The One Anothers = Praise and Worship
Romans 15:7 says, “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (emphasis added). Accepting others is an effective means of praise and worship. There’s no mention of music or phrases of adoration—none of the functions we normally associate with worship. Just accepting others.
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Can you imagine beginning a Sunday morning worship service with this announcement: “Friends, we have gathered today to worship the living God. This morning we’re going to engage in biblical worship. They’ll be no singing or playing of instruments. Instead, spend the next thirty minutes getting to know the person who is sitting next to you, and as you do, reassure him that you accept him just the way he is.”
It would, no doubt, be a unique service, but according to Romans 15:7, God would accept it as pleasing worship.
But does this principle apply only to accepting others? My theory is that the same holds true for all of the One Anothers. I believe that when we engage in any of the various ministries—comfort, encourage, carry burdens, prefer, admonish—God is praised. The following verses seem to substantiate the theory:
- “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Hebrews 13:15–16). Two sacrifices are mentioned: our talk (fruit of our lips) and what we do (good deeds and sharing with others).
- “You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else” (2 Corinthians 9:11–13). God sees the “service that supplies the needs of God’s people” as expressions of thanks.