Summary: The mutual responsibilities of all believers is that we glorify God together in the local church, but that is not all that the true praise & rejoicing in God bring about. Not only does corporate praise & rejoicing unified the local church, it encourages
ROMANS 15: 7-13 [CHRISTIAN RELATING SERIES]
REJOICE IN OUR MUTUAL SALVATION
The previous section summed up the call to bear with and build up one another in Christ. The Holy Spirit is using the Holy Scriptures to bring us together in Christ. As we surrender to the leadership of the Spirit and the Word God brings about like-mindedness in Christ Jesus. When a body of believes is so unite it results in the glorifying of God in their worship.
The passage before us tonight begins to close the major applied theology section of the letter to Rome. It reveals still another principle for promoting unity in the church.
The mutual responsibilities of all believers is that we glorify God together in the local church, but that is not all that the true praise and rejoicing in God bring about. Not only does corporate praise and rejoicing unified the local church, it encourages them in their mission to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the glory of God (CIT).
So the local church is to rejoice together in worship because of their common sharing in God's eternal plan of redemption. As we unite together to glorify God and reach His world we find joy & peace in believing.
I. MUTUAL ACCEPTANCE, 7.
II. GLORY IN HIS PRAISE, 8-12.
II. ABOUNDING IN HOPE, 13.
Verse 7 justifies why God expects us to accept one another in Christ. "Wherefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God."
This declaration summarizes and justifies why the local church should be unified together by the Word and by the Spirit for the greater praise and glory of God. As unacceptable as we were [and are] with all our sin and problems, "Christ accepted us." The Greek word accept (proslambano) means move to receive something or someone with special concern [MacArthur, John. The NT Com. Romans 9-16. 1994. Moody. p. 318]. Believers must accept one another by allowing Christ's indwelling love to overcoming their reservations and judgments.
The justification for the command to receive each other is again grounded in the actions of Christ. We are thus commanded to accept one another because of the gracious way that Christ has accepted us. If we cannot accept a person as is, accept the Christ that lives within him. Remember that the Holy Spirt strives to assist each of us [believers] to grow in Christ-likeness.
The call is for all believers within the local church to accept one another, including new believers, as a mandatory necessity. The admonition is to treat each other with love and understanding just as Christ reached out to us. If the perfect, sinless Son of God has accepted us into the divine family, we should accept others despite the fact that we all still carry our old nature's sinful trappings. We are not to put ourselves above our divine Master and Teacher. Let us take His yoke upon us and learn from Him for He is gentle and humble in heart (Mt. 11:29).
Notice that Christ's acceptance of us brought us into the glory of God, and we should give Him glory. God is worthy of all glory and honor. God has established His eternal plan of redemption to glorify Himself. Everything He does is to His glory and everything His children do should be to His glory [MacArthur, p. 322].
The glory of God in Scripture has to do with the manifestation of the presence of God. God's self-disclosure is a disclosure of His Glory. God is intrinsically glorious, and when He manifests Himself, glory is present. When we manifest the presence of God in our lives and in our worship, we manifest the glory of God. [When you insult His glory, which is displayed by His manifested presence, you insult Him].
When Christ accepted us, He introduced us to God. When you know God, know who and what He is through a personal relationship with Him, you know the glory of God. God's glory is revealed by His manifested presence.
II. GLORY IN HIS PRAISE, 8-12.
The call for unity now expands beyond the diversity of believers with their weaknesses and strengths to include unity for Gentiles and Jews also. All four Old Testament quotations in this section are from the Greek Septuagint. Having pointed to the Lord Jesus as the Model for Christians, verse 8 moves the thought toward Jesus' ministry and its objective of reaching the gentile world with the good news. "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."
Jesus Christ was born a Jew to fulfill God's Word. Jesus lived as a Jew in order to ministered to His fellow Jews. He brought understanding of the truth to them. Although He came to bring a new covenant, He did not come "to abolish the law or the prophets-but to fulfill" them (Mt. 5:17). He fulfilled the law by keeping it perfectly. [By His life and death He established the promises of Scripture.]