“To Confirm the Promises Made”
Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received [a]us, to the glory of God. 8 Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a [b]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.
What is going on here? Paul wanted the church in Rome to realize that the diversity they were experiencing between Jews and Gentiles was not an accident; it was God’s will. He first tells us why Jesus was sent to the Jews and then why He was sent to the Gentiles.
Concerning Jews HE says God promised the patriarchs HE would send a Savor to their descendants, and HE never breaks a promise. Jesus is the fulfillment of the long-standing commitment. Regardless of the fact that many Jews had rejected the gospel, Jesus is their Messiah. He was sent first to the lost sheep of Israel pointing to Israel’s priority in the historical order. Even today, God is still keeping His promise to Israel despite their unbelief, to confirm the promises made to the fathers.
God gave the prophet Ezekiel the reason why He would restore Israel to their land while they still deny their Messiah:
Ezekiel 36:22“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went.
God make irrevocable promises to the Jewish fathers concerning the Promise Land and HE has kept that promise for HIS NAME.
May 14, 1948, David Ben Gurion declared the new state of Israel. This was a historical moment fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy about a nation being born in a day. Israel was soon attacked on all sides by Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, and Trans-Jordan. Against all odds the tiny nation not only defended its borders but acquired new territory. There were three more war in 1956, 1967, and 1973. It has been reported that, “A West Point general once remarked that though the US Military Academy studies wars fought throughout the world, they do not study the Six Day War—because what concerns West Point is strategy and tactics, not miracles.” The Six Day War of 1967, which marked the reclamation of Jerusalem, is nothing short of miraculous. God keeps His Word for His name because He is faithful. His characteristic of faithfulness demands that He keeps promises made. He does not know how to be anything other than a faithful God.
Paul’s second statement explains God’s plan for the Gentiles. To prove that God had promised in Scripture that someday Gentiles would join Israel in worshipping Him, Paul quotes from four different passages, selected from three different prophets, looking forward to the time when God would draw Gentiles to Himself, so they might worship Him along believing Jews and inherit the same promises:
Psalm 18:49-50Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the [a]Gentiles, And sing praises to Your name 50 Great deliverance He gives to His king, And shows mercy to His anointed, To David and his [b]descendants forevermore.
Deuteronomy 32:43“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His [a]people; For He will avenge the blood of His servants,
And render vengeance to His adversaries; He will provide atonement for His land and His people.”
Psalm 117:1-2 Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples! 2 For His merciful kindness is great toward us, And the truth of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!
Isaiah 11:10 “And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people;
For the Gentiles shall seek Him, And His resting place shall be glorious.”
Paul has shown that it has been prophesied that Gentiles, as well as Jews, would place their hope for salvation in Israel’s Messiah. God keeps His Word. He does not know anything other than how to be faithful. Then Paul prays for the believers in Rome for God to fill them with the joy and peace and hope which comes when people believe God’s promises.
Biblical hope like faith is simply taking God at His Word. It is never based on what we can touch or see:
Romans 8:24-25For 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 in God and in His Word, not in what we want Him to do in our lives. It is in His promises, not in our dreams. It is in His plan, not in our own desires. Our hope is in things the Holy Spirit has revealed to us personally. Ex: when I was at my lowest with panic and a fear of death, the Spirit spoke a word to me I have held onto, that I would see my children’s children and that He would restore the years the locust ate. This has given me great comfort over the years.
This is the same kind of personal promise that the Lord gave to David that David clung to in his many years of being an exile and running from King Saul
“The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.” Psalms 138:8 NKJV
King David knew that God would “perfect” or rather “perform all His Word to him”. God would do all He said He would do. One day, David would be king. God would not start something and not finish it. He will complete what he has begun.
Psalm 89:30-34 “If his sons forsake My law And do not walk in My judgments, 31 If they [a]break My statutes And do not keep My commandments, 32 Then I will punish their transgression with the rod,
And their iniquity with stripes. 33 Nevertheless My lovingkindness I will not [b]utterly take from him,
Nor [c]allow My faithfulness to fail. 34 My covenant I will not break, Nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips.”
God will not begin to interpose on your behalf, and then abandon you. He will not promise to save you and then fail to fulfill His promise. He will not encourage you, and then cast you off. He does not dangle a carrot in front of you to tease you and snatch it away from you. God is not a man that He should lie. It is either true or not true. It cannot be both true and not true at the same time. He is not the Nordic god, Loke playing tricks on your heart and your mind.
Isaiah 40:28-31 28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, 31 But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
Hope is in the promises He has written in Scripture. There are promises for our finances- that if we would tithe and give offerings, he will rebuke the devourer. I can attest that this is true, I have witnessed it in my own life. There are promises for a barren mother to have a family. Promises for a blessed life. Promises for healing, deliverance, forgiveness, restoration and of course promises to see us through until our salvation is complete in Him. Promises that He will never leave you nor forsake you if you keep His Word and follow all He commands.
