Romans 15:7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
In many team sports, certainly in most businesses, diversity of skillset is very important to the success of that team or business. If those with diverse skillset do not collaborate well… the diversity has lost some of its value. It is only within the collaboration of diversity where we discover the true value.
Paul talks about the parts of the church and how it comes together to form the body of the church (1 Corinthians 12:12), the bride of Christ! When Christ died on the cross, He opened a way for all who call His name and repent to be a part of His church without exception. If Christ, our Lord and savior, died for each and every one of us, we must accept His gift.
In medicine, if a part of the body is rejected by another, we call that a sickness. Let us strive not to have any sickness in the body. The body, the church, has a long history of this sickness but we do not need to let this sickness continue. With love and forgiveness, we can mend the wounds. While we are being sent out into the world to make disciples, we are also called to be one among the body and love one another. Anything short of this is not according to the will of God. As Christ says directly, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13: 34,35).
As Roman 5:8 states, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Our love and acceptance do not stop with the body, but it extends to the world, according to His Word. While acceptance and love are not to be confused with agreement and permission, we must walk the fine line to love and accept non-believers.
I encourage us to look deeply into our own hearts to see where we can do better at accepting other ethnicities, worship styles. etc. We should accept other members of the body unless this person believes against Christ’s teaching. In which case we must correct them in love. Let us also love those outside of the faith as Christ did for us before we accepted Him.
Father, you created me uniquely, intentionally, fearfully, and wonderfully. I thank you for who I am and more for who You are. Please place in me the heart to love all others as you created them in the same manner. Even though we have failed you, you still love us and chase after us. Grant me the same reckless and unexplainable love that would have you send your son to die on a cross while I was yet a sinner.
Written by Matt Wilson