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Unity in the Church (Part II)

March 5, 2017 Speaker: John Bell Series: Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

Passage: Romans 14:13–15:7

Unity in the Church (Part II)

Freedom Governed by Love, and the Example of Christ

Romans 14:13-15:7

Point # 1 The “strong” Christians must be careful not to cause the “weak” Christians to suffer spiritual harm by their insistence on exercising their liberty on disputed matters. For such insistence violates the essence of the kingdom, which is to manifest love and concern for one another (14:13-23)

Point # 2 The “strong” Christians should willingly tolerate the tender consciences of the “weak” Christians, seeking thereby to foster unified praise of God in the church. Christians should exhibit such concern for others because of the example set for us by our Lord Jesus (15:1–7)

The Apostle Paul didn’t count his freedoms or his comfort as the highest priority. Instead, he always asked himself these two questions:

1: How does this particular action affect other believers?

2: How does this particular action further the gospel of Christ?

Twelve principles on how to disagree with other Christians in disputable matters (J.D. Crowley)
1. Accept those Christians whose faith is weak and disagree with you on disputable matters (14: 1-2).
2. Those who have freedom must not look down on those who are strict (3-4).
3. Those who are strict must not be judgmental towards those who have freedom (3-4).
4. Each believer must be fully convinced of their position in their own conscience (5).
5. Everything you do, or refrain from doing, must be for God’s glory (6-9).
6. Do not judge each other in these matters because we will all someday stand before the judgment seat of God (10-12).
7. Your freedom to eat meat is correct, but don’t let your freedom destroy the faith of a weak brother or sister (13-15).
8. Disagreements about eating and drinking are not important in the kingdom of God; building each other up in righteousness, peace, and joy is the important thing (16-21).
9. If you have freedom, don’t flaunt it; if you are strict, don’t expect others to be strict like you (22a).
10. A person who lives according to their conscience is blessed (22b-23).
11. We must follow the example of Christ, who put others first (15:1-6).
12. We bring glory to God when we welcome one another as Christ has welcomed us (7).

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