BOOK BY BOOK BIBLE STUDY
BIBLE STUDY LESSON
DO YOU SHOW RESPECT TO OTHERS?
(We are to show respect to other Christians, even when we find it difficult)
In Romans 14, the Apostle Paul once again turns his attention to the subject of “faith-based righteousness” in regards to relationships within the Christian community. We, as believers, are to accept one another without condemning each other for our personal convictions regarding our interpretations about our Christian faith. We, as human beings, have no right to judge others in that respect, because, in all respects, we are all indeed, people under judgment. We are all responsible to the LORD, so let HIM tell others, through the HOLY SPIRIT, whether they are right or wrong. The LORD’s OWN power will convict them, and help guide them in their decisions to do the right thing. In other words, each person will have a personal conviction about all matters of the heart (Vs. 3-4).
Christians come to the faith from various backgrounds and we all grow spiritually at different rates. If we are to live in the Christian community in the harmony of CHRIST, we must all learn to avoid differences of opinion over matters that are not sin according to Scripture. For example, a believer with certain Christian principles should not be invited into the Christian community with the intentions of changing their view or opinion about things that do not go against Christian doctrine, by debating with them.
Here in this chapter, Paul uses as an example, one of the most debated areas of Christian principles, which is the subject of food consumption. One man’s Christian faith allows him to eat everything, while another man’s faith only allows him to eat vegetables (v. 2). In such situations, Paul says, neither believer should judge the other’s motives. A Christian servant’s motives for doing things should only be judged by GOD, and not by his fellow believers, especially regarding those things that are not forbidden by Scripture (Vs. 4).
Another area Paul touches on is, the days of which a person worships. One person may consider one day more important, or more sacred than the other, while another person may hold that they are all equally important. Paul says that each person should be convinced in his own mind, examining his own heart to be sure that he is doing what he feels the LORD would have him do. That person should then, hold his opinion up to the LORD, and this is true regarding all issues where an honest difference of opinion exists between Christians (Vs. 5-6).
Everyone in life, and in death, is under the watchful eye of GOD, and we are all accountable to HIM, and not to each other, at least, not for our motives behind our actions regarding things that are not prohibited by Scripture. One Christian should not look down on another Christian because of the things that they do, that are not specifically prohibited by GOD. It is GOD’s job to dole out “krino” (judgment), and you can be assured that every one of us will have to make an account for the deeds done in our lifetimes (Vs 7-12).
Paul’s warnings against judging relates specifically to the Christian’s attitudes and actions, toward the convictions of other Christians, especially regarding their respective Christian beliefs. We should not cause another Christian to stumble, by arguing over things, and trying to get that person to commit to certain convictions that are not of scripture, but rather, are just a matter of opinion. Paul says that he is perfectly sure, on the authority of CHRIST JESUS, that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then, for that person, it is wrong, and as Christian brothers and sisters, we should respect that, as it is (Vs. 13-14).
The kingdom of GOD is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but rather, it is a matter of living a life of goodness, peace, and joy, in the HOLY SPIRIT. Our aim should always be toward harmony and trying to build each other up in the Church. We should never tear apart the work of CHRIST over what a person eats or drinks, nor, over what days of the week that person worships on. However, it is wrong to eat or drink something, or do anything when, if by eating, or by doing it, it causes another Christian to stumble. But we should never condemn ourselves for something that we know is all right by Scripture (Vs. 13-22), and if you harbor any doubts about something you may be doing, then don’t do it, lest you be condemned for not acting in faith. If you do anything that you believe is not right, you are sinning. For whatsoever is not of faith, is sin (v. 23).
(1). Try to discover ways to identify and avoid the stumbling blocks that Christians
often create between themselves in the Christian community.
(2). Think of some people in your church that you know are burdened by heavy
issues, yet no one has made an effort to uplift them, and then, commit yourself to
reaching out to them.
(3). Make a pledge that you will not build new stumbling blocks for other Christians
by criticizing, gossiping, stereotyping, etc., and then, sign your name to that
Pray and ask GOD to open your spiritual eyes so that you may see the stumbling blocks that you may be putting before other Christians by way of your own behavior. Pray also that GOD will allow the SPIRIT to work inside of you and help you to honor others, and not judge others wrongly.
KEY VERSE: Romans 14:13
DEVOTIONAL PASSAGES: Mathew 6:14, Matthew 7:12, Matthew 25:31-46
A Book by Book Bible Study by,
Larry D. Alexander