Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. 8For 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, 9 and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.10 And again it is said, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.” 11 And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples extol him.”12 And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.” 13 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.Romans 15: 7-13
There must have been some really uncomfortable times happening between the different factions of people that were now made into one church body. Jews and Gentiles are sharing the same space and Paul is exhorting them not to allow divisions. Christ loved us and covered our faults. He moved on our behalf for good and welcomed us into His heart. Paul uses a series of Old Testament scriptures to show how God had fortold that He would bring the Gentiles to praise Him. He said, As it is written…. and again…. and again…and again… “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.” Christ fulfilled the scriptures.
All that Paul has stated:
- Dont quarrel over opinions
- Bear with one another
- Strong ones help the weak
- Dont be a stumbling block
- Follow Christ’s example
Paul told us why we are to “WELCOME ONE ANOTHER” or receive one another. He said it because Christ has welcomed you. Paul ends this section with again a prayer.
Notice the title of God here that Paul uses: God of Hope! Matthew Henry said, “He is the foundation on which our hope is built, and he is the builder that doth himself raise it: he is both the object of our hope, and the author of it.” Now notice what he prays for them that the God of hope will “fill you with all joy and peace in believing.” If we have joy in our God and peace in our conscience, could we not also have peace with eachother, “so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” With this hope abounding by the power of the Holy Spirit we are able and made equip to live in the unity we are being called too.
I find it most interesting that this prayer also serves somewhat as a descriptor of order. We must first have God as our joy. He must be our prize possession. With Him as our joy we can walk in peace with ourselves, having our conscience not condemn us in what we ourselves do. When we are lined up properly with God and ourself then we are able through the power of the Holy Spirit to live in unity with others.
Genuine faith yields peace with God, myself, and others. This is where hope abounds.
Thanks for Listening,