Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Romans, Chapter 15

Yesterday we saw that there are differences in the amount of faith people have. We were warned against condemning those with less faith or a different type of faith than we have as long as Christ is the author and perfector of that faith. Today we see the result of our own faith is to build others up regardless of what happens. We are here on earth not to merely grow and be selfish with the message we have been given. We are here to build others up and spread the gospel.

"1We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me." 4For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." – Romans 15:1-4

Look at the example Christ set before us. As the only person who was ever both fully God and fully man he could have easily become the most powerful leader in the history of the world. The Jews were upset with Him because He did not become the conquering hero they expected. Instead he establish and an attitude and a pattern of servanthood. He lowered Himself not only to our level, but one further by becoming a servant for all mankind. Though He was given all the power in the universe He chose not to abuse this power, but to serve as we see based on the promises pointed out later in the chapter.

This is how we must live our lives as we offer encouragement and spread the message of God's faithfulness. Each day we are tested against our own selfish nature to live to this example. God has set up numerous ways for us to serve just in His requests upon on our Christian lives. We are tested to serve through tithing, through spreading the message, and through boldly and unashamedly living in faith. We are asked to do each of these regularly as a similar form of servanthood. Sometime we succeed and come through for God, while other times our faith is weak and we fail.

"14I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another. 15I have written you quite boldly on some points, as if to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me 16to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles with the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit." – Romans 15:14-16

This right here points out Paul's mission as he sought to break down the barriers of the day between the Jews and Gentiles. Even though he was born a Jew Paul knew he was commissioned to take the message of Christ to the Gentiles at any cost. As we see later in the chapter, he longed to preach where no one had preached before, but he also knew he had to get to the center of gentile civilization in order to have the most effect. This is why he later went to Rome. Rome at the times was the center of the known world and from there Paul knew his message of Christ's love would have its largest effect. He was tireless in this mission, and we have him to thank for what we believe in today because of his efforts.

"17Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. 18I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— 19by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. 20It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else's foundation." – Romans 15:17-20

We must always encourage and serve one another, but at the same time we are called to take the message where it is not known. In that we become part of a new foundation, and we serve our purpose as well.



  1. Do you feel you are strong or weak in your faith?
  2. How do you Share your faith with others?
  3. Do the classifications of Jew or Gentile really matter in Christ's eye?

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