Memorise Romans 15:2
“Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification”
DO YOU EDIFY OTHERS?
One of the difficulties the early church faced, was how the Gentiles and the Jews would be able to live together in the unity and love of Christ. They had very different cultures and many came from pagan backgrounds. There was also history of animosity between the various groups. The Apostle Paul wanted very much for them to be able to live and love each other as brethrens. Today it is no different as in any local church there will be many races and nationalities as well as differences in social status, educational background and spiritual maturity.
In this portion of Scripture, we are taught that those who consider themselves strong are to bear with the infirmities and weaknesses of others. The strong are not to criticize, judge or even to get him/her to conform to their standard or ways – especially it is only a perceived “weakness”. If a brother is really weak, we are to help him by reaching out to him, speak to him, pray with him, teach him and try our best to restore him to the Lord. We are exhorted to build the weak spiritually, not to pressure them to conform to you. The example that we draw from is of course our Lord Jesus Christ. He did not please himself but devoted Himself to the best and highest interests of others. We are also given the Scriptures that we may read and learn to form right attitudes and treat people with respect. Paul prayed that believers might adopt these principles of conduct – that we might think and act as Christ did. The result is that we glorify “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” If Christ has received the Christian who is very different in many ways from me, I need also to receive him, “to the glory of God.” If Christ has accepted him, who am I to do otherwise?
Dear teen, the glory and love of God is that He has saved so many people of every tribe and nation and race. God’s mercy and love is indeed very wide and far reaching. That should teach us to accept brethren who are weaker and poorer than us. Jesus loved them and died for them. Who am I to judge? Instead, if I am really following Christ, then I should seek to edify others. Jesus cared for the poor and the weak. Indeed they were the ones who received him but not the proud Pharisees. Romans 15: 7 tells us that when you receive one another, regardless of their race, background or infirmities, it is to the glory of God. Do you have this attitude?
Thought: “We might say, ‘Any friend of His (Jesus) is a friend of mine‘.” (Robert H. Mounce).
Prayer: Lord, may I understand and obey You in this – to receive one another, as Christ has received us. Forgive me for my prejudices.