Following Jesus 122

Blog #2015-66  

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)

We recognize that all believers have opinions regarding morally neutral issues, but believers to never argue about those opinions. What they are commanded to do is follow two enduring principles of Christian liberty. 

First, believers must accept one another. Vs. 3-4. Secondly, believers must have full assurance of their convictions before God – vs. 5-12. Each believer should be fully convinced that what they do is pleasing to God. This is the Law of Liberty. 

Balancing the Law of Liberty (Romans 14:1-12) is the Law of Love (Romans 14:13-23). This a self-sacrificial love of the will. It is a love that is rooted and grounded in the very and character of God (I John 4:7-14). It is a love described in I Corinthians 13:4-8a as being patient, kind and not jealous, not prone to brag, not arrogant, not acting unbecomingly, not seeking its own way, not easily provoked to anger, not taking into account a wrong suffered, not rejoicing in unrighteousness, but rejoicing with the truth. It is a love that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. It is a love which never fails.

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