Christ, the Servant
Romans 15:8-12 NASB
For I say that Christ has become a servant to the circumcision on behalf of the truth of God to confirm the promises given to the fathers, and for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy; as it is written,
“Therefore I will give praise to You among the Gentiles,
And I will sing to Your name.”
Again he says,
“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people.”
“Praise the Lord all you Gentiles,
And let all the peoples praise Him.”
Again Isaiah says,
“There shall come the root of Jesse,
And He who arises to rule over the Gentiles,
In Him shall the Gentiles hope.”
Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of the promise of God to the Jews that God would send them a deliverer, their Messiah, the Christ, i.e. Jesus was the promised seed of Abraham. But, he also came in fulfillment of many prophecies concerning him being a light to the Gentiles (non-Jews).
Jesus Christ came to this earth to bring salvation to all people. When he died on that cross, he died for all people. He died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; that we might no longer live to ourselves, but to him who gave his life up for us (1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Co. 5:15).
The God of Hope
Romans 15:13 NASB
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
True belief in Jesus Christ is God-given, God-inspired, and God-persuaded. We believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith, which is divinely persuaded as to his righteousness and holiness, and as to his will and purposes for our lives. Thus, we submit to God’s will for our lives, and we surrender to his purposes, and we yield to the control of the Holy Spirit and the Lordship of Christ in our lives.
True belief in Jesus Christ also turns from lifestyles of sin to walking in fellowship with our Lord in obedience to his commands (his instructions to us). And, this is because we have been divinely persuaded as to God’s will for our lives. And, we want to follow our Lord in obedience. In the power of the Holy Spirit we have been transformed from death to life, from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that we receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ.
True belief in Jesus Christ, thus, results in death to sin and living to righteousness, of the Spirit of God. This is called being “born again,” or “born of the Spirit,” for we are given new lives to be lived in the Spirit, for God, and for his will and purposes for our lives. And, in this we have hope, not just the hope of heaven when we die, but the hope of eternal life with God from the moment we believe and on forward; the hope that we can now be free from the control of sin and we can now live for God in holiness.
The Gospel of God
Romans 15:14-16 NASB
And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another. But I have written very boldly to you on some points so as to remind you again, because of the grace that was given me from God, to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, so that my offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
So, what is this gospel? It is that Jesus Christ, God the Son, left his throne in heaven, came to earth, took on human flesh, suffered as we suffer, and was tempted as we are tempted, yet without sin. He preached repentance for the forgiveness of sins, death to sin and living to righteousness, and obedience to his commands. He said that if we want to come after him we must deny self, take up our cross daily, and follow (obey) him (Lu. 9:23-25).
While he was on this earth, he ministered to the needy, the afflicted, the sick and the sorrowful. He brought hope and healing to many. And, many people initially followed him. But, many of the Jews, in particular among the leadership within the temple, hated him, were jealous of him, and so they made it their mission to try to take him down. When they couldn’t, they decided to put him to death on a cross, which they accomplished.
But, in his death, Jesus took upon himself the sins of the entire world, and he put those sins to death. Then, he was resurrected from the dead victorious over sin, hell, Satan and death, on our behalf.
Because of what he did for us via his death and resurrection, through faith in him we can be delivered from our slavery (addictions) to sin, and be set free to now live to his righteousness. We can be filled with his Holy Spirit. Via the Spirit, God now lives within us giving us comfort, encouragement, hope, healing, guidance, wisdom and strength to live godly and holy lives pleasing to Him.
They Shall See
Romans 15:17-21 NASB
Therefore in Christ Jesus I have found reason for boasting in things pertaining to God. For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me, resulting in the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed, in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit; so that from Jerusalem and round about as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. And thus I aspired to preach the gospel, not where Christ was already named, so that I would not build on another man’s foundation; but as it is written,
“They who had no news of Him shall see,
And they who have not heard shall understand.”
We who believe in Jesus Christ, thus, desire to obey our Lord. We want to do what pleases him. We want his life to be lived out through us and for him to receive all the glory for whatever good he accomplishes through lives which are committed to him. For, if truly it is Christ in us, working out through us, then he is the one who should get the praise and glory, and not us.
Also, as followers of Jesus, we should, in the power of the Spirit within us, be living as he lived, doing the kinds of things he did, saying the kinds of things which he said. We should be concerned about others coming to know him, too, and so we should also be telling other people the gospel message.
But, the gospel needs to go, not just to those who have never heard of Jesus, but to those who have heard, but who have heard wrongly, who have been taught a false (half-truth) gospel with a false (half-truth) Jesus. They need to hear the truth of the gospel so that they can have true hope of salvation of sin and true hope of eternal life with God, so that they don’t believe the lie and one day hear, “Depart from me, I never knew you!”
For, Jesus Christ is a God of hope, but not of false hope, but of hope that we can be delivered from our slavery (addictions) to sin and that we can walk in his holiness and righteousness, all in the power and working of God’s Spirit now living within us. This is eternal life with God, new birth of the Spirit, new life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise
Walter C. Smith
Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible, hid from our eyes,
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, Thy great name we praise.
Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
Nor wanting, nor wasting, Thou rulest in might;
Thy justice, like mountains, high soaring above
Thy clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love.
To all, life Thou givest, to both great and small;
In all life Thou livest, the true life of all;
We blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
And wither and perish—but naught changeth Thee.
Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
Thine angels adore Thee, all veiling their sight;
All praise we would render; oh, help us to see
’Tis only the splendor of light hideth Thee.
Chris Eaton, Chris McClarney, John Hartley
Lord there is none like You, my Jesus, my Jesus
Nothing compares to You, my Jesus, my Jesus
Wednesday, May 23, 2018, 5:00 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for these truths from your Word concerning who You are, why you came, and concerning the hope of salvation found in You and in You alone.