Bible Study - ROMANS 15:1-3
LET'SHINE FOR THE GOODNESS OF OTHERS
- Rev. Pon Subarson
We read in Romans chapter 15 how a believer who is firm in faith must help a believer who is weak in faith. Here Paul clearly reveals that the heathens have an equal part in the plan of salvation. THE STRONG MUST SUPPORT THE WEAK We read in Romans chapter 14 that the one who is strong consider all the food clean and acceptable to eat and they eat them. But the weak, has limitations in the food. They consider some days better than other days. This was a problem for the church at Rome. That is the reason Paul writes that the believers are selfish. We reach in chapter 15 that we must support those who are weak. We read that Paul urges not to abandon them “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.” (15:1). The teachings of Christ tell us that we have to uphold those who are weak but the world teaches us to overcome them. This is the main teaching of the Old Testament. The Old Testament teaches us to take care the widow, helpless people and those who are down trodden. This is what Lord Jesus Christ is also teaching us. We can see in Matthew 23 how He scolded the leaders of the Jews. This news was shared by the Apostles. (1 Peter 5:1-4; Eph. 4:28). When Paul writes about the Spiritual gifts, he writes that they are given for the edification of others (Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12:14; Eph. 4:7-16). Today the Christian believers have lost the mentality to support others. We are hurting others very simply. Recently a Pastor said in his message about a member of his church “The member who went to read the Bible at the church did not pronounce certain words properly. After the church service, many made fun of him. As this incident hurt him a lot, he stopped coming to the church”. Yes, beloved! We also do the same thing many times. We are called to support others. We are called to build others who are weak through the Word of God. We might have weakness to run the family and raise the children properly. We might not be firm in faith. We might not be finishing the work properly. We might have problems with other workers at our work spot. Paul said that even at that situation we must support them. We must desire to spend the time for others that time which we desire to spend for self.
LIVE FOR OTHERS GOODNESS (verse 2,3)
Why does Paul say that we must live pleasing to others? Then why does Galatians 1:10 & 1 Thes. 2:4 contradict? “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Gala. 1:10). What is the truth that Paul tells here. “It is wrong to forsake God to please others, or to forsake others to please us”. Pleasing others must be on the basis of the teaching of Christ. The word 'pleasing' does not end with the world. On the contrary it leads us to eternity. Today Christians and others try to please others for their own benefit. How is our life? l Are we living pleasing to others for the good / eternal life of others? l Are my time, education, wealth and talents are used for the spiritual growth of other workers so that they will grow in Christ? l Lastly do we have the experience to support the weak? Beloved Paul keeps Jesus as the model in verse 3. He lived pleasing to me and us. Hence we are His own. The message that He lived pleasing to us was made known to us by the sacrifice of some people and as they lived pleasing to us. When this situation will continue then our husband, wife, children, neighbours, our village, church, ministry and organization will surely be blessed.
“No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.”
(1 Corinthians 10:24)