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Fill'er Up

"Now we who are strong have an obligation to bear the weaknesses of those without strength, and not to please ourselves. 2 Each one of us must please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3 For even the Messiah did not please Himself. On the contrary, as it is written, The insults of those who insult You have fallen on Me. 4 For whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that we may have hope through endurance and through the encouragement from the Scriptures. 5 Now may the God who gives endurance and encouragement allow you to live in harmony with one another, according to the command of Christ Jesus, 6 so that you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with a united mind and voice.

7 Therefore accept one another, just as the Messiah also accepted you, to the glory of God. 8 For I say that the Messiah became a servant of the circumcised on behalf of God’s truth, to confirm the promises to the fathers, 9 and so that Gentiles may glorify God for His mercy. As it is written:
Therefore I will praise You among the Gentiles, and I will sing psalms to Your name. 10 Again it says: Rejoice, you Gentiles, with His people! 11 And again: Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles;
all the peoples should praise Him!12 And again, Isaiah says: The root of Jesse will appear,
the One who rises to rule the Gentiles; the Gentiles will hope in Him. 13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
Romans 15:1-13  

Open with me your Bibles to the 15th chapter of Romans. We are approaching the conclusion in our study of this wonderful epistle from the apostle Paul. And, though we are nearing the end, these great and rich truth provided for us in the Word of God Today, we're going to be looking specifically at verses 1 through 13. Follow along with me as I read to you from this marvelous text from the book of Romans 15:1-13

Allow me, if you would, to just state a few things before we begin. It should become obvious to us, that this epistle, it really begs the issue, that is to say much about, discord. Because discord strikes a deadly blow at the work of God in the church. Disruption, chaos, confusion, strife, envy, jealousy, anger, bitterness, dissension, fighting, hatred, indifference to the needs of others, selfishness, a lack of concern, a lack of sacrificial love. All of these things, are in direct violation the Word of God, they are in violation of unity of God's people and the church. And, therefore, they violate the very will of God. They cripple our witness, and His testimony in the world.  

Beloved, I cannot stress this enough that the loving harmony and unity of Christs' church is of deep and grave concern to God. Allow me to elaborate on this just a bit.

In just three short verses, Psalm 133, teaches just how important these are to God the Father. No need to turn to there, allow me to just read to you what it says, "How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! It is like fine oil on the head, running down on the beard, running down Aaron’s beard onto his robes. It is like the dew of Hermon falling on the mountains of Zion. For there the Lord has appointed the blessing—life forevermore."

The 32 chapter, in the book written by the prophet Jeremiah, also speaks to this. Jeremiah 32:38-39,  allow me to read to you what that says, "They will be My people, and I will be their God. I will give them one heart and one way so that for their good and for the good of their descendants after them, they will fear Me always."

There are a number of other passages in Scripture, Ezekiel 37, Hosea 1, Zephaniah 3:9, Numbers 17:2, Zachariah 14:9, to name a few. In all of these passages, we can see that God has intended through the New Covenant and ultimately through His design with the nation Israel, to bring them together as one people.  Beloved, this truth is the same for His church!

We can know this to be true, because our Lord, Jesus Christ says in John 10:14-16, "I am the good shepherd. I know My own sheep, and they know Me, as the Father knows Me, and I know the Father. I lay down My life for the sheep. But I have other sheep that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. Then there will be one flock, one shepherd." 

It may sound a bit odd at first, just bear with me for a moment, and try to follow my thinking here.
All of this started me to think about the value of gas stations on the roadside and thus, got to thinking about the history of service stations.

When Henry Ford began to mass-produce cars, he changed our world. When he first built the car, we could finally go long distances in a relatively short time. So, next came the need for "real" roads for the cars to ride on.

Now, I know that some of you are old enough to remember what roads were like at first, dirt wagon trails with plenty of holes, and plenty of rocks and other obstacles, nothing at all like we have today. These new roads were designed, so that we could go farther , go faster, but now we needed places to fill the cars up with gasoline or we would run out of energy. So gasoline service stations started appearing all across the country. Believe it or not, you used to have to drive a bit to find one.

They were called by another name back then though, before we started referring to them as "service stations" or "gas stations." Again, some of you older folks remember and the younger people probably have no idea they were once called "filling stations." They were the place we went to "fill-up" with gasoline.

