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Bible Gem 268 - Live in Harmony as you Follow Christ (Rom 15:3-16)

March 31, 2019

 

For even Christ did not please himself. 

For everything that was written long ago was written for our instruction . . . hope through the endurance and encouragement of the Scriptures 

Now may God . . . allow you to live in harmony with each other as you follow Christ Jesus, 

so that with one mind and one voice you might glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ accepted you, for the glory of God. 

For I tell you that Christ became a servant of the circumcised on behalf of God's truth in order to confirm the promises given to our forefathers, 

so that the gentiles may glorify God for his mercy. (Rom 15:3-9) 

 

 

It is clear isn’t it! With the example of Christ and the instruction of the Word of God Paul prays that the Romans may live in harmony with each other. That they might glorify God by accepting one another just as they have been accepted by Christ. He is talking here primarily of the Gentiles in the Roman church. Christ came to confirm the promises for the circumcised, the Jews, but Paul wants the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy to them, and by inference that mercy might be demonstrated in them as they accept one another for Christ’s sake. 

 

In verses 9 – 12 Paul chooses a series of verses from Scripture to show that God intends to use the Gentiles to show forth His glory. He does this in his usual way. He chooses the complete set of Scriptures to prove his point. He has already demonstrated in Romans 9 – 11 that God has not abandoned the Jews but intends to bring the Gentiles to salvation in order that He might usher in the fullness of the Gentiles and then bring in the full in-gathering of the Jews marked for salvation. Now Paul says again God will release His praise through the Gentiles. He selects quotes from each of the three main sections of the Word of God: The Law, the Prophets and the Writings. The Law represented by [Deut. 32:43], The Prophets represented by [Isa. 11:1, 10] and the Writings represented by a number of Psalms. In Jewish thinking this a complete set of Scripture to show that the idea is taken from all parts of the Word of God. - a comprehensive argument. 

 

Rom 15:14  I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are filled with goodness and full of all the knowledge you need to be able to instruct each other. 

Rom 15:15  However, on some points I have written to you rather boldly, both as a reminder to you and because of the grace given me by God 

Rom 15:16  to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the gentiles might be acceptable because it has been sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 

 

Paul says I am convinced brothers (Jewish Brothers)  that you are full of goodness and knowledge to do what’s right, but reminds them anyway and adds another comment about the outworking of the Grace of God. Something he has been reminding them of constantly. He is trusting they will carry the message to the Gentiles so the Gentiles will be accepted too. If that is the case then the fullness of God’s purposes will be accomplished. Remember the issues of food disputes are primarily at the heart of and because of the inclusion of the Gentiles into the Jewish family of God. If the acceptance of the differences could be accomplished in the body on both sides of the dispute then it would go a long way to closing the matter related to harmony in the Body and acceptance of Jew and Gentile in the body. That is Paul’s ultimate desire and indeed God’s too. That the two parts of His body might be one. If the Gentiles could be offered to God by the Jewish believers because of their acceptance of the Gentiles then it would all be to the praise of God because ultimately this is the outcome that has been sanctified or set apart by the Holy Spirit. This is God’s purpose. 

 

 

What is grace? It's what someone gives out of the goodness of his heart, not out of the perfection of yours. Max Lucado

 

If you want to be a bridge, expect to get walked on. Max Lucado

 

 

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