Church Family: Supernatural Diversity (Romans 15:1-13)
- Travelling between states vs between countries
National vs State Borders
National: Romans 16:17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.
State: Romans 14:1 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.
- no war within a nation
- unify against enemies
- distinctions not divisions
I Lose, You Win
Romans 15 We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
Sin = God’s line we cross
-1 Jn. 3:4 (NLT) Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God.
2 principles for a close healthy loving personal relationship
1. Do what is best for them
2. Do not do what is best for you
=both people do this they are serving (redefines freedom from rights to responsibilities)
Strong = able to use full freedoms in Christ (up to the line)
Weak = unable to use full freedoms in Christ (far back from the line)
= Jesus was strong & attacked by weak religious legalists
3 Kinds of “weak” People
- Poor teaching (do not know where the line of sin is)
- An area of temptation where they cannot go near the line
- An unhealed/unforgiven hurt – inner vow – legalism to protect
Most legalistic/religious/control/judgment people are broken
-Weak people are immature in some area(s)
-A healthy parent knows all their kids are different & so they parent individually but work for family unity. God is our Father & we are His kids.
-A healthy parent accommodates the needs of the child unselfishly
- God red-light Father – everything “no” unless the Bible commands
- God green-light Father – everything a potential “yes” unless Bible forbids
Jesus “Lost”, We Won
Romans 15:2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3 For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” 4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
- “Christ did not please himself” – pleased 1. Father 2. Us
- Our punishment “fell on” Him – GREAT EXCHANGE
- They awaited Jesus 1st Coming & fulfilment of prophecy
- We await Jesus 2nd Coming & fulfilment of remaining prophecy
- OT – encourages our endurance – we see God’s faithfulness generations
- The world does not have hope because it does not have Scripture
- We don’t make the Bible relevant, we show the relevance of the Bible
-Rule of 4 research findings
Life in the Spirit is Winning
Romans 15:5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, 6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. 8 For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, 9 and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.” 10 And again it is said, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.” 11 And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples extol him.” 12 And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.” 13 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.
OT quotes (Ps. 18:49; Deut. 32:43; Ps. 117:1; Is. 11:10)
Life in the Holy Spirit
Jews/Gentiles hatred. Called them “dogs”, wouldn’t enter home, & if married had funeral
- Way worse than any church fight you’ve seen
Not just people united, but “in accord w/Christ Jesus” – Satan has unity too!
- Endurance – we all face people & circumstances that empty our energy
- Encouragement – put courage in someone, celebrate any progress
- Harmony – how we sing & live together
- Take Up Offense (Bitterness song vs Forgiveness song)
- Welcome – friendly warm making an effort
- Serve – practical ways to lift burdens & give grace
- Evangelize – “Gentiles” were the lost people
- Hope – you can trust God’s character (confidence, patience)
- Joy – 2 train tracks
- Peace – in you vs around you
The Christian needs to redefine winning as walking in the Spirit in God’s will as a healthy person living Kingdom down