Romans 15: Coming Together
Paul had a highly developed sense of church community. You can see it elsewhere in his writings, but in Romans 15, it is obvious that there was a very important reason for churches to get together and work as a unit.
Rom 15:1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
Rom 15:2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
Rom 15:3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.
Rom 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Jesus Christ is obviously our example. Jesus did not put His own pleasure first. He followed the will of His Father. However, He did that out of love for all of us. Because God loves the world, He gave us His only begotten Son.
Therefore, following that example, we ought to be willing to help our neighbors even if it might cost us something. We can help those around us even if it might seem to be inconvenient to us. If it is good for our neighbor and builds him up, then it is good for people who are able to help out to do so.
I know we are Americans, and I personally am a Vermonter. We like to be independent. We like to stand on our own two feet, but it is interesting here then that Christians are called to function as a group. Obviously, we all have strengths and weaknesses, but coming together can create additional strengths and ultimately additional good in the world.
Thinking about it on the individual level, what we ought to do is bring glory to God. If we all do that together and help each other do that, doesn’t it then make sense that it would be better?