Summary: The Signs of Christian Fellowship - Romans chapter 15 verses 1-13 – sermon by Gordon Curley PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Christian fellowship should be marked by consideration (vs 1-3)
• Christian fellowship should be marked by the study of scripture (vs 4)
• Christian fellowship should be marked by unity (vs 5-6)
• Christian fellowship should take its example, its inspiration and its dynamic from Jesus Christ (vs 7-9a)
• Christian fellowship should be marked by praise (vs 13)
• An anthropologist was living with a tribe of people in Zimbabwe, South Africa.
• He watched the children playing and decided to play a game with them.
• He put a basket full of fruit near a tree,
• And told the kids that whoever got there first won the sweet fruits.
• When he told them to run, to his surprise,
• They all took each-others hands and ran together,
• Then sat together enjoying their treats.
• When he asked them why they had run together like that;
• When one of them could have had all the fruits for themselves they said: ''UBUNTU,
• They said; 'UBUNTU' (pronounced: UbUntA)
• “How can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?''
• 'UBUNTU' in the Xhosa (pronounced: Chorsa) culture;
• It means: "I am because we are"
• TRANSITION: Those children realised the importance of togetherness,
• The importance of supporting and looking out for each other.
• No Christian should ever be standing alone!
• God has placed us together in community, in family, in Church.
• We are together to encourage, support and look out for each other.
• Satan is the great divider and destroyer;
• But Christ is the great uniter and builder.
• This chapter is a continuation of the theme found in the previous chapter,
• In the first four verses the apostle Paul continues the theme of;
• The stronger to the weaker believer.
• And this section gives us a great summary of what we can call;
• ‘The signs that should characterize Christian fellowship.’
(1). Christian Fellowship Should be Marked by Consideration (vs 1-3).
“We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2 Each of us should please our neighbours for their good, to build them up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: ‘The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.’“
• You and I as followers of Jesus are called to look out for each other.
• That should be a responsibility and not an optional extra.
• Commentator Robert Mounce says that the term, ‘bear’
• Goes beyond mere tolerance or just putting up with others.
• It requires us to care enough to personally shoulder their burdens;
• As if they were our own.
• Question: Why should we do that?
• Answer: Because they are family! And that is what family does!
Now having made the guidelines clear:
• The apostle Paul gives us an example to follow.
• “For even Christ did not please himself” (vs 3)
• The apostle Paul then quotes from the Old Testament, from Psalm 69.
• “As it is written: ‘The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.’”
Psalm 69 is one of the great messianic Psalms:
• Seven of its thirty-six verses are cited in the New Testament.
• You will probably recognise those seven quotations as you read them.
• Note: The key verse of the Psalm is not so well known and it is verse 4:
• “I am forced to restore what I did not steal”
• These words perfectly describe the unfair situation;
• That David the Psalmist was experiencing at the time of writing;
• But these words also describe the unfair situation Jesus experienced;
• When he went to the cross.
• When, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree”
• In the book ‘Miracle on The River Kwai’.
• Ernest Gordon's Tells the true story of some Scottish soldiers,
• Who were forced by their Japanese captors to work on a jungle railroad.
• Under the strain of imprisonment they had degenerated to cruel behaviour,
• But one afternoon something happened.
• "A shovel was missing. The officer in charge became enraged.
• He demanded that the missing shovel be produced, or else.
• When nobody in the squadron budged,
• The officer got his gun and threatened to kill them all on the spot!
• It was obvious the officer meant what he had said.
• Then, finally, one man stepped forward.
• The officer put away his gun, picked up a shovel, and beat the man to death.
• When it was over, the survivors picked up the bloody corpse;
• And carried it with them to the second tool check.