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Alright everyone, welcome back to church. This is obviously a prerecorded video as I will be traveling to Texas during church this week. So hopefully, unlike the last time we did this when we had issues, the replacement of all of our equipment will facilitate this going the way that it should. That said, we will be continuing our series in Romans Road this week in chapter 14, and we will be continuing the application portion of our series. So last week we started that in chapter or sorry, two weeks ago we started that in chapter twelve and we are going to continue that through next week in chapter 15 where we will end our series.
That said, if you have your Bibles with you, turning them with me to Romans chapter 14, we're going to reverses one through four. Him that is weak in the faith receive ye but not too doubtful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all things. Another who is weak, edith Herbs. That not him that eateth, despise him that eateth not.
And that not him which eateth not, judge him that Edith for God hath received him who art thou that judges another man's servant to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holding up, for God is able to make him stand. Okay. So Paul begins here today telling us that as Christians. As people who have received the Gospel of Christ.
As people who now have walked Romans Road. Who know that we are not said by our own merit. By our own works. But by the grace of God alone. The gift of God.
The emeritded favor that we have not earned or deserved. But have been made through God's sovereign will. Vessels of grace and mercy that we are to receive all who are vessels of grace and mercy by the grace of God. And in particular those that are weak in their faith. This can refer to those who are new into Christianity, the babes in Christ.
They are weak in faith. Someone who was saved today is more than likely not as strong in their faith as someone saved ten years ago. This also refers to the doubters. We go through periods, dry periods and spiritually dry periods. And it's where we have doubts, where we have reservations, where we are unsure and uncertain of our faith.
And that's a roller coaster ride. And the thing is, every one of us will go through a period like this in our life, or more than likely several periods. However, the Christian who lives their entire life and says, I have never been tried by doubt is probably a Christian of no faith at all. As C. S.
Lewis once said, a faith never tried by doubt is no faith at all. So that said, we are to receive our weaker brothers and we are to support them and let them encourage them, but not to doubtful disputations. We are not to judge their doubtful thoughts. We are not to judge them. We are not to get into arguments with them over it.
In fact, one of the reasons that many struggling Christians today who are weak in the faith, who are doubtful, who are struggling, do not come to the Church with their issues, is because we have failed as a body to obey the commandment here to receive them. But instead we judge them, we attach stigmas to them, we make them feel that they are worse or that they are not real Christians because of their doubts. Paul continues here that for one believeth that he may eat all things. Another who is weak says eateth herbs. This reminds me in the Book of Acts, there's this entire issue going on with the Jewish converts and with the Gentile converts, where the Gentile converts are not circumcised, they're eating pork, they're eating meat with the blood in it.
They're doing these things that are an abomination to the Jews and the Jewish Christians. The Jewish converts are pushing on them, saying, you must be circumcised, you must stop eating this, you must stop doing that. And there is what says a debate, a heeda debate on whether or not the Gentiles have to add to themselves the law. And that goes to the Council of Jerusalem, where there is a unanimous ruling that if the Jews could not obey the law, the law of Moses, the law of God, and they needed by their very own disobedience a savior, why should they attach those things, those strings and that burden to the Gentiles? At the end of the Jerusalem Council, there it was decided that there was only two things that they should not do the Gentiles, and that is eat meat with the blood in it or strangle meat.
There was a third thing that they should not eat anything offered to idols, sacrificed to idols. However, the requirement to be circumcised was removed. The requirement that they could not eat pork was removed that they were never under those obligations. We have actually read through Romans road here that the circumcision of the flesh is not what really mattered. Instead, that was an outward sign of what was supposed to be inward, and that was circumcision of the heart.
So one believeth that he may eat all things, and very well he may. And another who is, we only eat herbs. And whether we are the one who only eats herbs, we only eat clean meat, we only eat what's kosher. We are not to judge him who eats the non kosher, the unclean animals. And likewise, he who eats all things shall not judge him who only eateth the herbs.
We are allowed to have our difference here in beliefs. We are allowed to have our opinions. And one who wants to eat one and not the other show it says verse three though let not him that Edith despise, him that eateth not, and let him that eateth not judge him. That edith okay, this just says what I just said. Whether you eat or eat not, we despise nor judge not, for God hath received him.
If you need a reason at all to not judge another person for eating or not eating, that reason is because God has received them. And if God hath received them, so too shall we. Why shouldn't we? Why should we believe that a person who was good enough to be received by God? And don't get me wrong, I'm not saying our works and our righteousness merits that.
