Summary: Paul taught the believers in Rome that unity and harmony among the believers was directed, empowered and expected by God!
Date Written: November 2, 2012
Date Preached: November 4, 2012
Church: Oak Park BC (AM)
Series: A Series In Romans
Title: Harmony is Godly
Text: Romans 15:5-9a [NLT]
ETS: Paul let the believers in Rome know who empowered their actions and then the reasons for those actions.
ESS: Paul’s letter to the Romans let’s believers today know who empowers us and the reason for our actions.
Last week we saw how Paul fleshed out how believer are called to stand with each other and NOT to judge or condemn each other!
Paul even goes on to say that this is one of Christ’s main objectives in His coming… to bring a peace that we cannot achieve on our own… a peace that will allow us to live and serve WITH one another!
This is a peace that will allow us to live a life that the world will stand up and take notice of because of our love for one another and our REFUSAL to judge and condemn each other OR the world!
This morning we are going to look at the some key verses from Romans 15 that reinforce what Paul started in ch14…
This morning we are going to look at v5-9 and see how that living in harmony with each other is not something God just hopes for… it is what God has commanded!
In ch15 v.1-4 Paul reaffirms what he had taught in ch14 and says that the strong in the faith must be considerate and sensitive to those who are weaker in the faith… and that we cannot seek to please ourselves.
Paul points out in v3 that Christ did not seek to please himself and in v4 he tells us that the Scriptures teaches us this principle as well, and then Paul commences to lay out teaching on how to achieve what he has taught.
So, this morning we will be reading ch15:5-9 out of the NLT and it will be on the screen as well…
[FOLLOW ME AS I READ 15:5-9a]
5May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. 6Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7Therefore, ACCEPT [here’s that word again…remember last week what we learned about accepting one another…] accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory. 8Remember that Christ came as a servant to the Jews to show that God is true to the promises he made to their ancestors. 9He also came so that the Gentiles might give glory to God for his mercies to them…”
Now as we look at this section of Paul’s teaching I want us to see how he breaks it down into small bites where the church in Rome can take it in and begin to put it into application within their lives…
Now, I want us to go back to v5 and take a look at the first thing Paul addresses pertaining to US as believers ACCEPTING one another… Paul mentions here that this is possible because it is God’s Provision…
[SHOW v5 here]
5May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus.
God’s Provision So We Can Act – v5
To fully understand what Paul is saying here we need to remember what he wrote in ch14… do you remember? He told the believers in Rome that they were to get along by respecting one another, and NOT judging or condemning each other…
So what is here in ch15 is the logical continuation of that teaching… IF those believers were to get along, and not judge or condemn each other it was going to take great PATIENCE on their part…RIGHT?
And Paul also understood that because we are all human and we all fail on a constant basis that there would be some discouragement among the believers because things would not go as they should…
Paul knew that these believers were going to need BOTH patience AND encouragement to accept the believers who did NOT agree with them or did not see things the way they saw them…
Paul also knew that this kind of patience and encouragement was something that believers coujld not do on their own…
Paul knew they would become quickly DIScouraged quick… they would quickly LOSE patience… if they had to rely on their own power! SO…
Paul writes here that to ACCEPT one another and not be judgmental and to be able to NOT condemn one another that their help would have to come from God! So he wrote… “May God, who gives you this patience and encouragement help you…”