Hospitality Week 1: Romans 15:7
Romans 15:7 intro
You would be hard pressed to find another verse in the bible more applicable to community groups than Romans 15:7, “Welcome others as Christ has welcomed you.” Christ’s love for us is the source of our hospitality, it’s the reason for which we welcome others into our homes and our lives, because we have been welcomed with a love that necessitates sharing.
In your discussion this week we’ll take in some of Paul’s broader thought through 15:5-7; it’s only some of the material being referencing when he starts verse 7 with “therefore,” which looks all the way back to 14:1. In 15:7 Paul roots all of our welcoming, patience, and service to one another in the Gospel; we welcome others because we were welcomed by God. We’ll read from Romans 5 to try to grasp the monumental gravity of this welcome. When God welcomed us in, he wasn’t inviting an old friend or making a new acquaintance. He was dying in order to save the life of his enemy.
This is the real meat of “welcome others as Christ has welcomed you,” because “while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” We typically think of welcoming in people we would prefer, our friends, or cool people who will make us feel cool. But Christ died for those that hated him (i.e. you and me). Christian hospitality is a radical practice to which we’re called. We don’t just welcome in our friends or “good people;” Jesus specifically calls that a pagan mindset.(Matt.5:47) We’re freed, by the power of the Spirit and the good news of the Gospel, to welcome in even those that we would rather turn away, or who would prefer to be turned away. This has massive practical applications for the way we relate to others, both in and outside of our homes.
Questions for Discussion
• Could someone read Romans 15:5-7 for us?
• What stands out to you from that section?
• What do you think verse 7 is telling you to do?
• Can someone read Romans 5:6-11?
• How does that section put “welcome others as Christ has welcomed you” into perspective?
• Practically speaking, what are some ways you know you need to grow in “welcoming others”?
• How can Romans 15:7 give us the motivation to grow in this?