Summary: How should we deal with and treat others regarding a conviction we have about a matter that the Bible does not give specific guidelines on or how should we respond to others that have convictions regarding things we find acceptable regarding these matters
Living Faithful and Free for the Lord
We should not Judge others based on our Convictions (Romans 14:1-13a)
We should not Stumble others based on our Freedom (Romans 14:13b-23)
Have you ever felt like another person has judged you for something you had no convictions about doing?
Or perhaps, you have seen others do something that you just could not believe they would do?
Now in this day and age, I am sure we have all had situations like that because there are people who do things that are just plain wrong.
But I am sure there are times that we have either looked at someone judgmentally or been looked at judgmentally for something that someone else thought was wrong, but is not necessarily wrong in itself.
In the Christian community, perhaps someone has had a drink of alcohol and someone else has judged them as doing something that is wrong.
Maybe others have gone to see a movie when you think going to the movies does not honor the Lord.
As we have seen at the beginning of our study of Romans, we all have a conscience, and while some things seem to be seared in our conscience as universally wrong, other things seem to affect people’s consciences differently.
The story is told about a Catholic priest who was walking down an alley behind his church when a thief jumped out from behind some garbage cans and pressed the muzzle of his gun into the priest’s ribs.
The thief said, “Give me your wallet!”
Without hesitation, the priest went and reached for his wallet in the front pocket of his coat. It was then the thief got a glimpse of his collar.
“Are you a priest,” the thief asked?
“Yes I am,” said the priest.
“Well, put your wallet back,” the thief said. “I don’t rob priests. I am Catholic too.”
At that point, the relieved Catholic priest pulled out 2 cigars and offered one to the thief. The repentant thief responded, “Oh no, I could not do that. Smoking is wrong and I can’t believe you would do such an evil thing!”
Now here is a man who had some convictions about smoking, but it seems little else.
I want to ask you to turn with me to Romans 14.
This morning we are going to talk about convictions we may have concerning certain things and how these convictions can affect our relationship with others and what we should do about them, especially when we may not be in agreement regarding these convictions.
We are going to start out reading the first 13 verses of Romans 14.
14 Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. 2 One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3 The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
5 One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. 8 If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written:
"’As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
’every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will confess to God.’"
12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.
13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another.
Ok, Paul starts out this passage saying
We should not Judge others based on our Convictions
And he calls these things “disputable matters.”
There are things that are not necessarily wrong in and of themselves, but for us, we have a conviction that it would be wrong.