Romans 15:9-13 by Robert Dean
Terrorists. Wars. Diseases. Violent weather. What can we do to be safe in all these disasters? Listen to this lesson to learn about God's promises of protection as we face whatever comes our way. See how Paul uses quotes from the Old Testament to point out that God's plan was always for Jews and Gentiles to worship God together. Understand that God the Holy Spirit gives us a confident hope as we grow spiritually with the result that we have joy and peace in our lives.

Spiritual Goals
Romans 15:9-13

The passage we're studying tonight is in Romans 15. Coming out of chapter 14 where there's this emphasis on unity, there's also an emphasis on exercising the law of love toward other believers. There are disagreements on non-essential issues between different groups of believers. Specifically in this context it had to do with food. It is very likely that these issues related to food were generated by many of the Jewish-background believers that were involved in the church in Rome.

As Paul brings this together to a conclusion, starting in Romans 15:7 and 8, he is specifically addressing unity between Jew and Gentile. In Romans 15:7 he said, "Therefore receive one another just as Christ also received us to the glory of God." Now the implication would apply to any different groups of people but in the context, this has to do with some differences between the Jewish-background Christian community and the Gentile-background Christian community.

That becomes very clear through the examples that Paul develops beginning in Romans 15:9 as he goes to four different passages in the Old Testament in order to show that it was always a part of God's plan for Jew and Gentile to come together in unity. So he starts this conclusion, pulling this together in Romans 15:8 where he says, "For [not 'now'] I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision…" That phrase circumcision is a code word for the Jews. It goes back to the fact that circumcision was a sign of the Abrahamic covenant. So he's stating that Jesus came specifically as a servant to the Jews. He came primarily addressing the Jews with the message to repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. He initially sent out his disciples to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. On several occasions he emphasized that His ministry was primarily targeted to Israel.

Paul is taking his readers back to remind them that Jesus Christ came first and foremost as a fulfillment of the Old Testament promises and prophecies related to the Messiah. Continuing in verse 8 Jesus came "As a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers." So we looked at that verse last time. This is an interesting passage to look at in terms of Messianic prophecy. In Galatians 3:16 Paul says, "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He does not say, 'And to seeds', as of many, but as of one, 'And to your seed,' who is Christ."

This is important. When you think through what is taught from the Old Testament concerning the Messiah you'll see its significance. Even the fact that there are Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament in certain areas of evangelicalism today, including professors in the Old Testament Department in Dallas Theological Seminary and at other evangelical schools, there are a lot of questions as to whether there are truly Messianic prophecies, in the Old Testament. Now that's not something that's new. For many of us coming out of our background, that is something that is somewhat surprising. We've always heard, from me and from other pastors that you've listened to, an emphasis on Isaiah 53, Psalm 110, Psalm 122 and many other passages in the Old Testament as the prophecies of the Messiah.

Since the Protestant Reformation, there has been a certain segment of Bible-believing evangelicals like John Calvin and others who were influenced, sort of indirectly, from a stream of thought that came out of rabbinical teaching. We need to understand the background of this. If you go to a lot of Jews and have them read Isaiah 53, if you just put it there, and you don't put verses or a name on it, they're going to think that it comes out of the New Testament. Even if you tell most Jews that it's from Isaiah, they'll still think it's from the New Testament. They don't know the Bible any better than most Christians do.

What happened during this first thousand years is that the Jewish rabbis were trying to figure out ways to sort of de-prophesy these Messianic prophecies. They wanted to remove the implications. There were these various attempts to re-interpret and even change the terminology of the text. There were some Messianic prophecies that were changed when the Masretes put the vowel points in. They knew that when they changed the vowel points it would change the meaning of the word. For example, if you have the English word "stop" and you take the vowel out and change it to an "e", you have a completely different word. If you change it from stop to step, it changes the whole concept. You may look at that and say that in some sentences that wouldn't even make sense. There are a couple of verses in the Bible where the word was changed by changing the vowel points and it's almost impossible to understand that verse as it is in the Masoretic text. That was part of what they did. The Masaretes were recording and preserving the scripture in that period from almost the 2nd century to about the 8th or 9th century A.D. during this same period. They were trying to remove these Messianic prophecies from the Old Testament.