But a person who to God can be received, why should they not be well enough for us to receive? Instead, we are to allow God to be the judge here. Who art thou verse forces that judge us? Another man's servant? Are other Christians our servants?
I mean, do we have the right to judge another Christian? But they belong to God and to his own master. To God he will stand or he will fallth. God will judge him on these things.
If we were to continue here in verses five through nine, paul would tell us that one man is steemeth one day above another, and another esteemth every day. Alight let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth the 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. For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord, and whether we die, we die and unto the Lord, or we are the Lord's. My eyes gift here. For to this end, Christ both died and rose and revived that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
Okay, so Paul now gets a little bit more into this. Why do we not judge? Well, first verse four gave us a great reason. Or verse three gave us a great reason. And that is God hath received him.
And he continues here to show us the nature of this problem of this debate that's been going on for 2000 years. You know, the debate on what meat you can and cannot eat. The debate on whether or not we worship God on Saturday or Sunday has been going on since the foundation of Christianity. So he continues to give us an example. Moving from the meat to the day we worship, in verse five, he says that one man is steameth one day above another and another.
He steameth every day alike. What's he saying here? This gets into that debate. We worship on Sunday. We have our reasons for worshiping on Sunday.
Sunday is the Lord's day. Sunday is the day that Jesus Christ rose from the grave. And that's when we gather and worship Him and celebrate and get in his word as a congregation. Others believe that you must continue to worship on Saturday because that is the Sabbath day. There are those who believe that if you don't worship and gather on Saturday that you are a heathen, that you are not obeying the commandments, and that you are not really saved.
Paul writes that this debate is needless and here is why. In verse five he says verse six, he says whether you regard the day or regardeth not the day, you regardeth it unto the Lord. So whether Saturday or Sunday is our day of worship does not matter. What matters here is that we dedicate it to the Lord that we are worshiping the Lord, that we are in fellowship with one another. As Christians, we live not to ourself, but we live to God.
As Christians, our duty is to serve the Lord. Our duty is to love one another. And honestly, it's not just on Saturday or Sunday. This is an everyday thing. God does not have weekend custody over us when we become his.
He has full custody, full parental rights over us. He gets us seven days a week, 365 days a year and 24 hours a day.
He continues in verses seven and eight here, he tells us that none of us liveth to ourself and no man dieth to Himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord, and whether we die, we die unto the Lord. So whether we live therefore or die, we are the Lords, the Lord owns us. First, the Lord made us, and second, the Lord bought us. He bought us with his blood.
We are not our own bosses. To live or to die as we please, as we might. Rather, whether we live or die, we live or die unto the Lord. If we live, if we shall rise up, we shall rise up with thanksgiving. We shall rise up thankful for the day that we have and seek how we might live to the Lord.
Remember, in chapter twelve, I believe in verse one yep, twelve, verse one, Paul says I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. So, now that we are saved, what do we do? We live to the Lord.
In fact, there's a whole reason that Christ died, and that was so that he could be the Lord of those who have died and of those who are alive.
As we continue here with verses ten through twelve, Paul says but why does thou judge thy brother? Or why does thou set at not thy brother? For we shall all stand, and therefore all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written as I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give an account of himself to God.
Why do we feel the need to judge others? We don't have the right to judge others. And for those who have been here long enough and heard enough of my videos, you will also know that I believe in judging, I believe in calling out sin. But Paul is making a distinction here between calling out sin and then judging people, whether we're condemning them for sin or judging them for non issues. Noncritical issues.
It is one thing to tell somebody that homosexuality is a sin, and especially to tell the Christian, for the Christian does not want to live in sin. But then it is another thing to condemn them for that, and an entirely different thing to condemn someone for worshiping on Saturday or Sunday. There are problems in the church indeed that need to be addressed. But why are we so caught up in negotiations and debates and arguments on things that do not matter? So why do we judge others?
They will be judged by God. Whether someone worships on Saturday or Sunday, let them be convinced in their own mind and stand before God to give that account.
Then there's confession. Every knee shall bow, every tongue shall confess. There's two parts here every knee will bow and will confess that Jesus is Lord. But every knee will bow and confess their sins, confess their deeds, confess their wickedness before the Lord God Almighty. And I offer a charge to you.
