“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” Romans 15:7 NIV
Yes, just like the above Scripture says. We are to be accepting of one another in order to bring praise to God, however this is not what I see and often times I am guilty not following the Word either on this matter.
Here is what I see on my job on Sundays mostly. (I no longer work on Sundays :)
- People just getting off from church discussing how much they put in the tithing basket.
- Dressed up folks with an attitude towards cashiers and others.
- Church folk walking past homeless, hungry people in the hallways and outside and some may yell: “I’ll pray for you!”
But this is not the bad part folks. The bad part is how we treat each other as Brothers and Sisters in Christ. If you read the entire chapter 15 of Romans, you will notice that Paul was cajoling us to behave as Christ followers, be imitators of the Lord in order to bring unity to the Church.
Why is this so important? Shouldn’t we be witnessing to strangers and those who are not part of the kingdom?
But how we treat each other reflects how we will and often do, treat strangers. If you don’t bother to communicate with, buy food for and clothe even your own neighbor in Christ- why would you do so for a stranger? Someone you do not know?
Some of us fall into a different category that is just as shallow: We cater to family more because we are bound by DNA- and that is not biblical either. Blood may be thicker than water, but we are speaking about the blood of CHRIST now- which is supreme over ours.
Here’s a breakdown of Romans 15
- Bear with the failings of the weak(v.1)
- Each of us should please his neighbor for the neighbor’s own good(v.2)
- Everything that was written in Scripture, is to teach us(v.4)
- We ought to have one heart and one mouth so we may glorify God and Jesus Christ(v.5)
- Accept one another as Christ accepted us(v.7)
- Christ has become of Jews on behalf of God’s Truth(v.7)
- Christ became a servant of Jews to confirm God’s truth so that the Gentiles may glorify God for His mercy(v.9)
I kept reading Romans over and over again because it would slam into my heart, make me think and then conviction came in. I may not be as ruthless as those Church-goers but is my heart in the right place?
Some will argue that the Pauline letters are not the “Red letters” of Jesus and so it is all based on Paul’s opinion.
I agree…somewhat. But Paul uses the Torah/Pentateuch to back up what he says in most letters- and the discussion of Paul will be saved for a later, longer series of posts.
For now, just ask yourself: Are you running from Romans 15? Find encouragement in Christ. You can do all things though who?
Through Christ who strengthens you!(Phil. 4:13)