There were a lot of different ways in which they did that. Once they did that and were able to sort of re-interpret these passages, then these new interpretations became embedded within rabbinical teaching. If you go back, for example, to the early Targums you'll see this. Targums were commentaries that were written on the Bible somewhere around the 1st or 2nd centuries. Some Targums were even written before the 1st century. If you go back and read those, they understood some of these passages to be Messianic. If you look at rabbinical commentaries after about A.D. 900– 1000, they no longer understood them to be Messianic so there's this shift.

During the Protestant Reformation you would have Protestant pastors who wanted to learn Hebrew. The only person around them who knew Hebrew was the rabbi in town. The pastors would go and learn Hebrew and they would have conversations with the rabbi and they would pick up these interpretations of the Old Testament that had removed the Messiah from this. So there was a certain stream of even Reformation theologians and pastors, John Calvin being one of them, who didn't see these passages as being Messianic.

One example is Genesis 3:15, a passage when God is announcing the curse on the serpent and said that there would be enmity between the serpent's seed and the woman's seed. The serpent's seed would bruise her seed on the heel and her seed would bruise the serpent's seed on the head. We understand that to be the first indication of the gospel. The seed of the serpent is talking about those who follow the serpent and the seed of the woman is talking ultimately about the Messiah. The key word there is the word seed. So we look at that and understand it but John Calvin didn't look at it like that. Calvin understood the serpent to be just the snake.

There's a man who used to be the head of the Old Testament Department at Dallas Seminary recently. He believes the same thing, that the serpent in Genesis 3 was just a snake. You say, well what about Revelation 12 and 13 that defines the serpent as the devil? They would say that wasn't written when Moses wrote Genesis 3 so how would someone in 1400 B.C. without having access to Revelation know that the serpent in Genesis 3 was more than just a snake? That's their argument. We believe there was an understanding of what these things meant that isn't necessarily identified as such in Scripture. There was a lot that God taught Adam and Eve and a lot that was revealed in the Old Testament that we know of that wasn't recorded in Scripture. Read though Hebrews 11 sometime and it talks about that Abraham did what he did because he saw the city of God, looking to the future. How did he know that? We don't read about that in the Old Testament so just because it's not recorded doesn't mean it wasn't revealed or that they didn't have access to that information.

This term seed takes us back to Genesis 3:15 and to other references to seed in the Old Testament. There are those who will come along and say there's not really this kind of emphasis. You don't really find this reference in the Old Testament. That's why I wanted you to turn so you could mark this in your Bibles to Genesis 22:17. This is near the end of Abraham's life. Genesis 22 is when Abraham takes his son, Isaac, to Mount Moriah to be offered as a sacrifice. And at the last minute in Genesis 22:12 God tells Abraham to stop and not lay his hand on his son or do anything to him because now God knew that Abraham feared God because he had not withheld his son, his only son, from God. Then Abraham saw a ram caught in a thicket. He took the ram and offered it for a burnt offering and called God's name. Then the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven. So he's hearing a voice. If you had your little digital recorder with you, you could record the voice of God. God is speaking objectively to Abraham and says, "By myself I have sworn says the Lord because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son your only son, blessing I bless you and multiplying I will multiply you. Actually this is a Hebrew idiom meaning I will certainly bless you and certainly multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven and as the sands on the seashore.

The word that is translated "descendants" is the word which means seed. It is one of those words that is a collective. We have certain kinds of words like that. Look at the English word "deer" and it can be singular or plural. There are many words like that. Seed is one of those words. It is always singular in form but sometimes it can have a corporate meaning. It can have the meaning of a plural group. You have to look at the context. Sometimes we're talking about a descendant. Sometimes it's talking about multiple descendants. In Genesis 22:17, God says, "I will multiply your descendants. There the word would be considered plural because he's reiterating the promise of the Abrahamic covenant and the context when it's compared to the stars of heaven and the sand on the seashore that indicates a plurality. So this would be seed singular but it's emphasizes a plural subject.

Then he goes on the say, "And your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies." That second word "descendant" is the same form of the word which is a singular in the Hebrew. It changes its meaning. Now how do you know it changes its meaning? Because when you get down to this pronoun in almost every English translation its "their".

