“ACCEPT ONE ANOTHER AS CHRIST HAS ACCEPTED YOU” (Rom. 15)

“ACCEPT ONE ANOTHER AS CHRIST HAS ACCEPTED YOU” (Rom. 15)
FBC Earlville 8-14–16 10:30 AM
Rev. J.B. Stopford, Pastor

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE READING: Romans 15:1-6
INTRODUCTION Today’s Special: “SPECIAL OFFERING”
One Sunday, the pastor told his congregation that the church needed some extra money and asked the people to prayerfully consider giving a little extra in the offering plate.
He said that whoever gave the most would be able to pick out three hymns.
After the offering plates were passed, the pastor glanced down and noticed that someone had placed a $1,000 bill in offering. 
He was so excited that he immediately shared his joy with his congregation and said he’d like to personally thank the person who placed the money in the plate.
And there sat little old Betty all the way in the back shyly raising her hand. The pastor asked her to come to the front. 
Slowly she made her way to the pastor. 
He told her how wonderful it was that she gave so much and in thanksgiving asked her to pick out three hymns.
Her eyes brightened as she looked over the congregation, pointed to the three most handsome men in the building and said, “I’ll take him and him and him!”

LET’S REVIEW: The practical section of Romans (chapters 12-16) involves “surrender” of God’s people: SURRENDER TO THE LORD (12:1-2); SURRENDER TO THE GOVERNMENT (Ch. 13); SURRENDER TO ONE ANOTHER (ch. 14:13). Today: SURRENDER TO GOD’S WORD. Our title comes from verse 7. PRAYER

1. BEAR WITH ONE ANOTHER (vs. 1-6)
Note that this is based on:
a. The Scriptures (old and new working together – do you read them?)
Note Paul’s several usages of “as it is written” (see 15:3,4 (from Ps. 69:9, a Messianic psalm), v. 9 (Ps. 18:49),v. 10 (Deut. 32:43), v. 11 (Ps. 117:1 – the shortest psalm),v. 12 (Isa. 11:10 – a Messianic chapter), v. 21(Isa. 52:15 – Isaiah’s introduction to the cross).
b. The Lord (note that BOTH the Lord and the Scriptures are identified as being the source of “endurance and encouragement”, vs. 5-6)

2. ACCEPT ONE ANOTHER (vs. 7-13)
We (Gentiles) are a special inclusion in God’s plan (read vs. 7-9). The Jews of Paul’s day didn’t think that God had ANY plans for Gentiles (non-Jews), and wanted to erase us from existence! But throughout the Old Testament, God’s word is full – and these references are important to both Jew and Gentile alike – that God has a plan for the entire world!
And because of that plan, we are to…accept one another!

3. GET A FRESH VIEW OF GOD!
* Christ didn’t please Himself (v. 3)
* God Who gives endurance and encouragement (v. 5)
* He is to be glorified (v. 6)
* He is to be praised (v. 7)
* Truth belongs to Him (v. 8)
* God is the source of mercy (v. 9)
* He is not only to be praised, He is to be sung to! (not just in the shower, either!) (v. 11)
* He is to be ruler through the messiah, the Lord Jesus (v. 12), Who is our hope
* God is the God of hope (v. 13) – note the cooperation among the Trinity: the Holy Spirit is the producer of hope.
* God gives His servants grace to serve where He wisely places them (vs. 15-19)

CONCLUSION Paul gives two concluding thoughts:
#1 A contribution is owed to those with whom we share in spiritual blessings (v. 27)

#2 Paul seeks prayer (vs. 30ff) that he might be rescued from unbelievers in Judea, and come to Rome to refresh the believers there [he wasn’t rescue! He did come to Rome, but as a prisoner].

God invites us to trust Him – His Word, His place and placement in our lives! He did that for Rome. Do you trust that He’ll do that for you?

CLOSE IN PRAYER

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