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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Accept One Another


Romans 15:1-33 NIV

Accept One Another

1We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. 3For even Christ did not please Himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult You have fallen on Me.”a 

4For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
5May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. 8For I tell you that Christ has become a Servant of the Jewsb on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed 9and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy. As it is written:

“Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles;
I will sing the praises of Your Name.”c
10Again, it says,
“Rejoice, you Gentiles, with His people.”d
11And again,
“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles;
let all the peoples extol Him.”e
12And again, Isaiah says,
“The Root of Jesse will spring up,
One Who will arise to rule over the nations;
in Him the Gentiles will hope.”f
13May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.


Paul the Minister to the Gentiles

14I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another. 15Yet I have written you quite boldly on some points to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me 16to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

17Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. 18I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— 19by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. 20It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation. 

21Rather, as it is written:

“Those who were not told about Him will see,
and those who have not heard will understand.”g
22This is why I have often been hindered from coming to you.


Paul’s Plan to Visit Rome

23But now that there is no more place for me to work in these regions, and since I have been longing for many years to visit you, 24I plan to do so when I go to Spain. I hope to see you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while. 25Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the Lord’s people there. 26For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the Lord’s people in Jerusalem. 27They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings. 28So after I have completed this task and have made sure that they have received this contribution, I will go to Spain and visit you on the way. 29I know that when I come to you, I will come in the full measure of the blessing of Christ.
30I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. 31Pray that I may be kept safe from the unbelievers in Judea and that the contribution I take to Jerusalem may be favorably received by the Lord’s people there, 32so that I may come to you with joy, by God’s will, and in your company be refreshed. 33The God of peace be with you all. Amen.


Chapter 15


The apostle resumes the subject of the preceding chapter; and continues the exhortation to brotherly love and mutual kindness and forbearance. By the "strong" here he means the strong "in faith" in respect to the matters under discussion; those whose minds were free from doubts and perplexities; those, like himself, who know that no kind of food is unclean of itself, and are set free from Jewish prejudices.

His own mind was free from doubt, and there were many others, particularly of the Gentile converts, that had the same views. But many also, particularly of the "Jewish" converts, had many doubts and scruples. Those who are strong must bear the infirmities of the weak; of them that are weak in faith and knowledge, particularly in the knowledge of their freedom from Mosaic observances: their "infirmities" are partly their ignorance, mistakes, and errors, about things indifferent; which they consider and insist on, and would impose upon others, as necessary and obliging.


LESSONS


Christian liberty was allowed, not for our pleasure, but for the glory of God, and the good of others. We must please our neighbor, for the good of his soul; not by serving his wicked will, and pleasing him in a sinful way.  If we thus seek to please men, we are not the servants of Christ. Christ's whole life was a self-denying, self-displeasing life.

Considering His spotless Purity and Holiness, nothing could be more contrary to Him, than to be made sin and a curse for us, and to have the reproaches of God fall upon Him; the just for the unjust. He bore the guilt of sin, and the curse for it; we are only called to bear a little of the trouble of it. He bore the presumptuous sins of the wicked; we are called only to bear the failings of the weak. And should not we be humble, self-denying, and ready to consider one another, who are members one of another?

The Scriptures are written for our use and benefit, as much as for those to whom they were first given. That comfort which springs from the Word of God, is the surest and sweetest, and the greatest stay to hope. The scripture was written that we might know what to hope for from God, and upon what grounds, and in what way. Now the way of attaining this hope is through patience and comfort of the Scripture. Patience and comfort suppose trouble and sorrow; such is the lot of the saints in this world.

The Spirit as a Comforter is the earnest of our inheritance. This like-mindedness must be according to the precept of Christ, according to His pattern and example. It is the gift of God; and a precious gift it is, for which we must earnestly seek unto Him.

Our Divine Master invites His disciples, and encourages them by showing Himself as meek and lowly in spirit. The same disposition ought to mark the conduct of His servants, especially of the strong towards the weak. The great end in all our actions must be, that God may be glorified; nothing more forwards this, than the mutual love and kindness of those who profess faith in Him. 

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