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The Reason for This Regard
If Romans 12:16 affirms unity in Christ as the necessary means from which believers learn to regard others enough to greet them, Romans 15:7 speaks to the reason that one believer should welcome another believer. After pointing out in Chapter thirteen the way Christians submit to authorities and how they refrain from judging different brothers or causing weak brothers to stumble; Paul begins to close this section of his letter by reminding the believers that he asks them to live in this way due to the example of Christ. The greater context of this verse mentions living in harmony in such a way that believers glorify God together, with one voice. Paul repeats the sentiment of Romans 12:16 in such a way that he makes this occasion sound like the believers have joined in worship singing his praise together. Then Paul draws this conclusion of welcoming one another in the form of command. The Greek words command believers to receive one another with kindness. Since believers do this in order to follow the example of Christ, one must ask, “How did Christ “welcome” believers?” Christ welcomed believers in spite of their sin (Rom. 5:8) in order to lead people to repentance (Rom. 2:4). Thus as believers “welcome one another” they should do so in such a way that each one also receives encouragement to continue in a lifestyle of repentance and faith. Notice as well that the prepositional phrase “for God’s glory” aids and confirms the conclusions thus provided. Believers, like Christ should “welcome one another” so that God can be glorified through that greeting. Read the rest of this entry »