( Romans 15:7 )
Christ has established you not on the basis of your family heritage, financial status, the color of your skin or any other factor. In fact He looks at you in a totally different way than we might look at ourselves or others around us. He has accepted us because of His great love and desire to bring Glory to God. There is no better truth than this, we are loved and accepted by God because Christ made us worthy by paying the ultimate price for us.
When we put our trust in Jesus as our savior then we became children of God and co-heirs with Christ ( Romans 8:17 ). We now belong to the promise spoke to Abraham; as such we are included as His chosen people on earth. "You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" ( Galatians 3:26-29 ). What a marvelous thing to be included in. We are not our own, nor will we wander this earth without a purpose or direction. We have been included in Christ Jesus' family and since we bear His name we have an incredible heritage reaching far back to the patriarchs, prophets and kings.
Paul said something similar in his letter to Colossae, "Put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity" ( Colossians 3:10-14 ). As the body of Christ we are to treat each other just as Christ has treated us. We are to clothe ourselves with His virtues and treat one another with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. All of this can be accomplished by deciding to love each other and letting Christ's love flow through us. Love is the bond that brings about this unity and oneness.
So then, just as Christ has accepted us into His family we are to welcome and receive one another. Paul reminded us in the previous passage of Romans 15 that when we operate in unity as the body of Christ we have one heart and one mouth to praise God ( Romans 15:6 ). This is a powerful medium for the Spirit of God to work among us bringing glory to the Father. This can only happen if we put aside our differences and live together in oneness with Christ as the center. When we remind ourselves of what Jesus did for us, then any differences that we might encounter among other believers is petty. We should strive for unity because we were called into one body and one fellowship. We belong to Christ.
Today, I pray that this passage has quickened your heart to strive for unity with your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. If there are any differences or unforgiveness that needs to happen to restore fellowship, I pray that Christ gives you the grace and humility to do it. This attitude and desire for oneness brings glory to God. May you accept each other today, remembering that Christ has also accepted you, amen!