July 12th Romans 14
(The Separation of sons of God)
Weak believers – Be understanding
1: Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. 2: For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. 3: Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. 4: Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. 5: One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. 6: He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. 7: For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. 8: For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. 9: For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. 10: But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11: For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 12: So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
In this passage Paul tackles the difficult issue of a christian who is weak. This is not a weakness in body or in education but weak in conscience. Weak in conscience means to be in a state in which the conscience accuses the christian of things that they are doing when in fact there may not be anything wrong about it before God. They are just oversensitive about some things. And they feel that if they did these things then God would be displeased. We as christians are to receive fellow christians who are like this but not to argue with them or try to change their minds against their will. Paul gives examples of this. Some people seem to be able to eat the most disgusting things, things that were declared unclean in Judaism but another christian who more sensitive in his conscience cant bring himself to eat them. Both sides are to treat each other with respect. The christian who feels free to eat anything must not look down on the one who cant. And the one who refrains from this food must not condemn the other christian. Both are christians and both have been accepted by God. We are not to condemn and pass judgement on each other because each man is answerable to God alone. Another example is a christian who celebrates a day as more sacred than another. But his christian friend treats every day the same. Each to his own. Each man must be persuaded in his own mind. Both are to live to God. None of us lives just to himself but has regard to his brother. All of us will stand before Christ at the judgment seat of Christ where we will receive reward for faithful service. We will all give account to Christ.