A few years ago, I served on a pastoral team with two other men of God for 14 years; it was unique experience as we blended gifts, personalities, weaknesses, talents, and strengths for the kingdom of God. Now I am working with a new group of pastors and the process starts over once again. Romans 15:7, “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” What does that mean? The Greek word for “accept” literally means “to receive,” or “to take to one’s self,” as into a home or heart as an act of kindness.
Within this is a command to “stop passing judgment on one another”, Paul rebukes the early church in Rome for judging one another over issues of clean and unclean foods.
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” Romans 14:11-19
Within the community of God, there will always be weak and strong and the standard for acceptance and approval is spiritual faith, not human endurement, maturity not works. We are not to use our knowledge, experiences, or maturity to please ourselves and puff ourselves up. No, we are to become the servants of all and accept and build up the weaker brother.
We the community of God are to accept others in the same way that Christ has accepted us, with love, grace and peace. Allowing the Holy Spirit to work in the individual’s personal life, as we love and care for one another. Our acceptance by God is through no righteousness of our own, but totally upon Christ and His grace, purchased through the Cross. This brings praise to God and a testimony of His love to all. Shalom