This sermon was based on Romans 14:1-13.
Do Not Pass Judgement on One Another
1As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. 2One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. 3Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. 4Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
Do Not Cause Another to Stumble
13Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.
What is the Problem?
- The church in Rome were arguing over matters which were not central to the gospel, such as whether to eat meat or not.
- This was causing them to pass judgement on one another based on what they believed.
- We can easily fall into the same trap in churches today.
How Should Things be Instead?
- We are called to love each other, be patient with each other, bear with one another, forgive one another, treat each other with respect, and care for one another. And now in chapter 14 Paul continues and tells us that we are also to accept one another. Without any conditions.
- This acceptance is to be unconditional, not based on whether people are like us or have the same viewpoint as we do.
- Unconditional acceptance says ‘I accept you even though we don’t always see eye to eye but I want to live at peace with you and respect you.’ We are to accept each other just as God has accepted us.
- The key to being more accepting is to remember who we are. Paul reminds us that we’re servants of God and that we’re brothers and sisters. We are servants of God and we are brothers and sisters.
- We also need to remember we are not our own masters. We belong to Jesus, so whatever we choose to do or whatever we choose not to do, we are doing it to the Lord and giving thanks. So, for example, whether we drink alcohol or not, whether we watch TV or not, we give thanks to the Lord and we do it to honour him.
- Finally it’s important to focus on what we have in common and not what divides us, the fundamental things which all Christians believe. The apostle’s creed is a summary of what we believe as Christians. This is what we all have in common with each other:
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy universal Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.