LOVE AND UNITY AMONG BELIEVERS

Romans 15:1-4

 

Last week we looked at God’s command for us to receive the weak.

 

Tonight we are told not only to receive them to bear the burden of their infirmity.

 

I want us to have a good understanding tonight of what this portion of Scripture is telling us as believers.

 

There are several considerations given here:

 

Though we all have weaknesses some believers are stronger in some areas than others.

 

There are some among us who are weak in faith.

 

God commands the strong to carry the burden of the infirmities of the weak.

 

Christ is our example.

 

Rom 15:1

1    We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

Bear means carry.

 

Infirmities mean a scruple (scruple means weight) of conscience.

 

These scruples arise through a weakness in faith.

 

We are to please, that is be agreeable to the weaker brother, to his edification.

 

Edification means building up his faith.

 

Let us take a closer look at our Scripture tonight as we understand the terminology.

I.  THE WEAK IN FAITH.

 

Weak faith brings weakness in to every area of our life.

 

weak in the area of doctrine.

 

Matt 15:9

9    But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

 

1 Cor 11:18-19

18  For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.

19  For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

 

Eph 4:14-16

14  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

15  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

16  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every

part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

 

Col 2:8

8    Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

 

 

 

1 Tim 6:20-21

20  O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:

21  Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

 

Heb 13:9

9    Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

 

B. Some are weak in the area of loyalty.

 

Loyalty to God.

 

Matt 22:37-38

37  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38  This is the first and great commandment.

 

Loyalty to church

 

 

 

Ps 84:2

2    My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.

 

Ps 84:10

10  For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.

 

Ps 92:13-14

13  Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.

14  They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;

 

Ps 96:8

8    Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts.

 

Zech 3:7

7    Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.

 

Heb 10:25

25  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

 

 

Loyalty to marriage and family

 

Heb 13:4

4    Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

 

Eph 6:4

4    And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

 

Col 3:21

21  Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

 

1 Tim 5:8

8    But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

 

Titus 2:4-5

4    That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

5    To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

 

Loyalty to pastor

 

Heb 13:7

7    Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

 

Heb 13:17

17  Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that

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must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

 

1Thes 5:12-13

12  And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;

13  And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

 

1 Tim 5:17

17  Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

 

C. Weakness in service

 

 

 

 

Matt 3:8

8    Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

 

John 15:14

14  Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

 

Eph 2:10

10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

 

Heb 10:24

24  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

 

James 1:22

22  But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

 

D. Weak in convictions

 

Ezek 33:10

10  Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?

 

 

Luke 5:8

8    When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.

 

Rev 3:17-18

17  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

18  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

 

E. Weak in standards

 

The weak in faith will lower his standard of Christian living.

 

II. THE STRONG IN FAITH.

Will be strong in other areas of life.

 

Doctrine

Loyalty

Service

Convictions

Standards

Every area should grow as we grow in faith.

 

2 Pet 3:18

18  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

 

Ps 84:7

7    They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.

 

Prov 4:18

18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

 

Phil 1:6

6    Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

 

Phil 1:9

9    And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;

 

Phil 3:12-14

12  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

13  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

 

Phil 3:16

16  Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

 

Col 1:10-11

10  That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

11  Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

 

1Thes 3:12-13

12  And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:

13  To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

 

III. UNITY IN FAITH

 

The strong must carry the load

 

Acts 20:31-32

31  Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

32  And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

 

Rom 9:1-3

1    I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,

2    That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.

3    For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:

 

Rom 14:19

19  Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

 

The strong must build up the weak

 

Rom 14:19

19  Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

 

1 Cor 14:26

26  How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

 

2 Cor 12:19-20

19  Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves unto you? we speak before God in Christ: but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying.

20  For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults:

 

1Thes 5:11

11  Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

 

Why do the strong bear the weight of the weak?

 

Rom 15:3-4

3    For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.

4    For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

 

Why do the strong bear the infirmities of the weak?

 

Why do the strong continue to help the weak even though they may curse you?

Why help those who sometimes are not willing to help themselves?

Because, Christ our example left heaven and came to earth.

 

He who knew no sin became sin for you and me.

 

He washed the feet of His betrayer.

 

He died for those who in no way could help themselves.

 

Why?   “For Christ”.

 

If the verse went no further, that is enough reason.

 

 

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