Let's go back to English 101. Your pronouns are I, you, he, she, and it. What are your plural pronouns? We or us, you or y'all, and their. So this is translated their, but the Hebrew word has a third person singular suffix. That's how you would indicate the pronoun, it's just a suffix added to the Hebrew word. So it's a third person singular pronoun. What happens is that God shifts. Here He's talking about descendants plural, "I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven and the sand on the seashore." Here he adds something and this descendant should be translated as a singular in order to conform to the third person singular pronoun because this third person singular pronoun refers back to this use of the word "seed". Now that's very subtle.

What happens is that God is shifting from talking about the descendants of Abraham to the "seed" of Abraham. Then in Genesis 22:18 He says, "In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed." This is what Paul is quoting. In these other passages where God uses the word seed and it has a plural sense, that wouldn't fit in Genesis 3:15. Paul is making a specific statement in Galatians 3:16 that the singular noun specifically refers to the Messiah. He is making the statement in Galatians 3:16 that the seed in Genesis 22:17 at the end is referring to the Messiah. He's saying this is a Messianic prophecy.

What happens is that when you don't believe in Messianic prophecies, instead of identifying the word seed here as a singular, you take what is clearly a third person singular pronoun in the text and because it doesn't fit you just change it into a third person plural in the English translation. But it's not a third person plural in the original and the way it makes sense is to make it agree with its antecedent and understand the antecedent could be singular. That noun could be either singular or plural. Then it makes sense by Genesis 22:18 that God is saying, "In your seed [specifically this one singular seed] all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. He's not talking about all of the descendants. Here he is just talking about that singular seed. So that makes this clearly a Messianic prophecy.

Anyone have any questions? This is where it gets really fun when we get into grammar, and why grammar is important. Galatians 3:16 is a very important verse because when we start talking about inspiration and inerrancy and we use those terms plenary [all the Scripture is equally inspired by God]eb and verbal, then we realize it's not the idea that's inspired by God. It's that each and every word is inspired whether it's a singular or a plural or a present tense or an aorist tense or a perfect tense, every part of that word is significant exegetically. We can't just blow past it and say that it's some kind of stylistic choice on the part of the writer or that Paul is going back and he's re-inventing the Old Testament. Some would say it should be understood that all through there it should be "seeds" but Paul is going to force it to say "seed" so he can force it to create a Messianic meaning. The reality is that since there's that third person singular in the text and there's no textual variant that has to mean that the word seed there should be taken as a singular.

Any questions? [Question from audience: Did the Old Testament understand the hypostatic union?] Answer: That's evident in places like Micah 5:2, which talks about the promise of the Messiah that He was going to be born in Bethlehem. Micah 5:2, "But you Bethlehem Ephrata though you are little among the thousands of Judah that out of you shall come forth to me the One to be ruler in Israel whose goings forth are from of old from everlasting." That's clearly Messianic. See, the only way His goings forth can be everlasting is if He's eternal. That means he's got to be God but he's going to be born in Bethlehem.

Right there you have this indication that He's born and yet He's eternal. There are other places like that in the Old Testament where both the human side, his birth, and the eternal side are pointed out. For example, Isaiah 9:6 says that He will be called Mighty God. That's a clear indication there. Isaiah 7:14 says He's going to be born of a virgin and His name is going to be Emmanuel which is God with us. They didn't understand it as clearly as you and I can understand it but they understood He was going to be God and man but analytically they didn't ever figure out what that really meant. Neither did the early church.

It wasn't until you get to the Council of Nicea and later the Council of Chalcedon in the 5th century that you get this wording finally resolved. The early church believed Jesus was God. They also believed He was man but they hadn't figured out how to articulate it and put those two concepts together. Hypostatic union isn't in the New Testament, just like Trinity which Paul didn't have. So Paul didn't think as precisely about the Godhead as you and I can. That just blows your mind when you think about that. They believed in the deity of Christ and the humanity of Christ, that's clear, but they didn't have the vocabulary. They hadn't structured it that way.

Vocabulary is so important. Just go to some country or culture where you have to teach the Bible in a foreign language that doesn't have the theological tradition that the English have. Jess is smiling back there. He's getting ready to go down to Brazil where he's going to have to work through a translator. That's going to be a whole new experience for him. This is what happens. I'm just talking about Russian. If you go to someplace like Zimbabwe or some place in Zambia and you get back in some remote areas where they're still speaking tribal languages, you find that they don't have this kind of precision in their vocabulary to communicate some of these things. I know Jim Meyers worked for years with Margaret in selecting the precise words that should be used for specific things.

