Standing Firm: Walking through Romans – Chapter 15 part 2

My big idea for today is that we would to seek to accept others like Christ Jesus accepted us. My prayer for us today is that by hearing this message that we would be one with Christ and one with each other. If you have your Bibles today you can join me as we turn to, you guessed it Romans Chapter 15 starting at verse 7.

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. 8 For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed 9 and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written:
“Therefore, I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing the praises of your name.”
10 Again, it says, “Rejoice, you Gentiles, with his people.”11 And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles; let all the peoples extol him.” 12 And again, Isaiah says, “The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him the Gentiles will hope.”
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 15:7-13

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.

God is Transforming Individuals.

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. 8 For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed

Romans 15:7-8

By learning to overcome the sinful propensity to only accept those who are like us, we are being made in the likeness of Jesus Christ. We are being transformed from the dysfunction of a fallen human reason and emotion, and we are clothing our selves with the mind of Christ Jesus. This is an act of choosing Christ, intentionally. Saying, “Lord, I trust you more than my own thoughts.”

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9

Accepting one another as Christ has accepted us is crucial for us to grasp today because God is transforming each believer even as we speak. Each individual is made in the image of God. And just on that basis we must honor them as our brothers and sisters. In addition, Christ died for each individual and as such we must die to ourselves each day.

This idea of crucifying our flesh daily is not just a good saying but it reminds us to allow others to see the example of Christ Jesus in our lives and in our works. God’s plan to transform individuals has an endgame purpose, not just for salvation. Although we know that His desire is that none should perish, but all would receive eternal life.

For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed

Romans 15:8

That each of us would take our place in the fulfillment of God’s promises. That all the world would praise Him in the realization of His mercy and grace. Paul is pointing out that if you sit in your type of church (White, black, charismatic, or otherwise) and have offered your praise to God, but you have not accepted your brother or sister in the Lord, that praise is not complete. We have a problem, don’t we? When we claim Christ, but we don’t represent Him well, we give the world the wrong idea about God. God’s desire is that we would give Him praise as one people, with one heart and one voice. God is transforming us as individuals for an endgame purpose.

God is Forming a Community.

and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written:

“Therefore, I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing the praises of your name.”

10 Again, it says, “Rejoice, you Gentiles, with his people.”11 And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles; let all the peoples extol him.” 12 And again, Isaiah says, “The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him the Gentiles will hope.”

Romans 15:9-12

As modern Christians we make many of the same mistakes as the Jews of this time. We are confident in our sacrifices to God, yet we remain in legalism and carnal exclusivism. Like we are the only ones that could possibly know God. Like we are the only ones capable of hearing from God. We are in danger of allowing our own religious or cultural ideas exclude or detour unity among God’s people.

The Jewish Christians there in Rome had become so centered around the history of God working among the Jewish people that the forget that God’s plan was to use Israel to reveal His presence to the Gentiles. These Old Testament references here all point to this very thing. They have muted their praise by delivering a disjointed gospel. In many ways they had promoted segregation and cultural divisiveness. The result has produced a tolerance of underlying sin in the church. Just like we have now.

The work of Christ on the cross dealt with humanities estrangement or separation from God. That forces us to confront sin and by faith accept Christ as the redeemer of our soul. As a result, God’s plan to form a community of believers can move forward. This requires the redemption of relationships. The redeeming of a vertical relationship (man to God). The redeeming of a horizontal relationship (person to person). Our reconciliation with God must lead to a reconciliation with one another. Until we reconcile on both of these fronts our worship will not be unified.

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

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