May 15, 2017

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Reading along with us in Romans? Here’s today’s reading:

Romans 15 (ESV)

We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3 For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” 4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, 6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

8 For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, 9 and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,

“Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles,
and sing to your name.”
10 And again it is said,

“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.”
11 And again,

“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,
and let all the peoples extol him.”
12 And again Isaiah says,

“The root of Jesse will come,
even he who arises to rule the Gentiles;
in him will the Gentiles hope.”… Continue Reading

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This Post Has 6 Comments
  1. I read Hebrews 8, 9 and 10 today. I was thinking about it yesterday during communion, remembering what Christ’s death meant for us. A High Priest offering and being the offering so that we can enter the Most Holy Place. He cleansed us to enter the heavenly tabernacle. “He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.”

  2. Interesting that Paul recognizes we divine encouragement to live in harmony with each other. Why is living in harmony with each other so hard

  3. Jim, I think we probably know the answer to that, don’t we? We tend to be self centered, self promoting, and self protecting. We have different personalities, different perspectives and different backgrounds. And it is our pride that keeps us stuck in it and unwilling to look at others above ourselves. Where God’s power help is when He is taking care of us we don’t have to protect and defend ourselves. We are freed to serve others because God has our back.

    In this chapter I am also grateful for God’s plan to save the gentiles and Paul’s willingness to lay down his live to take the gospel to us non-Jews.

  4. Romans 15:1-7:

    Imagine how hard it must’ve been for Jews and Gentiles to co-exist in the church when Paul wrote this letter. You have two distinct groups:

    Jews: Disciples of Jesus who had been raised to keep the Law, and who had always measured themselves (and been measured by others) according to how well they kept it. They knew God as the holy God He is. (Read the Old Testament!) Obedience was not an afterthought, a “maybe,” a suggestion. They feared God, knew Him as a God of righteousness and justice, and were struggling to understand the joyous new freedom Christ had purchased for them. “Walk in the Spirit and you will not gratify the deeds of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16) “Whaaaaat?”

    Gentiles: Disciples of Jesus who were now — by God’s grace through their faith in Christ — heirs to the promise given by God to the Jews. Yet, BIG difference, the Gentiles didn’t have to contend with the burden of the Law always beckoning them back into bondage. They also didn’t have the history with God the Jews did. Their frame of reference for who God is was very different. Because they hadn’t grown up with fear of God, they perhaps didn’t now live with reverence for Him.

    These two groups were now living in Christian community with one another. I imagine it was difficult for the Jews, especially, who understood the holiness of God in a very special way. But it must also have been frustrating for the Gentiles, who kept hearing about “obedience”!

    Paul reminds the Jews in this chapter to welcome the Gentiles, to instruct them, to bear with their failure to understand fully, and to trust that the Holy Spirit will sanctify them. This is a message to us as well, because it can be hard to live in Christian community with believers who seem to take God lightly, who don’t have a holy fear of Him, who perhaps don’t grasp what they’ve escaped by His mercy. (The entire Bible — including the New Testament! — speaks of a God to be feared if you’re His enemy.) Or it can be hard to be in community with believers who are so driven to obey God perfectly that they seem joyless, heavy-burdened, and frustrated. (The entire Bible — including the Old Testament! — speaks of a God who loves us despite ourselves!)

    “For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy.” Romans 14:8-9

    Jesus is both the promise kept and the mercy shown. Hallelujah!

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