THOSE MADE RIGHTEOUS BY FAITH LOVE AND ACCEPT ONE ANOTHER/How to Get Along in Spite of All of Your Differences
Thesis: Since Christ, our only Lord, accepts us and makes us stand, Christians should not condemn and reject each other over difficult and controversial matters.
I. BRETHREN SHOULD NOT CONDEMN AND REJECT EACH OTHER OVER WHETHER TO EAT MEAT OR NOT (1-4).
A. Accept the one whose faith is weak, but not to condemn him over disputable matters (1).
B. Some have faith that allows them to eat everything, but the faith of others forces them to refuse to eat some things (2)
1. The weak brother eats only vegetables.
2. Therefore, the strong brother eats meats also.
C. The weak and strong must not condemn each other (3).
1. The man who eats everything must not set at nought the one who does not.
2. The one who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does.
3. God accepts both the strong and the weak.
D. Who are we as brethren to condemn each other (4)?
1. We have no right to condemn someone else’s servant.
2. To his own master he will stand or fall.
3. Both will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
II. BRETHREN SHOULD NOT CONDEMN EACH OTHER OVER SPECIAL DAYS (5-8).
A. Each person must be fully persuaded in his own mind (5, cf, 22, 23).
1. One man considers one day more sacred than another.
2. Another man considers every day alike.
B. People who eat meat or don’t eat meat and people who regard certain days as special or don’t consider them as special all seek to serve the Lord (6)
C. We all belong to the Lortd and do what we do to the Lord (7, 8).
1. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord.
2. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to the Lord.
3. He who abstains, does so to the Lord, and gives thanks to God.
4. No one lives or dies to himself alone, but lives or dies to the Lord.
III. WE SERVANTS OF GOD MUST NOT PRESUME TO BE JUDGES OF THE SERVANTS OF GOD (9-12).
A. Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living (9).
B. Then we have no right to condemn (krino) nor to set at nought (exoutheneis) a brother (10).
C. God will judge all of us, so we are not to judge each other (10).
1. It is written that every one will bow his knee to the Lord and confess to God (11, cf. Isaiah 49:18 and 45:23).
2. Each will give an account of himself to God (12).
IV. INSTEAD OF CONDEMNING ONE ANOTHER, WE SHOULD BE CAREFUL NOT TO GRIEVE NOR TO BE A STUMBLING BLOCK TO EACH OTHER (13-18).
A. Therefore, let us stop passing judgment on one another (13).
B. Instead, determine not to put any stumbling block or obstace in your brother’s way (13).
C. Although no food is unclean in itself, it is unclean for anyone who regards it unclean (14).
D. Don’t practice that which causes confusion among the brethren (15-18).
1. If you do what distresses a brother, you are not acting in love (15).
2. Do not by what you eat destroy your brother for whom Christ died (15).
3. Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil (16).
4. The kingdom is not a matter of eating or drinking, but it is about more important things: righteousness, peace, and joy of the Holy Spirit (17).
5. Anyone who acts according to this instruction pleases both God and his fellow Christians (18).
V. CHRISTIANS MUST MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO DO WHAT LEADS T0 PEACE AND TO MUTUAL EDIFICATION (19-21).
A. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food (20).
1. All food is clean.
2. Although all food is clean, it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble (20).
B. It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else that will cause your brother to fall (21).
VI. WHATEVER YOU BELIEVE ON THESE MATTERS KEEP BETWEEN YOURSELF AND GOD (22-23).
A. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves (22).
B. Whatever is done without believing that it is right (believing that it is wrong) is sin (23).
1. The man who has doubts is condemned if he eats.
2. He who eats doubting that he is right eats without faith.
Conclusion: Don’t judge one another; don’t do what you have freedom to do if it will cause a brother to stumble, and don’t do anything you believe to be wrong to please others.
© 2004, Dr. Wm. T. (Bill) Lambert
Professor Emeritus – NT Literature and Interpretation
College of Bible and Religion