Romans Chapter 14
Romans 14:1 “Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, [but] not to doubtful disputations.”
We can easily see from this, that just because someone is not a trained Bible scholar is no reason not to fellowship with them. We are warned not to get into arguments with them that might lead to their not believing. The new convert to Christianity should be fed milk and honey for a while, until they are able to understand the deeper things in the Word.
1 Corinthians 3:1 “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, [even] as unto babes in Christ.”
1 Corinthians 3:2 “I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able [to bear it], neither yet now are ye able.”
The mature believer should not sit in judgment on the sincere but underdeveloped thoughts that govern the weak believer’s conduct.
The weaker brother may feel he must abstain from certain practices that are in fact not sinful in themselves.
Romans 14:2 “For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.”
The strong believer whose mature faith allows him to exercise his freedom in Christ by eating the inexpensive meat sold at the pagan meat markets. It was inexpensive because a worshiper had first offered it as a sacrifice to a pagan deity.
We know that anything we pray over is clean and may be eaten without fear of condemnation from God. The secret is the prayer, the prayer made it clean for us.
1 Timothy 4:4-5 “For every creature of God [is] good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:” “For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”
The person who is eating herbs is doing it from lack of knowledge. We, who know that it is alright to eat meat, should not make fun of a fellow Christian if he feels it is wrong.
1 Timothy 4:1-3 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;” “Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; ” “Forbidding to marry, [and commanding] to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.”
Romans 14:3 “Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.”
This tells me that to the fullness of the knowledge that we possess at the time, we should do our best to be pleasing to God.
1 Corinthians 10:29 “Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another [man’s] conscience?”
Here, we see the answer to it all. Whatever we do, we must do it with a clear conscience. Again I say, God will not hold you responsible for the things you do not know, if you have made an effort to do what you believe to be pleasing to Him. Why don’t we just let God handle His business? We are not anyone’s judge, God is. What God does with someone else is not our business.
The strong hold the weak in contempt as legalistic and self- righteous; the weak judge the strong to be irresponsible at best and perhaps depraved.
Romans 14:4 “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.”
How Christ evaluates each believer is what matters, and His judgment does not consider religious tradition or personal preference.
Romans 14:5 “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day [alike]. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.”
Colossians 2:16 “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath [days]:”
These are both interesting Scriptures, in face of the fact that, the Jews celebrate Saturday as their Sabbath, and the Christians celebrate Sunday as the Lord’s Day or firstfruits. We are told to be fully persuaded that what we are doing is pleasing to God. We are to celebrate with a clear conscience. Whatever day you esteem, do it as unto the Lord.
The weak Gentile wanted to separate himself from the special days of festivities associated with his former paganism because of its immorality and idolatry.
The mature believers were unaffected by those concerns. Each Christian must follow the dictates of his own conscience in matters not specifically commanded or prohibited in Scripture. Since conscience is a God given mechanism to warn, and responds to the highest standard of moral law in the mind, it is not sensible to train yourself to ignore it. Rather, respond to its compunctions and as you mature, by learning more, your mind will not alert it to those things which are not essential.
Romans 14:6 “He that regardeth the day, regardeth [it] unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard [it]. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.”
God is not so interested in the technicality of what day we celebrate as He is in the fact that we have chosen an individual day and set it aside to worship. He wants our heart to be in worshipping Him. We know that Jesus said in Mark:
Mark 2:27 “And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:”
You see from this it is not the day that is important, but the fact that we choose to worship God one day a week.
This verse tells us that the strong believer eats whatever he pleases and thanks the Lord. The weak brother eats according to his ceremonial diet and thanks the Lord that he made a sacrifice on His behalf. In either case, the believer thanks the Lord, so the motive is the same. Whether weak or strong, the motive behind a believer’s decisions about issues of conscience must be to please the Lord.
Romans 14:7 “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.”
The focus of Christian living is never oneself. Everything we do should be to please our sovereign Lord.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
Romans 14:8 “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.”
Jesus bought us on the cross with His own precious blood. We are not our own, we belong to Jesus.
Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
You see, if I am a Christian, then Christ lives through me and in me.
Romans 14:9 “For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.”
Christ died not only to free us from sin, but to enslave us to Himself; to establish Himself as Sovereign over the saints in His presence and those still on earth.
John 11:25 “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:”
We see from this Scripture that Jesus not only rose from the dead, but because He rose, we have the promise that we will rise also if we believe in Him. Jesus is Lord over everything.
Philippians 2:10 “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;”
You see, there is no limit to His power and rule.
Romans 14:10 “But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.”
Ecclesiastes 12:14 “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether [it be] good, or whether [it be] evil.”
Jesus is the Judge of all the earth. We will stand or fall by whether we are accepted by Him as His sheep, or whether we are among the goats. Jesus sends the sheep to eternal life in heaven with Him. He sends the goats to eternal damnation.
Matthew 25:32-34 “And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth [his] sheep from the goats:” “And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.” “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:”
Matthew 25:41 “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:”
According to this verse, every believer will give an account of himself, and the Lord will judge the decisions he made, including those concerning issues of conscience. That verdict is the only one that matters.
Romans Chapter 14 Questions
- We are to receive the weak in faith, but not unto what?
- In 1 Corinthians chapter 3, why could he not speak to them about spiritual matters?
- In Romans 14:2 the weak eats only what?
- What makes all food clean for us to eat?
- What kind of doctrine does 1 Timothy chapter 4 say it is to practice not eating meat?
- What caution is given us in verse 3 of the 14th chapter of Romans?
- Who is able to make us stand or fall?
- 1 Corinthians 10:29 uses what one word that tells us what we must be guided by?
- What are we to be fully persuaded of in Romans 14:5?
- What day is Sabbath for the Jews?
- What is Sunday for the Christian?
- The Sabbath was made for _______.
- Our body is the temple of what?
- I can do all things through______ who strengthens me.
- Whether we live or die, we are the ______.
- Christ is Lord of both the ________ and the _________.
- Jesus called Himself 2 things in John 11:25, what were they?
- In Philippians 2:10, Jesus is Lord of what?
- Who shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ?
- What 2 animals represent those who are bound for heaven and those bound for hell?