Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God. —Romans 15:7
Christ extends friendship and warmth to people of all nationalities, tongues, and races. He has accepted people of diverse personalities and backgrounds. Christ received us in our brokenness and poverty. In His love, He reached down to us in our lost condition and raised us up by His grace. While salvation brings a radical change in our lives, we are all still left with our unique personalities and quirks. We are left with our human perspectives and weaknesses. With all of that, Christ still receives us and accepts us in His great love. We are longer outcasts and foreigners but citizens of the Kingdom of God.
As Christ received us, so we are to receive one another. We are to open our hearts to fellow Christians and treat them with love and respect as brothers and sisters in the Lord. Christ did not receive us in our perfection but rather in our imperfection. How can we do less? We should treat one another with divine love and acceptance rather than separating and building walls over small differences of personality and opinion. If Christ were to receive us as we receive others spiritually, would we still be in fellowship with God?
We are not to spurn or cast off other Christians if we perceive them weak in faith and understanding. Paul advised: “Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations” (Romans 14:1). Paul was referring to converted Jews who were still holding to some practices of the Old Law. The instruction was to receive and accept them in religious fellowship. He further instructed the saints to receive them without doubtful disputation. Do not discriminate against them or bring them in with the purpose of condemning them or debating with them harshly. Receive them with warmth and affection.
It is ironic that among some of God’s children, two people may each view the other as being weak in the faith. There is too much tendency in the small remnant of believers for people to view one another with suspicion and question. The scripture teaches us to be more ready to receive than to cast off. “Receive ye one another.”