One of the benefits of putting together our curriculum for the book of Romans is that you get to study hard on scripture. As I worked on Romans 9 through 16 one chapter jumped out to me. Chapter 15:1-6 is Paul’s final word in Romans on how we should live. Its a powerful statement to who we are to be. “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. … Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
The NIV uses the word “accept” instead of ESV use of “welcome.” This is such an important piece of community. We are called to welcome/accept everyone in God’s family. Some days this seems easy. Others days we are aware of our ungraciousness. John Ortberg’s title of his book points to this “Everyone’s Normal Till You Get Know Them.” At times we all have thought this of others.
Acceptance means we overlook idiosyncrasies, not sins. Welcoming means I invite you in to my circle and don’t close you out. How can we consistently do this? See for yourself what verses 4 & 5 say. Its great stuff that can help each of us.


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