Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Romans 14:20-15:6
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Romans 14:20
v20: If you lovelessly and stubbornly keep exercising your freedom to eat this controversial meat you may end up tearing down the church God has worked to build up. Yes, the right answer to your theological debate is that all food is clean, but that’s only true for the person whose faith has matured to the point that he or she recognizes that pagan gods are a human invention, not true deities. The person who still thinks of idols as real and feels worried or guilty when they eat, is sinning by eating. It’s evil for a person to do something their conscience forbids, even if they are technically mistaken about it being wrong.

Monday: Romans 14:21, 22
v21: It’s good for those of you who are mature to restrain your freedom to eat this type of meat or drink wine or do anything that might cause your brother to stumble. Ask yourself: what affect will my actions have on others if I do this? Your loving concern for those who are weak is what matters to God, not whether you’re right on a non-essential issue like this. v22: If you think others might be negatively affected by your example, exercise your freedom in private, before God. Because if you’re loveless and selfish about it you’ll end up causing others to stumble and bring God’s judgment on yourself. Blessed is the person who doesn’t bring judgment on themselves by carelessly doing everything their conscience approves.

Tuesday: Romans 14:23
v23: Anyone who’s debating in their mind about whether or not they can eat this meat is already under judgment because the doubt they’re feeling proves they’re not confident that their righteousness is a gift which comes only by faith. To some degree they’re still entertaining the thought that it’s necessary to earn it. Any religious behavior that tries to earn righteousness, rather than receive it by faith, is sin. No matter how sincere that person is, what they’re doing is just another form of works righteousness. No, it’s not wrong to set boundaries for yourself which help you avoid being drawn back into bondage, nor is it wrong to designate religious holidays to worship God. But if in any way the motive for doing so is unbelief, that action becomes sin.

Wednesday: Romans 15:1, 2
v1: Those who are strong in faith owe a debt of love (Ro 13:8) to those who are weak, and to love the weak means to patiently help them overcome their weaknesses.The strong will have to be careful not to violate the conscience of the weak, and that will require setting aside some of their own freedoms. They won’t be able to do some things they know God permits them to do. v2: As a believer, I need to be aware of how my example influences those who are watching me. I must be careful not to exercise my spiritual freedoms in such a way that I offend those with a tender conscience. My goal should be to build a good relationship so I can help that person grow strong in faith.

Thursday: Romans 15:3
v3: We should treat the weak the way Jesus treated us. He didn’t selfishly focus on “pleasing” Himself. If He had He would never have left the glories of heaven to become a man or taken our sins and suffered on the cross. In Him we watch what it means for the “strong to bear the weaknesses of the weak” (v1 literal). We see someone willing to stand beside those whom others despise. In Psalm 69 David laments before God telling Him that many people, including family members, despised him, not because he had done anything wrong to them but because he passionately worshiped God (Ps 69:1-12).

Friday: Romans 15:3
v3 (continued): He had been mocked and shamed because of his religious zeal. There had been times when he put on sackcloth and wept and fasted, and word had gotten out and people mercilessly ridiculed him for it (Ps 69:10-12). So David asked God to stand beside him in his shame and loneliness, and to defend him (Ps 69:18-28). Paul’s point in quoting this is to set before us the example of Jesus. Just as God came to David’s rescue, Jesus came to ours. The Son of God didn’t despise us when we were weak and full of shame but came and bore our “reproach.” And in doing so He showed us God’s heart. Those who are strong should stand beside and protect those who are weak, not criticize them.

Saturday: Romans 15:4-6
v4: Paul says it’s important to listen to prophetic writings like this one from Psalm 69 because God uses them to keep our hope strong. Seeing how God fulfilled His ancient promises to send the Messiah teaches us to be patient while we’re waiting for Him to come again. Passages like this one in Isaiah comfort us when we begin to doubt because they prove that God is faithful. vs5,6: Then Paul prays a blessing over this diverse church. He asks “And may the God of patience and comfort give you the ability to think the same thing toward one another (Rom 12:16; Php 2:2) following after the example set for you by Christ Jesus. So that you may with one mind (Ac 1:14; 2:46; 4:24; 5:12; 7:57) and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

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