September 25, 2017

Romans 15:7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

What does it mean to accept one another? Some of the definitions from the online Oxford dictionary include: “consent to receive (a thing offered),” “give an affirmative answer to (an offer or proposal); say yes to,” “believe or come to recognize (an opinion, explanation, etc.) as valid or correct.” I doubt Paul was thinking of the last one as he wrote earlier in Romans, “Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters” (14:1). Apparently, you can “accept” people without agreeing with all their positions. That kind of rules out the second also. We can accept individuals without accepting all their views on life or faith convictions. So, if it is the first, how do we “consent to receive (a thing offered)?” Particularly, how do we do this “just as Christ accepted you?” What jumps to my mind is the verse in Matthew 11:28 where Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” I think of this as a “big hug” verse. I picture Jesus with arms wide open offering comfort to an exhausted body. Theology is important. Standing for the truth is important. But people are important too. We can be the arms of Christ for one another. This week how might you “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God?”

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