Accept One Another. The Bible is a powerful source that provides us with guidelines and principles to live by. It encourages us to show acceptance, kindness and love to one another. Acceptance of others can be difficult and challenging, but it is essential in living out a life that glorifies God. Learn how to Accept One Another in this message.
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Accept One Another
Story about how to accept one another
In my first church we had something incredible happen time and time again. People who thought they knew the church told me it was stuck up and snobby and too old. But I knew it better.
What consistently happened was a young couple would start attending. They get involved in some way and in time they’d come to me to get their baby baptized.
I’d tell them “We don’t baptize babies we bless and dedication them?”
“What’s the difference?” they would ask.
Baptism is for believers. It for people who have said with their mouth “Jesus is Lord” and who have believed in their heart God raised him form the dead. It’s an outward sign of what has already happened inwardly.
“So what’s a baby dedication?” they’d ask.
A baby dedication has 3 parts. The first, you commit to raising the baby so it’s easy for them to say Jesus is Lord when they’re old enough. The second is those gathered agree to help you raise you child in a way that it becomes easy for them to say Jesus is Lord when they are old enough. The third is a blessing. Jesus took the little ones in his arms and bless them and we can bless them in Jesus’ name. It’s something real and tangible and it’s something we can do even if you’re not ready to say you want to raise them to make it easy for them to say Jesus is Lord.
Most times parents wanted the full deal.
So then we’d get back to baptism somehow and they’d realize they’d never been baptized as believers. So I’d tell them we can do both the same day. And they’d always get excited and I’d get excited. Then I’d remember I need to take down information and as I took it down I’d realize they didn’t have the same last name.
So I’d ask them about that and realize they aren’t married yet.
They have been in the church for six months or more. They had been involved and likely served and nobody thought to ask if they were married.
So we’d marry them the same weekend that we baptize them and dedicate their kids.
And it wasn’t anything I did that made this “dry, stuffy, old church” accept people for who they are and love them them into the kingdom.
I guess I did teach that “people needed to belong before they believed” but that church at that time got it and they ran with it.
I can remember 7 or 8 couples that this happened to. The last one, whoa, was that fun. The whole side was filled with unchurched gang members. It was one of my last service before we moved to New Zealand and I was lamenting to God the whole time.
The situation Paul addressed in Rome
The church in the new testament was volatile. It met in homes. There was no Bible codified yet. Most of the new testament is written because of problems going on in the church.
When Paul wrote to Rome he address an issue he heard about. That there was division because some people only ate vegetables and others ate meat, because meat was offered to idols. Some people thought the idols were nothing. Other people wanted to leave their old life behind. In the middle of it, they were treating each other like “If I’m right, you have to be wrong and I know I’m right.”
What we read was Paul telling them “We need each other more than we need to agree.”
How do we accept one another?
A — Abandon Judging Rom. 14:1–4
C — Care more about people than you care about being right. Rom. 14:5–6
C — Choose to do what is best for everyone. Rom. 14:13; 19–21, Rom. 15:1
E — Empower them to do what’s right. Rom. 15:2
P — Perceive and receive God’s help. Rom. 15:5
T — Trust Christ has accepted you. Rom. 15:7
A — Abandon Judging
Stop the judging
Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive his approval. Romans 14:4 NLT
Have you ever felt judged and accepted at the same time?
We need to judge rightly, but we can’t condemn. Allow others to be different.
Accepting includes making others feel they belong.
“In essentials unity. In non-essentials liberty. In all things charity”
Am I judging rightly?
C — Care more about people than you care about being right.
Give room for differences of opinion on disputable matters.
Romans 14:5–6 In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God.
We need each other more than we need to agree on everything.
Can I care more about others than I do about being right?
C — Choose to do what is best for everyone. Rom. 14:13; 19–21, Rom. 15:1
Rom. 14:13 So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.
Rom. 14:19–21 So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up. Don’t tear apart the work of God over what you eat. Remember, all foods are acceptable, but it is wrong to eat something if it makes another person stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else if it might cause another believer to stumble.
Rom. 15:1 We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves.
Some call it being an adult. But I’ve met too many adults who only look out for their own interests. It’s maturity to look out for others interests.
Do I look out for others interests or just my own?
E — Empower them to do what’s right.
Help them to do what’s right
Rom. 15:2 We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord.
It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to convict of sin, not yours. When they ask for help, give it to them. Remember it’s the kindness of God that leads us to repentance. Help them to do what’s right. Wait for them to ask for help to do what’s right.
Am I helping others to do what’s right?
P — Perceive and receive God’s help
God helps us.
Rom. 15:5 May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus.
This is not “5 steps and be a more accepting person”, It’s one step, that’s to keep in step with Holy Spirit. He empowers us to accomplish every good work prompted by faith.
This isn’t in our own power and ability. It’s His power we need in us. The same power that raised Christ from the dead is alive in you.
Am I relying on God’s help?
T — Trust Christ has accepted you.
Accept as Christ as accepted you
Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory. Rom. 15:7
What does accept mean?
Philemon 1:17 So if you consider me your partner, welcome him as you would welcome me” (NLT).
The word “welcome” προσλαμβάνω (proslambano) is the exact same word and has the exact same meaning as “accept” προσλαμβάνω (proslambano) in Romans 15:7
Accepting one another is to receive another person with special concern and care and value.
Accepting others is welcoming them into your life as you would treat someone who is important in your life.
You didn’t have to change before Christ accepted you. It was his acceptance of you that allowed you to change. We have the same role with each other. As we accept each other because Christ has accepted us, we have the grace to allow each other to become more and more like Jesus.
Do I accept others like Christ has accepted me?
Conclusion of How to Accept One Another
The world has changed a lot since I was a young pastor. I don’t know if there’s a lot of young couples who want to raise their kids in church, even if they never were. Instead we have people that God loves that don’t feel welcomed in church gathering.
Most of them don’t think like we do or act like we do. Most of us don’t know what pronouns to use for them. Yet make no mistakes, Jesus died for them like he died for you. He did it make a way for us to be with him now and for eternity.
I don’t know if they’d ever come to the doors of a church. But they don’t turn down real gestures of friendship and they will not be someone’s project.
What if we were to have them into our homes and serve them food they’d appreciate? What if they’d become our friends and teach us things as they’d maybe learn from us?
What is God asking you to do to show you accept others just as Christ has accepted you?