7 Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.
In the early churches, disagreement and disputes did arise for varying reasons. Tensions were caused by Jewish and Gentile differences in matters such as dietary practices and other ceremonial observances. With the growth of Christianity, problems inevitably also increased. Unpleasant disturbances did arise in the life of the early church from time to time. It was not easy to get every new believer to understand and cast aside the errors of his traditions and habits. So often the apostles had to deal with discord and strife, even as they pressed forward with the preaching of the Gospel near and far.
When the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome, he was very concerned about the peace and unity of their fellowship. He would have all believers show mutual love and care. He wanted the brethren to please one another instead of staying aloof and distant from one another.
Christians must be warm and friendly. We must interact with people in the church with a welcoming, approving disposition. Warm-hearted treatment of others will help us quell any anxiety, suspicion or even resentment. Though trivial differences can at times estrange us from one another, let us not become hostile and unfriendly. Let us be conciliatory and seek to resolve matters with the guidance and help of fellow brethren, if necessary.
Our mutual acceptance must be pivoted on our adoration and emulation of Christ, our blessed Saviour and Lord. The exhortation is that we receive one another “as Christ also received us to the glory of God”. Our treatment of others is to resemble Christ’s behaviour towards us. Christ’s tender affection towards us must be the pattern, motivation and inspiration for our conduct towards one another. When we feel rather uncertain about being friendly to someone, let us consider how our Lord has first shown mercy and love towards us.
Christ has accepted us freely and heartily, though we were once hostile and guilty. He welcomed us right away into all His glorious inheritance and has made us joint-heirs with Him. So let us deal with others kindly, with a willingness to forgive and overlook their infirmities and offences. May we always be ready to show Christ-like receptiveness to fellow believers.