In our “One Another” Series, we are exploring several passages that help us discover the fullness of Christ’s commands toward each other as the Body of Christ. When we have intentional, intimate relationships with one another, we can fully live out what God intended for His people. And many of the blessings God has given us are only fully realized in communion with each other.
In this “One Another” point, I am referencing Romans 15:7, which says,
"Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ accepted us, for the glory of God."
I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I am not perfect. I need help from you all to grow in faith, trust, and understanding of God’s Word. My relationship with God has grown by leaps and bounds by talking with and walking alongside other believers, and had they not accepted me as an equal, someone with value and worth, I would probably have turned from God and went the other direction. I would have looked at those people like they were hypocrites. But here we are today, learning about how to be with one another.
Jesus accepts us in the same way we are supposed to accept each other. He gives us an example to follow. It is really simple, and yet difficult because we are sinful. We still have those thoughts meandering way back in the dark part of our minds that we haven’t worked on yet or that we haven’t given over to God yet. The part that we just sweep under the rug or close the closet door to. No? Just me? Well, let’s move on then.
Christians are to receive each other in spite of our faults and scruples, as Christ has received us. And keep on receiving and accepting. The way this was written was in a way that meant to keep on doing it or continually acting upon accepting one another. This is not a ritualistic entrance into some elitist group. No. This is a continual receiving of each other where we help each other and guide each other toward God as opposed to shunning away from others. The acceptance of others glorifies God.
Since the goal of interpersonal relationships among Christians is glorifying God in a united way, Paul concluded this portion of his letter to the Romans by saying, Accept one another. If we go back to the beginning of this portion in Romans 14:1, Paul also began by saying,
"Now, accept the one who is weak in faith, but not to have quarrels over opinions."
Notice that word accept again. We are to receive each other on the basis of Jesus’ example of accepting and receiving us. Yet, Jesus accepted on a whole other level. He accepted and received believers when they were not only helpless, but also ungodly, sinners, and enemies. Certainly, we can receive others who differ with us on nonessential matters. It makes no sense – and, frankly, it is hypocritical – to deny acceptance to others but we ask God to accept us. We have our flaws and faults that make it difficult to overlook at times. And yet, Jesus does it anyway. Jesus gave His very life for us. He lived, died, and rose again for us. This all gives glory to God. Jesus Christ received us so that we can bring praise to God, which is the purpose of Christian unity. It states that in verse 6 of Romans chapter 15, saying:
"so that with one purpose and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Jesus accepted us, and He is the ultimate example for us to follow in obedience to God’s will. He is the absolute perfect image of God the Father. He has no flaws and no sins. He has not done, said, or even thought anything that didn’t align with the Father’s will. And he still accepts us. The only stipulation to accepting us is for us to accept Him. That is the only action required. Putting our trust and faith in Him allows us to be continually accepted by Him. And by putting our trust and faith in Him, He is able to help us to accept one another, building up and helping one another to glorify the Father in all that we say and do.
Gotta go fill up my cup…..