Romans 15:1-6/ Bearing the Burden (Sermon notes and Audio)

Posted on August 15, 2014


This is the fifty-seventh in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Romans. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the morning of August 10, 2014. This message deals with the strong believer’s obligation of helping to carry the burdens of the weaker believers. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes and a study outline. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.

AUDIO – Listen Now:


Rom 15_1-6




Romans 15:1-6

Paul is now closing out his discussion of Christian liberty. As he does so, he identifies himself with the strong.He then notes the responsibility that goes along with being a strong Christian.The word bear means to pick up or carry a weight.

With strength comes the requirement of bearing the burdens of the weak. In this case, Paul is speaking of bearing their weaknesses or infirmities.

Paul knew all too well the importance of carrying the weak. It is this same word that is used to describe Paul in his weakness, being carried by Roman soldiers.

Paul was being beaten by a mob as the whole city was in an uproar. Roman soldiers carried him away.

Acts 21:35

The strong are not to simply tolerate the weaknesses of their weaker brothers; they are to help the weak shoulder their burdens by showing loving and practical consideration for them.

Galatians 6:2

Philippians 2:4

The strong should bear the burdens of the weaker Christians, but if they do it with the notion that it makes them a superior Christian, then it is for nought.

They must do it in love, the key to fulfilling the law of Christ. They must resist the temptation to please themselves, because that type of self-satisfaction is not love.

Indeed, this type of refusal to live a self-pleasing life should characterize every believer.

When Paul says to please your neighbor, he is not speaking of granting their every desire, or tickling their ears.

This does not simply refer to seeking man’s approval. Scripture clearly refutes that notion.

Galatians 1:10

Ephesians 6:6

This verse tells us exactly what he does mean.

We should be pleasing in a way that provides what is good, in a way that lifts them up and is spiritually profitable to them.

Therefore, in this context, pleasing will always do what’s best for someone. Even if its not necessarily what they desire.

Our chief concern must always be to contribute to the spiritual good of others, in order to edify Christ and to win as many as possible to the Lord.

1 Corinthians 9:19-23

Paul quotes from Psalm 69:9 as he makes the point that Christ came in humility.

He exhibited this very quality by suffering persecution to provide for our salvation.

If He had only pleased Himself, then He would not have sought the Father’s will.

Matthew 26:39

If Christ had sought only to have His suffering relieved, then the rest of us would be doomed to suffer in hell for all eternity.

But Christ sought our good, and endured the suffering so that we don’t have to.

In spite of reproach and insult, our Lord remained faithful in his ministry to the good of those around Him.

We must likewise seek the good of others even if we are misunderstood or persecuted for doing so.

As Paul cited the Old Testament, he noted that the scriptures are given for our learning, that we might have hope.

This hope is a certainty, an expectation, the hope that is based on the revelation of Scripture, Jesus Christ.

Through our faith in Christ, we have the sacrifice of the Son, a relationship with the Father, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Through this, the Scriptures provide patience, comfort, and hope.

God is patient, The Holy Spirit is the comforter, and Jesus provides hope.

We cannot be complete and ready to serve without the patience, comfort and hope of the scripture.

Without the scripture, we will never know these things. The Scripture is God’s revelation to us!

2 Timothy 3:16-17

The Bible is our instrument of learning, and we are to Study it to show ourselves approved to God.

Without the clear and certain promises of the word of God, we would have no basis for hope.

Psalm 119:81, 114

The knowledge of the Scriptures affects our attitude toward the present and the future.

The more we know about what God has done in years past, the greater the confidence we have about what he will do in the days ahead.

We need to diligently read our Bibles so we may have confidence that God’s will is best for us.

Only then can we truly know and share that with others.

As part of what’s best for them, Paul prayed that they would be like-minded according to Christ.

That means that we are to be like-minded in agreement with Christ.

Despite their differing views on non-essential issues, they are urged to pursue peace and not be divided on issues where His word is silent.

They should; however, hold agreement in the fundamental doctrines and clear teaching of the Word.

On such there is no compromise – it is according to Christ Jesus!

This attitude of love will foster unity, and unity glorifies God.

We should show the world that a diverse group of people can live and work in harmony with one another through a common bond in Jesus Christ.

We are all very different people, but we have Christ in common.

When the church is bickering, and grumbling over trivial matters, on which Scripture is silent. When we put our own rules and traditions above God’s Word, we no longer represent Christ.

When the church demonstrates to the world that we can work together, love each other and bear one another’s burdens, we will be a powerful witness for Christ.

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