Studies In The Book Of Romans
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1. Can brethren be receptive to those who are weak in the faith?
Yes: “Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations” (Romans 14:1).
Not only receive, but help (Romans 15:1-3) to be saved (ICorinthians 9:22).
Jesus showed us an example of this with His disciples (Matthew 8:23-27 and Matthew 16:5-12).
This does not mean that we are to receive people erring in the faith (Romans 16:17-18, Ephesians 5:11, IIThessalonians 3:6, IIThessalonians 3:14-15, IIJohn 9-11, and Jude 1:3-4).
Even those who are babes in Christ, that sin, need not be received (Acts 8:12-24).
If a person who is weak in the faith, becomes the source of “doubtful disputations”, you cannot receive he or she (ITimothy 1:3-7, IITimothy 2:23, and Titus 3:9-11).
Remember the context of this book and time in history. You have Jews that would struggle with what they could eat because of what they were rightly taught under the Law of Moses (Acts 10:9-17). Gentiles, on the other hand, would not have such conscience issues. Paul is trying to give the Jews time to adjust and the Gentiles the freedom to receive those brethren who needed such time. Unity in faith is not under discussion (cf. Ephesians 4:1-6). This chapter is about unity in liberties.
2. Do stronger Christians struggle with the eating of meats?
No: “For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs” (Romans 14:2).
Outside of blood, God has given us meat to eat (Genesis 9:1-4).
There is no unclean meats if your conscience will so let you eat them (Romans 14:14).
3. Should the eating of meats cause dissension among brethren?
No: “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” (Romans 14:3).
If a brother makes the eating of meats of matter that he calls sinful, that is a doctrine of demons (ITimothy 4:1-5).
Eating of meats is a matter of personal freedom. You can choose. That being said, meats should never be allowed to come between brethren. This often means that the stronger brother will take the lead in putting aside his liberty for the conscience of the weak brother (ICorinthians 8:8-13).
4. In regard to the eating of meats, can you judge your brother?
No: “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” (Romans 14:4).
In ignorance, some take this Scripture and say you cannot judge someone else. That is a false doctrine (John 7:24, Matthew 7:15-20, ICorinthians 5:1-3, IJohn 4:1-6, and Revelation 2:2).
What this Scripture teaches, in context, is not to judge based on one’s personal liberties (Colossians 2:12-17).
Additionally, we have to measure our fellowship by accepting those whom the Lord accepts rather than creating our own standards (IJohn 1:3-7).
Even in this point though, the stronger brother realizes that the weaker brother may judge him [to some degree] and be fine with that (ICorinthians 10:29-33).
5. If a person is persuaded in their own mind that one day is more significant than another, can they treat that day as special to themselves?
Yes: “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. 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” (Romans 14:5-6).
This is not permission to regard false religious days as holy days (Galatians 4:9-10).
If you are going to personally regard a day above another, just remember God in a thankful manner (IThessalonians 5:18).
6. Who do you and I [Christians] belong to?
Christ: “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. 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” (Romans 14:7-8).
Matthew 16:24, ICorinthians 6:19-20, IICorinthians 5:15, Galatians 2:19-20, Philippians 1:21, and Colossians 3:1-4.
7. Does the Lordship of Christ extend beyond this world?
Yes: “For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living” (Romans 14:9).
He is Lord of all in every realm (Matthew 28:18, John 5:22-23, Acts 10:36, Ephesians 1:20-23, Philippians 2:9-10, Colossians 1:13-18, and Revelation 1:17-18).
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