This is the sermon for Sunday, May 16th, 2010.  This is the last sermon in the series.

Practical Christianity part 12

Christ, our hope.

Romans 15:8-13.

Romans 15:8-13 ESV – 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, 9and 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.” 10And again it is said, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.” 11And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples extol him.” 12And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.” 13May 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.

INTRODUCTION

This is the final sermon in our series from Romans 12:1-15:13 entitled, “Practical Christianity.”

In the last few sermons we’ve been dealing with matter’s of conscience and how they can separate believers.  We’ve seen what Paul had to say on the issues and tried to apply what he wrote to our situations.

In the last sermon we dealt with verses 1-7.  In these verses Paul states what the Christians obligation is in these matters: we are to be patient and bear with the weaknesses of other believers.  Remember, Paul is primarily using food as our example.

In today’s sermon we are going to see Paul wrap up this argument concerning these issues that can divide.  He is going to reveal the truth that the only true way to bear weaknesses and unite is through Christ.  He is our only hope.  Let’s begin.

Christ: the servant to the Jews.

Romans 15:8 ESV – For 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.

How was Jesus a servant to the Jews (circumcised)?  Well, let’s do a little word study.

Servant:

  • Greek word diakonos (dee-ak’-on-os).
  • An attendant, waiter, minister, teacher, pastor.
  • So Jesus was a servant in the ministry sense, not in the unloved slave sense.

You see, He came to earth and fulfilled the Old Testament Jewish Prophesies concerning the coming Messiah.  He fulfilled those prophesies to the smallest detail – like a waiter would take your specific order and come back with the order just as you requested; Christ took what was prophesied in the Old Testament Scriptures and fulfilled them completely.

Why did Jesus do this?

  • To show God’s truthfulness. What this means is that God’s Word was pointing to the Messiah who would be the Sacrifice for sin – He served in the capacity to show that what God prophesied was true.
  • To confirm the promises. Promises not only to the Jews, given to the Old Testament patriarchs, but the New Testament revelation of how these prophesies are fulfilled for Gentiles as well.

Galatians 3:28-29 ESV – 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

Christ: the hope for Gentiles.

Romans 15:9-12 ESV – 9and 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.” 10And again it is said, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.” 11And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples extol him.” 12And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.”

I want us to view the Gentiles as sinners.  Think about this for just a moment; Jesus came to the people of the covenant (the Jews), so that the people outside of the covenant (the Gentiles) might be saved!  You see, the one thing that both the Jew and Gentile have in common before a Holy God is the fact that both groups of people are sinners!

And the one thing the legalist has in common with the believer who is not a legalist before a Holy God is the same thing:  We are sinners!  We struggle with our fallen nature; whether you choose to live by some law, or personal freedom – there is a struggle with sin and the consequences of it.  Even our righteous acts when compared to the true righteousness of God are filthy rags.

Isaiah 64:6a NIV – All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.

So the only hope we have is not a righteousness that comes from obeying the Law or doing good deeds, but the righteousness of God Himself that is given to us through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:8b-9 ESV – 8For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.

The only hope we have concerning practical matters is found in Christ.

Romans 15:13 ESV – 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.

Hope is birthed by God, found in Christ, and abounding toward us through the Holy Spirit.

CONCLUSION

As we conclude this sermon and series, may we find the hope and answers in practical Christian living in Christ Jesus.  He is our only true hope.

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