Here’s some of the treasure I discovered while reading and studying Romans chapter 15. I hope this brings you encouragement!
Romans 15:1-2 say,
1 We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves. 2 We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. (NLT)
Well, I have to admit that I failed in fulfilling this verse recently. Keep in mind, this example I’ll be giving does deal with weakness, but not specifically in regards to what one eats as Paul discussed in Romans 14.
In my situation I was ministering to a lady that a friend of mine put me in contact with purposely so I could help her. There were several areas where she was really struggling to trust God and those same areas, which had also been a struggle for me in the past, are areas where I am now enjoying freedom, BUT the ONLY reason is because of God’s grace .
She just kept making excuses for her situation and blaming others and I was thinking, “Lady, do you want help or not.”
The next day I started reading Romans 15 and verses 1&2 immediately stood out . I knew right away that it was no accident.
It’s not what I said to her that day that was wrong. In fact, I believe I was able to offer her some genuine help. It was my attitude toward her weakness that was wrong.
This situation reminds me of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 which say,
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (NASB)
This is what seeing Romans 15:1-2 did for me. It taught me, reproved me and corrected me. This is something I have no problem with now, but for many years I would have taken something like this in a condemnatory type of way, even though that was never the way God intended for me to receive it.
I talked about this in my book, I Tried Until I Almost Died. In it I said, …”after coming to a grace revelation, I started seeing and reading the Bible from a completely different perspective. Instead of seeing a book of rules, I now see a book full of promises – promises made available to us by a heavenly Father who, rather than waiting to punish us when we step out of line, invites us to step into His presence just as we are.”
You see, God wasn’t saying to me through His Word, ‘Wow Sandra, you’ve really blown it royally this time. Man you are so self-centered. Come on. Get your act together girl,’ although this is exactly how I would have perceived the correction prior to understanding God’s nature of goodness, love and grace.
Here’s what I felt God was showing me through His Word this time, now that I was reading it differently:
First, God brought the situation from the day before to my mind immediately when I read Romans 15, verses 1 and 2. He showed me that the conversation was frustrating to me as a result of my perspective of just wanting this girl to get over her insecurities and get on with her spiritual journey and that I really wasn’t looking out for her or looking to please her, but myself. Basically, I wanted her to stop feeling sorry for herself, stop making excuses and just listen to me so she could get the help she needed.
God reminded me once again that only He can change a person’s heart. I don’t know about you, but once in a while I still try to take matters into my own hands by attempting to do God’s job.
This has been a great reminder for me to bear with the failings of the weak!
Romans 15:5 says,
May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. (NLT)
See, I love this. Even when we are impatient with another person’s weakness, we don’t have to go into a fix ourself up mode. This verse tells us that it is God who gives us patience and encouragement. It is Him who helps us live in complete harmony with others. And if we want His help all we have to do is ask for it!
Romans 15:7 says,
Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory. (NLT)
This Biblical truth has helped me in so many areas. For many years I tried to accept others, forgive others and love others, but I didn’t have the revelation that God accepted me, had forgiven me and loved me unconditionally. It was when I got this revelation that I was able to begin to give out what I had finally received from God.
Of course, I’m not perfect, as you saw by my example at the beginning of this blog post, but I can testify for sure that accepting, forgiving and loving other people comes so much more naturally than it did before I understood how God truly felt about me.
Romans 15:13 says,
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. (NLT)
One of the most amazing things that I have discovered on my grace journey these past 4 years is how much of our Christian walk hinges on us being willing to trust God.
Jesus provided everything we will ever need to live in victory through His finished work on the cross… but we have to believe this is true in order to receive. In the New Covenant of God’s grace all of His promises are yes and amen… but we have to believe to receive. God is so amazingly good. He doesn’t just do love. He is love. But again, we have to believe in God’s goodness to receive these enormous benefits.
Romans 15:14 -15a says,
I am fully convinced, my dear brothers and sisters, that you are full of goodness. You know these things so well you can teach each other all about them. Even so, I have been bold enough to write about some of these points, knowing that all you need is this reminder. (NLT)
I simply love the Bible and I love how the Apostle Paul ministered to the church! He ministered with a gracious spirit, believing the best of them, always teaching them wisdom and reminding them (when they got off track) who they were in Christ Jesus and what was available to them through Christ Jesus.
The apostle Paul said this in Romans 15:16:
I am a special messenger from Christ Jesus to you Gentiles. I bring you the Good News so that I might present you as an acceptable offering to God, made holy by the Holy Spirit. (NLT)
I’m getting the biggest kick out of studying this chapter. I know I’ve said this before…many times, but I don’t think I’ll ever get over the difference in how I see the Bible now that I am reading it through the lens of God’s grace. It really is like a huge treasure chest to me!
It’s so cool here that Paul said bringing the Good News to them was going to make such a dynamic change in them that he would be able to present them as an acceptable offering to God. Why? Because this Good News was not just any ordinary good news. It was (and is) the Good News about Jesus and what He did for them (and us) through His death and resurrection. Paul knew they would (and we would) be made holy through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross by the power of the Holy Spirit when they chose (and we choose) to believe this Good News!
Wait a minute Sandra? I thought I had to do all these “holy acts” in order to be holy.
Nope. All you have to do is believe the Good News about Jesus! But guess what? When you do believe in and receive Jesus as your Savior and you know you’ve been made holy because of Jesus, you will most definitely end up living a holier lifestyle than ever before because your who always affects your do.
But guess what else? You can live as a Christian for years, even decades, and not see the fruit of holiness in your life that should be there. Guess why? Because you somehow skipped getting ahold of the who you are in Christ part and went directly to the what you need to do for Christ part. Sadly, this happened to me.
I believe there are a good number of Christians attempting to live out their Christianity without knowing who they are in Christ. This, my friend, is a very bad recipe for F.R.U.S.T.R.A.T.I.O.N.
But guess what else? It can all be turned around when you begin to learn who you are in Christ Jesus! When you do, right doing will begin to flow naturally from your right believing about who you really, truly are in Jesus!
How do I know this? It happened to me! Thank God that He has restored everything the deceiver (satan) worked so hard to make sure I missed.
THIS is why I will be spending the rest of my life reminding others of their true identity in Christ.
Romans 15:24 says,
I am planning to go to Spain, and when I do, I will stop off in Rome. And after I have enjoyed your fellowship for a little while, you can provide for my journey. (NLT)
This is very interesting to me how the apostle Paul boldly asked for financial help from the Christians in Rome so he could continue his missionary journey. In today’s world if Paul said something like this some might accuse him by saying “all Paul ever wants is our money.” But it seems to me from reading some of the different verses in this chapter that this was not the mentality of the early church at all. They were in it to preach the Gospel. They were in it to spread the Good News. This is what they lived for.
Now, I realize one of the reasons there is so much suspicion out there in the area of money is because of the way some churches/ministries have mishandled money. I really do understand that. Believe me, Steve and I are very careful who we give to.
All I’m saying is that reading this chapter really made me want to see the church get back to being united for the purpose Jesus gave us – to Go Into All The World And Preach The Gospel!
And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. (Mark 16:15 -NASB)
Of course, as you know, there are plenty of great churches and ministries out there that are really fulfilling The Great Commission. I’m inspired, after reading this chapter, to begin to pray that Christians worldwide will both find and get planted in a great church that is Jesus-centered and preaches the Gospel and find great ministries that do the same and begin to partner with them to fulfill the purpose Jesus gave to us, His church!
I can’t think of any better way to invest my money than to invest it into the lives of people who don’t yet know Jesus!
My next and final God’s Treasure Chest post will be on Romans 16.
If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!