Following Jesus 120
Following Jesus: What kind of church are we?
As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. (Romans 14:1-12 ESV)
How are followers of Jesus to work through the issues of life, and in the church, which are morally neutral? Romans 14:1 says, “As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.” To begin with, believers are to not quarrel over opinions. Vs. 1. You may be fully convinced of your opinion over a morally neutral issue, but it does not give any follower of Christ the opportunity to quarrel with another believer when they disagree over a morally neutral issue.
Secondly, each believer has an opinion. Romans 14:2 continues by saying, “One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Vs. 2. Notice that Paul refers to the strong believer as one who has no problem with participating in a morally neutral practice, while the one who does is regarding as the weak person.
What are some contemporary examples illustrating what the apostle is saying?
- How about a Christian who refrains from certain practices on Sunday; one who does not go shopping, play golf, or go to restaurants vs. one who does.
- A Christian who refrains from certain entertainment vs. one who does not. E.g. movies; television; certain styles of music.
- A Christian who refrains from drinking alcohol vs. one who does not. While the Bible does not mandate abstinence, it does command against drunkenness (Ephesians 5:18).
- A Christian who refuses to attend sporting events, and one who does not have a problem with such an activity.
More to follow.
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