Christian Service in View of the Judgment Seat of Christ.
We have reached the great chapter on Christian forbearance. The entire chapter centers round a “weak brother” who is introduced to us in the first verse. What are we going to do with him?
1. “Receive Him”
is the word of Paul, vs 1-9. Let him in with a welcome, wrap round him all the warmth of brotherly love, give him every consideration as one who belongs to Christ. Seven excellent reasons are given why we should not refuse him.
1. He is the object of love. “God hath received him” vs. 3. How dare we refuse him?
2. He is responsible to God. “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant?” vs. 4. Servants in a home have no authority one over the other, each is responsible to the master.
3. He will be kept. God is faithful. Unable to stand in himself “he shall be holden up for God is able to make him stand.” vs. 4.
4. We must not force our own thoughts on others. “Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” vs. 5. It is possible for us to differ as to minor matters and still each be true to Christ.
5. We are to cultivate a thankful and not a critical spirit, vs. 6. The very thing which I judge in my brother he may be doing as unto the Lord. If God is receiving thanks through it we must not spoil the ointment by stirring up strife.
6. None of us live to ourselves, vs. 7, 8. Christ and His will must be the rule of our lives.
7. We are not our own, we belong to Christ, vs. 9. Whether we live or die we are the Lord’s, His possession. He entered into the realm of death that He might obtain us. He is Lord of all and a thought of the Lordship of Christ will keep us from judging one another.
2. It Is Too Early Now To Judge.
vs. 10-13. “We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” What a scene that will be when each of us confesses to God. All our life’s story will be repeated in glory and we will not be sorry we refrained from judging one another then. How incompetent we are to judge anyhow and nothing is more withering to the soul than a censorious spirit.
“He is coming, Oh how solemn, when the Judge’s voice is heard.
And in His own light He shows us every thought and deed and word.
Deeds of merit as we thought them, we’ll discover were but sin.
Little acts we had forgotten He will tell us were for Him.
Oh what joy for He imputeth righteousness instead of sin.
Sweet to take the linen garments, all a gift and all from Him.”
Walking in the light of that day I will not stumble a weaker brother.
3. We Are To Walk In Love.
Vs. 14-23. The believer in Christ enjoys liberty, but love is greater. If by sacrificing my own liberty I can help a brother “for whom Christ died” I am serving Christ acceptably. Eating and drinking are not the most important things. Character and conduct are far more important. In verse 17 we have a summing up of the great truths of the epistle.
1. RIGHTEOUSNESS—the subject of chaps. 1-4. We are justified.
2. PEACE—the subject of chap. 5. We are reconciled to God.
3. JOY—The subject of chaps. 5-8. We are a happy people.
Satan’s crowning work is to sow discord amongst God’s people. “Let us therefore follow after the things that make for peace and things wherewith one may edify another.”
4. We Are Not To Please Our Selves.
Ch. 15:1-3. Christ pleased not Himself and we are to follow Him. “Cripple Tom” was lying- sick in an attic in London. A kind visitor offered to remove him to a comfortable “Home.” But since his conversion Tom had found a way to serve his Lord. He would drop written portions of the Word of God from his window to the pavement below where passers by picked them up and read them. Leaving the attic would mean separation from this service so dear to his heart. Choosing rather to serve than to please himself, he answered “I’m not anxious to die easy when He died hard.”
“The sweetest life we can know below
Is that of selfless living.”
1. How should a weak believer be dealt with?
2. What will take place at the judgment seat of Christ?
3. Will believers accuse one another at the judgment seat of Christ?
4. Give an example of Christ not pleasing Himself.