Life is hard. It's easy to get beat up and, eventually, give up. But, we're a family. We lean on one another. One of the things we do is "spur one another on toward love and good deeds." We inspire one another.
We're a family, which means sometimes, we hurt one another. Families have conflict and the church isn't immune to it. We're called to forgive one another. The standard of forgiveness is high. How high? "Forgive as the Lord forgave you."
The church in Rome was facing a challenging situation. After the church was founded, all Jews were required to leave Rome. Eventually, they were allowed to return. When the Jewish Christians returned to the church in Rome, it was different. That created challenges for the Roman church. They had to learn to accept one another.
During Jesus' life on earth, he was frequently at odds with the expectations others had for him. As he sought to do his Father's will, he found himself constantly in conflict with the religious elite of his day. As the church, our mission ought to be a continuation of Jesus' ministry, which may often call us to be a different kind of church.
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