If you're listening to this, you will bow. This is not negotiable, this is not debatable, this is not opinion, this is a fact. This is the way that it is. You will one day bow before the Lord Jesus Christ. You will stand before the judgment seat of God and you will confess Him as Lord and you will give an account of your life.
You don't have a choice in that. Here is your choice to do so willingly now or by force later. You will bow. OK? And we are responsible to God.
We are responsible with the knowledge that he has given us. We are responsible with the freedom that he has given us. And we'll talk more about that here in a few minutes. But we are responsible to Him in all things that we do. One Peter four four five tells us that wherein they think it strange that ye are not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking of evil of you who shall give an account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.
Paul says in Second Corinthians 510 that we must all appear before the judgement see of Christ that everyone may receive the things done in his body according to that which he has done, whether it be good or bad. We're also told that there is a book of remembrance which is written in Malachi 316. Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened and heard it. And a book of remembrance was written before him. For them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.
I'm going to charge you with this. You have enough stuff in your life to worry about, enough issues that you need to overcome that you need to fix that you don't have the time to be judging weaker Christians because you too will give an account before God. So we need to focus on that.
We're going to finish this off here with the last eleven verses 13 to 23. Paul will continue. He says, Let us not therefore judge one another any more, but judge this rather that no man put a stumble and block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. I know, and I am persuaded by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself but to him that you steamth anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. But if thy brother be grieved, if thy meat now walketh thou not charitably, destroy not him.
If thy meat for whom Christ died, that not then your good be evil spoken of. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things servth Christ is acceptable to God and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after these things which make for peace, and wherein or things wherewith 1 may edify another. For me destroy not the work of God.
All things indeed are pure, but it is evil. For that man who eateth with a fence, it is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor anything whereby thy brother stumbleeth, or is offended, or is made weak. Hast thou faith have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemned not himself in that thing which he allowth and he that doubteth is damned if he eat because he eateth not a faith for whosoever is not a faith is sin.
OK, so I want to summarize this real quick with first John, chapter two, verse ten. He that loveth his brother abideth and the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. We are instructed here in verse 13 that we should not judge one another. But this is our judgment, that we do not put a stumble and block or an occasion to fall in our brothers way. So rather than judging the person who does not eat meat, we should just not eat meat in front of them.
That is our judgment that we do everything in our power to assist them, to help them live a godly and righteous life, and that we do nothing that would cause them to fall. Is there an alcoholic in your life? The last thing you are going to do is drink alcohol in front of them. Is there a gambling addict in your life, the last thing you should do is take them to a casino. We do not give them that occasion to fall.
He tells us here in verses 14 and 15 that eating meat is not wrong. Drinking wine is not wrong. He says that there is no unclean thing of itself.
There is nothing unclean. Christ tells us that it's not what goes into our mouth that's the issue. It's what comes out of our mouth that defiles us. However, he says while eating meat is not wrong, he attaches a caveat unless it causes others to stumble. All things may be permitted to us, but not all things are beneficial and not all things are right.
There was the whole issue with eating meats offered to idols, and he talks to us about this in one Corinthians eight, verses four through eight. He says it's concerning, therefore, the eating of those things that are offered and sacrificed unto idols. We know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods. Whether in heaven or on earth.
As it be God's many and Lord's many. But to us there is but one God. The Father. Of whom are all things. And we live in him.
And one Lord Jesus Christ. By whom are all things. And we by him. Albeit there is not an every man that knowledge for someone conscious of the idol. And to this our eat it as a thing offered unto an idol.
And their conscious being weak is defiled. But me commendeth us not to God, for neither if we eat, our conscious being weak is defiled. Whoa, I skipped back up to the top line. For neither if we eat are we better, neither if we eat not, are we the worse. In other words, Paul is telling us here, going back to the whole meat sacrifice to idols thing, there is nothing unclean about that meat.
If you don't know it was sacrificed and you eat it, it's not going to hurt you. What is wrong about it though, is to eat that meat in the presence of someone who is eaten as meat sacrifice. Because we caused their conscience to be seared, we edify what they were doing.
Therefore we are in verse 16 to refrain from eating or drinking anything that may bring criticism to us.
If there is anything that we can do that gives the appearance of evil, we should not do it. There may be things that are not wrong to do, but if it could allow someone to speak evil of our good, of our righteousness, to speak evil of our Lord, to judge us, to criticize us, then we should refrain from doing it altogether.
