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Romans Chapter 14:1-23 

Memory verses for this week: 1 Pet 1:25  But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.


Introduction:     Last week, in  chapter 13, one of the most crucial points of the chapter was that we are to obey the laws of the land.   God gave the authority to civil government, and as long as those laws do not conflict with Godís Word, we are to obey them.


I.                    Receiving a Weak Brother 

Rom 14:1  Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.

Rom 14:2  For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.

Rom 14:3  Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.


The church has a duty towards the weak Christian.  Not everyone has reached maturity in their Christian walk, and sometimes we can offend the new Christian in our attitudes and actions.  This does not mean that new Christians are lacking in faith, it means they simply have not been taught the whole Word of God.   Many that are weak have recently been saved, and no one has taken the time to expound the Word of God to them.   Learning the entire Word of God is a lifetime job, and we will never acquire all of the knowledge of the bible.  Iíve been studying the Word of God now seriously for 29 years, and Iím amazed how much I can learn by simply reading a chapter in the bible two times consecutively.  God will open up new things to my understanding that I may have missed in earlier studies.   But just reading the Word of God is not enough.  We need to study it and glean truths from it.   And sitting under teachers like your pastor can allow you to grasp things that might never become evident to you.  We are blessed to be able to come together and study the Word as a group. 

Some in the church there in Corinth were weak Christians. 


1 Cor 3:1  And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

1 Cor 3:2  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

1 Cor 3:3  For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

1 Cor 3:4  For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? 

Paul used the example of a baby being fed with milk that could not yet eat.  A new Christian is a newborn babe in the Word, and we must patiently teach them the truth.   In Hebrews, we find that many of the main line Jews were weak in doctrine. 

Heb 5:11  Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.

Heb 5:12  For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

Heb 5:13  For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.


Letís read those verses again in 1 Ė 3. 

Rom 14:1  Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.

Rom 14:2  For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.

Rom 14:3  Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him


One of the big taboos of Paulís day was eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols.   A big animal might have been placed on an altar and was to be burned as a sacrifice to a false god.  If it did not burn up, they would take the portion of

Meat that was still good, and sell it in the marketplace.  Those who were strong in the Word knew that this meat was fine to eat, but many weak Christians saw this as a great sin.   Iím sure in our day you can think of many things like this that come down to personal convictions that each family has to make on their own.  But Paul said that we should not despise one another for these differences of opinion.   Paul said to not judge those that ate the meat, and to not judge those who condemned the eating of the meat.  He urged the church to be in harmony on items that were of minor importance.   Let me make it clear that most doctrinal stands are clear and there is no room for variance in our beliefs.   When it comes to salvation, we should all agree that it comes by grace as a gift from God and is not in any part done by works of men.   We should all be in agreement on major points of doctrine.  Paul is talking about overlooking the minor things that a young Christian may not have yet come to understanding about. 

We know God gave man the herbs to eat in the garden of Eden, and later he gave them the right to eat meat. 

Gen 1:29  And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

Gen 1:30  And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. 

Remember when Peter was at the house of Cornelius when God made him realize that all men, including the Gentiles could be saved. 

Acts 10:10  And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,

Acts 10:11  And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:

Acts 10:12  Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.

Acts 10:13  And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.

Acts 10:14  But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.

Acts 10:15  And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. 

Whether we eat meat or not is not to be considered important in our service to the Lord.   Church fellowship should never be limited on what we believe on this issue is what Paul is telling the Romans. 

Rom 14:4  Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

Rom 14:5  One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. 

We are not to judge another manís servant.   If a person is saved and he is serving God, we are to not judge this man. 

James 4:12  There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?


The Jews were really wrapped up in serving the ceremonial law which was heavy into setting apart certain days according to the law of Moses.   The Jews thought that since the Levitical order demanded these days be recognized, that they should continue to observe them.   Now that the law had been qualified and fulfilled by Christ, those observances were no longer important.  But Paul said that each man should be fully persuaded in his own mind.  This gave them some leeway to do what they felt the Lord would have them to do.   What should make up our minds as to what we do or not do is Godís Word.  See what the Bible has to say, and then follow it. 

