“We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: ‘The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.’ For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” Romans 15:1-7
My purpose in writing this article is to consider God’s desire for our worship of Him. We are so blessed to have God’s awesome Word and His loving Holy Spirit who gives revelation knowledge and urges us to live lives that are pleasing to the Father.
Romans 15:1-7 is one of those passages of Scripture that sheds light on God’s idea of acceptable worship that the contemporary church has evidently widely overlooked. Verses 5-7 say, “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” It is safe to say that the reverse is true; that if we don’t accept one another as Christ accepted us, God will not be praised. He will not be praised by the world because of the hypocrisy that they see in us. He will not be praised by us, even though we sing and say, “Praise the Lord!” because He says that without the acceptance of one another, the words are meaningless. We’re just making noise at that point, no matter how beautifully or enthusiastically we sing.
Obviously, we need to align our priorities with God’s. We cannot offer the King a gift that He finds offensive and expect Him to receive it politely. He does not play that game. He lays it out straightforwardly and says things like, “If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15) We can’t even come into God’s presence in sin, so our attempts at worship will not be heard until we deal with our issues with our brothers and sisters. In 1 John 4:19-21 we read, “We love because He first loved us. If anyone says, ‘I love God’, yet hates his brother he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And He has given this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”
Brothers and sisters, let us endeavor to bring pleasing worship to our worthy God by striving to love the same things that He loves. Let us accept one another as Christ accepted us, in order to bring praise to God!