Romans:The Glory of the Gospel Part 34
Do Not Pass Judgement – Romans 14:1-12
Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – July 1st, 2018
- Paul has taught us how we are to live as believers and followers of Christ in a variety of contexts, environments and situations. He guides our participation in the church and our connection with the world (with those who are against us and with those who are in authority over us). He has instructed us to always follow the law of love with everyone everywhere and to wake up, clean up and suit up; we must be ready for action and live fully engaged with the time we have been given.
- In the section of Scripture we are examining today, Paul, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, guides us to live our life in Christian fellowship with other believers who do not live the same way we live or believe the exact same way we do. This message is a two-part mini-series within our Romans series. Today’s message, “Do Not Pass Judgement” is a companion message with the second half of this chapter and the message “Do Not Cause Stumbling.” These messages together give us both parts of living in faith and freedom without damaging the faith of others in the body of Christ.
- If you follow what we are talking about today from Word of God, you will be able to live in connected fellowship with other believers for the unity of the church, the glorification of God and peace, joy and satisfaction in your heart. The whole emphasis of this message today is for each of you to focus on what God has called you to do instead of focusing on how you think others should live.
Serve your master
As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. 2 One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. 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. 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.
- There are people who are weak in their faith. They do indeed have faith and are believers in Christ, but they are still developing, growing and becoming strong in it. It is important for each of us to remember that growth is a processand it does not happen all at once. Each one of us is in the process of growing and maturing in God’s work in us, conforming us into the image of His Son. When you meet someone who has faith in Christ but does not believe everything that you believe or live the same way you do, welcome them as a fellow believer, but not with the sole motive to engage them in discussion so you can fix them and change their opinion.
- Paul gives the example of people who have different opinions of what we should or should not eat as believers in Christ. According to the Old Testament, there are strict dietary laws about what the people of God should and should not eat. In the New Testament, Jesus taught that it is not what goes into your body that defiles you but what comes out of your heart, thus declaring that it is okay for people to eat all foods (See Mark 7:14-23). However, there were some believers who still followed the Old Testament dietary laws when they did not need to.
- The believers who followed the Old Testament food laws despised those who ate anything (those liberals), while those who ate everything judged those who only ate certain foods (those legalists). This caused division and disfellowship in the body of Christ. Both groups were wrong in how they thought of and treated each other. We also do the same thing over several issues, (i.e. tattoos, smoking, drinking, etc.). We have to recognize that every person follows, serves and answers to God. God is the one that all of us answer to (we are not another person’s “master”) and each one of us needs to follow our faith and our conscience on non-salvation issues. (This is a non-salvation issue because each of these groups believe in Christ – “because the Lord is able to make him stand” this is in the final judgment and only those who are in Christ will be able to stand.)
- The important issue is that people believe in, follow and serve Christ. Then we are to focus on faithfully following the Lord ourselves and keeping unity within the body of Christ. You are to faithfully serve your master in what you do.
Honor your Lord
Rom 14:5-9 ESV
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. 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. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.8 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. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
- There are people who think that one day is better than another, and there are those who think every day is alike. (Ill. of Breckenridge) Regardless of what you believe to be right, be fully convinced of it in your mind. (If you are not living in faith that what you believe is true, you are violating your conscience and therefore sinning.)
- Each person, regardless of what they believe and practice on non-salvation issues, is okay in doing so as long as they are convinced that what they are doing is right. They also must not judge others for living differently and must be motivated to honor and thank the Lord in what they do or don’t do. (Each of us should also strive to live rightly in alignment with God’s word.) God can be honored in both ways as long as we are living in faith and seeking to honor Him in our lifestyle.
- The point of this passage is that our goal is to give honor to the Lord in everything we do. If we eat or don’t eat, if we think one day is special or all days are special – what matters is that in all things we honor the Lord in our living and in our dying. It is all for the Lord and unto the Lord so that He will be honored in all things.
- Make sure that no matter what you are doing, you honor your Lord. Live with this in mind and focus on that, not on what others are doing.
Give your account
Rom 14:10-12 ESV
Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11 for it is written,
“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”
12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.
- Why do we pass judgment on our brother? Why do we despise our brother? Because we want to think that we are better than others and that our faith and life is superior to theirs. The truth is that all of us are in need of a savior. All of us need mercy and grace. These are people who are in Christ, not people who are in the world.
- All of us will give an account of ourselves to God. Every knee will recognize that He is the one true God and bow to His sovereignty and His Lordship. You will give an account to God for yourself, and everyone else will do so as well. They will not give an account to you and you will not give an account to them, but to God. Keep your focus there, and in doing so, you will treat others with love, wisdom and grace.
- Be free to live what you are fully convinced is the right way, with the motivation of honoring God in all you are and all you do. If other people choose to live differently, don’t despise them or judge them for it (this causes disunity, dysfunction and division). Focus on doing what you are called to do, honoring God in your choices and recognizing that each one of us will give an account to God for our lives. Live at peace within yourself and live at peace with each other.
- Live how you are convinced from the truth of God’s word with love and freedom for all. Know, however, if the way you are living is hurting the faith of others, you are to refrain from that activity because of honoring, loving, and wanting to build others up for the kingdom. We will focus on this in the second half of this chapter next week.