Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted you, to the glory of God… Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:7 & 3
We are almost at the end of the book of Romans. Paul has addressed all believers in the beginning, the Jews, and then the Gentiles, and now He is back to addressing the Roman church—Jews and Gentiles united.
People need the Lord—together
Sunday after Sunday, we come together, different races, cultures, backgrounds, and political leanings. We come together as one voice to worship the only wise God in Spirit and truth.
But do we accept one another as Christ accepted us?
Church after church around the world, the people take their seats, sing songs, listen to the sermon, and give from their pocketbooks. Some praying at the altar. They come because Christ accepts them and delivers them from sin-sickness and death. We move in harmony with those who are like-minded.
But in truth, do we accept one another in like-mindedness?
Jew or Gentile—Republican or Democrat, we are one in the Lord. Accept one another as Christ has accepted us.
The most complicated and yet simple answer is this: We come together to glorify the Lord. Without the Lord there is no harmony, no acceptance, and no like mindedness.
Christ did not accept us because we were perfect, but because He accepted us perfectly in His great love. He did not call us because there was no fault in us, but because He alone makes us faultless in His eyes. The truth is that He did not accept us to gain anything for Himself.
We need the Lord—He doesn’t need us.
His tender loving care is our guiding force: nothing more, nothing less. He covers our faults with His atoning blood. He sought us for our good—our good together in unity. Furthermore, He’s welcomed us into a loving relationship and accepts us just as we are.
His acceptance rewards us with salvation, rebirth, and reconciliation.
His acceptance is final.
We are encouraged to accept others in unity as Christ did—in love! The power of the indwelling Holy Spirit is sent to help us accept one another in joy and peace. Even the acceptance is a gift from God.
Jesus prayed for our unity, let Him be pleased as we accept one another. Jew or Gentile; white, brown, or black; Republican, Democrat, or Independent, holds no great importance to Christ.
So let us accept one another as christ accepted us to the glory and honor of God. The watching world is watching—will they see Christ in us?
I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in Me through their word. May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I am in You. May they also be in us, so the world may believe you sent Me. I have given them the glory you have given Me so that they may be one as we are one. (John 17:20-21)
Christ is the hope of Jews and Gentiles
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, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy. (Romans 15:8-9a)
God’s faithfulness and truthfulness to His word are demonstrated in Christ and His coming both to the Jews and to the Gentiles in universal love. First to the circumcised in the body and then to the circumcised in the heart. God’s saving promises fulfilled in Christ Jesus!
Imagine this, if only at the sound of God’s voice the world and even the universe exist, then how much more faithful are His promises breathed out for all who believe? Once spoken, the promises of God are as good as done—constrained only by time—He watches over His Word to accomplish it.
Granted, the Jewish people were entrusted with God’s word, but now we reap the benefits of so great a salvation. The salvation story is not exclusive to the Jews, but spread abroad to the rest of the world because of God’s faithful love.
Lest the Jews think salvation is exclusive to them alone, God’s word in the past proves otherwise. Paul quotes from II Samuel 22:50, Deuteronomy 32:43, Psalm 117:1 and
. Including the Gentiles into the people of God was His plan all along: pure redemption and true reconciliation.
Our circumcised hearts, wholly devoted to God, beat in rhythm with His own. We, Jews and Gentiles, will praise God forever because of His great mercy extended to us in Christ Jesus.
Our Confidence—our hope
We are confident in this, our hope is in the Lord. He is the God of hope. He said it and it is so. From Him is joy and peace in believing, and the power of the Holy Spirit to give us hope beyond measure.
The grace of the Lord Jesus (The Christ, the Messiah) be with all (the saints—all believers, those set apart for God). Amen (Rev 22:21)
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three, but the greater of these is love. (I Corinthians 13:13)
So much truth. What can I add, but a prayer?
May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace in your faith, that by the power of the Holy Spirit, your life may be filled with hope. Amen.
Blessings to all—and be a blessing,