*Scripture verses covered in this section's commentary are noted in italics

Romans 15:7-11 meaning

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Romans 15:7
  • Romans 15:8
  • Romans 15:9
  • Romans 15:10
  • Romans 15:11

Christ made us acceptable in the presence of God, though we did not deserve it. In light of this, we should accept one another as we are, Gentile or Jew. Christ came to earth to be a servant to the Israelites, to prove that God keeps His promises to His people, and to bring salvation to the Gentiles. There are many Old Testament prophecies that tell of the Gentiles praising God.

Paul returns to the principle stated at the beginning of this chapter: Accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God (v 7). Righteously living by faith looks like bearing each other’s weaknesses, accepting one another, and following Christ’s example (Galatians 6:2).

Christ has accepted us by dying on our behalf, and taking our sins upon Himself (2 Corinthians 5:21). He laid down His own life for ours. In doing this He showed God’s love for the world (John 3:16). Accordingly, in that He showed God’s character and essence, what He did was to the glory of God. 

Just as Jesus put others first before Himself, so are we exhorted to do. In doing so, we also glorify God. When we accept one another just as Christ also accepted us, then we also show God’s essence, and show His glory to others. 

Jesus Himself came down to earth so that we could be accepted by God. He meets us where we are, as Paul notes in this passage. 

Once again, he uses the Old Testament to show God’s great mercy to all peoples. However, Jesus came first to the Jews in order to ultimately serve all of humanity: 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 (v 8).

As Paul asserted in Chapters 9-11, God has not cast off Israel. All the promises to Israel will be fulfilled, for the promises of God are irrevocable (Romans 11:29). Christ became a servant to the circumcision meaning that Jesus came to serve Israel and offer Himself as their promised messiah (Matthew 15:24). Through their rejection, Israel brought a blessing to the world (Romans 11:11-12). 

Paul introduces the Old Testament verses by telling us the two things that the Scripture promises, not only to confirm the promises given to the fathers (the promises to Israel and all Jews) but also for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy (v 9). 

The Old Testament scriptures promised deliverance and benefit to the Jewish people. Those promises are still intact, and will be kept fully, as the promises of God cannot be revoked (Romans 11:29). But God also promised great benefit to the Gentiles. Through Christ, the promises to both people groups will be fulfilled. 

As Paul will now demonstrate through his quotes, the Gentiles were prophesied to bring praise to God for His mercy upon them. 

We, as believers, are encouraged to accept one another in the same way, just as Paul wrote at the beginning of this chapter (v 2), “Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification” (Romans 15:2). In accepting and pleasing one another, our goal is to help each other grow in faith and character. We challenge each other to become more like Christ. 

This is what living harmoniously looks like, and it glorifies God by demonstrating the love of Jesus in action—accepting those who are not acceptable.

In this chapter, Paul references Christ multiple times as an example to follow (vv 3, 5–8). He explains that Christ has become a servant to the circumcision on behalf of the truth of God to confirm the promises given to the fathers (v 8). 

Christ came down to earth to be a servant to the Israelites (the circumcision) to fulfill all that God had promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The original promise God made to Abraham included the promise that in him “all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). 

Those of us who are the Gentiles ought to glorify God for His mercy (v 9) because He extended mercy to all humanity, who are all weak in comparison to God, and because He has brought us into His grace. This acceptance was accomplished through Christ, who was a servant to both Jews and Gentiles. Christ is our example of how to accept one another. Christ met sinners where they were and spoke truth to them, giving them the choice to put their faith in Him.

Paul quotes Psalm 18:49, Deuteronomy 32:43, and Psalm 117:1 to demonstrate that the Old Testament predicted that Jesus would deliver the entire world (John 3:16):

As it is written,

“Therefore I will give praise to You among the Gentiles,
And I will sing to Your name.” 

This is a quote from Psalm 18:49, showing that Jesus will be praised among the Gentiles. 

Again he says,

“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people.”

This quotes Deuteronomy 32:43, also showing that the Gentiles are intended to be included into the blessing of the root of the olive tree which is Israel (Romans 11:17). Paul then adds an additional quote from Psalm 117:1,

And again,

“Praise the Lord all you Gentiles,
And let all the peoples praise Him (vv 9–11).”

It should be no surprise that history is bringing together Jews and Gentiles into a common faith. It should be no surprise because it was predicted in the scriptures from of old. Paul, a Jew, is ministering to Gentiles, according to God’s call upon him (Acts 9:15). 

Paul’s gospel of faith leads to one purpose in the end of this letter: the glory of God. God is glorified when we accept one another, when we serve one another, and when we thank Him for His mercy. This is because when we do this we show His character and His original design for the world, which was for all things to be in harmony. 

As Paul stated earlier, the Law provides accountability before God for our actions (Romans 3:19). But the law of faith provides accountability of the heart (Romans 3:27). God places in our hearts the knowledge of how to love and serve others (Romans 10:8). When we hear, believe, and act upon that word then we are able to live righteously (in accordance with God’s design for us to live in harmony with His will). 

When we behave this way in our daily living, we demonstrate the love of God to others, and we glorify God by reflecting His nature.

In the next section Paul will continue this thought, and will quote from Isaiah. 

Biblical Text

7 Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God. 8 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, 9 and for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy; as it is written,

“Therefore I will give praise to You among the Gentiles,
And I will sing to Your name.”

10 Again he says,

“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people.”

11 And again,

“Praise the Lord all you Gentiles,
And let all the peoples praise Him.”

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