Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Romans 14:13-19
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Romans 14:13
v13: Paul wants the Roman church to see that in light of the fact that the Lord Himself will judge each one of us, it is unnecessary and wrong for believers to judge one another. He doesn’t mean by this that the elders of a church have no responsibility to confront false doctrine or discipline immoral behavior. There are doctrinal truths which, if distorted or lost, will prevent people from being saved. And there are categories of immoral conduct which if persistently practiced will prevent even a person who claims to be a Christian from being included in the resurrection of the righteous (1Co 6:9, 10; 15:50; Gal 5: 19-21; Eph 5:5-7). So his remarks should not be expanded into all-inclusive principles. He’s addressing non-essential matters where a person’s conscience is the deciding factor.

Monday: Romans 14:13
v13 (continued): It’s important to remember that in this section (Ro 14:1-15:6) Paul’s comments are directed toward specific issues which had become divisive. He discusses whether or not to eat meat sold in the local markets, whether people can designate certain days as special days for worship, and he also mentions in passing the drinking of wine (vs17, 21) which probably was controversial because of widespread drunkenness (Ro 13:13; 1Co 6:10; 11:21; Eph 5:18; 1Ti 5:23). He leaves no doubt as to the correct theological perspective on these, but because they don’t rise to the level of being essential to a person’s salvation, he tells believers to be tolerant and make sure their own actions are guided by love.

Tuesday: Romans 14:13
v13 (continued): In matters like these, believers need to respect a person’s freedom of conscience. We shouldn’t impose our own standards on someone else. Instead our attention should be focused on ourselves, examining our own motives and behavior to see if we are operating in loveless pride. Are we, by exercising our rights, doing something that negatively influences another believer? Might our example potentially cause someone else to fall back into unbelief or be reintroduced to an addictive bondage they had escaped?

Wednesday: Romans 14:14
v14: Paul leaves no doubt as to how a mature believer should think about meat sold in the markets. He says “I know and have been persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself…” In other words, in God’s eyes the meat sold in the markets may be eaten by Christians (Mk 7:14-23). Every believer who matures in faith and has knowledge will eventually arrive at this same conclusion. But having said that, Paul quickly adds this warning, “…except to the one reckoning anything to be unclean, to that man it is unclean.” If someone’s conscience is still convinced that the meat sold in the markets is unclean that person should not eat it. The violation of the conscience is far more damaging than to remain afraid of meat used in a pagan ritual.

Thursday: Romans 14:15
v15: Speaking to those who are mature in faith Paul says, “But if in exercising your freedom to eat the meat sacrificed to idols you trouble (grieve) the conscience of someone still vulnerable to the pull of idolatry, and by your example erode their resistance so that they fall back into idol worship, you’ve failed to let Christ’s love guide you. You have become proud and selfish in the matter and have lost sight of how much God values that person. You’ve forgotten he or she is someone for whom Christ died. Realize that by exercising your right to eat that meat, where they can see you, you might erode a weaker persons resistance to forces that are trying to pull them back into idolatry.

Friday: Romans 14:16
v16: Paul’s literal statement here is, “Therefore do not let your good thing be blasphemed.” By comparing his words here with a parallel passage in 1 Corinthians 10:23-30 we can be certain of his meaning. In effect he’s answering the question a mature believer might ask in response to what has been said. The obvious questions are: Why should I allow my freedom to be curtailed by someone else’s conscience? Why should I be forced to treat as unclean something I know is clean? And Paul’s answer is simple: Because as a Christian I have chosen to follow Christ’s example (Ro 15:1-3) and “walk according to love” (v15), and “love does no wrong to a neighbor…” (Ro 13:10). If I love as He loves, my main focus will not be on pleasing myself but rather doing that which protects and edifies those who are weak. My concern won’t be to win theological arguments but to live in such a way that I help as many as possible be saved (1Co 10:32-11:1).

Saturday: Romans 14:17-19
v17: God’s work on earth is not affected by whether a person does or does not eat meat or drink wine. What promotes salvation of the lost and spiritual growth in believers is preaching the righteousness of faith, believers worshiping and ministering side-by-side in peaceful harmony, and teaching people to find relief from their suffering not in alcohol but in the joyful presence of the Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18). v18: Those who serve Christ by doing these things (v17) are very pleasing to God, and as time passes also tend to develop a good reputation with unbelievers as well as believers. v19: Paul invites us to join him in choosing to do things that promote peace with other believers rather than strife and make people stronger in their walk with God rather than expose them to temptation.

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