Rom 15: 8-13 Accepting One Another

May 2, 2021 // By:Dave // No Comment

we left off in Romans at verse 7

Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God. 

We are to accept one another, just as Christ accepted us (and for the same reason)

Christ did not die for us because it gave Him comfort , did He ?

No , He laid down what He could have claimed as “rights’ to love those who had none, and to give us a way and a time ta learn what freedoms awaited us.

How are we to love each other ?

the same way Christ loves each of us

(and by the same power)

Why do we love each other ?

It glorifies our Father, builds up our brothers and sisters, and proves we are what we claim to be

We even discussed the idea that the previous verses regarding perseverance were tied into this acceptance (because it takes perseverance to accept one another to glorify God)

Paul continues the idea of acceptance now in verses 9-12

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,…

8-9a The opening verb, “say,” signifies that what follows is an especially “solemn doctrinal declaration.”

λέγω   “ I tell you” (Jesus used the same phrase repeatedly)

This declaration, found in vv. 8-9a and supported with scriptural citations in vv. 9b-12, summarizes one of the central themes of the letter:

God has fulfilled the promise of the Abrahamic covenant by bringing Gentiles into the people of God through the gospel. 

Paul reminds the Roman Christians of this truth in order to encourage them to “receive one another.”(verse 7) For the barrier between strong and weak is at root the barrier between Jew and Gentile, a barrier that Christ’s ministry dismantled. 

Paul makes this clear by showing that Christ provided both for the 

  • fulfillment of God’s promises to the Jews (v. 8) 
  • and for the inclusion of Gentiles in glorifying God (v. 9a).

Romans 11:16b-25 

speaks of the Jews as a cultivated olive tree

  • the root of this tree is referred to as Holy  ἁγία hagia  (set apart by God)
  • unbelieving jews are the branches cut off this tree
  • believing gentiles are the wild olive saplings grafted onto the cultivated tree (making them set apart as well through the holiness of the root.

But the relationship between these two assertions is not clear. There are two viable options:

(3) Paul might intend v. 8b and v. 9a as two parallel purpose expressions dependent on v. 8a:

I say that Christ has become a servant of the circumcision for the sake of the truth of God,

a. in order to confirm the promises made to the fathers;

b. and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for the sake of his mercy.

(4) Verse 8b might express the purpose of v. 8a with v. 9a the purpose, in turn, of v. 8b:

I say that Christ has become a servant of the circumcision for the sake of the truth of God,

in order to confirm the promises made to the fathers,

with the purpose that the Gentiles might glorify God for the sake of his mercy.

this argument over syntax seems closer to one of semantics

 We know that if there is no olive tree standing (representing the kept promise of God to the Jews), there is no place for the wild olive shoot (representing born again gentiles) to be grafted into.

whether these two are parallel or the first is causal to the second,

the second cannot take place without the first previously existing

but what is this phrase “servant of the circumcision” ?

“Christ has become a servant of the Jews” (v.8). This simple, brief statement epitomizes the earthly ministry of our Lord, who announced that he was 

sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt 15:24) 

and restricted the activity of his disciples during those days to their own nation (Matt 10:5, 6). 

The word “servant” reminds us to what lengths Jesus was prepared to go to minister to the needs of Israel (cf. Mark 10:45). This dedicated limitation of ministry to his own people was in the interest of “God’s truth” in the sense of God’s fidelity to his word, more specifically his promises made to the patriarchs (cf. 9:4, 5). God pledged himself to provide for Abraham a progeny that would culminate in Christ himself as the Redeemer (Gal 3:16). This was a salutary reminder to the Gentile element in the church (the strong) that God had given priority to Israel, lest Jewish believers should be slighted or depreciated. As noted earlier, a similar motive underlies Paul’s treatment of the Jewish question in chapters 9 to 11.

Once that point has been made, however, Paul brings out the truth that all the time God’s purpose was not exclusively directed toward the nation of Israel (cf. Gen 12:3)

Gen. 12:3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

 since ever and again in the Scriptures the Gentiles are viewed as embraced in the saving mercy of God and responding to it. Consequently, the Jewish believer of Paul’s time should not think it contradictory for God to lavish his grace on the nations through the gospel.

Paul now quotes OT to support this truth that gentiles would be blessed through the Jewish messiah

and for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy; as it is written,

“Therefore I will [e]give praise to You among the Gentiles,

And I will sing to Your name.” (psalm 18:50)

10 Again he says,

“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people.”

11 And again, (Deut 32:43)

“Praise the Lord all you Gentiles,

And let all the peoples praise Him.”

12 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.” (Isaiah 11:10)

  • Jews who believe are left attached to the cultivated olive tree
  • jews who reject Christ are cut off of this tree
  • gentiles who believe are grafted onto the tree and become part of it
  • jews and gentiles are expected and empowered to persevere through differences and accept one another in the same way that Christ accepted each one of them (us) to the glory of the Father.

How did Christ accept each one of us ?

How does that translate into accepting each other ?

is our unity based on thinking alike ? (or having similar doctrinal agreements or hobbies)

Our unity is based upon our hope in Christ and His work (nothing less, nothing more)

4 point calvinist or 5 point calvinist, we are brothers and sisters

tongues or cessation of tongues, we are brothers and sisters

liberal or conservative, we who are in Christ, are brothers and sisters.

We persevere and accept one another because we are all in the same olive tree

(because He first accepted us and paid dearly to bear that acceptance)

13 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.

abound abound (2x)  G4052 (64x)

[NIV Greek]

4355   [4052]   περισσεύω, perisseuō, v.  [4356]. to have more than enough, overflow, to have an excessive amount of something, ranging from moderate excess to a very great degree of excess

Both OT and NT occurrences of the word “abound” portray an overflowing abundance. In fact, the Greek term (perisseuo) is translated “overflow” in every use in the NT Epistles (Ro 5:15; 15:13; 2 Co 1:5; 4:15; 8:2; 9:12; Col 2:7; Php 1:26; 1 Th 3:12). The OT emphasis is on the character of God. 

He is “abounding in mercy” to all who call on him (Ps 86:5). 

Often God is described as “slow to anger” and “abounding in mercy and truth” (Ex 34:6; Ne 9:17; Ps 86:15; 103:8; Joel 2:13; Jnh 4:2). The repetition of this formula shows that in building our concept of God it is important for us to grasp God’s hesitancy to be angry. We need to realize his eagerness to love.

It is wonderful that as we experience God’s overflowing love he will work in us, so that we too will have a growing love for others that abounds more and more (Php 1:9).

Phil. 1:8 For aGod is my witness, how I long for you all with the 1affection of bChrist Jesus.

Phil. 1:9 And this I pray, that ayour love may overflow still more and more in breal knowledge and all discernment,

Phil. 1:10 so that you may 1adiscover the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and blameless for bthe day of Christ;

Phil. 1:11 having been filled with the afruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, for the glory and praise of God.

notice that this over abundance comes from the Holy Spirit (not generated by our own will) but there is a part for us to play to receive this abounding hope …

believing.   (we receive this filling from God by believing)

believing what ?

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,…

1 Pet 1:3-5

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.


About Dave

Browse Archived Articles by Dave

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.