We called that progress. In a few years, we progressed from "filling stations" to "service stations." That’s because they serviced the needs of the customer and automobile. You would stop at a "service station" and a guy would come out. You would tell him to "fill it up,"and he would wash your windows, check your water and oil level, check your tires for air, and then take your money. Oh, one more thing he would do, just before you left, he would say, "We appreciate your business! Come back again!"

Now I can hear you younger people say, "That's crazy! I don’t believe that!" However, it really did happen that way a long, long time ago.

Then "progress" came along again. The service stations started a special line called "self service," which sold you gas a little cheaper if you pumped it yourself. There was no windshield washing, no checking water, oil, or the air in your tires.

Oh, the best part is, we’ve finally progressed so far that the price of gasoline is now about $1.50 more per gallon than it was when you actually got service! And we can forget about, "We appreciate your business and come back again!" Now that’s progress…

I imagine this is how the early Native Americans must have felt. They used to hunt and fish all day until the white man came along with "civilization." Now they work all day and night and only get to fish once every in a while! Yep, that’s progress all right!

Back to the Book of Romans, the apostle Paul is telling us about the true progress of mankind. Paul tells us about how we came from nothing to something! He tells us how we came to a "filling station," a place where we can fill up with all we need for this life and for eternity too!

Paul now comes to the end of his letter, and the next to last chapter in the book, and Paul will save the last chapter for a special purpose, a personal purpose of his own. We’ll talk about that later though.
So for now, let’s think back about how Paul has brought us to the knowledge of who we were.
Then about the knowledge of what we have become and about how we are now expected to perform!

Paul will explain how we have all been brought together at the "filling station." The apostle Paul was a man on a mission to bring mankind a message from God. A message that has been read and analyzed by billions of people.

A message that Jesus and the apostles and others risked everything, including their lives, to bring to all of us. These men and women were fulfilling the commission Jesus gave them in Mark 16:15-16, which says, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned." In other words,
Jesus was saying, "Go fill the world up with the Gospel."

Paul centered his message around Romans 1:16-17, which says, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. For in it God’s righteousness is revealed from faith to faith, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.
Paul prefaced this statement with verses 14 and 15, "I am obligated both to Greeks and barbarians, both to the wise and the foolish. So I am eager to preach the good news to you also who are in Rome."

In Romans, Chapter 1, Paul described the most vile of men, the one who thinks that he doesn’t need God. However, this man will live just like he wants to, and Paul said that God’s wrath will be revealed to this man.
Then Paul talked about the “good moral man” who attempts to save himself based on his own righteousness. However, this man is also lost, because he can never be righteousness enough.
Then there is the “religious man.” Paul said this man lived by the Law, but he too is lost, because no one could keep the Law perfectly, and that is what salvation would demand. Then Paul asks, "Who needs the Gospel? Everybody!

The man who lives the worst kind of life needs it!
The good moral man needs it!
The religious man needs it!

Let's look at the answer in Romans 3:23.

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"

A Holy God despises sin! And, because God cannot tolerate sin, man is separated from Him. I suppose you could say, mankind was "out of gas." Man's engine was about to die, forever!
But God, there’s one of my favorite phrase in the Bible again, "But God" But God loved His creation, so He had a plan to reconcile man back to Himself. In other words, God would "fill man up with salvation." And God planned to do this through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, Who would take on the sins of the world.

And through Jesus Christ, man could be justified and redeemed, and propitiation would be made for his sins. Jesus Christ would be the "filling station" for all who would come unto Him.
When we are brought to Jesus, we become a part of His body, he Body of Christ, Which we call today, "Christ’s Church."

Some men thought God would save them based upon the works of the Law. So, Paul asks the question in Romans 3:1, "So what advantage does the Jew have? Or what is the benefit of circumcision?" Then Paul answers his own question, saying the Jew has a great advantage in every respect, because they were given the oracles of God. So, the Gospel went first to the Jew, but now they have no advantage.

Romans 3:9-10, which says, "What then? Are we any better? Not at all! For we have previously charged that both Jews and Gentiles are all under sin, as it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one."

The Jews thought they had the advantage, because of who they were. They believed their car would run forever, so to speak. But Paul tells them, "No!" They need to be filled with the same "spiritual fuel" as everyone else, Jesus Christ!

Some Jews thought they would be saved because they descended from Father Abraham, but Paul told them Abraham was acceptable to God because of his Faith. He told them God promised Abraham all the descendants of the earth would be blessed through his seed, not all Jews.

