Matters of Conscience not division

Righteousness of God revealed - Book of Romans  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  31:13
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Would you say that people, even Christians can dispute over even the smallest things?
If we are honest do we want people to think the way we think and act the way we think they should act?
If people don’t do that, what do we do? Or do sometimes?
Insert Brothers in Christ Picture here
The reality is we are all brothers and sisters in Christ are we not? and we all have Christian liberties don’t we?
The law of liberty is the liberty of grace to
Receive the weaker brother (14:1-2)
To remember we are not the judge of our brother (14:3-4)
Don’t judge on matters of conscience (14:5-6)
We live and die as unto the Lord (14:7-9)
We will all stand in judgment before the Lord (14:10-12)
Don’t use your liberty to stumble your brother (14:13)
Now let’s see if this holds true today as we look at the passage and then dissect it.

Our passage

Open your Bible, or Bible app and let’s study together
Romans 14:1–2 NASB95
1 Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. 2 One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only.
Romans 14:3 NASB95
3 The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him.
Romans 14:4–5 NASB95
4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. 5 One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind.
Romans 14:6 NASB95
6 He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God.
Romans 14:7–8 NASB95
7 For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; 8 for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
Romans 14:9–10 NASB95
9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. 10 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.
Romans 14:11–12 NASB95
11 For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall give praise to God.” 12 So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.
Any key words that stick out to you in this passage, if so, what verses?
What can we know about God in this passage, and where do you find the answer? Be sure to read the question again.

Don’t judge on Doubtful things

If to sum up this entire section it is summed up in these few words.
Receive the weaker brother (vv.1-2)
A few reasons one may be considered weak
A babe in Christ (are not babies weak)?
They may be sick or diseased (by legalism)
They may be malnourished (by lack of good teaching, like only milk)
They may lack exercise (needing exhortation and application)
One who eats vegetables only
Is there anything wrong with vegetables? Of course not. Is Paul talking about that?
Paul uses those who refuse to eat meat as his example of a doubtful thing. there could be several reasons
Could it be a fear that the meat was previously sacrificed to pagan gods? (see 1Cor8)
Maybe the meat was not Kosher and they were still following Jewish regulations and traditions, as Paul did when he was with them.
Some Christians meat was not an issue at all, come on, who could have an issue with bacon, but Paul would not want to stumble a brother, ever.
1cor8:13 “13 Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.”
Where the reality of it, the issue of eating meat, not eating meat is not the truth of weaker or stronger brothers at all, is it? It is the view and the dealing with others, legalism that can do that.
Consider this, Paul is looking at the weaker brother, as the one who is the “stricter one” who lacks grace for the one who does not eat meat, or thinks the way they do, or does things the way they do.
Weak do not think of them as weak, they see themselves as right. Legalism has a way of making people think they are strong and those who do not keep the rules they are trying to put across as weak. When what they are is playing judge. That leads us to the next could of verses

We are not our brothers Masters

We know Father knows best, but here it is not we know best. For we are not the judge of our brother.
Romans 14:3 ESV
3 Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him.
Romans 14:4 ESV
4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
Finger pointing, judging, it would be easy to do that.
Easy for the one who feels free to eat meat to judge the one who does not. Despise one another, thinking the other is a hopeless legalist, each judging the other instead of giving grace to one another, loving one another as scripture says. These are non salvation issues.
God has received them both, both the Christian who eats meat and the one who does not. Has God not received you right where you are at.
Is there anyone outside of God’s grasp, God’s grace? That through faith He cannot reach?
Can legalism save anyone?
Are we to judge one whom God has received?
Man will stand or fall before their own Master, that master is God!
David Guzik says: “Paul isn’t telling these Christians to erase their differences; he tells them to rise above them as Christian brothers and sisters.”

Matters of conscience

All of these things we are looking at this morning are matters of conscience not division and that is what Paul is trying to drive home to the church.
Inclusion not division
Free of judgment not legalism
Judgment is from the Lord not from man
These are matters of conscience not salvation.
Romans 14:5 ESV
5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.
Romans 14:6 ESV
6 The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.
What do you see as the main point that Paul points out in these two verses?
What is the solution to the problem he points out in these verses?
Paul is dealing with principles more than specifics I think you can draw that conclusion, can’t you? The scope, the application is much more than eating, or not eating meat, isn’t it?
These non-salvation issues, issues of conscience need to be left up to the individual.
Whatever they do, do it unto the Lord, not using personal conscience as an excuse for sinful behavior for something that is known sinful behavior.
We are not going to get as far as I thought we might today, but maybe, just maybe one more section.

Live and die to the Lord

Paul gives a great admonishment on matters of conscience that should not be a matter of division, a matter of legalism.
Romans 14:7–8 ESV
7 For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.
Romans 14:9 ESV
9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
What is the “major” point Paul is making in these verses?
What was the purpose Christ died (v.9)?
It would be good for our understanding that our lives from birth to physical death that our lives are connected, they are not alone. No man is an island are are not meant to be alone.
Our lives are meant to be dedicated to the Lord and lived for the Lord.
Whatever we do, do it all in the name of the Lord.
What can we do in the name of the Lord?
Is the Lord the Lord of the living and the dead, and if so, what does that mean?
He was Lord before He was our Lord!
I know we are out of time and still have 3 verses to go in this chapter and I invite you to look at verses 10-13 on your own for we will get to chapter 15 next week, or start into chapter 15 next week.
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