Standing Firm: Walking through Romans – Chapter 15 part 1

My big idea for today is think in the same way as Christ. My prayer for us today is that by hearing this message that together we will take another step forward towards unity in the spirit of Christ Jesus If you have your Bibles today you can join me as we turn to, you guessed it Romans Chapter 15 starting at verse 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 our neighbors for their good, to build them up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” 4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope 
5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  

Romans 15:1-6

In order to help me share with you today, I have separated my thoughts into 2 sections or points. Let’s take a look at my first point. 

The Strong Do The Heavy Lifting 

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2 Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” 4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. 

Romans 15:1-4

Paul again calls on the strong in faith to help carry the burdens of the weak.  He encourages those who are strong to follow the pattern of Christ. That He {Christ} put the good of others before Himself.  If we who are strong in faith we will by nature, by the nature of Christ, build up one another. Lest we find that we are not strong at all. Only deceived. Because, if we are strong in faith, we are being made in the image of Christ and compelled to follow the example of Christ. 

He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” 

Matthew 26:39 (NKJV)

Because Jesus was strong, he bore the burden of sin and death so that we could live. He carried the weight of humanity’s cross so that we would not be crushed. Paul purposely uses the “pleasing your neighbor” language because it speaks directly to the commands of Jesus regarding loving your neighbor as yourself. 

The ancient soldiers developed a battle formation called a shield wall. The romans called it a Testudo/Tortoise Formation. They stand shoulder to shoulder and overlay their shields.  Those on the inside hold their shields overhead to protect against arrows and the like. In most cases the soldier was not holding his shield as to protect himself. Rather, he was holding the shield to protect his neighbor. Thus, the soldier would rely on his neighbor/brother to protect him. This warfare was not every man for himself. 

Our faith in Jesus Christ is not every man for himself. Many times, we are called to support our brother or sister. This is a no man left behind situation. You’ve heard the retort, Am I my brother’s keeper?” Surely, we are not, but we are called to be our brother’s brother/ sister’s sister. The stronger do the heavy lifting, but the weaker in faith also bear a responsibility.  

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. 

Romans 15: 4

Everyone Works Together 

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Romans 15: 5-6

Paul’s prayer is that the same God who gives us the strength to endure the challenges of community and the encouragement to persevere in our attitude towards others that we would have the same mind of Christ.  

because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 

James 1:3-4

This spirit of unity speaks to “thinking the same way as Christ” about others. Not that we all become programmed to be alike. But that we become unified, that is in a way of thinking that is “in accordance to Christ Jesus.”  

As we follow Christ. Think about this as a collective goal, that each of us would cultivate some spiritual maturity as to come together on that which we do agree.  As a result, we find ourselves able to praise God with one heart and one voice. In accordance to Christ Jesus. 

To bicker about disputable matters/non-essential doctrines is foolish. What I have learned in this world that if a person is looking for beautiful things, they will find them.  Likewise, I you are looking for a fight you will certainly find one. 

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

Romans 15: 6

With one mind and one voice,” in accordance with Christ.” We would all work together  and glorify our heavenly Father. 

For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for,  
“Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. 

1 Corinthians 2:11-16

Will you be open today to laying down those disputable matters and enter into the accordance of Christ Jesus?  Would you join me as the Holy Spirit moves on us to be unified in the spirit of Christ? These are the kingdom values. This is truly the work of God. The building up of each other. Remember the devil seeks only to kill steal and destroy. Steal your freedom, kill your joy, and destroy your destiny for hope and love. But God has a plan! 

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 

John 3:16

Jesus, He’s the Son of the living God, and we can receive from Him today His Righteousness, His purpose and His calling. Will you call on him today? Your salvation/forgiveness is just one prayer away. Will you trust in his ability to do what He said He would do? Will you believe today? Many of you need a fresh touch from God today. Is there some form of unbelief or a fracture of trust as it relates to God in your life today?  

God wants to redeem and restore those areas of your life?  He wants to restore Joy and hope for you today. 

You’re hearing this now and the Holy Spirit has brought someone or something to mind. He wants to speak life into this today. He wants to bring healing in this area today. There are areas of deep regret when it comes to your relationship with God and you have rejected Christ as your savior …It’s not too late 

It’s not too late to humble yourself before him today, hold out your arms and open your hands to receive from him today. Will you say yes to Jesus, today? Will you bow your heads with me?  Some of you already know the Lord, but maybe he’s put something on your heart that you need to deal with, you need to ask his forgiveness today. If that’s you, will you just acknowledge that to him today. This is just you and God here. 

Now someone here may not have that relationship with Jesus and today you’ve felt him tugging at your heart, you’ve been hurt, and you’re guarded, I know. Jesus is here and wants set things right in your life.  If you’ll say Pastor, I want Jesus to be my Lord and savior. Remember, it’s just you and God here. Will you pray with me today, We’ll pray here as a family and you can repeat after me?  
Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner. I ask you today for your forgiveness. I believe that you died for my sins and on that 3rd day, you rose from the dead. I ask you to come into my heart today. I trust and follow you as my Lord and savior. Guide me and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name Amen. 

 “‘“The Lord bless you 
and keep you; 
25 the Lord make his face shine on you 
and be gracious to you; 
26 the Lord turn his face toward you 
and give you peace.”’ 

Numbers 6:24-26