If it could cause someone else to fall, we should refrain from doing it. And we should live a life that's just acceptable. We should live a life that cannot give any one occasion over us. And so we should plan, we should plan out our day, we should plan out how we are going to live and we should plan for the culture in which we are going.
As an American, if I'm traveling with my wife to the Middle East, we are going to plan for how we will act there. She is going to bring clothing acceptable for that region and I will dress acceptable for that region because we know that the way they dress and their laws regarding how women dress are different than the culture here. And so we will plan not that Seany wearing shorts and a t shirt is wrong or immoral, but it gives occasion where we are for the people to speak evil of our good. And so we instead will avoid the situation altogether.
In practice here in verse 17 and 18, god's kingdom is not concerned with what we eat, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. Paul tells us here, he says that for the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. He tells us that the kingdom of God has a lot more to do with righteousness, with being filled with joy and being filled with peace and being in the Holy Ghost than it is with what we eat. It's a lot more than food. It's a lot more than raymond in christ makes the same argument during the Sermon on the Mount.
He says that life is more than me and raymond, but seek ye first the kingdom of God and he will add those things to you.
So as Christians who have been given the Gospel, as Christians who have received Christ who are redeemed, we therefore follow after the things which make for peace and things wherewith 1 may edify another for meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for that man who edith with offense we are to follow after that which brings peace. Paul will later tell us that as much as possible within us to live peaceably with all men. That is our charge. We are to do everything in our power to bring peace, to live with peace, to live with joy, and not to bring division and dissension into the church.
A lot of these arguments actually give fuel and fire to the atheist, to the heathen, to those who do not follow the same God that we do. I cannot tell you how many atheists I see on Quora. How many I used to see on Facebook who would talk about the fact that there is so much division in the church. Who would talk about the fact that there are churches fighting. That there are some denominations trying to steal people from other denominations.
And rather than going out and convert in the unsaved world. We are trying to convert each other and then they ask. Why would I want to join that?
I don't have a good answer for them because they're right. The church is too busy arguing with itself that we can't be the church, that we can't show the light and love and peace of Christ to the world.
I almost feel like Paul wrote this chapter of the letter to us specifically because this is what we are doing. We need to reread this and we need to evaluate and adjust our course. There are two churches that I read about here. I actually read this from an quora, from another pastor answering this atheist, and he sets the example that we all should follow. He is the pastor of a Baptist church, and right across the street from him is a Methodist church.
And you know what? They go and they walk their city together, praying. When the Baptist church lost, someone had broken into their building and stolen their equipment, their recording equipment and their sound equipment. The Methodist church paid to replace that equipment for them. That Christmas, the Baptist church fully funded the Methodist church's Christmas gathering to get together.
Though they have differences in beliefs, they are instead coming together with unity. They are showing the world that Christianity is not about Baptist converting the Methodists and Methodists converting the Pentecostals. But it's about unity. It's about coming together for the one thing we have in common, and that is Jesus Christ. We all love and serve and worship Him.
And I'm not saying that there aren't times where we need to reach peoples. There are Socalled Christian denominations that are not Christian in nature, and we still need to reach them in a peaceable way.
There is purity here that he talks about. Do not do anything that opposes your conscience.
It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine or anything whereaby thy breath stumble with or is offended, or is made weak. Has thou faith have it to thyself before God, happy as he that commend that condemnest not himself in that thing which he alloweth. Self denial is necessary here, though all things may be permitted. Again, not all things are necessary, though all things may be permitted. They're not all beneficial, especially to our brothers.
And this is where self denial comes in. There are people who are saying, and one of you may happen to remember this conversation I was talking about what we listen to, what we take in. And I had someone replied to me that they don't feel like they need to be told what they can listen to and take in. And you're right, you don't. But there is an element of selfdenial.
We are told by Christ in Luke 923 if any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. If there is something that is hurt in another and hurting them could just be causing them to stumble, causing them to sin, causing them to doubt, then as Christians we have an obligation to deny ourselves, to deny what we like, what we want, for the benefit of that person and crucify ourselves. Davy we need if then on the other side, for the person who has a conscience that tells them not to do something, you yourself need to not do anything to oppose your conscience. You need to take care that if God has given you a conviction not to do something, then for you it is right to not do it. And I think as we sum up this chapter here, one of the biggest issues we fall into is those who are given a personal conviction that they should not do something feel that conviction is applied to Christianity in general, and they like to push that conviction on all Christians.
