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FELLOWSHIP (4) Romans 14 - “Receive Him …”. Do we divide over every difference of belief & practice?. Study of Context: Romans 14. Broader Context of Bible. Ephesians 5:11 Have no fellowship with works of darkness 2 John 9-11

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FELLOWSHIP (4) Romans 14 -

“Receive Him…”

Do we divide over every difference of belief & practice?

broader context of bible
Broader Context of Bible
  • Ephesians 5:11
    • Have no fellowship with works of darkness
  • 2 John 9-11
    • No fellowship with one going beyond doctrine of Christ in action, teaching or support
  • 1 Timothy 1:18-20; 2 Timothy 2:16-18
    • Reprove teachers of error who lead astray
  • Jude 3-4
    • Contend for “the faith” when others oppose
broader context of romans
Broader Context of Romans
  • Gospel declared to produce “obedience of faith among all the nations” (1:1-7)
  • Gospel revealed righteousness of God & brings all to salvation by faith (1:16-17)
  • No toleration for continued sin (6:1-23)
  • No “provision for the flesh” (13:11-14)
  • Must mark those causing divisions & offenses contrary to doctrine (16:17-19)
basic divisions of romans 14
Basic Divisions of Romans 14
  • Introduction of Problem (Rom. 14:1-2)
    • one brother is weak in faith believing he cannot eat meat
    • one brother is strong properly believing that he may eat meat
    • command is given to receive one another
    • forbidden from disputes over the matter
romans 14 1 2
Romans 14:1-2

1 But him that is weak in faith receive ye, yet not for decision of scruples. 2 One man hath faith to eat all things: but he that is weak eateth herbs.

introducing the problem
Introducing the Problem
  • One brother was “weak in faith”
    • conscience forbade him from eating meat
    • probably one from Jewish background
    • not just kind of meat, but Gentile surrounding
  • One brother had “faith to eat all things”
    • understood old regulations not now binding
  • Instructed to “receive” one another
    • not for “passing judgment on his opinions”
    • phrase not referring to matters lacking clarity
translations of romans 14 1
Translations of Romans 14:1

Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations (KJV).

Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions (NASV).

As for the man who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not for disputes over opinions (RSV).

Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions (NRSV).

Welcome a man whose faith is weak, but not with the idea of arguing over his scruples (PHILLIPS).

basic divisions of romans 141
Basic Divisions of Romans 14
  • Introduction of Problem (Rom. 14:1-2)
  • Instruction to the Weak (Rom. 14:3-12)
    • herb-eater told God receives meat-eater
    • problem with scruple of conscience, not law
    • weak of conscience not to condemn strong
    • God received meat-eater in his practice
    • regardless of the herb-eaters own thoughts about issue, God declared His acceptance of meat-eater as His servant

Romans 14:3-12

3 Let not him that eateth set at nought him that eateth not; and let not him that eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. 4 Who art thou that judgest the servant of another? to his own lord he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be made to stand; for the Lord hath power to make him stand. 5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let each man be fully assured in his own mind. 6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord: and he that eateth, eateth unto the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, unto the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks...


Romans 14:3-12 (continued)

7 For none of us liveth to himself, and none dieth to himself. 8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; or whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 But thou, why dost thou judge thy brother? or thou again, why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment-seat of God. 11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, to me every knee shall bow, And every tongue shall confess to God. 12 So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God.

reasons for weak to receive strong
Reasons for Weak to Receive Strong
  • God received him while eating meat (3)
  • Was servant of God in the action (4)
  • God to make him stand in judgment (4f)
  • Matter depended on full assurance of one’s own mind (5)
  • Strong engaged in his practice “unto the Lord” & with thanksgiving to God (6)
  • No man has right to reject his brother in such matters which God has allowed (6f)
  • Standard for judgment is God’s prerogative
basic divisions of romans 142
Basic Divisions of Romans 14
  • Introduction of Problem (Rom. 14:1-2)
  • Instruction to the Weak (Rom. 14:3-12)
  • Instruction to Strong (Rom. 14:13 - 15:2)
    • reaffirms fact that practice is inherently good
    • not to put stumbling-block before the weak
    • souls of brethren more important than liberty
    • strong must seek after matters which edify
    • private conscience always allowed before God
    • strong must help bear the burdens of weak

Romans 14:13-23

13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge ye this rather, that no man put a stumbling-block in his brother’s way, or an occasion of falling. 14 I know, and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean of itself: save that to him who accounteth anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15 For if because of meat thy brother is grieved, thou walkest no longer in love. Destroy not with thy meat him for whom Christ died. 16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of: 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.


