Today, Saturday April 10
Welcome One Another
Romans 14:1 “As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.”
Romans 15:7 “Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.”
It is interesting that Paul begins and ends this section of Romans with the admonition to the church there in Rome to “welcome one another”. Paul was addressing those who were "strong in the faith," that is, those who understood their spiritual liberty in Christ and were not enslaved to diets or holy days. The "weak in faith" were immature believers who felt obligated to obey legalistic rules concerning what they ate and when they worshiped.
Many people have the idea that the Christians who follow strict rules are the most mature, but this is not necessarily the case. In the Roman assemblies, the weak Christians were those who clung to the Law and did not enjoy their freedom in the Lord. The weak Christians were judging and condemning the strong Christians, and the strong Christians were despising the weak Christians.
One of the most difficult things to deal with in life is rejection, or even the feeling of rejection. We all desire to be received and accepted on the basis of who we really are, and not on what we do or don’t do. Or on how we are dressed or not dressed. Or on the kind of music we like or don’t like. And all of us are prone to judge people on their outward appearance.
Especially in the church we want to feel welcomed and received! And this is a determining factor whether or not a visitor will return a second time to a church that they are visiting.
Remember, Jesus was accused of being the “friend of sinners.” And we are encouraged in the passage before us today to receive and welcome one another the way the Lord has received us! And by God’s grace we can practice and do this!