Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

A Pastor’s Burden

As we move into the concluding 15th and 16th chapters of Romans  note that Paul is winding up this great doctrinal epistle with some concluding concerns for Christ’s Church.  He loves the Church and desires God’s best for her.  Paul’s God-inspired desire of blessing for the Church at Rome and for Christ’s universal Church then and today is book-ended between two benedictions.  The first benediction in Romans 15:5-6 and the second in 15:13.  Let’s consider now Paul’s desire for The Church of Rome and for Christ’s Church today as we consider Romans 15:5-13. His desire could  be summarized in one thought, spiritual unity of all believers in Christ.

Consider this theme of spiritual unity using the following outline.

  1. A Pastor’s Burden.
  2. The People’s responsibility
  3. God’s Provision for His Church
  4. God’s Purpose for His Church

I  A Pastor’s Burden

 

Paul’s burden and every true pastor’s burden is that the Church enjoy Christian unity, peace and joy as it is edified (built up) through the preaching of God’s Word.   A false pastor  ( a wolf in sheep’s clothing) does not feed the Church God’s Word. Rather, his desire for the church is to milk the sheep for all the money he can get, leaving the flock divided, distressed and in danger of  Satanic attacks.

Note in John 17 that the unity of believers was the concern of Jesus, the Great Shepherd of the Sheep just before He left His disciples to die on Calvary’s cross.

 

II The People’s Responsibilities

 

The responsibilities of the Church are summarized in Romans 12:1- 15:4. We’ve already dealt with them in the previous studies in this Roman’s series.  They can be summarized in receiving one another with our strengths and weaknesses and being concerned for meeting the needs of others, thus glorifying God.

 

III. God’s Provision for His Church

 

God’s provision for the stronger Christians in His Church is found in Romans 15:4-5.  Patience is needed for getting along and working with weaker Christians.    Comfort and consolation are needed by weaker Christians who don’t always understand why other Christians, who although they preach the Gospel, do things and believe things differently from them.  God’s hope, joy and peace, spoken of in verse 13, are needed by all of us for getting along with others.

In Ephesians 4:3 Paul teaches us that it is the Holy Spirit working in the lives of yielded believers which  enables us to enjoy that unity as we are yielded to His control.

 

IV. The Purpose of this Unity

 

 

In Romans 15:6 we learn that the purpose of  the Spirit’s unity is that God would be glorified as we, His Church, are a united witness to a lost world.  That was also Jesus’ concern in John 17:20-21  just before He went to the cross to die for our sins.

It’s His concern for His Church today that we  may have an appreciation and understanding of the value and purpose of each Christian. Let’s not  be so quick to write off Christians who differ with us as being weak and of no value to Christ and His Church. How we need to learn to value and appreciate one another with all our differences.

Let us learn to recognize and receive fellow believers as brother and sisters in Christ and learn from them, whether they are weak or strong spiritually.  We’re going to love one another throughout eternity.  Let’s start learning to do that now.

I conclude with Paul’s benediction for us in Romans 15:13. “Now the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing that we may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

 

 

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July 7, 2012 - Posted by | Romans

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