL HOPE." (13) Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Regarding Gentiles, Paul had this to say in:

Ephesians 2:11-13 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the fleshÖ (12) that, at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. (13) But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Basically, then, what we see is that Gentiles, that is, non-Israelites, were without God and therefore had no hope. The new covenant that is Jesus Christ was intended to pull all people together, regardless of their status as Israelites or not. If this is so, then the status of Israel as a covenant is nullified, since the new covenant abolishes the old. The author of Hebrews says as much:

Hebrews 8:13 In that He says, "A NEW COVENANT," He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Therefore, all people, Israelite and non-Israelite alike, must come to Christ. A person cannot stand on the old covenant any longer. Weíve seen this point made by Paul earlier in Romans in Chapters 1-3. I donít know why the issuance of a new and superior covenant should be a grievous thing to an Israelite, but to a Gentile- who was without God and without hope- the new covenant should bring great hope. To those who can accept the covenant of Jesus Christ, there is great hope- the greatest hope possible, actually. This is what leads Paul to say:

Romans 15:9 Ö.and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written: "FOR THIS REASON I WILL CONFESS TO YOU AMONG THE GENTILES, AND SING TO YOUR NAME." (10) And again he says: "REJOICE, O GENTILES, WITH HIS PEOPLE!" (11) And again: "PRAISE THE LORD, ALL YOU GENTILES! LAUD HIM, ALL YOU PEOPLES!" (12) And again, Isaiah says: "THERE SHALL BE A ROOT OF JESSE; AND HE WHO SHALL RISE TO REIGN OVER THE GENTILES, IN HIM THE GENTILES SHALL HOPE." (13) Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

If you have the hope that is Jesus Christ, praise the Lord! If you donít, may I suggest that you get Him so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15, Part 1

Romans 15, Part 3