And on the flip side, we have men who feel that the Christian liberty should be pushed on all people, and we need to argue with them over that. And Paul just sums it up here. In verse 22, he says that happy is he not condemneth not himself nothing which he alloweth.
As we end this chapter here, this portion of application, paul is really telling us as Christians we have a conscience and we need to follow that conscience. And then we need to not do anything to sear another person's conscious. He closes the earth, telling us that to disobey our conscious in verse 23 is sin. He that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of his faith. For whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
To disobey our conscience is sin. James 417 tells us therefore to him that Noah to do good, and doth it not to him it is sin. We are also told here, not here, but by Paul. In Hebrews chapter eleven, he says that without faith it is impossible to please God.
So no Christian then is in any position to judge and condemn another. We would not only hurt those we judge, but we hurt the work of God as well. Now, Jesus called those who judge in Matthew seven five hypocrites, he said, thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam of thy own eye, and then thou shalt see clearly to cast out the moat out of thy brother's eye. Again, I am not telling you that we do not label sin a sin. We do that.
But we need to get out of this pattern of condemning people especially. Look what Christ said here in Matthew seven five. He said, we get concerned with that speck, with that tiny grain of sand in our brother's eye they worship on Sunday and not Saturday, while we refuse to remove that log in our own eye. Christians need to unite and work for God, not against each other, not against God's work, but in unity and harmony. And we do that simply by doing as Paul said in the first.
Verse here. Receive your brother that is weak in the faith. Receive him. God has accepted Him, so shall you. Earlier in this message, we talked about the fact that every knee shall bow, every tongue shall confess.
This was read in verses 1012. And I told you this is not negotiable. You will bow before the Lord. You will confess if your tongue is Lord, and you will admit your sins to Him. Now, I told you that you only had one option in this.
This is inevitable. But you can choose whether or not you do that now willingly, or whether or not you do that before the judgment seat of God forcibly. Let me tell you something. It will be a whole lot better for you to do it now, to do it willingly, to confess Him as your Lord and Savior, to confess that you are a sinner and admit your transgressions to Him now when he is willing to forgive you. Because if he has to force you to do it, there will be no forgiveness offered.
And so if you know, if you're listening to this sin, you know that Jesus is Lord, but you've just not confessed it. You've just not asked Him into your heart. I'm going to plead with you right now to not put this off any longer. No person is promised tomorrow. We're not promised that we will wake up.
We're not promised another day. In fact, what we are promised is that the Kingdom of God is coming, and it's coming quickly.
This is not a gamble worth taking. So if you know that Jesus is Lord, if you know that he is God and you know that he is calling you to Him, here is how easy this is. We need to admit that we are sinners and cannot save ourself, that our ways are not God's ways, and that our ways, they're wrong. Like filthy Radza works before the Lord. We need to believe that Jesus is God, that he stepped into his creation.
We need to believe that he died a perfect man, and we need to believe that he rose again from the grave. Then we need to confess Him as our Lord, as our Savior, as our God, and tell Him that he is king over our lives. If we do that, we shall be saved. He will extend to the forgiveness of your sins, and he tells us that as far as the east is to the west, that is how far your sins will be removed from you.
And if you are ready to do this, it begins here and now. In our closing prayer, I ask you to please just repeat the first portion with me. Repeat it out loud. Ask Him into your heart and then confess them to us, because that's the confession part. Confess to men that he is Lord And I look forward to seeing you one day in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Let's pray. Father, I admit that I am a sinner and cannot save myself. Lord, I know that my ways are not Your ways. I know, Lord, that my works demand death.
But, Father, I believe that Jesus is God in the flesh. I believe that he stepped into creation, that he lived perfectly and that he died for me. And I confess Him as my Lord and my Savior and ask Him into my heart. And I thank you in Jesus name. Father, I ask that you would help each of us to accept those who are of a weaker faith in us.
I ask that you would help us to not get caught up in arguments and debates over needless and unimportant aspects, but that whatever it is that we do, we live to you, that we live for you, that we realize we are not our own. To live and to die as we may, but to live as a living sacrifice acceptable to you. I pray, Lord, that you will bring unity into the body of Christ and that as a result of that unity, your word and Your message will spread like wildfire. And we will see another great revival before you come. And we love you.
And thank you. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.