-Don’t pass judgment

Romans 14:1-12 Don’t pass judgment Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. 2One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. 4Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. 5One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. 8If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. 10You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. 11It is written: "`As surely as I live,' says the Lord, `every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'" 12So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. (NIV)

Proposition: God doesn’t want you to judge another’s beliefs in regard to non-essentials, i.e. eating, special days, matters of opinion.

  1. God does not want you to judge another’s non-essential beliefs because God says not to.

i. Romans 14:1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations (KJV)

ii. Romans 14:1 Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. (NKJV)

iii. Romans 14:1 Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. (NIV)

iv. Romans 14:1 As for the man who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not for disputes over opinions. (RSV)

v. Romans 14:1 Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions. (NRSV)

vi. Romans 14:1 Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions (NASB)

B. God does not want you to harass a brother into accepting the same beliefs that you have, at least not in matters that are disputable.

. If a discussion of an issue does not bring one closer to Christ or unite the brethren, then perhaps the discussion should be avoided.

i. Illustration: Picking a sports team and ragging on it–the other person becomes defensive and more convinced of that team’s greatness.

ii. The pride of knowledge is prone to hold the ignorant in contempt–“Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies” (1 Cor. 8:1).

        1. There was an incident in prison where a Calvinist preacher had been preaching that the Arminians weren’t saved.

iii. As a cult evangelist, as an apologist, I judged much, sometimes right, sometimes wrong.

C. What are the disputable matters that might cause division here?

. non-essential doctrines.

        1. food, v. 2 (Read aloud – refers to O.T. eating habits.)

i. The people who held to observing special days believed that the Lord required it.

        1. special days, v. 5 – 6 (Read aloud)

. The Lord’s day is not included here because the apostle is speaking of foods and days that were peculiar to the Jewish dispensation.

i. Disagreements are okay; condemnation is not.

        1. 1 Corinthians 11:19 “No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval.” (NIV)

ii. Other areas of debate.

        1. Calvinism vs. Arminianism?
        2. Suit and tie or not?
        3. guitar or organ?
        4. hymns or praise music?

D. What are non-disputable matters?

. essential doctrines.

        1. Deity of Christ/Trinity-John 1:1,14; 1 John 4
        2. Resurrection – 1 Corinthians 15:14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” (NIV)
        3. Salvation by grace – Eph. 2:8,9. Rom. 6:23.

. In the context of the gospel, God adopted and adapted. He adopted a culture and suited Himself for its situation; that is, Jesus became Jewish and wore their clothes, spoke their language, and walked in their culture.

  1. God does not want you to judge another’s non-essential belief’s because God has accepted him, v. 3

. Your judgment would imply a rejection.

. Therefore you are going against God’s will if you judge another whose faith is “weak” or different.

        1. Must be careful when speaking of another: Gossip, ridicule, etc.

A. The same Holy Spirit indwells us all. So why do we have so much division?

. It is because of our fallen natures.

B. He the Lord’s servant, v. 4, is proof that God has accepted him.

. Therefore God is his judge, v. 4

        1. you are not his judge.

C. What is the result of this kind of behavior, of not passing judgment, of accepting, etc.?

. Love, no condemnation. Col. 3:14, “Put on love which is the perfect bond of unity.”

i. harmony, no division.

        1. On the Internet I am a heretic in one person’s opinion.

ii. Our differences should unite us because we should be humbled before the Word of God. We are sinners, unable to infallibly interpret. Therefore, we should recognize our limits and, with humility, consider the other’s opinion with respect.

  1. God does not want you to judge another’s non-essential belief’s because each person must be fully convinced in His own mind of what he believes, v. 5

. This means there is room for debate, for decision, for weighing the scriptures and making a decision.

. But debate should be done with Christ at the center.

A. He eats or doesn’t eat…for the Lord, v. 6

B. He does or doesn’t celebrate a special day…for the Lord, v. 6

C. Personal examination of scripture.

. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves” (Rom. 14:22).

  1. God does not want you to judge another’s non-essential belief’s because Christ died for that person, v. 8 – 9

. Therefore Christ has not judged them–they are fully accepted.

A. Because Christ is Lord over you…and him.

. Therefore, Christ is the judge, not you.

You are to abstain from judging a fellow Christian in matters that are non-essential. You are not to avoid fellowship with him, or ignore him. Instead you are to accept, to love, and to be in harmony with him. Will you do that? Will you decide to love your brother even though he doesn’t believe the same as you? Will you ask the Lord to forgive you of your judgmental attitudes? Seek the Lord and His abounding love so that you might show it to your brother. Amen.



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