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Aug 16, 2020

Originally Presented: February 1st, 2009

Scripture Reading: Romans 15:7-13

The final exhortation to Christians to accept one another, in spite of their behavioral differences in non-essential things, includes a deliberate reference to the whole Old Testament by way of quotations.  One last time before he leaves his topic, Paul states in no uncertain terms, ". . . accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God" (Rom 15:7).

First, the coming of Christ is the fountain of the salvation of believing Jews.  "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" (Rom 15:8).

Second, the coming of Christ is the fountain of the salvation of believing Gentiles.  "And for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy; as it is written, 'Therefore I will give praise to Thee among the Gentiles, and I will sing to Thy name'" (Rom 15:9).  Jew and Gentile are made one in Christ so there is infinite reason for them to accept each other in spite of differences of conscience and behavior.

To buttress the notion that the mercy of God has been extended to the Gentile world, Paul quotes from the three sections into which the Jews divided the Old Testament … Law, Prophets, Writings.  Romans 15:10 is from Deuteronomy 32:43 (Law);  Romans 15:11 is from Psalm 117:1 (Writings); Romans 15:12 is from Isaiah 11:6 (Prophets).

The whole of the Old Testament sounds the theme that the glory of God is to be echoed in the nations of the earth, Jew and Gentile alike.  The promises made to Abraham will be enjoyed by all who trust in Abraham's Messiah.  It is a message of great hope (Romans 15:13).