“Wherefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God. 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, ‘Therefore I will give praise to Thee among the Gentiles, and I will sing to Thy name.’ ” Romans 15:7-9
As the Holy Spirit moved the apostle Paul to dictate his letter to the Roman church through the stylus of Tertius, the obvious central theme is justification before God by means of faith in Jesus Christ versus justification by means of the works of the law.
However, one cannot help but notice the continual use of terms like “all”, “every”, and “everyone”. The Holy Spirit makes it clear from early in the letter that “all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Rom. 1:8) will experience the wrath of God, that “all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law; and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law” (Rom. 2:12) with the summation statement that “we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin.” (Rom. 3:9) Conversely, here is what the Spirit moves Paul to write concerning those who would believe in Christ: “But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction” Paul through the Spirit progressively builds the scriptural case (O. T. passages) in his letter to the Romans that the LORD’s plan has always been intended for all who are of faith, for the Jew first, then the Gentile. From chapters nine through eleven, Old Testament quote after Old Testament quote is cited by the apostle proving God’s plan included the nations. Picking it up again in chapter fifteen, Paul brings more examples from the Scriptures written for our instruction by referencing an inspired utterance by David. The quote comes from 2 Samuel 22:50 and the parallel passage in Psalm 18:49. “Therefore I will give thanks to Thee, O LORD, among the nations, and I will sing praises to Thy name.” If you go back and read the context in the chapters from 2 Samuel and Psalm 18 from which this passage is cited, you’ll note it’s a thanksgiving of praise to God from David after being delivered from the hand of his enemies. The closing verse of David’s thanksgiving of praise to God reads: “He gives great deliverance to His king, and shows lovingkindness to His anointed, to David and his descendants forever.” (Ps. 18:50) It is obvious this is yet another reference back to the original promise made to David and his seed that God would establish his house and his throne forever (2 Sam. 7:12-16) with the fulfillment of that promise recognized spiritually through the Messiah, Jesus Christ. In recognition of the LORD’s mercy, deliverance, and exaltation of David to the throne, David willingly confessed the Lord and sang His praises among the nations. David obviously serves as a type of Christ in these passages. Once Jesus had been delivered from His enemies through His resurrection and exaltation to the throne, the promised message of salvation in Him was set to be commonly confessed and He, “believed on in the world” (1 Tim. 3:16). Paul, a once violent persecutor of the spiritual seed of David (Christ and His church), “was shown mercy” and “found mercy in order that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience, as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.” (1 Tim. 1:13b, 16) Paul understood he was part of God’s plan to fulfill the prophetic utterances of David in taking his praise and confession of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles “to glorify God for His mercy”, as one who had personally experienced that same deliverance and mercy. Paul knew his purpose and reminded the brethren of the grace given him by God “to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, that my offering of the Gentiles might become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 15:16) As beneficiaries of God’s mercy and spiritual royal descendents exalted to the throne in heaven, it is now our turn to do as our spiritual fathers David and Paul did. Let’s magnify our ministry by accepting one another, working together to bring the mercy of God in Christ Jesus to those around us!