We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. (Romans 15:1)
As we begin our devotional study of Romans 14:1-15:13 let me remind you that we are in the final section of the book of Romans. Paul, in this section, presents practical applications for living out a life that has experienced God’s mercy as described in the first 11 chapters of Romans. Chapter 12 presents some principles to live by in relation to people in general. Chapter 13 presents principles to live by in relation to society. Now, beginning in chapter 14 he presents principles related to building strong, supportive relationships within the body of Christ, the Church.
The Church, both universally as well as locally, has a lot of diversity in it. It is made up of strong, mature believers and weak, immature believers, new and old believers. Some believers have strong opinions on disputable matters as Paul points out in 14:1. Others think they are nit-picky. In this section Paul shares how to relate to each other in a spiritually constructive way.
I looked at 15:1-2 as key verses in what Paul teaches. “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.”
Paul has much to say about God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. And what he has to say about them is important to understand if we want to build healthy relationships with one another in the Church. He also teaches important things about man and the Scriptures as they relate to relationship building. In addition, he has some warnings to heed, commands to obey and promises to claim by faith.
Read over this section of Romans and begin to identify what it says about God the Father.