Romans 15:9b-16

In Romans 15:9b-16 Paul begins to share some scripture from the Old Testament. He quotes a series of passages from the scriptures demonstrating that God intends that the Gentiles praise Him. Instead of dividing over disputable matters, Jews and Gentiles should unite in Jesus over the common ground of praise. “As it is written, “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.” Praise and worship is definitely one thing God desires from us. Whether Jew or Gentile. God loves to hear us praise Him and be together. “And again it is said, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.”

Paul continues with the Old Testament passages that point us to our purpose on earth – to worship and exalt God. “And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples extol him.” Paul quotes Isaiah next. “And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.” The prayer and blessing concluding the section is appropriate. As God fills us with the blessings of His joy and peace in believing, we are equipped to live in this common bond of unity God calls us to. “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.” There is hope in the power of the Spirit.

Paul then reveals why he is writing. He has a burden for the church. Paul didn’t write because he felt the Roman Christians couldn’t discern what was right before God or admonish each other to do right. Rather, he wrote to remind them, encouraging them to do what they knew was right. Our challenge is often not knowing what to do – but rather in actually doing what we know to be right. “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.” And he reminds us that we have the Spirit living within us which means we should live God’s way, and we also need to help each other stay that course. The Christian life was never intended to be a solo event.

Paul reminds them that he hasn’t held back but has boldly called them out. He’s a minister of God’s truth and makes no apology for doing what he’s been called to do. “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 fulfilling this call, he didn’t just preach the gospel of salvation but also instructed believers how to live before God.

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