Romans 14 -- 16
Since not one person in history has been perfect, except Jesus, and since we do not know the hearts, convictions, or sincerity of anyone, we are warned: Who are you that judges another man's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Yes, he shall be upheld: for God is able to make him stand (Romans 14:4).
We . . . who (think we) are strong (in our faith) ought to bear the infirmities (failings) of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us (make it a practice to) please his neighbor for his good to edification (to encourage rather than criticize). For even Christ did not please Himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached you fell on Me (15:1-3).
The stronger brother will put aside his spiritual pride and lovingly consider how to strengthen his spiritually weaker brother without passing judgment, so as not to give Satan a foothold through division or self-righteousness. The greatest example is Jesus Christ, who unselfishly took our sins upon Himself, suffering insult, persecution, and a cruel physical death on the cross for our sake. His personal sacrifice shows us the Christian way to deal with other people for their good.
It is amazing that the Eternal Creator, who is Christ the Son of God, did not please Himself. It was for the sake of others that He came into the world, lived, prayed, wept, and died on the cross for our sins. Even now, the resurrected Christ is making intercession on behalf of our weaknesses and temptations (Hebrews 7:25).
Those who allow Christ to be Lord of their lives show sincere, compassionate concern for others, not only for a weak brother or sister in Christ, but for those who need to accept Christ as Savior. Spiritual discernment leads us to be understanding of others and their situations, having a listening ear and praying with someone who needs our patience and compassion. The admonition to bear the infirmities (weaknesses) of others requires action and not passivity on the part of more mature Christians.
Yes, we are to recognize sin as destructive and deadly to man and detestable to God. He judges sin and makes it clear that we must reprove, rebuke, (and) exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine (warning, urging, and encouraging the sinner with the Word of God) (II Timothy 4:2). Truly, sin is of Satan. We should strongly oppose obvious evils and yet have the compassion of Christ for the one who is caught in Satan's grip.
Our compassionate Lord is saying: Be . . . merciful, (even) as your Father . . . is merciful (Luke 6:36). It is a privilege to bear the burdens of others and help them learn more about Jesus and His will for their lives! Now the God of patience and consolation (source of comfort and all encouragement) grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to (the example of) Christ Jesus (Romans 15:5).
For Romans 14:11: See Isa. 45:23. Rom. 15:3: See Psa. 69:9. Rom. 15:9: See Psa. 18:49. Rom. 15:10: See Deut. 32:43. Rom. 15:11: See Psa. 117:1. Rom. 15:12: See Isa. 11:1,10. Rom. 15:21: See Isa. 52:15.
Government Officials: Sen. Mary Landrieu (LA), Rep. Bobby Rush (IL), and Sen. Charles Schumer (NY) · BPM Staff: Pam Pendergrast · Pray for HCJB World Radio in Quito, Ecuador, and Dr. John Boldt · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast in honor of my mother, Hazel Bonness Luchinger · Country: Latvia (3 million) eastern coast of Baltic Sea in northeastern Europe · Major languages: Latvian and Russian · Religious freedom · 20% Protestant; 20% Roman Catholic; 15% Russian Orthodox; 1% Jewish · Prayer Suggestion: Ask for the Lord's blessings and peace upon His children (Numbers 6:24-27).
Memory Verse for the Week: