PERSONAL CHRISTIAN LIBERTY
A study of Romans 14
1. Two examples are given
a. Strong Weak
b. Eating meat Vegetarian
c. Observing days Non-observance
2. This chapter is NOT dealing with:
a. The function or activity of the church
b. Matters of doctrine
c. Policy of a local congregation under its elders
3. This chapter IS dealing with:
a. Individual, personal liberty in Christ
b. When my liberty may be exercised
c. When my liberty must be forgone
4. Questions that need to be answered
Who is the “strong” and who is the “weak” brother?
1. The “strong brother” is:
a. Strong in the faith
b. More knowledgeable and understanding
c. Able to make the distinctions
d. Eats meat, observes days
2. The “weak brother” is:
a. Weak in the faith
b. Lacking knowledge and understanding
c. Unable to make distinctions
d. The herb eater, non-observer of days
Which are you?
1. “Strong” is able to separate the worldly and material from the spiritual and worship
a. Decorate a tree, exchange gifts (material, family)
b. Celebrate Christ’s birth as a religious holiday (Spiritual)
2. “Weak” is not able to make the distinction
a. Trees have angels and stars
b. Cards have manger scenes
c. Wise men gave gifts
3. Answer very carefully. This is the tricky part.
a. If you have knowledge and faith to tell the difference – you are the “strong” brother.
b. If you are not able to tell the difference – you are the “weak” brother.
c. Understand – There is no objection about the weak. These terms are used to communicate the idea of a difference within the body. These are not terms of praise or put-down.
4. You can not be both “weak” and “strong” in Romans 14.
a. Many have tried to be both.
b. When asked about their belief and actions they are able to explain the differences.
c. When asked to stop they become “offended.”
What does “offend” mean?
1. The Greek word describes the plate in the center of a jaw trap where the bait is placed.
2. It is translated – stumbling block, stumble, offence, offend
3. In the NT it NEVER means:
a. To cause displeasure
b. Disturbing to my senses – “I don’t like it. It offends me.”
4. In the NT it ALWAYS means:
a. The trap itself, that which entraps or ensnares
b. Vine says that this word means “anything that arouses prejudice, or becomes a hindrance to others, or causes them to fall by the way. Sometimes the hindrance is in itself good, and those who stumbled by it are wicked.”
What should I do?
1. The “Strong”
a. Receive the weak – 1
b. Not despise the weak – 2
c. Remember that you are the Lord’s – 8
d. Do not judge the weak – 10
i. Do not decide their motives
ii. Do not decide their intent
iii. Do not determine their eternal destiny
e. Don’t create stumbling blocks – 13
f. Be charitable (loving) toward the weak – 15
g. Don’t let your actions be evil spoken of – 16
h. Seek things that lead to peace – 19
i. Seek to edify and strengthen the weak – 19
j. Be willing to forego you liberty – 20
k. Do not destroy the work of God (a soul) – 20
l. Do not make the weak weaker – 21
m. Bear the infirmities of the weak – 15:1
2. The “Weak”
a. Do not judge the strong – 2 (Same rules as #4 above)
b. Remember that you are the Lord’s – 8
c. Do not “count for nothing” your brother – 10
d. Don’t give in to the strong’s pressure – 14
e. Be sure that you are serving Christ – 18
f. Seek things that lead to peace – 19
g. Try to edify your brother – 19
h. Don’t violate your conscience – 20
i. To violate your conscience is sin – 23
ii. Damnation will result – 23
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