Friday 21 October 2022

ROMANS 15 v1-6

  We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves.   We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord.  For even Christ didn’t live to please himself. As the Scriptures say, “The insults of those who insult you, O God, have fallen on me.”   Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.    May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus.     Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.


The Apostle Paul was called by Jesus to be an Apostle in a unique and dramatic way when Paul was on a mission in his role to persecute Christians. Paul had been a devout Pharisee, but God chose him to be an Apostle to non-Jews. Paul became a devout servant of God and served Jesus devotedly, creating Churches in several places in the Eastern world.  He suffered immensely for Teaching about Jesus, but never forgot he had been born a Jew.  His greatest desire was to bring Jew and non-Jew together, but it took centuries before this happened, and only the United States and to a lesser degree the United Kingdom have recognised the will of God which Paul followed.                                   

One of Paul’s constant concerns was to bring together Christians in fellowship, with the stronger member caring for the weaker Christian. He saw the importance of uniting the different attitudes of people within he Church. This would mean unity in worship, and mutual harmony would draw people into the Church, and strengthen fellowship. The strong must support the weak rather than be in separation to satisfy their own desires.  The Christian life is based on the practice of the strong helping the weak in the example of Jesus Christ.

A true fellowship is marked by the study of the Scriptures which inspires and encourages us, as we see it is better to be with God than man, even if means there will be some resistance God’s way is never easy, but eventually there is satisfaction and eternal life offered.  God gave us a promise of support, and God always honours his promises, never letting us down.

A fellowship should always have hope, and a Christians hope is not a cheap one, it sees and supports without complaint, and still believes in God.  There must be harmony, but there is always someone who will be a storm centre in the Church.  The Church they are within may be a wealthy one, large and well-kept, impressing, but alternately there may be a poor location and an insignificant appearance, in either case there must be harmony.  This does not rule out debate or discussion, but such should be peaceful, as we must live peacefully. I found it helpful to make it known any that aggressive action between members in the Church would lead to the perpetrators being requested to restore relations before attending further attendance. Such was the  response no one was so requested.

When there is a united harmonious Church there can always be real thanksgiving, praise being given to God, and a sense of spiritual achievement, and God is truly glorified. The whole purpose of worship is to give praise to God, by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross, made on our behalf, so that God can by his grace grant us salvation and a welcome into his Kingdom.

Paul States. ‘whatever was written in former days was written’ for our instruction. This is saying that God gave the Old Testament which is equally valid now, for they were not written just for one period but for all time. This was made clear by Jesus, who said the Scriptures could not be broken; and he came to fulfil not destroy them. 

The whole of Romans is to show the inclusion of non-Jews into God’s saving plan, and that God wanted his family to include many different kinds of people from many different backgrounds.   The term multicultural is much in the news these days. Politicians and social workers love to use it, to describe a certain approach to a society in which they can appear to be in the right politically correct way.   When an earlier government was in power, there was the special way of showing their credentials by calling for special treatment for people of black coloured skin.  That controversial attitude was totally misplaced, because it antagonised a lot of people with white coloured skin, and in fact demeaned and cast doubt on the black people, who were ready to be assessed by own abilities.

A great mistake was the error of the Churches, particularly in middle- and higher-class society in ‘freezing out’ black people who were, and still are far more devout than many white. I speak from personal experience, for when I have preached in Churches with mixed races, I get a better reception each time from the black people.

That’s the negative side of multiculturalism. But by “multicultural” we should mean. people of differing cultural backgrounds, learning to work and live together.   God has a similar vision of his church, even if it is has not yet come true after 2000 years. When Jesus said, “Go and preach in the gospel to every nation,” he established the principle that all kinds of people would be welcome in the church.    The world has truly become a much smaller place, where cultures that were once separated by vast

distances, now live and work side by side. This has been emphasised by such easy communication by smartphones, computers etc.  When you realise the Apostles took the .

The Bible does however in many places refer to Jews and Gentiles, which is just an alternative way of referring to non-Jews.  The Bible tells us that God loves all people and wants all to be saved, and one day Jew and non-Jew will worship together.    Today the Christian Church stands alongside the Jew, and we show our close affinity in that we worship the God of Israel, a Jewish Saviour, who was born a Jew and was a member of the Jewish race; we preach from a book written by 39 out of 40 Jewish writers.     God wanted his family to include many different kinds of people from many different backgrounds.    God’s heart is big and includes all the people of the world. In Jesus Christ there is no East or West, or any other alternative. 

 The Christian Church is a worshipping one, and as brothers/sisters in Christ, we can go anywhere in the world and be part with others in God’s family. We sing universally known hymns, say the same Lord’s Prayer, and read the same gospel. For two years I worshipped in a Church in Mombasa, Kenya, where as a port Christians from across the world came on their way to other parts of Africa, and although of different sex, colour, age, nationality, there was complete harmony, something you don’t sometimes get with people of one place. God is honoured when his people join together in united worship and praise.    This is why we preach the gospel and share Christ with our friends; why we try to bring others to know the Lord.  The world needs a Redeemer, and his name Jesus. He is the light of the world and the Saviour of all who trust in him.


“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope’

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