Romans 15:8-9 — Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:
And that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to Thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto Thy name.
Paul has been encouraging unity among believers. Here he gives another reason — Christ has ministered to all, Jews and Gentiles.
Verse 8 is saying that He came primarily for the Jews. Verse 9 explains that His ministry was a necessary foundation for the salvation of all nations.
The quote in verse 9 is from Psalm 18:49 — Therefore will I give thanks unto Thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto Thy name.
This verse has three levels:
- David celebrating his defeat of other nations.
- Gentiles thanking God for salvation.
- Ultimate fulfillment in the Millennium
was a minister — past tense. Christ's earthly ministry. But He answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matthew 15:24). While He was on earth, Christ was confirming the promises made to Israel.
Promises to Israel, mercy to Gentiles — but even this fulfilled a promise to Israel — And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed (Genesis 12:3).
Verses 9-12 are all confirmation of God's promise to Israel that all Gentiles would be blessed. Paul's ministry confirms this promise, but it won't be fulfilled until the Millennium.