WE HAVE A HOPE
Lord, I am grateful for this day with its potentials and privileges. Grant me now your direction and guidance.
Read ROMANS 15:8-13
8 For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews[a] on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed 9 and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written:
“Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles;
I will sing the praises of your name.”[b]
10 Again, it says,
“Rejoice, you Gentiles, with his people.”[c]
11 And again,
“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles;
let all the peoples extol him.”[d]
12 And again, Isaiah says,
“The Root of Jesse will spring up,
one who will arise to rule over the nations;
in him the Gentiles will hope.”[e]
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Romans 15:8 Greek circumcision
- Romans 15:9 2 Samuel 22:50; Psalm 18:49
- Romans 15:10 Deut. 32:43
- Romans 15:11 Psalm 117:1
- Romans 15:12 Isaiah 11:10 (see Septuagint)
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘There is a hope that burns within my heart … Christ in me, the hope of heaven!’1
God does unexpected things – yet always in line with his purposes. Now Paul steps back from his focus on daily living in the church. He spreads out the story of God’s work through the history of his people (vs 4,8,9). For the Jewish believers, the surprising thing is that God had always intended that Gentiles would be included in his people (vs 10,11). In their current situation there is no room to think of themselves as the favored ones. Paul argues that God wants Jewish and Gentile Christians to be united in their worship together. Although issues we face today are different, are there areas where we might need a radical change of mind? Are there things in Scripture that we have missed?
Again, Christ is at the center (v 8) of Paul’s appeal. He reminds them that Scripture foretells it is through Christ that God’s blessings will come to Jews and Gentiles. Throughout Scripture – the Psalms, Prophets, and other writings – it’s clear that all are welcome in God’s family.2 The prophets pointed to the fulfillment of God’s promises – and Christ, the Root of Jesse, has come (v 12).3 Now, through Jesus, we all share those promised blessings.
Perhaps thinking of the tensions and quarrels of his Roman brothers and sisters, Paul concludes this section with a benediction. It gives a glimpse of how church should be. His earlier prayer for them had the goal of unity (v 5). This prayer (v 13) focuses on a community of God’s people which is hope-filled. Notice that here ‘joy’ and ‘peace’ assume an ongoing trust in God.4 The word ‘hope’ points towards the resurrection kingdom of God; future hope infuses our present lives. The power of the Holy Spirit sustains this hope, which overflows to touch the lives of others (v 13).
How does Paul’s vision of church measure up to your own experience? Thinking of your fellow Christians, pray the words of verse 13 for them.
Dear God, what a joy it is to be a part of your family. Your will is to bring together, not create barriers. Help me to be a reconciler within the people of God.
1 Stuart Townend and Mark Edwards, © 2007 Thankyou Music 2 E.g. Gen 12:3 3 Isa 11:1,10 4 John Stott, The Message of Romans, IVP, 1994, p373
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