Standing Firm: Walking through Romans – Chapter 14 part 6

My big idea for today is that by observing kingdom values, we align ourselves with the work of God in Christ and in us. My prayer for us today is that together you and me, we become promoters of each other. Yielding to one another in the edification of our brothers and sisters. If you have your Bibles today you can join me as we turn to, you guessed it Romans Chapter 14 starting at verse 19.

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.
22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

Romans 14:19-23

In order to help me share with you today, I have separated my thoughts into 3 sections or points. Let’s take a look at my first point.

We Must Seek Kingdom Values

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.  

Romans 14:19

The word “Therefore” Here reflects directly from last week’s passage.

“The kingdom of God is not a manner of eating or drinking but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

Romans 14:17-18

Let us make every effort  leading to peace and mutual edification. Peace and mutual edification are kingdom values. Remember that we discussed Paul’s idea of peace/shalom concerning his Hebrew/Jewish background.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

This denotes a perfect or a complete peace. A divine or supernatural peace. Mutual edification as translated focuses on the act of building up one another. In many cases this phrase denotes a primarily spiritual significance.  However here, there is an added sense that Paul is also referring to the overall growth of the body of Christ as a whole. The strong in faith should be focused more on the overall growth of the church and less on one’s own freedom or spiritual advancement.

Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. 2 It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.

Luke 17:1-2

This is the first century version of “cement shoes.” Jesus said that stumbling blocks are out there but be careful not to be one. This is pretty simple, there are those “little ones” who are young in the Lord. Jesus is saying to protect those little ones, even from our own pride.

Each believer has some embedded concepts or ideas about what it means to be a follow Jesus. Some of these ideas might not be entirely accurate or true. But these ideas can be embedded in that person’s faith and to them it may be very real. Well then Pastor, what’s our position? I’m glad you asked. Our position is that of kingdom values.

Peace and Mutual Edification

We must seek kingdom values.

The Work Of God Takes Precedent Over Our Opinions

Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall. 

Romans 14:20-21

Let’s define a few terms here, ok. First, what is the mean here by the “work of God?” The work of God here refers to the salvation of the body of Christ. This includes the individual physical and spiritual self. “Destroy” denotes the individual damnation or the ruin of the church. The quarreling over food and drink breeds mistrust, disunity, and eventually the fracture of the congregation.

Paul doubles down here that all foods are clean. With the caveat, that what is actually sin is the partaking in something that causes someone to struggle. The sin is not in the activity itself, but the fact that it causes spiritual harm to someone else. Therein lies the sin.

Again, Paul says that its better just to abstain altogether. Paul places the onus on the one who eats, the stronger in faith. Remember, in the kingdom of God the first is last and the lesser is greater.

Our Faith Cancels Our Condemnation

So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin. 

Romans 14:22-23

Some things should remain between you and God. Sometimes the Holy Spirit gives us a word of knowledge for ourselves. Have you heard it? Keepeth thy moutheth shuteth! Like when you see that post on facebook and you write a really awesome and really long reply, and just before you send it the Holy Spirit says, “you better delete that whole thing and keep scrolling!” It is by faith that we are saved, and by that faith our condemnation is canceled. We should not broadcast every thought and opinion and condemn ourselves in the process.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. 

Colossians 3:17

Whatever you do in faith towards Christ is what you should do. By faith. But yield your freedom to benefit those who are weaker in the faith. Build up others and give of yourself/your preferences and teach them to grow in Christ.

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 

Philippians 2:6-7

As Christ is our example, He yielded his own authority to build us up to the Father. He placed his divinity aside so that we would be reconciled back to God. He became our kinsman redeemer. Christ saw at no point was it too far, he went all the way to death on the cross.

Will you be open today to laying down those disputable matters and becoming more unified in Christ Jesus? Would you join me as the Holy Spirit moves on us to be unified in the spirit of Christ? These are the kingdom values. This is truly the work of God. The building up of each other. 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