Understanding Romans 14

Argument

Romans 14 teaches the need to accept and not judge those with whom we differ on matters of opinion. Some have tried to expand the scope of this chapter to include matters of faith. However, we are not to tolerate departures from the faith (cf. Jude 3; Galatians 1:6-9; 2:3-5). Yet on matters of opinion, we need to be sure we understand and apply what Paul wrote in this chapter.

Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions.

One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. 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. 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.

One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. 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 14:1-6).

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Sermon on the Mount (Part 5): A Just Life

Sermon on the Mount (Part 5): A Just Life

In this lesson, we are going to consider how the life of a disciple is a just life. The word just means to be fair. As we will see, this does not mean that we treat everyone the same. This may sound surprising, but misunderstanding this about “justice” is common. Politically it is seen in systems like socialism. Culturally it is seen in the acceptance of sins like homosexuality. Jesus was not advocating some sort of “social justice” or instructing us to be tolerant of sin and error. Instead, He taught that we should be just in our lives. This passage explains what that means.
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Do Not Look at His Appearance

Handshake

After God had rejected Saul as king over Israel, He sent Samuel to Bethlehem to anoint one of the sons of Jesse to be the next king. Before God indicated that Jesse’s youngest son David would be chosen, Samuel assumed that his oldest son Eliab would be the Lord’s choice.

When they entered, he looked at Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him.’ But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:6-7).

David was “a man after [God’s] heart” (Acts 13:22). Yet Samuel, having never met any of these men previously, did not know the heart of David, Eliab, or any of the others. He was passing judgment and making assumptions based upon what these men looked like. God indicated to Samuel that this was the wrong way to evaluate their worthiness to lead God’s people.
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Do This First

Number One

In every area of life, there are certain things that must be done first before something else can be done (e.g., you must put your socks on first before putting on your shoes). That does not mean that the secondary action is less important, but the sequence is.

Sometimes, the order in which we do certain tasks are of necessity. The wise man said, “Prepare your work outside and make it ready for yourself in the field; afterwards, then, build your house” (Proverbs 24:27). Housing is important, but if the planting is not done at the time to plant, there will be no harvest. The house will be useless if one does not have food to eat.

Other times, the order in which actions are to be carried out is of divine decree. Jesus said, “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16). If one is baptized before he believes, he has not done what Jesus said he must do to be saved. One must believe first, then be baptized in order to be saved.

Matthew recorded a few times in which Jesus taught that something must be done first before something else could be done. In this article, I want us to notice what Jesus said on these occasions and see what lessons we can learn.
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“Do Not Be Conformed”

Do Not Be Conformed

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2).

Paul warned the saints in Rome that they were not to be conformed to the world. Why was such a warning necessary? What is it that makes conformity to the world such a temptation for Christians? And why does the world want Christians to conform? We will consider these questions in this article.
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“First Take the Log Out of Your Own Eye” (10/10)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Matthew 5-7.

Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:1-5).

The beginning part of the first verse is a favorite among many. When you ignore both the immediate and remote contexts, it appears to teach that it is wrong to judge others. In our “politically correct” culture, judging others is an intolerable act so such an interpretation would fit right in line with what people want the Bible to say.
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Hypocritical Condemnation – Judah and Tamar (1/25)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Genesis 38-40.

Genesis 38 is a tragedy caused by the moral bankruptcy of the individuals involved. First Judah’s son Er was killed for his wickedness (Genesis 38:7). With his widow Tamar left childless, the responsibility fell to his brother Onan to have children with her. He forsook this responsibility and was killed (Genesis 38:8-10). Then Judah told Tamar to remain unmarried until the third son, Shelah, was old enough to marry her (Genesis 38:11).

However, Judah did not honor his promise. So Tamar decided to trick her father-in-law, pose as a harlot, and commit fornication with him. In the process she conceived (Genesis 38:12-18). Eventually, her sin would be obvious.
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