Previously in his letter to the Roman churches Paul laid out the law of Christ about both food and sin which called on believers to act in ways acceptable and glorifying to God.
Now the apostle addresses the spiritually mature and how all believers should seek to please God rather than themselves, living in the image of Jesus Christ, the savior of both Jews and Gentiles.
“1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2 Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.” (Romans 15:1-2)
Paul calls on the spiritually mature to look out for “weaker” Christians since this mentoring is the fulfillment of our purpose according to God’s perfect plan. To please or love others is the answer to God’s calling for His children, in tune with the law of Christ which commands we are to love our neighbor as we do ourselves.
“3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” (Romans 15:3)
Inspired by the ultimate generosity displayed by Christ Himself, who dies so that others could live, believers are commanded to completely eliminate self-gratification from our lives leaving room for service towards others, in the image of Jesus.
“4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)
Relying on scripture for guidance, strength and wisdom, Christians are given hope by the perfect, never ending source which is the word of God. In dealing with the weak in Christ, those who patiently abide by the gospel will be rewarded as part of God’s promise.
“5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 15:5-6)
Calling on believers to glorify God with our actions and words, Paul’s hope for Christians is that the gospel will unite us as we walk in Jesus’ footsteps along the narrow path that leads to eternal life.
“7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” (Romans 15:7)
Here Paul speaks to the strong as well as the weak, to accept and receive each other just as Christ did in spite of the fact we are sinners undeserving of His grace and mercy.
“8 For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, to confirm the promises made to the patriarchs 9 so that the Gentiles may glorify God for his mercy, as it is written: “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing hymns to your name.” (Romans 15:8-9)
To fulfill prophecy and confirm God’s promise made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Jesus became a servant to the Jews which in turn showed God’s mercy onto the Gentiles.
“10 Again, it says, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.” 11 And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and sing praises to him, all you peoples.” (Romans 15:10-11)
Quoting passages from the old testament, Paul calls on all believers to rejoice and sing praise to the Lord as both Jews and Gentiles unite to worship the one true God.
“12 And again, Isaiah says, “The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him.” (Romans 15:12)
The root of Jesse is a title by which Jesus was prophesied. Jesse was the father of David which was foretold he would be the father of the Messiah.
“13 May 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.” (Romans 15:13)
Paul’s wish is that all believers will allow the Holy Spirit to flow from us as we trust in Jesus Christ and His word.
Relying on each other, both the strong and the weak in Christ, both Jews and Gentiles are called to receive and accept each other just as Christ accepts us as we are, undeserving sinners. Let us pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre