The nature of God.
When we accept each other we show the world what God is really like.
God has welcomed us into his family, He openly accepts us all through Jesus Christ. No thing can separate us from His love and acceptance. When we were far from God he provided a way to live in freedom. He reconciled with us when we were far from him. He loved and accepted us while we were yet sinners.
Ephesians 1:4-8 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6 So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.[b] 7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. 8 He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
Picture the prodigal father.
Luke 15:20-24 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. 21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.[b]’
22 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23 And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, 24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.
“When the Father’s house is filled with the Father’s love, the Prodigals will come home.”
- Rob Parsons
Romans 15:7-13 Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory. 8 Remember that Christ came as a servant to the Jews[b] to show that God is true to the promises he made to their ancestors. 9 He also came so that the Gentiles might give glory to God for his mercies to them. That is what the psalmist meant when he wrote:
“For this, I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing praises to your name.”[c And in another place it is written,“Rejoice with his people, you Gentiles.”[d] 11 And yet again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles. Praise him, all you people of the earth.”[e] 12 And in another place Isaiah said, “The heir to David’s throne[f] will come, and he will rule over the Gentiles. They will place their hope on him.”[g]
13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15 tells how it was part of God’s plan to accept all people into His kingdom through Jesus Christ. God tells the truth and keeps his promises. This chapter shows how Jesus fulfils multiple old testament promises from Deuteronomy, Psalms and Isaiah.
The example of Jesus
Jesus and Zacchaeus
Luke 19 Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. 2 There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. 3 He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.
5 When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”
6 Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. 7 But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.
8 Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”
9 Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man[a] came to seek and save those who are lost.”
The following is an excellent message by Rob Parsons called ‘Bringing home the Prodigals’. It is a 40 minute message which I will separate into 3 parts this week, it is well worth the time.
Part 1 listen from 01:01 to 14:17
Part 2 (Wednesday) listen from 14:17 to 28:46
Part 3 (Thursday) listen from 28:46 to 38:30