Romans Chapter 15
I. Identification with the Lord. Romans 15:1-7
Tonight we will look at Romans 15:1-3
“To know the mind of God, as revealed in the Scriptures, is to be strong; to be ignorant of it, is to be weak. It is not the man of the greatest intellectual vigor who is strong, nor the imbecile in understanding who is weak. Many of those who possess the greatest talents, and are most distinguished for mental acquirements, even although Christians, may be weak in respect to the things of God. And many who are of feeble intellect, may be strong in the knowledge of Divine things.” Robert Haldane
A. The exhortation. Romans 15:1-2
1. Partnership in life. Romans 15:1
“We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak…”
a. Actively be a help. Positive service unto the Lord.
Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
The Lord worked with His disciples, helping them with the truth.
The Lord did not give them more than they could bear with the help of others. He gave enough to reveal that we are not self-sufficient – we need help.
John 16:12-13 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
He bore them along with truth and love –
Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
“…and not to please ourselves.” –
If we find ourselves drawing away from people instead to moving toward them, we need to seek the Lord’s help to change our attitude that we may be a blessing to others and they may be a blessing to us. It should become our nature!
As we grow in the Lord, it will be our pleasure to help others in –
2. Promoting spiritual growth. Romans 15:2 Build up others in the faith. “Edification”
1 Corinthians 10:24 Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.
a. The Command to the strong – God’s purpose for the strong, to serve –
Ephesians 4:11-16 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
b. The Challenge to the weak – To accept help from the strong –
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
Promoted spiritual growth in the –
c. The Character of the strong and the weak – To give and to accept reproof, rebuke, correction in love –
Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
Psalm 141:5 Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head….
The attitude of those giving instruction should be that of a righteous friend and the attitude of those receiving instruction should be that of appreciation and thankfulness for being helped by a friend!
Please remember those that are strong can grow stronger by learning from the weak. No one knows everything and we can all learn from each other.
Paul then gave –
B. The example. Romans 15:3,4
1. The Lord’s determination to please the Father. Romans 15:3a
“For even Christ pleased not himself…”
John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
Notice the decisions the Lord made that were typical of His life being lived for others –
Mark 6:31-32 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.
Take note of His consideration of others –
Mark 6:34 And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.
He taught them and He fed them, giving up the plan to rest with the disciples.
2. The Lord was reviled because of His identification with God.
Romans 15:3b “…the reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.”
a. As a man, He was sought after.
John 3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
1). He healed the sick –
Mark 1:33 And all the city was gathered together at the door.
Mark 1:37 And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee.
2). He fed the hungry – they responded by pressing Him to be their king.
John 6:15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.
b. As the Son of God, He was rejected.
John 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
John 5:18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
We need to understand that –
3. The Christian will be reviled because of his identification with God.
Luke 10:16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me. Luke 10:16
1 Thessalonians 4:8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.
We are not on this earth to please the world, or ourselves. We are here to serve the Lord and please Him. We need to give ourselves to this service and be a help to all of those that are in this journey with us. We must always remember –
Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.