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.”(II Samuel 22:50) And again he says, “Rejoice , O Gentiles, with His people.”(Deuteronomy 32:43) And again, “Praise the Lord all you Gentiles, and let all peoples praise Him.”(Psalms 117:1) And 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)
Christ has become a servant (minister) to the Jews (the circumcision) to establish something or to confirm something. What is established or confirmed is the Greek word “epangelia” for promises referring here to the unconditional covenants given to Israel. Unconditional covenants mean that God makes a promise in which there are no “strings attached” and therefore the fulfilment of that promise demands that God keep His word. None of the unconditional covenants have ever been fulfilled, they are still outstanding. The promises are said to have been given to the fathers who are the Old Testament writers/prophets who received these four unconditional covenants. God is responsible for the fulfilment of the unconditional promises made to the ancestors of the Jews. “Bebaioo” is the Greek word for confirm, which means correctly to establish or to make secure. There were many believers in Israel in the past and there will be many believers in Israel in the future. They have been given unconditional promises which have not been fulfilled. Israel will be regathered and there will be the fulfilment of these covenants, and all divine promises which are unconditional will be fulfilled.
This unconditional covenant was the curse that came upon mankind as the result of sin. The man was condemned to work by “the sweat of his face,” the woman was cursed with great pain in childbirth and the man was given authority over her. But more importantly was the promise of the coming Redeemer in verse 15 that will “bruise the head of the serpent,” an obvious reference to the fact that Christ will conquer Satan in the end.
This unconditional covenant was given by God to Noah and his family after the flood and was a promise never to destroy the earth again with water (the rainbow was given as a permanent sign to God’s faithfulness). It also reestablished the proper order in nature. God gave specific unconditional promises regarding Noah’s sons and their future.
This unconditional covenant was given to Abraham in seven parts;
This unconditional covenant was a confirmation of an earlier promise to Abraham regarding the Promised Land. Though it seems from some statements that this is a conditional covenant, the only condition was time (when Israel as a nation returns to the Lord), and this does not make it conditional. It was a part of an unconditional covenant to Abraham and cannot be changed. We know from other passages that Israel will indeed return to the Lord in the future. There are seven elements to this covenant:
This unconditional covenant was given to David and promised a Royal linage, a throne and a kingdom. It is this covenant that establishes forever the line of David through which the Messiah would come. The promises of this covenant guaranteed five things:
This unconditional covenant was prophesied by Jeremiah and will be fulfilled in the Millennium for Israel. Since Israel as a nation failed to keep the Mosaic Law, God in His grace made a new agreement with the nation, which we call the New Covenant. The interesting thing about this covenant is that the Church has been made a party to it because Jesus Christ is the Mediator of this covenant. This covenant was a “blood” covenant based upon the substitutionary spiritual death of Christ for all mankind. Both the Jews and the Gentiles (who have been “grafted” into the covenant) are recipients of the blessings of this covenant in this dispensation as members of the Royal Family of God, the Church. In the Dispensation of the Millennium, Israel as a nation will be the recipient of these same blessings. This was the covenant spoken of by Jesus in the upper room at the Last Supper. It is a covenant of grace not law and is entered into by man (including Israel in the Millennium) upon faith in Christ, which of course is non-meritorious. We must remember that the Mosaic Law, which was superceded by this covenant, was conditional and based on man’s obedience. The New Covenant, on the other hand, is unconditional and based on God’s faithfulness. (Hebrews 8:7-10:39; Romans 11:1-36)
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Happiness is the content of doctrine in your soul which connects you to God, so that you are aware of God in all of His attributes and that you have new priorities which demand sharing the happiness of God. The new priorities are the result of your advance in the plan of God and your personal relationship with God. Therefore happiness is related inevitably to doctrine since doctrine is our awareness of God, our relationship with God, our understanding of God and our appreciation of God. And happiness is thinking, not emoting. Peace is the Greek word “eirene,” which refers to spiritual prosperity. It means that you have developed a harmonious relationship with God which results in harmonious relationships with others. Peace with God and peace from God are the principles Paul is teaching here.
Hope is in the sense of absolute confidence and assurance with regard to a future event. This event is the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ and the fulfilment of God’s unconditional promises to Israel. The power of the Holy Spirit is the function of the filling of the Spirit in the perception of Bible doctrine. There is no perception of doctrine apart from the ministry of the Holy Spirit. It also refers to the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the proper application of doctrine.