RECEIVING THE WEAK
In Romans chapter 14 the Apostle Paul having previously established that agape love is the fulfilling of the law, now puts that love into action concerning the weaker brothers and sisters in Christ.
10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
How should we react to those who do not hold the same convictions that we hold?
Sometimes we may question a person’s salvation when sin is prevalent.
But, what about the things that are questionable?
How should we react to those who continue to hang on to things we may consider doubtful?
Women who wear pants, men with long hair, women with short hair?
I do not mean to embarrass anyone tonight.
But, we must know how to love one another.
The fact is we like to be finger pointers.
We like to point out something that others are doing and we ignore our own shortcoming.
Lets examine this subject as the Holy Spirit has given us the message through Apostle Paul.
I. THE COMMAND. (vs 1-3)
Receive the weaker brother or sister.
In the beginning of the church age most of the converts brought into the church were Jews.
They were coming out of Judaism.
They were used to the many rituals and ceremonies of the Jewish synagogue.
They wanted to be circumcised, not eat certain meats or meats offered to idols.
Certain days were considered holy days and were to be observed according to Old Testament law.
These were all done away with in Christ.
All the Old Testament sacrifices and observances were pointing to the Messiah.
When the Messiah came then the observances are fulfilled and no longer needed.
19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
1 Cor 8:8-13
8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.
9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.
10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;
11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.
13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.
But, some of the people wanted to continue in the old rituals and ceremonies.
It says he that is weak in the faith, that is those who would not eat meat, whose faith was weak, were to be received.
That means they were not to be looked down upon.
They were not to be embarrassed.
They were to be received.
II. THE CONCERN (14:1b)
“…not to doubtful disputations.”
It means because I accept a weaker brother as my friend, I enjoy his fellowship, I will still hold my convictions about my own personal life.
I do not have to drop my standards.
And I should not drop my standards.
When God has given you a conviction about a matter never doubt your conviction.
What is right for one is right for all. God is not the author of confusion.
The concern then for the one who is strong is that the weak would draw him down.
Cause him to doubt his convictions.
THE CONCLUSION (vs 4-23)
Love your Brethren – despise not
Place your brother’s edification ahead of your satisfaction.
Remember in talking about agape love that we said we should always ask the question,
”How will it effect my brother?”
15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.
21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
Place your intolerance last
14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
Nothing is unclean of itself.
It is misappropriation by an unclean heart that causes filth.
Meat is not unclean. It is offering meat to idols that is unclean.
Judge not your brethren
We all belong to God.
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.
We all belong to God. Our mutual goal is to please God with our lives and accomplish His purpose.
We do not live to ourselves. We live with the express purpose of doing God’s will.
9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
That Christ could save us and accomplish His purpose with our lives is the reason He died, rose and is alive today.
1 Peter 2:24
24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
2 Cor 5:21
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Christ will judge all.
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.
2 Cor 5:10
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.
16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
17 For the
18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
Rather than to try to find fault with others we are always instructed by the Bible to search our own hearts.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
Keep the Faith
22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
There is right and there is wrong.
We must all search our hearts to be able to make the distinction between right and wrong, and having made that distinction by the convicting power of the Holy Spirit of God let us do right ‘til the stars fall.
24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
1 Cor 10:21
21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.