Ethnic division, between the Jews and Gentiles, was a big problem in the Roman Church. And of course, ethnic division still plagues the Church today. So as always, there is so much we can learn from God’s Word. Paul encourages them, since they are all in same boat, to love each other. One of the beautiful things about godly love is that, we do not need to all be exactly the same, in every area of our lives here, in order to love one another. Love requires humility, and choosing to forgive one another when we offend each other. Notice I did not say, “IF we offend”? We are all broken. We all have our own fallen history. We all have been hurt in some way, and so, we will hurt others too. Sometimes unintentionally…but sadly, sometimes intentionally. So we must stay humble and forgive one another.
Paul says, the way we display this love is by serving one another. In order to sincerely serve each other, we must learn to respect each other’s differences. We should celebrate the things that make someone unique. We should not argue over the things that will not impact our Salvation, nor should we live a life that bears a false witness to God’s Holiness. With Grace and Mercy— because again, no one is perfect— we must seek ways to spur each other on towards Sanctification. If the topic is something that does not keep you from Heaven nor get you in, then we must learn to leave the details to God. Unless, of course, what we are doing will cause someone else to think they are sinning if they follow our actions. For instance, Paul points to those who felt secure to eat every type of food, but another person believed they should abstain from those foods. For the sake of the other person, we then should abstain also.(see Ro 14:21-23) The point is love does not cause someone else to lose their peace over what they are doing because they do not agree with what you are doing. To love one another means putting that other person ahead of yourself. This is certainly what Jesus did for us.
2023’s Got A Minute? Book Club
January: The Bible
<>< Peace, Diane