*Caveat: unlike God’s promise to the Jews to give them the land; most of His promises are based upon our obedience to His Word. God’s promises in Scripture are “if” you will, “then” I will. You cannot hold to the promise if you operate in rebellion and disobedience. There is no hope in going your own way and doing your own thing. Your only hope in a path of disobedience is sure destruction. Salvation is corporate, God is preparing a people; but you may not be a part of the people if you continue in rebellion.
God wants us to have hope in Him and His Word. Biblical hope is not a “hope so hope”, as in I hope my friends will throw me a birthday party. Biblical hope is a “know so hope”. It is a full assurance that what God has said, He is faithful to accomplish. EX: Ps Amber posted about God’s word to her about Sera. I remember praying over her because she could not conceive
Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent.
Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
We please Him when we hope and believe in His Word. V. 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.”
But like most things of God, hope is built through the fire. It does not come automatically nor is it produced easily, but rather it is produced through the fiery trials and tribulations of life. One of the things that I have in serving the Lord for 28 years, is that I have seen Him be faithful over and over again. I have countless times that I can look back on, times when I was in pain and suffering and affliction, times of darkness when I saw no end in sight, but choose to hope in God’s Word. In due season, He brought His Word to pass. EX: vision of building FVC, slow and steady, 19 yrs later
“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 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.” Romans 5:3-5 NKJV
Tribulation produces perseverance- we will all go through things, but how will you go through it? You can grumble and complain, be negative and sour and doubtful, or you can choose to hope in God’s Word. Complaining will create doubt, confusion and bitterness, but will bring you great peace and joy. If I can say anything to you it is to stay in the fire and do not quit. EX: I cried when I saw the FVC Academy yearbook. The school is more fruit of God’s faithfulness to those who do not quit believing. Visions will give birth to new visions.
The hope that God desires for us to have is only built in the trial. If God answered you right away and gave you what you were always desiring immediately, we would be spoiled brats. God is not interested in raising spoiled brats, but rather disciplined and well-trained and obedient children. Run from the trial and the fruit God is producing in you will never come to completion. Instead, glory in your tribulation. God is doing something in you. He is producing a child of with perseverance and great faith and strength so that the next storm that comes you will not be blown all over the place, but instead you will be planted like a palm tree in a hurricane, able to withstand 200 mph winds. God is producing perseverance.
Perseverance is vital to growing in your faith, and God wants his people to persevere no matter what happens, so we have to learn how to overcome obstacles, difficulties, trials, and tribulation to experience victory in Christ. We have two choices when faced with hardship – trust in God and keep our vision on Him or quit and abandon hope. God has so much more in store for us and His plan for us that struggles and hardship become blessings and rewards if we persevere!
Perseverance produces character– Character- Greek word dōkimē- “a tested faithfulness”. This character is translated as “approval” means “tested by trial” and is found in Paul’s letter to Timothy
2 Timothy 2:15Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
approved unto God Or ‘one who has stood God’s testing’; the character of a workman that does his work so well, and faithfully, that he need not be ashamed before anyone who inspects it.
This is the type of character God is building in us. Stop running from your trials and hiding away from hardship. Isolation will kill your approval rating before God. He is looking for a few good men. Press into your trial and learn to rely on the Lord for your strength. The Bible says that we have need of endurance- the ability to persevere through a trial. I am telling you as your friend, stop running from affliction and embrace your trial with a firm assurance in the Lord. God is preparing us for a more difficult season. But if you cannot endure offenses, pain, hurt, isolation NOW, you will fall when the real persecution comes. Some of you are not planted in the house of the Lord and so you are not flourishing. You are content with just coming and going as you please, but you have not given yourself over to the Lord’s refining.
Character produces hope- this approval through testing, finally produces the kind of “know so hope” that God desires for His children. David said,
“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope.” Psalms 130:5 NKJV
IN HIS WORD- not in what I want Him to do, but my hope is in His Word. My hope is in what He has spoken and what He has promised to do. We hope in God words not until we get tired, not until we grow weary, but until the word of God prevails. There are women in this church that have been praying and hoping for a child for years- do not stop hoping until He performs His word.
Psalm 113:9 He grants the [a]barren woman a home, Like a joyful mother of children. Praise the Lord!
TAKE GOD AT HIS WORD. BELIEVE what He has said, not in your circumstances. God preserving the land of Israel for the Jewish people throughout thousands of years should show you the faithfulness of God and that He is a God that keeps His Word.
Hebrews 10:23Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
Most of us here are Gentiles- right now, in tonight’s service WE are the fulfillment of God’s Word. We who are here right now to magnify the Lord and give Him all glory are the fulfillment of God’s faithfulness to keep His Word to Abraham.
17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,
Do not stop believing and hoping in God’s Word that your joy may be full. He never fails.
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