by Philip Layton
Paul sends final greetings and warns against false teaching
- What advice did Paul give to this church regarding false teachers (v17)? Is this advice something that will help or hinder the teaching in Romans chapter 15?
- Should unity and acceptance be upheld at all costs – including that of doctrine and truth? Or does upholding unity sometimes entail creating a distance between truth and false teaching?
Share your thoughts below, or tweet about it with the #boundlessbible hashtag. Don't forget this week's Children's Challenge!
Going Deeper From 'Words of Life'
Imagine if we all stopped judging others! Most of us like to think we don’t judge; but many of us catch ourselves criticising, or thinking something could definitely be better. Rather, we’re told in this Scripture passage to lift one another up. To think only the best of others. What an impact this would have on society if we all took on this initiative!
Paul points out that there are those who are weak in the faith; new Christians who are not yet mature; those who quite easily slip and fall.
Again, instead of finding fault, we’re to encourage. To be there for each other. To build one another up.
In Paul’s day there were disputes about special worship days, about certain food, about what worked in the past. It’s no different today; it’s just that the disputes are different. Disputes about worship styles, certain dress codes, even about people with tattoos, piercings or strange hair. We can get so caught up in – so worked up over – certain matters that we lose out on the fundamental reason why we gather to worship in the first place. A more mature Christian is not superior in God’s eyes. Together, we’re all to glorify God. This is our chief aim and purpose in life. We’re to live – and in fact be ready to die – for Christ.
In these final chapters of Paul’s letter to the Romans he urges them, and us, to be one in Christ. To enjoy freedom in Jesus; deliverance from all that binds us. Paul wanted the Church to be a place where all people felt welcomed, accepted, encouraged. Once we experience this oneness, we’ll be certain of God’s abiding presence; then nothing and no one will ever separate us from him!
Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ…to the only wise God be glory for ever through Jesus Christ! Amen (16:25, 27).
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