Jesus—Alpha and Omega
Mighty yet Gentle God, You know my every need. Remind me how You clothed the flowers. I praise You.
Read ROMANS 15:1-13
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“…through Israel, God would call people of every nation into the one family of salvation and praise” (N.T. Wright).
We live in a competitive world; we may not deliberately put people down, not usually, but are we always careful of the weak, the sensitive, and the anxious? How do we react to differences of opinion? As mature Christians, long-time members of our church, are we critical of the young, for example? Paul’s strategy is to remind his readers that we are one body in Christ, all redeemed sinners, accepted equally through the cross, loving one another as he has loved us. From Christ we learn humility (c.f. Phil 2:5, 6), because he did not please himself but took upon himself the insults of those he came to save. We cannot truly love and serve the Lord and think more highly of ourselves than we ought (Rom. 12:3). We submit to one another in love, having the same attitude of mind as Christ Jesus had (Phil. 2:5).
Paul builds up the faith of Jewish Christians, partly by affirming their Jewish scriptures as the Word of God, the story of God’s promises, telling of the coming of the Messiah, Savior of the whole world. He quotes from them over and over again. He ends the main teaching of the letter as he began; “the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son…Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 1:2-4). We are all called to unity in worship and praise for all the promises fulfilled in Christ, that together we will be filled with all joy, peace and hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit. No cliques, no reserved seats, no pride, no showing off—only acceptance in love and gratitude of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
As you think of any areas of disagreement or sensitivity in your fellowship, use v. 13 as a prayer for yourselves and your Christian friends.
Lord, fill me with joy and peace as I trust in You. May I overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit (13).