SUBJ: The matter of judging others
in their faith and actions in consideration of the fact that we are the
redeemed of the Lord and stand before the same Master as they.
AIM: That we should live and die
unto the Lord indeed and so refrain from demeaning the faith of another.
INTR: At chapter 12 we observed a
drastic change in the book of Romans in that we moved from doctrinal
issues to the application of those things in life and relationships. We
should detect that 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies
of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable
unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to
this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye
may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Romans 12:1-2, is still guiding the thoughts.
1. We saw it in respect
to the applications of gifts as well as interpersonal relationships with
both the brethren and others and even to our conduct regarding secular
2. The application becomes more detailed as we address
specific matters of faith and practice and do well to remember He who is
3. We would direct attention, not people in judgment, but
to the Lord who is over all and in all that we may be worshipers
together and not judges.
THESIS: Pride dictates the reference to
ourselves as to opinion, as well as practice. Faith directs us into the
Love of Christ and will not be distracted by that which we may not
understand or even approve for ourselves.
I. A mandate to
graciousness (vv. 1-4)
1. All believers are to be received and not
with the idea of debate their practices.
2. The issues here are not
about doubting salvation – Paul is addressing the brethren at Rome
These are rather matters of practice and faith in its relationship to
1) A first example is here is given as to certain foods and the
personal ability to eat or not.
2) At the root of these things is
things wherein doubt may exist and this may take on other forms – such
as assurances and the need to perform
3) Some can rise above doubts
and fears and move with more confidence than others.
4. In either
direction one is not to despise another – who am I to reject who God has
5. The direction is cleared up by a question: Who art thou
1) We could easily see the example of someone appearing
in a workplace and directing employees to act counter to what their boss
has ordered. Even it he was right it would not be good.
2) The issue
in this case is that we are not to stand in the stead of the Lord in
such matters where there is no sin implied and the practice is not of
II. A second example (vv. 5-6)
1. It would seem
that the issue is, at least partly, owing to the presence of Jewish
believers among the gentiles of the Roman church.
1) It is not hard
to understand from scripture that there were things that had been
ingrained in them from childhood as a way of life.
2) If they were to
continue the observation of certain days believing that they were
serving the Lord thereby, it was not to be questioned.
insists that every day is to be alike and there is argument for this.
3. To insist that it be one way or the other would become legalism and
would soon attach the understanding of salvation to it.
problem is that it would cause one to esteem other as less than
themselves and fly in the face of the principles of brotherly love (we
are reminded of the words of Christ as to those who are not against
5. So then whether we eat or don’t eat or observe the day or
not, it is to the Lord and it is to be with thanksgiving wherein the
Grace of our God is acknowledged.
III. The guiding principle (vv.
1. Something that is true about all of us: nobody lives or dies
1) Our lives in Christ are not the result of our own
ideas or determinations and are rather to be in the way of seeking the
will of the Lord.
2) All of us will die (or something similar to it
if the Lord comes first), but none can dictate either the time or manner
of our departure.
2. In either case, it is unto the Lord
most important consideration here is that we are the Lord’s
1) By the
right of creation
2) By the right of continuation
3) By the right
of redemption – It is He that has paid the price by sending His only
begotten into the world to save His people from their sins and we are
not our own – we are bought with a price as is our brother whether he is
weak in the faith