Gal 4:8  Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.

Gal 4:9  But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

Gal 4:10  Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.

Gal 4:11  I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

Gal 4:12  Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all.


Col 2:16  Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

Col 2:17  Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.


Rom 14:6  He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

Rom 14:7  For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.

Rom 14:8  For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. 

We should make our focus be to serve the Lord in everything we do.   We should put the old man to death by taking up our cross each day, and not live for self, but rather live for the Lord.   As verse 8 so aptly puts it, whether we live or die, we are the Lordís.  (If we are saved and know Christ as Savior.) 

Col 3:22  Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:

Col 3:23  And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

Col 3:24  Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. 

Rom 14:9  For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. 

God wants all men to come to Christ for salvation.   Christ died that he might be the Lord of all, both of the dead and the living.


II.  Every Christian Will Stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ

 Rom 14:10  But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

Rom 14:11  For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

Rom 14:12  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. 

The bible makes one point clear.  After death, then comes the judgment.  We that know Jesus as our Lord and Savior will never stand in regards to our salvation, but will stand before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account of the works we have done in our bodies since we were saved.  It is not our job to stand in judgment of our brother or sister, since the Lord will do all that judging one day.   Godís Word is the one that judges another, and only when one disobeys Godís Word is correction to be given.  Many times, we can easily see the fault in our brother or sisterís life, but fail to see our own shortcomings.   Many times when we judge a person for doing some wrong, we are just as guilty of doing something that was also sinful. 

Rom 2:1  Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

Rom 2:2  But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.

Rom 2:3  And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? 

Some may deny God in this life, but it says that one day they will bow and acknowledge that Jesus is King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.  It says that EVERY tongue will confess to God.  We will either meet Jesus in this life and find Him as our Savior, or we will face Him as our Judge at the Great White Throne Judgment.


III.                  We Should Not Hinder Another Christianís Progress


Rom 14:13  Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.

Rom 14:14  I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 


What God would have us to do is to learn to judge ourselves rather than others.  Paul was convinced that the meats and days under the law were not to be observed any longer as they were under Judaism. 

1 Cor 11:31  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

1 Cor 11:32  But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.


IV.                We Should Practice Things That Edify 

Rom 14:15  But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.

Rom 14:16  Let not then your good be evil spoken of: 

If we eat and drink things that are lawful for us, and it causes our brother to stumble, we are wrong.  Paul said we should not destroy our brother with our meat.   We need to consider what others think and believe, and try our best to not be offensive. 

1 Cor 8:13  Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. 

Even if something is lawful, and it causes another to stumble, we should avoid taking part in that activity.   We need to learn more about our brothers and sisters and live in such a way that we are all in harmony and one accord.  I think if we will question ďWould Jesus do this?Ē or ďWould Jesus go to this activity?Ē, we will soon have no problem about being offensive to others. 

Rom 14:17  For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

Rom 14:18  For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.

Rom 14:19  Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

Rom 14:20  For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.

Rom 14:21  It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

Rom 14:22  Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.

Rom 14:23  And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. 

If drinking coffee was found to be unacceptable to our brother, we should do our best to not drink coffee in his presence.  This takes some control on our part, but the edification of the body is what this is all about.  The church should go forward for Christ, and our fellow brothers and sisters should care so much about accomplishing that goal, that they would be willing to sacrifice in some minor area for the benefit of the whole.  The kingdom of God is not of meat and drink, but of RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE, and JOY.   We should follow the example of Christ, and we truly wonít have anything to worry about. 

Mat 5:16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. 

Phil 2:5  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Phil 2:6  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

Phil 2:7  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Phil 2:8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 

And as we said last week, if we will remember these two commandments and follow them, we will be in harmony with the Word of God in virtually every area. 

Mat 22:37  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

Mat 22:38  This is the first and great commandment.

Mat 22:39  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Mat 22:40  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.


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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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