When we went to Kazakhstan in 2000 it was so hot. Kazakhstan is about like Tucson, Arizona in August. We were in a room that had two window air conditioning units. We had a hundred people in that room and that room was about 1/3 the size of this auditorium and it was 106°F outside. When those air conditioners were working well it got down to 97°F inside. Half of the room spoke Kazak and half spoke Russian. I had a Kazak interpreter and a Russian interpreter. The Kazak translator was tremendous. He had translated for a lot of American pastors and Bible teachers but they didn't use technical words like reconciliation and justification. I'm not talking about big words like supralapsarianism or things like that. I'm just talking about words that are biblically sound words like imputation and so forth. We would use these words and the interpreter would turn around and look at us like he wasn't sure what the right word would be. So these theological terms are very, very important. This is what is in the background, that there are real Messianic prophecies in the Scripture.

Now let's go forward. In Romans 15:9 Paul continues to talk about why Jesus has come. That He has come first and foremost to the circumcision but this is not to the exclusion of the Gentiles. He came for both. He came to the Jews and He came to the Gentiles. In Romans 15:9 He says, "And that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written: 'For this reason I will confess to you among the Gentiles, and sing to Your name." This is a quote that comes out of a couple of different passages in the Old Testament.

The word for confess here is not HOMOLOGEO but EXOMOLOGEO which adds a little something to it. It's primarily translated praise and that would fit in the parallel in this Psalm. There's a synonymous parallelism. "For this reason I will give praise to you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name." So the synonymous parallelism would be between EXOMOLOGEO and the word sing. So EXOMOLOGEO should be understood to be praise in this particular context.

This comes out of a verse in the Old Testament that's located two places: 2 Samuel 22:50 and Psalm 18:49. In 2 Samuel 22:50 David is rejoicing in God's victory over His Gentile enemies who will eventually serve God. Remember we've gone through how the Old Testament quotes are used in the New Testament. The first one is prophecy. I think that's what's going on here. I've gone back and forth over this, whether it's prophecy or application. I can see a case for application. I might have said that last week but I believe this is prophecy because in each of these places the point that Paul is making is that the writer from the Old Testament is foreseeing a time when Gentiles will be as equally blessed by the kingdom as the Jews. That salvation is not just for Israel. That salvation is not just for the Jews but that it will include both Jews and Gentiles in the future.

Now turn back with me to Psalm 18. We're going to run around in the Old Testament just a little bit to look at the original context of these quotations. Psalm 18 is just one of those tremendous psalms that you ought to spend some time just thinking through. It's one of those psalms that has an historical note to it indicating that this was when David was delivered by God and he is giving thanks because God rescued him from all of his enemies. This is written at the end of David's life looking back on all the ways God delivered him, according to the annotation there, which is inspired. That's really verse 1. It reads, "To the chief musician, a psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who spoke to the Lord these words on the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul." That's part of the inspired text. It tells us the context of when this was written.

He begins with a praise. It says, "I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock [sela] and my fortress [metzuda]…" I pointed out last time that this is the same word as Masada. It just refers to the fact that God is a fortress. "And my deliverer; My God, my strength [stronghold, bulwark] in whom I will trust;" That first word "rock" is sela which indicates that which is a deliverer. It's not the word that indicates a foundation stone or a bedrock.  It's parallel to the word strength. Each of these words indicate a different vantage point. The sum of all these metaphors is that God is the One who protects us. He protects us like a rock. We can hide in the rock and we're protected from the storms of life. He's like a fortress and we're protected from our enemies, whatever is assailing us. He's our deliverer. He's the One who rescues us from the crises of life. He is our strength. This is like a stronghold or a bulwark. He is the One in whom I will trust. He is a shield and that is how we extinguish the arrows and spears and bullets that fly our way. He is our stronghold, which indicates a refuge high above everything else, high on the peak where we're hidden and protected. So David is indicating the sufficiency of God. He and He alone is the One who ultimately protects us.

