Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. (ESV)
In the previous chapter the Apostle Paul dealt with the tension between believers in Jesus Christ who disagreed over matters of conscience. The more "mature" Christians felt that meat sacrificed to idols could be eaten by Christians because idols were not real and God made the animals. The less "mature" believers were horrified by the idea of Christians eating meat sacrificed to false gods.
Paul says here in this verse that regardless of what your opinion is on secondary issues the love of Christ should compel you to get along with one another. After all, Christ has welcomed all of us with all of our differences.I love the fact that God does not call us to do something that he has not already modeled for us to do by his own example.
I would like to say that in our modern Christian culture that we are known by how we welcome one another just like Jesus has welcomed us. I would like to say that modern believers in Jesus Christ have learned how to lovingly deal with our differences and we do not shun our fellow believer who has a different viewpoint than ours. I would love to say that.
I think you know that we are still struggling with the same tensions. What is the answer? I believe we need the reminder that is found in the end of this verse. Our purpose is to give God glory. We are not to live for our own opinions or to demand our own way. We are to live for God's glory. How is he glorified? When we love one another in his name.
Do you find yourself engaged in petty disagreements with other believers? How can you be more welcoming of those whom Christ has welcomed? How can you give God glory by your behavior?
welcome. See note on 14:1. as Christ . . . welcomed you. If the perfect, sinless Son of God was willing to bring sinners into God’s family, how much more should forgiven believers be willing to warmly embrace and accept each other in spite of their disagreements over issues of conscience
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