Our Duty to One Another
Don’t Major in the Minors.
v1. Are you judging disputable matters? What things can divide the Church? Doctrines.
How should Christians treat non-essential matters? We should allow the Holy Spirit to guide us unto all truth. (John 16:13)
“Weak” = immature Christians. Who has more rules the immature or mature Christians? The immature. Why? Maybe they need more rules to keep them away from temptation.
v3. Some of the converted Jews were still holding on to parts of the Law. God still accepts them.
v5. Sabbath and Jewish feasts. If an immature Christian is still holding on to religion or legalism, they are not to impose it on others. We have liberty in Christ. Use your own judgment.
Just because mature Christians are free in Christ, they are not to judge those who are still immature. We are to help them with friendly instruction, so to strengthen them.
v6. Both the immature and mature have good intentions. Weak believers and strong believers, if they are true believers, have the grace of God.
v8. We live to please God, not ourselves. (Col 3:17)
v10. Pride causes judgments to become judgmental.
Why is there so much dissension among Christians?
Christ will be the Judge.
v12. For our good deeds.
Unity in the essentials, liberty in the non-essentials, charity in all things.
What are the essential matters? (Rom 10:9-10)
-How to be saved.
-Original and subsequent sin. God has a perfect moral nature and he has commands, and we have broken those commands.
-Atonement. Christ’s sinlessness, deity and resurrection.
-Grace. Saved and sanctified by grace. The Law helps show us we fall short, but the Law doesn’t help us to become more righteous.
-Eternity. The second coming, heaven and hell and final judgment.
These are not debatable.
v13. How can we help prevent other Christians from sinning? (Matt 18:6)
v14-15. Don’t tempt other Christians with your liberties (alcohol, etc.) if you know it could cause them to sin. (Titus 1:15, 1 Cor 8:9-13)
If you think something is a sin and do that thing, then you have gone against your conscience and committed sin.
Even if you are unsure whether something is sin or not, you are to abstain from those things while we continue under those doubts. We are responsible for the truth that we currently possess.
This is sinning against your conscience.
v21. Is drinking wine or alcohol wrong? If it were, why would Paul mention it? (Luke 7:33-34)
v22-23. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Whatever we do religiously will not be accounted as good, but by faith with Christ’s will as our guide we please God.
v1-4. We are to give up some of our liberties to protect other Christians from sinning. Why? Because Christ gave up His liberty to suffer and die for us.
v5. To agree on the essentials and to agree to disagree on the matters of conscience. Don’t major in the minors.
We can’t have unity if we are constantly arguing over things that the Bible isn’t clear on or doesn’t teach. Is this ecumenicalism? No, Paul is speaking about unity between Jews and Gentiles. They agree on the essentials and many other things, but some are worrying about trivial matters. We are not to have unity with heretical or deceptive teachings in the Church. We are to identify and warn of those things.
v6. Why? So God may be glorified. (Eph 2:14-16)
v8. Christ accepted the Jews.
v9. And the Gentiles.
v11-12. Why does Paul quote the Old Testament? To show the Jews that the Gentiles were part of the plan of redemption from the beginning.
v17-19. Instruction on boasting. (1 Cor 1:31, Ps 115:1)
v19. Paul performed miracles.
v22. (Prov 16:9) God is in control.
v24. Paul never made it to Spain. God is still glorified in our sincere intentions from the heart.
v31. Paul hopes to bring unity between Jews and Gentiles.
v1. Phoebe probably delivered this letter to Rome. Servant translated from the Greek means deacon or deaconess. This shows that woman are permitted this role in the Church.
v17-18. False teachers are to be identified.
Who are the unsuspecting? Those who have little understanding of the Word (the immature).
How do we resist them? By first staying away from them and to stay in the Word.
v25. What mystery? The plan of redemption through Jesus Christ which is now not a mystery!