Romans 14:1-12, Don't pass judgment

"Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions.  2 One man has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only.  3 Let not him who eats regard with contempt him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats, for God has accepted him.  4 Who are you to judge the servant of another?  To his own master he stands or falls; and stand he will, for the Lord is able to make him stand.  5 One man regards one day above another, another regards every day alike.  Let each man be fully convinced in his own mind.  6 He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God.  7 For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; 8 for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.  9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.  10 But you, why do you judge your brother?  Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt?  For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God.  11 For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.”

Proposition: God doesn'twant you to judge another's beliefs in regard to non-essentials, i.e. eating, special days, matters of opinion.

  1. God does not want you to judge another's non-essential beliefs because God says not to.
      1. Romans 14:1, Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations, (KJV)
      2. Romans 14:1, Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things, (NKJV)
      3. Romans 14:1, Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters, (NIV)
      4. Romans 14:1, As for the man who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not for disputes over opinions, (RSV)
      5. Romans 14:1, Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions, (NRSV)
      6. Romans 14:1, Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions, (NASB)
    1. God does not want you to harass a brother into accepting the same beliefs that you have, at least not in matters that are disputable.
      1. If a discussion of an issue does not bring one closer to Christ or unite the brethren, then perhaps the discussion should be avoided.
      2. Illustration: Picking a sports team and ragging on it -- the other person becomes defensive and more convinced of that team's greatness.
      3. The pride of knowledge is prone to hold the ignorant in contempt -- "Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies," (1 Cor. 8:1).
        1. There was an incident in prison where a Calvinist preacher had been preaching that the Arminians weren'tsaved.
      4. As a cult evangelist, as an apologist, I judged much, sometimes right, sometimes wrong.
    2. What are the disputable matters that might cause division here?
      1. non-essential doctrines.
        1. food, v. 2 (Read aloud - refers to O.T. eating habits.)
          1. The people who held to observing special days believed that the Lord required it.
        2. special days, v. 5 - 6 (Read aloud)
          1. The Lord's day is not included here because the apostle is speaking of foods and days that were peculiar to the Jewish dispensation.
      2. Disagreements are okay; condemnation is not.
        1. 1 Corinthians 11:19, "No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God's approval."
      3. Other areas of debate.
        1. Calvinism vs. Arminianism?
        2. Suit and tie or not?
        3. guitar or organ?
        4. hymns or praise music?
    3. What are non-disputable matters?
      1. essential doctrines.
        1. Deity of Christ/Trinity-John 1:1,14; 1 John 4
        2. Resurrection - 1 Corinthians 15:14, "And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."
        3. Salvation by grace - Eph. 2:8,9. Rom. 6:23.
          1. In the context of the gospel, God adopted and adapted. He adopted a culture and suited Himself for its situation; that is, Jesus became Jewish and wore their clothes, spoke their language, and walked in their culture.
  2. God does not want you to judge another's non-essential belief's because God has accepted him, v. 3
    1. Your judgment would imply a rejection.
      1. Therefore you are going against God's will if you judge another whose faith is "weak" or different.
        1. Must be careful when speaking of another: Gossip, ridicule, etc.
    2. The same Holy Spirit indwells us all. So why do we have so much division?
      1. It is because of our fallen natures.
    3. He the Lord's servant, v. 4, is proof that God has accepted him.
      1. Therefore God is his judge, v. 4
        1. you are not his judge.
    4. What is the result of this kind of behavior, of not passing judgment, of accepting, etc.?
      1. Love, no condemnation. Col. 3:14, "Put on love which is the perfect bond of unity."
      2. harmony, no division.
        1. On the Internet I am a heretic in one person's opinion.
      3. Our differences should unite us because we should be humbled before the Word of God.  We are sinners, unable to infallibly interpret. Therefore, we should recognize our limits and, with humility, consider the other's opinion with respect.
  3. God does not want you to judge another's non-essential belief's because each person must be fully convinced in His own mind of what he believes, v. 5
    1. This means there is room for debate, for decision, for weighing the scriptures and making a decision.
      1. But debate should be done with Christ at the center.
    2. He eats or doesn''t eat... for the Lord, v. 6
    3. He does or doesn''t celebrate a special day... for the Lord, v. 6
    4. Personal examination of scripture.
      1. "Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves" (Rom. 14:22).
  4. God does not want you to judge another's non-essential belief's because Christ died for that person, v. 8 - 9
    1. Therefore Christ has not judged them -- they are fully accepted.
    2. Because Christ is Lord over you... and him.
      1. Therefore, Christ is the judge, not you.

Conclusion

You are to abstain from judging a fellow Christian in matters that are non-essential.  You are not to avoid fellowship with him, or ignore him.  Instead you are to accept, to love, and to be in harmony with him.   Will you do that?  Will you decide to love your brother even though he doesn''t believe the same as you?  Will you ask the Lord to forgive you of your judgmental attitudes?  Seek the Lord and His abounding love so that you might show it to your brother.  Amen.

 

 

 

 
 
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