The answer was that all mankind was blessed through the seed of Abraham, and that was because Jesus was of the seed of Abraham and all spiritual blessing was found in Him.

Yes beloved, the Jews thought their car would run forever because of who they were and where they came from, according to the flesh. Paul told them they needed to fill up the same place everyone would, in the Body of Christ.

Paul explains in Romans 5:1-2, that all mankind can have hope, Christian Hope, that comes through Jesus Christ. "Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God."

Paul goes on to explain that when Adam sinned, death came into the world, because all have sinned. This was the legacy left by the one, Adam. We were running out of gas with no hope. As Adam left the legacy of death, so Jesus Christ brought the legacy of life through his name. We all need hope. The hope that comes only when we are filled with Jesus Christ. We are to live a life in the Spirit.

We are to no longer to live in sin, because sin is contrary to our baptism according to Romans, chapter 6:1-4. "What should we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply?  
Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in a new way of life."

We are buried with Christ in baptism to rise and walk in the newness of life—that’s life in the Spirit. That’s the energy God provides us to drive through this life and through eternity.
And what should Christians say? The answer is found in Romans 7:7, "What should we say then? Is the law sin? Absolutely not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin if it were not for the law. For example, I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, Do not covet."

We are free from the bondage of sin and death. And we are filled up! Romans 5:5 says, "This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."

As the glory of God came to the tabernacle in the days of Moses.
As His Glory descended on His temple that King Solomon built, and the temple would be rebuilt by Zerubabel after the Babylonian captivity.
Now God’s glory is brought to his people!
I Corinthians 6:19-20, "Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body."

We have been filled up by God’s glory, and since we have been shown mercy by God, Paul tells us in Romans 12:1-2, "Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God."

Yes, beloved, we have been graced; "Grafted & Gifted!" And since we have received this Spiritual fuel, we are expected to drive our car in a certain way. A way that serves as an example to all those around us. We are to use our gifts and abilities to serve and edify each other, as we live and grow in the body of Christ.

Paul says every one of us is important in the Body, and we all need each other to function correctly. We come from diverse backgrounds—some Jew, some Greek, some men, some women, some slave, some free. But we are all one in the Body—we are to love and get along with each other.
In the Lord’s church, Paul tells us in Romans, Chapter 14, that some might be strong and some might be weak. But, as servants of Christ, both are acceptable to God and should love and accept each other.

This is accomplished with the Law of Love, wherein each does what is necessary to build each other up: Unity.

Now, as Paul brings this letter to its conclusion in Romans, chapter 15, he begins with the thought of the strong and weak Christian. In the first three verses, Paul tells us we are to be “filled up” with the Spirit of Unity in the body of Christ and he tells us how to do that.

We should deny our self-serving interest and, “bear the weakness of those without strength,” and we must not and cannot “please ourselves.” Jesus set the example because Jesus did not please Himself.
Paul told us to do it and in 1st Corinthians 10:31-33, he tells us that he did it himself.
“Whether, then you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the Church of God; just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of the many, that they may be saved.”

In Romans 15:2-3, Paul says, "Each one of us must please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even the Messiah did not please Himself. On the contrary, as it is written, The insults of those who insult You have fallen on Me."

In Closing....

Who is our neighbor? The Greek word for neighbor translates to "whoever is near." Paul tells us we need to please our "neighbor for his good." This "good" should not be confused with our neighbor’s comfort or his pleasure. In other words, Paul is saying to please our neighbor, "for the good of our neighbor."

What does our neighbor need the most? He needs salvation! He needs to know God through the person of Jesus Christ. We need to be filled up with unity, and that comes as we look after the interests of others and not ourselves.

Perseverance and Encouragements. Paul says Romans 15: 4:6, "For whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that we may have hope through endurance and through the encouragement from the Scriptures. Now may the God who gives endurance and encouragement allow you to live in harmony with one another, according to the command of Christ Jesus, so that you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with a united mind and voice."

Beloved, the unity of the church is the unique concern of the Holy Spirit. In Acts 2:4, "Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different languages, as the Spirit gave them ability for speech." And in verse 38, Peter tells us, "Repent," Peter said to them, "and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

We need to be filled up with perseverance and encouragement, and that comes through the Word of God.
May it be so.. 

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

Copyright © 2019-2020 All Rights Reserved

The Brian Monzon Ministries



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