December 4 & 5, 2020 – Written Late Friday, Posted Early Saturday
“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. Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.” ~Romans 15:5-7
This passage is rich with reminder and refocus. We are reminded from the get-go that God is the One who gives perseverance and encouragement; this is reiterated throughout Scripture for good reason – we need His strength, perseverance, and encouragement for life! Yet, Paul’s prayer here is not just for the Romans to be given these things; rather, he asks that the God who gives those things would give believers like-mindedness with each other in the Lord Jesus. This like-mindness is requested so that the Church will be united in purpose and voice in giving glory to God.
5 times in these three verses oneness or the mutual nature of the Gospel is mentioned in one way or another. Paul was speaking of unity, deference, and the need to bear each other’s burdens in the context of this passage, but he doesn’t speak of them for their own sake. No, there is something far more important than unity that enables unity and sustains it – the glory of God. “…so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father…” God’s purpose for His people is unity, deference, love, and a mutuality in serving Him and each other, yet, that purpose is ultimately rooted in the exaltation and adoration of His holy name and character.
Does that seem selfish or too lofty of a purpose? Look at verse 7 again: “Therefore, accept one another, as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.” Our salvation in Christ is itself about the glory of God! He is worthy of praise and adoration; He is DESERVING of all of all of us! These are the reminders and the refocus I mentioned earlier; He is the provider of patience and encouragement and He is the Unifier; He should get all the glory in our thoughts, our words, and our actions, including towards each other.
So…Are you pursuing unity for the sake of peace? Are you trying to find a oneness of mind with others without seeking the glory of God? It is high time that we, as the Body of Christ, heed the reminders and allow our minds to be refocused on the reality of God’s glory. Only then can we seek unity and oneness and expect to find them; only then will our hearts be joined together in pure praise and adoration; only then can we love each other with His love. Soli Deo Gloria – For the glory of God alone!