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Pastor Brant Seacrist

January 6, 2019


TEXT: ROMANS 15: 1-4

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SUBJ: The example of Christ to be found in His work of redemption and application to be made in us after that pattern given at the cross.

AIM: That we should ever have Christ in view in all we do and this to be especially true in our dealing with others.

INTR: While much we see here seems to be repetitive it is not without purpose. It seems that the illustrations become stronger and the applications reach deeper into our hearts.
1. The concern with Paul is that we see what Christ has done and recognize that it is not only unto salvation but practice as well.
2. To the world the things seen here seem to be burdensome at best and cause for contempt at worst but
3. To the recipient of mercy and grace, they may be the quickest route to true joy in Christ.

THESIS: The Gospel is about sacrifice and acceptance with God. That which is seen to save us properly understood will inspire us to imitation.

I. Our Task (vv. 1-2)
1. Charles Hodge called the chapter division here unfortunate in that the topic under study is continued from 14. There does seem to be a deepening or strengthening of the matter here.
2. Strength (the “we that are strong,” and Paul includes himself) is not to be seen above anything other than learning, opportunity, and understanding – it is certainly not something to be flaunted or used to the belittling of others.
3. Bearing such infirmities does not mean to merely tolerate or “put up with” weaknesses
1) We see the same sense expressed in Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2.
2) The thought is to earnestly seek to “put our shoulders under these failings and meaningfully help our weak fellow-believers.”
4. We are not to seek our own pleasure (the world is always looking out for number 1) but rather to seek those things (lawfully) to please our neighbor and that not to the exclusion of seeking joy in Christ – it may be discovered in so doing.
5. Note three things in v. 2
1) The object: his neighbor and Jesus cleared that issue up marvelously with the “good Samaritan.” (Luke 10)
2) The reason: for his good earnestly desiring the best for him
3) The result sought: that he be built up and strengthened – edification

II. Our Example (v. 3)
1. That Christ pleased not Himself is an intentional understatement meaning that He determined to please others and that beginning with the Father and that included those given Him by the Father. The meaning according to Hendriksen is “For the sake of my people I am taking upon myself the reproaches leveled against thee.”
2. See: For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me. Psalms 69:9.
1) An analysis of this leads us to some powerful implications in that He is relating the fact that sin is against God and as sinners we were the source of the reproaches that fell to His accounting as He went to the cross.
2) We must be careful to see the personal nature of what Christ endured for us individually.
3. The lesson here is clear: If Christ so sacrificed for us should we not do the same for the brethren and our neighbor.
4. Two extremes are to be avoided:
1) That of denying the truth that Christ is not first our example; He is first our savior and
2) That of denying that He is indeed our example in redemption; He cannot be our example unless He is first of all our savior.

III. Our resource (v. 4)
1. We remember that the things written before were the Old Testament Scriptures and they were written for our learning (instruction).
1) It would seem that this is asserted here to validate the quote from Psalm 69 and that
2) Christ was ever in view in the Old Testament
2. Two things are given in application:
1) Patience – that is the enduring study of the scriptures in spite of the fact that they hurt as we are discovered to come woefully short of the righteousness requires and so are corrected by them – cf. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 1 Corinthians 10:11.
2) Comfort – encouragement in that the same scriptures heal and set for the hope of Christ and the promises attending that hope which hope has been realized in Christ – read your Old Testament.
3. Hendriksen offers the following conclusion to these thoughts by writing: “In a thrilling conclusion to his book Col. E. W. Starling emphasizes that for the sake of the welfare of ourselves and our nation we must begin to take to heart that Christianity is not just a theory to be believed but a living force.”