Summary: Series in Romans
Title- The Weak and Strong Believer Part 3
Why Is Unity So Important?
Text- Romans 15:1-13
Romans 15:1 Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. 2 Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. 3 For even 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 earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God. 8 For I say that Christ has become a servant to the circumcision on behalf of the truth of God to confirm the promises given to the fathers, 9 and for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy; as it is written, "THEREFORE I WILL GIVE PRAISE TO YOU AMONG THE GENTILES, AND I WILL SING TO YOUR NAME." 10 Again he says, "REJOICE, O GENTILES, WITH HIS PEOPLE." 11 And again, "PRAISE THE LORD ALL YOU GENTILES, AND LET ALL THE PEOPLES PRAISE HIM." 12 Again Isaiah says, "THERE SHALL COME THE ROOT OF JESSE, AND HE WHO ARISES TO RULE OVER THE GENTILES, IN HIM SHALL THE GENTILES HOPE." 13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Why is Unity So Important?
I. Because it Edifies Our Neighbor- 1-2
II. Because it is an act of sacrifice- 3
III. Because it brings hope- 4
IV. Because it amplifies God’s glory- 5-6
V. Because it is honoring to Jesus Christ- 7-12
In Romans chapter 14 and 15 Paul is addressing an issue that is vitally important in every church. It is an issue that every congregation must deal with. It is a problem that has caused so much heartache and turmoil. It is one of Satan’s primary weapons in his attack of God and us. That problem is disunity in the church. Paul wrote so much about it because it was such a pressing problem.
In the book The Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer says…
“Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshipers [meeting] together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become ’unity’ conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.”
In life people are able to achieve a measure of unity with each other by rallying around a common cause, or by following a particular leader. And even in the church often unity is found through common interests and common behaviors and common appearances. But unity in the church shouldn’t come from a loyalty to each other, although that is a very important thing. And unity shouldn’t primarily come from following a pastor or leader, that’s how cults of personality form.
No, in a church true unity happens when each and every one of us is tuned in to Jesus Christ. If we try and tune our lives to the color of the carpet, or a particular style of music, or a certain behaviors, we are sure to fall apart. When we all come together for the singular purpose of worshiping God it has a way of putting all those other secondary issues into better perspective.
In the church in Rome there was disunity. This disunity was caused because the church was made up of both Jewish believers and gentile Christians. The Jewish believers still put a lot of value in the OT laws and customs, and the gentiles didn’t. These differences of opinion were very sharp. It probably would have been easy for the Jewish believers to simply form their own church and then the gentiles have their own congregation. But that is not what Paul recommends.
Paul wants both groups to understand that the thing that ties them together is so much more valuable and important than the petty things that are driving them apart. In chapter 14 Paul stresses the fact that life isn’t about what you eat and what you drink, or any of those secondary issues, it’s all about Jesus.