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It’s not your job.

April 23, 2018

Romans 14 is one of my favorite chapters on life in the church. Paul pretty much lays out on the table how we should handle one another when we have a different understanding of what’s important.

Stop and read the chapter.

Did you read it?

A few of things to keep in mind:

  1. Paul is talking to Christians about getting along with other Christians: how to handle problems in a local church.
  2. Paul is not talking about closing our eyes to sin. He gives ample passages to help us help others deal with sin (Galatians 6).
  3. Paul is talking about dealing with issues that are not clearly spelled out in Scriptures, gray areas. Examples he uses: foods and holidays.

He starts off by writing, “Accept everyone, even the weaker ones, but don’t let them decide what to do in these gray areas.”

His main argument is that everyone needs to be persuaded by and follow their own conscience in these gray areas. We will each have to stand before God to give an account of our actions, and we won’t have to give an account for someone else’s actions.

The crux of the argument is:

for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”

Romans 14:11ESV

I’m going to stand before God to give an account about what I did. You will stand before God to give an account about what you did. We will both bow before Him.

He’s the one who will judge if a person’s actions were right or not. It’s not your job to be my judge. It’s not my job to be your judge. In these gray areas – remember, we’re not talking about issues which are clearly sin. Paul uses the examples of food and holidays, not gluttony and sexual promiscuity.

We are not to judge another slave of the same master. The master will take care of that. Criticizing, snubbing, looking down your nose at someone who acts differently in the gray areas is sinful. If you’re doing that, you are the one that needs to change.

We are not to cause the other brother to stumble, to act against his conscience. If we know that a brother in Christ does not partake in something because of his conscience, then we shouldn’t set that before him as an option. If you’re doing that, you are the one that needs to change.

Rather than causing division in a local body, this should actually encourage growth. I learn why you do or don’t do something. You learn from me. We can both dig into Scripture to find support (or not) for our positions. We can work side by side and not be identical.

After all, we’re all going to bow before God anyway.

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From → Romans, Uncategorized

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