We can do a lot of things to protect ourselves but ultimately it's God who protects. You can protect your house. You can get an alarm system. You can get a 45 or a Glock. You can get any number of weapons. You can get a blowgun. You can get a Taser. You can get pepper spray. Recently I learned that what's better than pepper spray is wasp and hornet spray because it will shoot a twenty-foot stream and you don't have to wait for the person to get five feet in front of you. There are a lot of different ways to protect yourself but ultimately it's the Lord who protects you. We have a responsibility to protect ourselves. When we leave our house we're going to lock the house. We're going to turn on the alarm system but above all we're trusting the Lord to keep us safe. We live in a world where people can still break in and get our valuables. So we trust in the Lord. He's the ultimate One who provides protection for us when things are tough.

The interesting thing is that when you think through David's life he went through hard time. He went through military defeats. He went through difficulties, yet God sustained him even in the midst of calamity. This isn't a promise that God is going to keep us calamity free. It's that God is going to protect us in and through the calamities of life. So David says in Psalm 18:3, "I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised." Why is He worthy? Because He delivers us from the storms of life. So David concludes, "So I shall be saved from my enemies."

Then we get to the end of the psalm. Psalm 18:46-50, "The Lord lives!" He is a living God as opposed to all the idols. "Blessed be my Rock!" He is the One who provides protection for us. We use the word rock in much the same way metaphorically in English. We see someone who's strong, who's able to withstand difficult circumstances and we say that person is just a rock. We mean they're stable and they're solid which is a very similar metaphor.

"Let the God of my salvation be exalted." We are to praise God for His deliverance. "It is God who avenges me. And subdues the peoples under me;" You know David did his role as a leader but it was ultimately it was God who empowered his leadership and enabled him to rule over his people. "He delivers me from my enemies." David had enemies who were Gentiles: the Philistines, the Amorites, and others who were opposed to Israel.

 "You also lift me up above those who rise against me; You have delivered me from the violent man. Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the Gentiles." If you look at this in your English Bibles, some of them have translated this "nations". The Hebrew word here is goy. Goy according to the Hebrew-Aramaic lexicon of the Old Testament means people, Gentiles, heathens, tribal groups, or nations. Its primary meaning is people who are united by a blood relationship. That is a common ethnic group.

During the time of the Scriptures nearly all nations were ethnically related. You had the Egyptians, the Sumerians, the Israelites, the Moabites, and the Ammonites. They're all ethnic groups. They go back to the tribal divisions that are established in the table of nations back in Genesis 10 and 11. It's important to understand that's called the table of nations but it defines these tribal groups. Those tribal group names become the standard reference point all the way through into prophetic passages such as Ezekiel 38 and 39. If you want to understand who Gog and Magog, Meschah, Tubal and all of those are you have to go back to Genesis 10 to understand who they are.

Initially we had these tribal distinctions that eventually became what the Bible calls nations. These are different from what we call nations today because they came out of this tribal background which is what is indicated in all the lexicons. It goes on to point out that the Hebrew word goy is translated Gentiles in the King James Version of this passage but in other translations it's called nations. Nations has a completely different sense and when you look at the quotations in Romans, Paul uses the word Gentiles. Now when the psalm was translated into Greek in the Septuagint it used the Greek word ETHNO and ETHNOS like goy is a broad term and it is almost universally translated as Gentiles in all of the ancient translations of the text. It's understood that it's not talking about national entities. The text is talking about Gentiles, a group of people who are non-Jewish, who are not in a covenant relationship with God.

The word ETHNOS, according to the Bauer, Danker, Arndt, and Gingrich lexicon describes a body of persons united by kinship, culture, and common traditions. It can mean tribe. It can mean a clan. It can mean Gentiles or it can mean people or even a nation. So the conclusion that I'm coming to here is that those translating Romans 15:9 passage are exactly correct that this should have been translated Gentiles in Psalm 18:49.

There's a contrast between the Jews and the non-Jews who are Gentiles and it's those who are non-Jews who didn't have a covenantal relationship with God who will also be joined with the Jews in the future to give thanks to God. So Paul is going to the Old Testament and pointing out there here are the passages that talk about a future role of the Gentiles and how these will be united in the future.

