Romans 15-16 - Unity and Greetings

Romans 15:1-7 - Paul speaks of peace and harmony and of bearing with those who are weak, assuming (as most of us would) that we are those "who are strong" (verse 1).

This made me think of Jesus and the disciples. They were knuckleheads, selfish, power hungry and prideful. For about 99% of His time with them, they didn't understand at all what he was doing. Only at the end, after he arose and just before he left, did they really get it.

Yet Jesus never once threw anyone out for not believing the right things or the right way. He was surrounded by folks who's faith in him was incomplete or even misguided, yet he called them brothers,welcomed them and brought them along.

We, on the other hand, won't fellowship with those down the street because they don't get this doctrine or that. We stay in our little group of (mostly) like minded folks, or worse, we stay out of any group all together. We stand up and leave if things aren't the way we think they ought to be. How unlike Jesus who was patient with their misunderstanding and did not turn them away.

The splintering of God's church into hundreds of small like-minded groups has always troubled me. I'm not sure what can be done, but I want to do something. we ought to live out verse 7:

Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

Romans 15:14 - Paul spent 14 chapters challenging the Romans on how they live and ought to live. Yet here in verse 14 he says "I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another." Too often I stop and the challenge and the rebuke, even if it is only in own mind, resulting in feeling dissatisfied and that folks are not full of goodness.

Romans 16:3-16 - There's a story behind each of these names of their relationship to Paul and of their walk with the Lord and service to his church. Wouldn't it be great to know them all?

Related Entries

Monthly Archives