Monday, November 5, 2007

Romans, Chapter 14

My apologies to my regular readers for missing Thursday and Friday of last week, but I was feeling incredibly under the weather and was really out of commission for a few days. My strength has returned though and I feel refocused again on my task at hand.

As we know, our walk with Christ is based solely on faith. We do not have physical proof He exists. Any first hand account of His life and sacrifice is so old that we simply must trust that it really happened. In Romans 14 we see that there are differing levels of faith for each person. For some, their faith is large and they feel they can accomplish anything. I know I have long prayed to have the faith of my father, who has always been a pillar of my faith in the way he conducts his life. As we see in this chapter though, our faith grows throughout our walk with Christ, and each person's walk is different.

"1Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. 2One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. 4Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand." – Romans 12:1-4

Those who know me know that I am more results oriented than details oriented. To me, it is more important that a task is accomplished rather than how it was accomplished. This, of course, got me into some trouble in some college math classes whent hey wanted a certain method on exams, but here we see that the destination is more important than the journey because the journey is different for everyone. The passage here refers to those who were afraid to eat meat in the first century because it may have been sacrificed to idols. Others held the view that it was fine to eat meat, but Paul tells us not to condemn others for their views on the subject.

This is where we see that each person's walk is different, but the goal is the same. Our lives must be centered in Christ, but beyond that we will have wildly different beliefs and views of spiritual matters. This is why we see so many different denominations of churches. You have the Catholics, who allow pretty much everything as long as you confess, and then more restrictive denominations like the Mormons or Amish. We can agree that Christ and His sacrifice are still the central focus, but the structures of those systems are vastly different.

"13Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way. 14As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. 15If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died. 16Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. 17For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men." – Romans 14:13-18

We see here that it is more important to grow in our own walk than do something that may prevent someone else from growing. If we believe something is good we must hold to it, and we also must not condemn what someone else thinks is good. Christ allows our faith to patiently develop over time so we must allow the same in others. Each person's walk is their own, and what works for you may not necessarily work for them. We are still to share our faith so others may grow, but they are responsible for their own growth.


  1. How do you see your method of faith is different than others?
  2. Where is the line between what is essential for everyone's faith and what is personal for your own walk?
  3. What are some stumbling blocks in your life?

No comments: