Accept one another

What to do when differences arise between followers of Christ? Continue following Christ!

Therefore, accept one another, even as Christ has also accepted you, for the glory of God.
Rom 15.7 JRM

To accept means to receive, welcome, regard as worthy of fellowship and working together, in spite of failings and personal differences. Paul has used the word already twice before, in Rom 14.1,3. Paul uses it of Philemon’s acceptance of Onesimus, Phile 17.

Christ’s welcoming of all into his fellowship is the model which we must follow. This is not merely a motivational statement, but a call to real discipleship. The mention of Christ’s acceptance of all shows that discipleship is not only in relation to the Lord, but in how we treat our brothers and sisters in Christ.

“This is more than a manifestation of brotherly love; it is a primitive requirement of the Christian religion” (Spicq).

The goal and result of such acceptance is the glory of God (see v. 6). God is glorified when Christ’s followers act as he does, by welcoming all into the fold.

All is done by Christ “on behalf of God’s truth” Rom 14.8, so no compromise of truth is in view here. Exactly by working on behalf of God’s truth is his mercy extended to all nations, Rom 14.8-13. And we are to do the same.

In this way everyone “may glorify God for his mercy” Rom 14.9. And this, says correctly a note in Tradução Ecumênica da Bíblia, “is the final goal of Christ’s work, and of the Christian life, both personal and corporate.”

J. Randal Matheny

Be pithy.

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