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Lessons learned

For even Christ didn’t live to please himself. As the Scriptures say, “The insults of those who insult you, O God, have fallen on me.” Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled. Romans 15:3-4 NLT

From the text, Paul provides Christ followers a powerful incentive to be humble for this kind of conduct is what Christ had shown as our example. He did not live to please himself. He came and set the interests of others before His own. “Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to... he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross” (Philippians 2:6, 8). And Paul charged his readers to follow Christ’s example of humility. “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had” (Philippians 2:5). Christ did all what He did for He lived to do the will of the Father which meant the service of others. As Paul mentioned, Christ suffered insults and He bore the wrath of God so He could bring salvation. Throughout His life, He faced evil deeds done against His actions and His word. Paul sees all these events that took place in the life of Christ while here on earth as the pattern to those who will live their lives following Him. Then, Paul explained why his appeal pointed to the events written in the past as recorded in the Scripture. “Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us” (Romans 15:4). The Scriptures were written before hand for the instruction of contemporary believers. The purpose of this teaching is defined by two “through” clauses; their being written was to help us learn how to endure (the kind of endurance modeled by Christ) and through the encouragement derived from the Scriptures we might have hope. The Scriptures cultivate hope by showing that God works through weakness and suffering to help us grow and edify others. God wants us to have the hope that comes from having a relationship with Him for it will sustain us even during the darkest days. Sometimes we struggle to be involved seriously in a disciplined way in deep study of the Scriptures. Every Christian should make it a habit and an obligation to study God’s Word. Though sometimes this is not fun, but such practice will help us in the long run. Not only this is beneficial for us, but this is also how we are helped and gain the ability to think the same way as our Lord Jesus Christ.


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