8 Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers,
Verses eight and nine show how Jesus carried out His example of relating to others. He did this with objectives made to two different groups:
to confirm the promises made to Israel (v. 8) and
to enable the Gentiles to glorify God (v. 9).
8 Now I say [declare]
Having set forth Jesus as the model for relationships among Christians, Paul now solemnly declared how the Lord carried out His ministry as a servant.
that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision (Jews)
Born as a Jew to become Israel’s Messiah, Jesus was a “servant” to the Jews. “Has become” shows that Jesus operated (and still operates) as a servant at the time of the writing of Romans.
for the truth of God,
God is true to His promises. These promises are the unconditional covenants of the Old Testament for Israel. If God says something, He will do it. We can hold Him to His Word.
to confirm [guarantee] the promises made to the fathers,
The first goal of Jesus’ ministry was “to confirm the promises” made to national Israel. The word “confirm” is a legal term denoting certainty that God will fulfill the promises or covenants He made with Israel.
God’s integrity demands that He keep His Word.
Jesus showed the truth and integrity of God by confirming the covenants (contracts with Israel in the Old Testament). God is a person of integrity. He would never make a promise and not keep it. Integrity without fact is useless. Data without integrity is dangerous.
We find both perfect righteousness and truth in an absolute God. In Christ, we see integrity manifested in the flesh. Man has a modified integrity. His integrity is relative and incomplete. Perfection resides only in God, and this presents a problem to man with his relative ethics. He cannot find his way by operation bootstraps to perfection. However, God found a solution to His absolute perfection by sending Christ to die for our sins—past, present and future. Our only hope to relate to God is through Christ. The Old Testament foreshadowed His coming in scores of ways, and He personally confirmed them all by His coming.