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Empty Cross Ministries
March 2, 2021
In Essentials, Unity, In nonessentials, Liberty, in All Things, Love
Daily Devotion in Romans 14
Everyone, including Christians, is different. Each, although saved, may have varied concerns and beliefs.
In Romans 14, we are reminded that in the early church, Paul encountered different views of eating and the importance of different days. Some thought it was permissible to eat meat; others felt they should not (Romans 14:2). Some put a priority on one day more than another (Romans 14:5). Perhaps to those people, certain Jewish worship days meant more to them than to others.
In these two matters, Paul rebuked those judging others that did not think like themselves. Paul told them not to despise the others because they had different convictions (Romans 14:3). The preacher reminded them that God still accepted those they hated. They were still members of the family of God and should not be shunned.
There is a time to stand against those that oppose major issues. Salvation by grace and not by works is one doctrine that should not be compromised. Believing one cannot lose one’s salvation is another. Jesus died for those truths. All the other biblical principles are very important. Still, are they worth dividing the family of God over and giving the cause of Christ a bad reputation?
I am not advocating we should tolerate teachings we know are not biblical or be best buddies with those that are teaching false doctrines. Those that believe differently, if they are saved, are still your spiritual family members.
The Bible teaches that Christians should be baptized, live separated lives, and use their spiritual gifts, among other things. Not all saved people do these things. If one is born-again, though, they are still in God’s family. I will do my best to help them understand what the Bible says, but I still remember they are family members if they profess salvation the biblical way. I would not join their church either, as I would only belong to a church that believed and practiced the whole counsel of God, but they are still children of God, as I am.
Most likely, I would not fellowship with them either. Still, it would not be out of dislike; it would be because I would be concerned that my testimony of living biblically and practicing what I believe would be compromised. Their biblical errors may even rub off on me. However, I would still accept them as a brother or sister in Christ — no matter how wrong or weak (Romans 14:2) they may be in some areas.
Paul made a good point about our attitudes towards others that believed differently. He remarked, “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth…” (Romans 14:4). If they are saved, then they are God’s responsibility. Again, we should not hesitate to help them understand what the Bible teaches in all areas. Still, it is God’s responsibility to reach them. The same Holy Spirit that enabled you to comprehend certain truths can help them as well. There comes the point at which we have to let God work in other’s hearts.
“Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
Words to Understand:
Disputations: debating; arguments
Esteemeth: value; see as important
1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.
2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
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.
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.
5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
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.
7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
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.
9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
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.
11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.
14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.
21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.