• LESSON 23 (September 21) • Romans 15:8-33 Servants of Christ Jesus We last left Paul’s letter in Romans 15:7 as he summarized our responsibility as Christians to “welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” This wonderful admonition turns Paul’s attention once again to the grace of God shown to Jews and Gentiles through 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. (15:8-9a) Let’s slow down and think through what Jesus has accomplished. In your own words, what does it mean that “Christ became a servant”: does it mean that “Christ became a servant”: To show God’s truthfulness – To confirm the promises given to the patriarchs – In order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy - This leads Paul to quote four Old Testament statements in rapid-fire succession. 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.” (15:9b-12) Paul’s prayer for his brethren—regardless of their physical lineage—in Rome? 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. (15:13) At this point, Paul shifts the focus of his letter to his own work of ministry and how Christians in Rome might be of help to his efforts and further the spread of the gospel. I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God. For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the > continued on pdf full Lesson 23
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