For his good, to his edification
Romans 15:1-22 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength, and not just please ourselves. 2 Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. 3 For even Christ did not please Himself, but as it is written: “The taunts of those who taunt You have fallen on Me.” 4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another, according to Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one purpose and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7 Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us, for the glory of God. 8 For I say that Christ has become a servant to the circumcision in behalf of the truth of God, to confirm the promises given to the fathers, 9 and for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy; as it is written:
“Therefore I will give praise to You among the Gentiles, And I will sing praises to Your name.” 10 Again he says, “Rejoice, you Gentiles, with His people.” 11 And again, “Praise the Lord all you Gentiles, And let all the peoples praise Him.” 12 Again Isaiah says, “There shall come the root of Jesse, And He who arises to rule over the Gentiles, In Him will the Gentiles hope.”
13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
14 And concerning you, my brothers and sisters, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another. 15 But I have written very boldly to you on some points so as to remind you again, because of the grace that was given to me from God, 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, so that my offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17 Therefore in Christ Jesus I have found reason for boasting in things pertaining to God. 18 For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me, resulting in the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed, 19 in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit; so that from Jerusalem and all around as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 20 And in this way I aspired to preach the gospel, not where Christ was already known by name, so that I would not build on another person’s foundation; 21 but just as it is written: “They who have not been told about Him will see, And they who have not heard will understand.”
22 For this reason I have often been prevented from coming to you;
In Luke 6:27-28;31 Jesus says: “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who are abusive to you… Treat people the same way you want them to treat you.” In today’s text it says: Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength, and not just please ourselves. Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. For even Christ did not please Himself, but as it is written: “The taunts of those who taunt You have fallen on Me.” For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another, according to Christ Jesus, so that with one purpose and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are to do good to, and please our neighbor, to bear their weaknesses, not for their satisfaction, but for their edification, so that they may become stronger. Government programs and institutions that help those who are weak, tend to trap them in their weakness. In the Christian faith we treat people as we want to be treated. We help them by lifting them up not holding them down.
Matthew 22:34-40 says: When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him: “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Upon these two commandments hang the whole Law and the Prophets.” Nothing else we do matters if we don’t first do these two. We cannot do the second if we do not first do the first. 1 John 4:19 says: We love, because He first loved us. We love God because He first loved us. Our ability to love and our capacity to love is founded in that we have received the love of God for ourselves. Only then can we love others as we love ourselves. We not only are to treat others the way we want to be treated, but we are to treat them as we have been treated by Jesus. Jesus suffered and died so that we could be redeemed and restored; reconciled to God. We are to love others with that same end in mind.
Ephesians 4:15;25-32 says: Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, that is, Christ… Therefore, ridding yourselves of falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, because we are parts of one another. Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. The one who steals must no longer steal; but rather he must labor, producing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with the one who has need. Let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but if there is any good word for edification according to the need of the moment, say that, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. All bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. True love is founded in and speaks truth, so that we can grow up in all aspects to be like Christ.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.