Standing Firm: Walking through Romans – Chapter 14 part 2

My big idea for today is to remind us that we are all under divine authority the same. There is no chain of command we all report directly to Jesus not to each other per se but, in all we do we do as unto the Lord with thanksgiving and glory to God.

My prayer for us today is that by hearing this message we will be unified in our freedom in Christ and yield to the edification of each other If you have your Bibles today you can join me as we turn to, you guessed it Romans Chapter 14 starting at verse 4.

Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
5 One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. 6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. 

Romans 14:4-9

In order to help me share with you today, I have separated my thoughts into 2 sections or points. Let’s take a look at my first point.

Christ Alone Is Our Master

Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
5 One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. 

Romans 14:4-5

The apostle Paul here is expanding on last week’s passage. He is building on the ideas of our freedom in Christ and in His new covenant. Christ is our master and He alone will help us stand, as one writer puts it, “stand in the favor of Christ.” Christ Jesus is our Master/Lord and He alone is able to guide and sustain our salvation and eternal favor in His glory. Paul is pointing out error in their thinking.  As Christ just freed us from the bondage of the Law and sin. But here we are trying to put others right back in the same bondage. And in doing so they are confining themselves in the same bondage. Paul distinguishes the strong from weak, those who eat meat are strong and those who abstain are weak. Now he adds, those who hold certain days holy and those who favor every day. Now I know what you’re thinking, Pastor, what is Paul talking about now. I’m glad you asked. I believe Paul is talking about Jewish holidays or the feasts and the Sabbath. Many even today will argue about the sabbath. Traditional Sabbath begins on sundown of Friday night and goes to sundown on Saturday evening. I’ll tell you; church people will fight over anything.

“…Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.”

Romans 14:5

Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. 

Romans 14:1

These disputable matters refer to what is known as nonessential doctrines. These ideas, no matter how dogmatic we may be, have nothing to do with our salvation. Paul wants to remind those first century Christians in Rome as well as, us today that as the body of Christ we should be unified in our Lord Jesus Christ and not trying to point our finger at a brother or sister just because they have a different way about themselves.

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.

1 Corinthians 10:23

Another way to say it is like this, “All things are permissible, but not all things are profitable. Christ has given us freedom to do many things, but instead look to what is helpful to those around you. This goes both ways. Don’t look down or condemn your brother or sister, rather yield/restrain yourself in a way as to edify and encourage others.

When I make decisions, I filter through 3 questions: Does this glorify God? Does this bless anyone other than my own self? And finally, what does this do for my witness? Christ is my master, my brother/sister are my co-labors. We must all consider each other on this journey.

Let’s move to my final point.

We Must Sincerely Live In Him

Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

Romans 14:6-9

Apart from salvation respect one another. Give your brother/sister the benefit of the doubt, that he/she is doing what they do in thanksgiving and glory to God. If we are free in Christ Jesus, then grant others the same freedom. Whatever you want to eat, eat and give thank to God and honor and edify each other. We collectively share in the work of god and we share in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and we belong to him in life or death. Christ is our master and all we do must be done in a sincere heart unto him in gratitude and for his glory.

There is always going to be someone that desires to control you. They want to derail you for God’s divine plan. This is the work of the devil, to ensnare you. Don’t fall to earthly pride that we can’t wait to prove someone wrong or to prove ourselves right. Ironically, the moment we engage in this type of behavior we immediately prove ourselves self-righteous. In case you’re not keeping score here, that means you have declared yourself to be the actual sinner you were claiming of the other.

Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 

Colossians 2:16

I’m not sure why we always do this.

When I was a boy maybe 12 years old my younger sister was about 5 I suppose. We had a lot of fun together and we would always play games and many times we made them up as we went along. Every so often for some reason I would try to control some element of the play and I remember saying to her, “no you can’t do that, because it has to be done a certain way.” Then we would laugh because we both recognized that desire to control the toy or game.

In our religious nature, I feel as though we want to control or perhaps, dictate to other that worship or law must be done that certain way. Maybe we are comforted in our ways. Maybe we don’t trust others to do it right. Whatever the case, we must trust God. Christ is our Master and we must live in Him with sincerity. He is able to help us stand to the end.

Church there are lots of things we need to work at. But we are all on a journey. We will walk this road together. Let’s help each other along the way. Let’s not let the individuality of our neighbor’s faith be our distraction. Rather, let our focus be on Christ. Loving God and Loving People. Let’s be open to loving others in their current context.

Let’s be open to the Holy Spirit today, that we would through off those shackles that bind us in control. Remember the devil seeks only to kill steal and destroy. Steal your freedom, kill your joy, and destroy your destiny for hope and love. But God has a plan!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

Jesus, He’s the Son of the living God, and we can receive from Him today His Righteousness, His purpose and His calling. Will you call on him today? Your salvation/forgiveness is just one prayer away. Will you trust in his ability to do what He said He would do? Will you believe today?

Many of you need a fresh touch from God today. Is there some form of unbelief or a fracture of trust as it relates to God in your life today? God wants to redeem and restore those areas of your life?  He wants to restore Joy and hope for you today You’re hearing this now and the Holy Spirit has brought someone or something to mind. He wants to speak life into this today. He wants to bring healing in this area today.  There are areas of deep regret when it comes to your relationship with God and you have rejected Christ as your savior …It’s not too late

It’s not too late to humble yourself before him today, hold out your arms and open your hands to receive from him today. Will you say yes to Jesus, today? Will you bow your heads with me? Some of you already know the Lord, but maybe he’s put something on your heart that you need to deal with, you need to ask his forgiveness today. If that’s you will you just acknowledge that to him today. This is just you and God here.

Now someone here may not have that relationship with Jesus and today you’ve felt him tugging at your heart, you’ve been hurt, and you’re guarded, I know. Jesus is here and wants set things right in your life. If you’ll say Pastor, I want Jesus to be my Lord and savior. Remember, it’s just you and God here. Will you pray with me today, We’ll pray here as a family and you can repeat after me.

Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner. I ask you today for your forgiveness. I believe that you died for my sins and on that 3rd day, you rose from the dead. I ask you to come into my heart today. I trust and follow you as my Lord and savior. Guide me and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name Amen.

 “‘“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’

Numbers 6:24-26