Now we who are strong
ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength
and not just please ourselves.
Each of us is to please his neighbor
for his good,
to his edification.
For even Christ did not please Himself;
but as it is written,
“The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.”
For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction,
so that through perseverance and the encouragement
of the Scriptures
we might have hope.
Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement
grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus,
so that with one accord
you may with one voice
glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The beginning and the end of this section of Scripture talk about how we should treat others:
· The strong ought to bear the bear the weaknesses of those who are not strong
o The word bear in Greek means to carry, to provide for, to accept, to endure
o The “not strong” are those who can’t, with whom it is impossible
o And the word “ought” sounds like a suggestion but it is a stronger command, more like “must bear” or we “owe it to them to bear”.
o The Message translations says “those who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter”
· We are to not please ourselves, but please our neighbor for their good, for their edification.
o The Message version says we need to “look after of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?”
· At the end of the passage, we are called to live in unity:
o Having the same mind
o Being in one accord
o Glorifying God with one voice
But we, in our own strength, can’t pull of that kind of selflessness and unity. So how are we to do it?
· First, we are to look to Jesus, who is our example
o He did not please himself
o On the cross, He bore the reproach of those who disapprove of God and His ways
o He suffered for our sakes
· Second, we should look to Scripture
o Scripture is written for our instruction
o Through the perseverance and encouragement of the Scriptures, we have hope.
· Lastly, we should pray
o God is the one who give perseverance and encouragement
o God is the one who is able to unify us as we lay down our personal desires and look out for the good of others.
1. Don’t judge or criticize the weak. Instead bear, accept, help and provide for the weak.
2. We shouldn’t be working to please ourselves but we should be looking out for the good of others. This is a constant, minute-by-minute activity.
3. We should be striving to be in unity with our brothers and sisters in Christ – having one mind, one heart, and one voice – working together to glorify God.
4. Since we can’t do any of the above on our own, we need to look Christ and follow His example. We need to be in the Word to receive instruction, perseverance and encouragement. And we need to pray because God can help us live this way.
Lord, so often I fall short of this standard. I judge or criticize rather than bear, accept and help. I often look to please myself rather than look for ways to help others. And when I do those things I am not working toward unity, and we can’t possibly glorify you with one voice. So help me to not look down on others but to look up to You, who can help me. Give me a desire to meet the needs of others. And give me wisdom so that I might know how to do good, build up, and edify. Help me to spend time in your word, where you constantly remind me of the life I am called to live. Thank for Jesus. Thank for His selfless example. Thank you that He was willing to go to the cross and bear our iniquities and pay the penalty for our sins. Thank you! That kind of selfless love deeply touches our hearts. May we follow His example and lay down our lives for others and may others hearts be deeply touched by the selfless acts God calls us to.
Posted on Wed, March 9, 2016
by joel king