Bible Pathways - Nov. 23, 2006
In Today's Reading:
Law of love concerning doubtful things; Jewish and Gentile believers share the same salvation; Paul's desire to visit Rome; personal greeting
Not one person in history, except Jesus, has lived without sinning. However, since we do not know the hearts of anyone, we are warned: Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand (Romans 14:4).
We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities (imperfections) of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification (spiritual development). For even Christ pleased not Himself (15:1-3). The greatest example of how we are to live our lives is Jesus Christ, who unselfishly took all our sins upon Himself, suffering insult, persecution, and a cruel physical death on the cross for our sakes. His personal sacrifice demonstrated the Christian way to deal with people for their good and God's glory.
The "stronger" brother will willingly put aside his personal desires and lovingly consider how to strengthen his weaker brother without passing judgment, so as not to give Satan a foothold through division or self-righteousness.
When we allow Christ to be Lord of our lives, it results in a sincere, compassionate concern for others, not only for a weaker brother or sister in Christ, but for the lost as well. Spiritual discernment leads us to be understanding of others and their situations. The admonition to bear the infirmities of others requires compassion and active involvement on the part of mature Christians.
While it is true that God judges sin and makes it clear that we must reprove, rebuke, exhort (encourage) with all longsuffering and doctrine (teaching) (II Timothy 4:2), our loving Lord is also saying to those who represent Him: Be . . . merciful, as your Father also is merciful (Luke 6:36). By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to (for) another (John 13:35).
14:1 not to doubtful disputations = not for passing judgment on his questionable opinions; 16:2 succourer = helper, defender.
For Romans 14:11: See Isaiah 45:23. Romans 15:3: See Psalm 69:9. Romans 15:9: See Psalm 18:49. Romans 15:10: See Deuteronomy 32:43. Romans 15:11: See Psalm 117:1. Romans 15:12: See Isaiah 11:1,10. Romans 15:21: See Isaiah 52:15.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in memory of Nelson A. Paul · Bible Pathway Printer: Ambrose Printing Staff, Nashville TN Government Officials: Gov. Jim Doyle (WI), Sen. Mary Landrieu (LA), Rep. Bobby Rush (IL), and Sen. Charles Schumer (NY) Country: Taiwan (22 million) in eastern Asia Major languages: Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese Limited religious freedom 93% Chinese religions; 4% Protestant Prayer Suggestion: Pray to be considerate to the less fortunate (Psalm 41:1).
Memory Verse for the Week: John 1:12