Summary: Receive each other
February 27, 2011
This week we return to our study in Romans and the transformed mind. We read in the last chapter that we’re to be patient with each other, not judging, and not looking down on each other.
God is the one who makes His servant’s stand, and He will do it. Keep your freedoms between you and God and don’t argue.
We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
This verse shows us one of the great characteristics of Christianity. Since God has transformed our minds, and since we have so much love because of Him, we put others before ourselves.
The word “infirmities” means something of error arising from weakness of mind. We’re to bear the infirmities or the errors of the weak-minded rather than please ourselves.
That is that we don’t look down on them or despise them.
2Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
This same word is used to describe wives and husbands pleasing each other (I Cor. 7:33-34) or a soldier pleasing his commander (II Tim. 2:4). We please each other so that others are built up rather than torn down.
But some people say, “I’m not sure I can do that.”
3For even Christ pleased not himself;
Here’s the great standard. Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords didn’t please Himself, but He suffered the insults of weak-minded men:
but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.
This is a quote from 69:9. They blasphemed and hated Him, but He didn’t say a word. He endured their persecution without pleasing Himself.
4For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
If Christ has set the example and we’re in Christ, then we too can bear the infirmities of the weak and keep ourselves from despising them. Through the patience and comfort of Scriptures we have hope.
By the way, the Scriptures written beforehand were Old Testament Scriptures. It’s sad that some people think the Old Testament isn’t for us anymore. Christ is all through it and the early church was comforted by it.
5Now the God of patience and consolation
Peace is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. May the God who gives peace and the God who encourages,
grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
Notice that even peace, consolation, and unity is granted of God. The goal is like-mindedness where these believers can walk side-by-side without despising or judging each other according to Christ Jesus.
He’s the pattern of humility we follow.
6That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God is glorified by our unity; with one mind and one mouth.
7Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.
Since we glorify God by our unity, we ought to receive one another rather than bicker and fight. The extent to which we receive each other is the same extent to which Christ received us.
8Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:
This word for minister is the same word we use for deacon or servant. Christ came as a servant to the Jews (the circumcision) “for the truth of God.” He came on behalf of the truth that what was written and promised to the Jews would be fulfilled. But that’s not all:
9And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy;
The Jews aren’t the only ones He’s given mercy. The Gentiles receive the Jews because Christ came for them. The Jews receive the Gentiles because Christ came for them too, just as it’s written on their own Scriptures:
as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.
When David wrote this (Psalm 18:49), the Gentiles didn’t join with the Jews for worship. But here we see Jews and Gentiles alike being like-minded and confessing God and singing unto His name together.
10And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. 11And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people.
Again (Deut. 32:43) we see the Jews and Gentiles together as one people.
12And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.
Christ is the Lord over both the Jew and the Gentile. Even the Old Testament shows that the Gentiles trust in Him the same as the Jews. We glorify God when we accept each other despite differences because He is the Lord of us all.