Romans 15 10/8/2017
Beginning where we left off last week in chapter 14, we read what Paul was exhorting the Christians in Rome to do:
13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. 14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. 15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.
19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.
22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.
We are to keep our faith in Christ Jesus and follow His teaching. Doing those things which would build up anyone who may be young or new in their faith. If you don’t drink, don’t start. If you do, then don’t do it in front of someone who is new in their faith toward Jesus. Anything which we do in front of our children or in front of someone who is “weak” in their faith, can cause them to stumble because they saw or heard us say something or eat or drink something. If your spirit hasn’t condemned you for drinking or eating certain things, that’s fine. But if it could cause a child in the faith to stumble, make sure that you don’t do it in front of them, for their sake at least.
I don’t mean for you to live in a “do as I say and not as I do” way, Paul wasn’t meaning that either. But, if your life has anything in it which might cause a child in faith or in age to stumble in their following of Jesus, then don’t do it! If you wouldn’t do something in front of Jesus Himself, then it isn’t right to do it in front of anyone else either!
1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. 3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. 4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. 5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like-minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: 6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7 Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.
Christ the Servant of Jews and Gentiles
8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:
9 And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.
10 And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people.
11 And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people.
12 And 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.
13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
Paul the Minister to the Gentiles
14 And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. 15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God, 16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.
We are to be Jesus’ example to those around us, even when we don’t feel like it. God sent Jesus to us to give us an example of how to live as He did and with His strength guiding us. Because only with His Spirit giving us direction and strength can we be like Christ. In our human-centered thinking, we can’t be like Jesus, we can’t love those who hate us, we can’t give our life for others if we don’t have Jesus giving us the power and His will to do so.
These attributes of Christian living aren’t the normal way that Christians live, but it is the way that we should live our lives through Jesus.
Is living this way easy? No, it isn’t because every day your old spirit, the you which was there before Jesus came into your heart and changed you, is still being used by Satan to tempt you away from being like Christ. To take you away from being the example that everyone SHOULD see because you have been transformed into a “new creature in Christ”. 2 Cor. 5:17
We are not supposed to allow our “old self” to control our life after giving our heart to Jesus. We are supposed to live and be like those who came from the upper room on during Pentecost. Boldly speaking the truth of Jesus and His saving grace for us, regardless of who hears it or what they may say about us. Be the Christian which God intended for you to be, not the one which hides on the back row and keeps your salvation a secret from your so-called “friends”! They need Him too, but if you don’t tell them about Him….how will they find out if they don’t go to church or read the Bible?
That is our job, our purpose in this life to be more like Jesus and less like us.