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About-Him.Com Devotional 03-23-2013

Pleasing Our Neighbor For His Edification

Last week we covered the difficulties that the Roman church was having in reconciling it’s Jewish and Gentile factions. There was strong disagreements over what was permissible to eat and which special days, if any, to observe. Whatever our convictions are on these matters, we are not to condemn and judge our brothers and sisters who are of a different persuasion. Paul continues the thought in the 15th chapter.  

Romans 15:1 ¶  We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.  

Most  of us realize that one of the  basic functions of the gospel is that it reveals the righteousness of God. We who are made righteous by the blood of Jesus, live and die with faith in what He accomplished for us on the cross. We know that we can't add anything to what Jesus has already done for us on the cross, in an effort to obtain salvation. We're saved by grace and grace alone (Ep. 1:8). Naturally, we strive to walk holy and sinless in the sight of God. Whether we eat meat or vegetables or regard or disregard particular days is of no real consequence to our soul’s salvation.  

Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.  

Our modern day divisions go far beyond dietary restrictions. We divide over doctrine, hair, dress, mode of worship, type of music, volume of music, church government, and the list goes on and on and on. Of course our divisions are very pleasing to the devil. They do nothing to promote the kingdom of God. Disagreements are inevitable, but we don’t need to kill those with whom we disagree. As was stated last week, we all stand accountable to One Master, namely Christ Jesus.  

Romans 15:2  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.

Paul quotes Psalms 89:51 which gives us the example of Jesus bearing the reproach of those who rejected His Father.  

Psalms  89:51 Wherewith thine enemies have reproached, O LORD; wherewith they have reproached the footsteps of thine anointed.  

In Ephesians 2:11-13, he shows that we Gentiles  at one time were strangers to God’s covenant, without hope and without God in the world. However, we who were so far from God are now close to Him because of the blood of Calvary.  

Ephesians 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:  

So, we don’t have any reason to feel superior to any other believer, do we? We do however, like Aquila and Priscilla, have an obligation to reason the way of the Lord more perfectly to any who will hear, just as they did for Appolos (Ac. 18:24-26).  

If it were not for Jesus who made Himself of no reputation to take on the nature of a Servant (Is. 52:13-15; Php. 2:5-11) and be made in the likeness of sinful man, where would we be? Lost and without God! Our names were written in the Lamb’s book of Life (Lu. 10:20; Re. 18:8, 17:8), before we ever gave God a thought. Jesus went to the cross, bearing the reproach of every sin we had ever committed or were yet to commit. He was wounded for our transgressions,  bruised for our iniquities and He was chastised for our peace (Is. 53:5-9).  

He did all that because He loved us (Jn. 3:16, 15:13). It pleased Him to be made like unto us that He might be our faithful and merciful High Priest between us and God (He. 2:14,17).  Even now, He makes constant intercession on our behalf, at the throne of God (Ro. 8:34).  

Our constant goal should be to love one another the way that Jesus loved us.  

John 13:34  A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  

Next week we’ll conclude our study of Romans with this thought.  

Romans 15:13 ¶  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.
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Genuine love is so contrary to human nature that its presence bears witness to an extraordinary power. - John Piper

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Don and Marie Spooner
About Him! Ministries

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