Monday, May 20, 2024

2024.05.20 Hopewell @Home ▫ Romans 15:8–12

Read Romans 15:8–12

Questions from the Scripture text: What does the apostle say that Jesus has become (Romans 15:8)? To whom? In/for what area? To confirm what? Made to whom? And for whom else (Romans 15:9)? To do what? To Whom? For what? Where had this been predicted (cf. 2 Samuel 22:50, Psalm 18:49)? What would the Christ do among whom? What would He make them to do (Romans 15:10, cf. Deuteronomy 32:43Romans 15:11, cf. Psalm 117:1)? Who prophesied about who would bring this about (Romans 15:12; cf. Isaiah 11:10)? From where would the Root spring? What would He rise to do? Over whom? What would the nations (Gentiles) do? From Whom does this hope come (Romans 15:13)? With what does the apostle pray that God will fill them, as He brings them into this hope (cf. Romans 5:1–2)? Through what would this joy and peace come? How much hope would this produce in them? By what power?

How did the church come to have the strong and the weak in it together? Romans 15:8–12 prepares us for the sermon in the midweek prayer meeting. In these five verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that the weak and the strong are together in Christ’s church, so that He might be glorified in each, and in how they welcome one another for His sake.

God’s plan for an international churchRomans 15:8-11. Jesus made Himself a servant/minister to the circumcision (Romans 15:8, Jewish believers/ Judaizing believers).He “confirmed” the promises to Abraham (and those who followed Abraham) not by giving more evidence or making them more believable, but by fulfilling them; He Himself is the truth of those promises (cf. 2 Corinthians 1:20)!

But Jesus was no less a servant of the nations (Romans 15:9, Psalm 18:40). It was His pleasure to initiate and lead a glorious, international worship service (Romans 15:10-11; cf. Deuteronomy 32:43, Psalm 117:1, Psalm 22:22). The Scriptures had always prophesied that He would do this!

God’s plan for doing so from among the JewsRomans 15:12. Multiple times, now, this letter has emphasized that the Lord’s saving plan focuses first upon the Jews and then upon the Gentiles (cf. Romans 1:16, Romans 2:9, chapters 9–11). And the Jews’ greatest glory is that from among them, came (according to the flesh) Jesus (cf. Romans 9:5). Jesus brought joy to the nations in a way that did not pass through the ceremonial law—that did not expose them to the same weaknesses as the Jews. But, still He was a servant to Jewish believers (Romans 15:8). Thus, He is the great example of how the strong are to serve the weak.

So, gloriously, the Christ was prophesied to come from the root of Jesse (Romans 15:12b, cf. Isaiah 11:1–10). The house of David would be cut down to such a stump that the new shoot would come from the root of Jesse, his father. Thus, all Gentile believers bow themselves under a Jewish King (Romans 15:12c) and trust themselves to a Jewish Savior (verse 12d). So, Jews are to rejoice in Christ’s gathering in of the nations, and Gentiles are to rejoice in the glory of a Jewish King. Christ is glorified in both, and each of us rejoice in Him, and in one another for His sake.

This is true not only of Jew and Gentile, but of all believers. Jesus Christ has made Himself our servants to bring us to praise God together in Him (cf. Romans 15:6). If Jesus was willing to be their servant, how could we refuse? So, let the strong carry the weak, not looking down their noses at them. And, let the weak welcome the strong as the treasured of Christ, and not condemn the strong for what they are liberated to do in the Lord Jesus. Serve and welcome one another for the sake of Jesus!

At church, at whom are you tempted to look down your nose? Whom are you tempted to condemn? How can you love and serve them instead? Whose glory must we all serve? How can we serve one another’s being built up into Christ?

Sample prayer: Lord, thank You for saving us in Your Son, so that all who are His might worship You together with Him. Forgive us for how we have failed to treasure one another, and give us to rejoice in one another’s salvation in Christ, we ask in His Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP197 “Christian Unity” or TPH409“Blest Be the Tie That Binds”

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