Summary: As we are spiritually transformed by God’s Holy Spirit (Romans 12:1-2) we will show the evidence. Romans 14 shows that we will imitate Christ in our Concern for others.

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Romans 14:1-23

I. Genuine Acceptance (vs. 1-4)

A. No Reservations

1. The weak in faith here is seen to be those who held to OT traditions and trappings of the Law

2. Romans 15:1 – Paul includes himself in the “WE” there, indicating that the strong in faith are those who understand liberty, but even then do not use that liberty to harm another. (we will get to that shortly)

B. No Qualifications

1. The church at Rome was to welcome into its fellowship those Jewish believers who were finding it difficult to let go of their religious past, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on their scruples.

2. The church does not exist as a judiciary body to make pronouncements on issues that in the long run will prove to be of no real consequence. —New American Commentary

“Don’t criticize one another, brothers. He who criticizes a brother or judges his brother criticizes the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?” James 4:11-12 (HCSB)

II. Submission to Lordship (vs. 5-12)

A. We will give an Account to God

1. Verse 7 is not out of place: The emphasis is that we do not live only for ourselves; we belong to Christ = He is LORD

2. Each person will answer to God for their actions, either partaking or refraining

3. Each of us will give an account of HIMSELF to God – and for no one else

B. Others will Do the Same

1. Don’t judge upward – to those of stronger faith

2. Don’t judge downward – to those of weaker faith

“Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged. For with the judgment you use, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1-2 (HCSB)

III. Focus on Unity (vs. 13-23)

A. Contribute to Spiritual Growth (13-15)

1. Remove Barriers

2. Responsibility over Liberty

B. Embrace Kingdom Priorities (16-18)

1. Righteousness

2. Peace

3. Joy in the Holy Spirit

C. Build Up the Church Community (19-21)

1. Building up, not tearing down

2. If we are not building up, we are destroying (vs. 20)

3. Put others first (vs. 21)

“I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in Me through their message. May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, so the world may believe You sent Me.” John 17:20-21 (HCSB)

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