Now let's look at our next quotation which is in the next verse, Romans 15:10, "And again he says: 'Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people!' " Now you see this right out of the first phrase in Deuteronomy 32:43 where Moses is giving his final message to the Israelites. It's called The Song of Moses and it's written in poetry. It's introduced at the end of chapter 31 and begins, "Give ear on heavens and I will speak and hear O earth the words of my mouth." Why does Moses say that? Because it's by the mouth of two witnesses that something is confirmed. This is a legal document and he's calling upon two witnesses. The first is those who inhabit the heavens, which are the angels. It's not the heaven as an immaterial body of planets and stars because they can't deal with this. He's talking about the sentient beings who inhabit the heavens: the angels. Then he says "And hear, O earth." So he's talking about human beings who inhabit the earth.

He's talking about two witness groups to witness this proclamation. Then he goes all the way through here summarizing everything God has done for Israel and the value of Israel to God and that God is going to fulfill His covenant and bless them. Then we come to the end, the very last verse, after he's gone through all this talking about God's blessing and how He will bless and curse Israel in the future. Then he concludes in Deuteronomy 32:42, "Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people…" So he's talking about how in the future there will be a time when the Gentiles are to worship together with the people of God from the Old Testament, the Jewish people and so Paul is just lifting that one phrase out of the Old Testament to show another indication that in the future Jew and Gentiles will worship God together. That's the point that he's making in terms of unity in Romans 15.

Then in Romans 15:11, "And again: "Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples!" So here he's quoting Psalm 117:1-2, "Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples! For His merciful kindness is great toward us. And the truth of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!" This is the entire psalm. It's the shortest psalm in the Bible. So Paul goes back to Psalm 117 to show another example where a Jewish psalmist is calling upon the Gentiles to praise and worship God and come together. He's saying this was clearly prophesied and indicated in the Old Testament.

He comes to the last quote in Romans 15:12 where he's quoting from Isaiah 11:10. Again this prophecy describes that in the future Gentiles will praise God through the same Messiah that's given to Israel. In Romans 15:12 Paul states, "And again, Isaiah says: 'There shall be a root of Jesse;' " Now Jesse was David's father and so Paul is using this plant analogy, this root that comes out of Jesse is going to be the Messiah.

In other illustrations in Isaiah, the tree of Jesse is cut down, as if it's dead, as if it is no more. This is picturing prophetically the exile after the Babylonian captivity. But then he says in some places that there's going to be a branch coming out of this previously thought to be dead stump. That's a term for the Messiah. He's the branch in other passages in Isaiah. Here it's the root of Jesse. There's this root that comes out of that stump.

Isaiah 11:10 continues: "Who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him." Here again there's that same word goy. It's not talking about nations. It's talking about Gentiles. "And His resting place shall be glorious." Now as you look at the quote in Romans 15:12 you see it's slightly different and that's because of the way the Septuagint translated it into Greek. When the writers of Scripture quote from the Septuagint the Septuagint differs from the Hebrew text that we have. It's not that the Septuagint is wrong. It's just not an accurate translation. The Septuagint is still truth so under inspiration it's accurate.

Romans 15:12 quotes, "And He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, In Him the Gentiles shall hope." They will have this confident expectation of the future. I want you to notice that this key word that Paul brings in here is important to his conclusion. Let's turn back to our passage in Romans and we're going to see that he's going to take the idea of hope and then develop it.

In Romans 15:13, he says, "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing…" Joy and peace comes as a result of believing. Not believing at justification but this is talking about faith afterwards, sanctification. Paul's blessing is that God who is the source of hope will fill us…" This is the same word that's used in Ephesians 5:18 for the filling of the Spirit. What does the Spirit fill us with? He fills us with His Word and as a result we are filled with joy and peace. When we believe God's word the product of that is we have joy and peace. Those terms are used together.

Joy is happiness. It is contentment. It is the presence of tranquility. The peace here is not talking about peace between man and God. It's talking about inner peace and inner happiness. So how do we have that inner peace and inner happiness? Through believing. That is, through trusting in the Word. The result is that we may abound in hope. The God of hope is the one who will enable us to abound in hope by the power of God the Holy Spirit.

Paul concludes this section by turning us back to focus on the role of God the Holy Spirit in sanctification in the church age. This emphasizes that if we want to have hope, joy, and peace this is a result of trusting in the Word of God. Next time we're going to get into the interesting conclusion of Romans and we'll start working our way through the last part of this chapter which is Paul's conclusion to this epistle to the Romans.