18 For he that herein serveth Christ is well-pleasing to God, and approved of men. 19 So then let us follow after things which make for peace, and things whereby we may edify one another. 20 Overthrow not for meat’s sake the work of God. All things indeed are clean; howbeit it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. 21 It is good not to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor to do anything whereby thy brother stumbleth. 22 The faith which thou hast, have thou to thyself before God. Happy is he that judgeth not himself in that which he approveth. 23 But he that doubteth is condemned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith; and whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

responsibilities of strong
Responsibilities of Strong
  • Not to despise the weak brother (3)
  • Not to put a stumbling block in way (13)
  • Love weak brother over liberties (15)
  • Keep focus on kingdom, not physical (17)
  • Seek for peace & edification of others (19)
  • Don’t destroy God’s work for liberty (20f)
  • Exercise liberty between self & God (21)
  • Do not allow liberty to condemn self (21)
nature of strong brother s action
Nature of Strong Brother’s Action
  • God received him in the action (4)
  • Done with full assurance of mind (5)
  • Done unto the Lord (6)
  • Done giving God thanks (6)
  • “Nothing is unclean of itself” (14)
  • Action was “good” (16)
  • Serving Christ while engaged in it (18)
  • “All things indeed are clean” (20)
  • Called “strong” together with Paul (15:1)
could same be said of one in sin

Could Same Be Said of One in Sin?

Let’s try it out and see...

likewise receive adulterer
Likewise Receive Adulterer?
  • God receives adulterer in the action?
  • Commit adultery in full assurance of mind?
  • Commit adultery unto the Lord?
  • Give thanks to God for adultery?
  • “No adultery is unclean of itself”?
  • Adultery is “good”?
  • Serving Christ while committing adultery?
  • “Adulteries indeed are clean”?
  • Adulterer “strong” together with Paul?
likewise receive other sin
Likewise Receive Other Sin?
  • God receives __________ in the action?
  • ___________ in full assurance of mind?
  • ___________ unto the Lord?
  • Give thanks to God for ____________?
  • “No ___________ is unclean of itself”?
  • ____________ is “good”?
  • Serving Christ while ______________?
  • “___________ indeed is clean”?
  • _________ “strong” together with Paul?
if one does not fit

If One Does Not Fit...

Neither Do The Others!

No Sinful Action In Romans 14

nature of action to be received
Nature of Action to be Received
  • God receives the action (4)
  • Done with full assurance of mind (5)
  • Done unto the Lord (6)
  • Done giving God thanks (6)
  • Limited to that not “unclean of itself” (14)
  • Action must be inherently “good” (16)
  • Can serve Christ while engaged in it (18)
  • Among “all things indeed are clean” (20)
  • If still “strong” together with Paul (15:1)
could teacher of error fit the text

Could Teacher of Error Fit the Text?

Let’s try it out and see...

like receiving justifier of adultery
Like Receiving Justifier of Adultery?
  • God receives teacher in justifying adultery?
  • Free to preach error in full assurance of mind?
  • May teach false theories unto the Lord?
  • Can give thanks to God for error on D&R?
  • “No error on D&R is unclean of itself”?
  • Redefining adultery is “good”?
  • Serve Christ as preach one covenant doctrine?
  • “Errors to free guilty party indeed are clean”?
  • False teacher “strong” together with Paul?
if one does not fit1

If One Does Not Fit...

Neither Does the Other!

No Teaching of Error in Rom. 14

same principles from 1 corinthians
Same Principles from 1 Corinthians
  • 8:4 - One knows no idol is anything
  • 8:7 - Another views meat as worship to idol
  • 8:8 - Not better or worse by practice of eating
  • 8:9f - Liberty must not be a stumbling-block
  • 9:1f - Example given of apostolic liberty
  • 10:1f - Danger of idolatry’s influence in sin
  • 10:23 - Act may be lawful, but not edify
  • 10:24f - Our liberty may be limited by one weakened to sin due to his incorrect views

R. L. Whiteside

(A New Commentary on Paul's Letter to the Saints at Rome)

Said subject of chapter was "a matter of opinion or indifference” (pp. 268-269) or “matter of indifference or of personal rights” (p. 274)

“But it seems to me that this injunction against judging must be confined to such matters as Paul was discussing” (p. 271)


Moses Lard

Commentary on Paul's Letter to Romans, 1875

“These thoughts are his own private opinions respecting things about which there is no command. He, therefore, has the right to hold them without interference from others. The things which his thoughts respect are in themselves indifferent; and therefore the thoughts which relate to them are indifferent” (p. 413).


David Lipscomb

A Commentary on the New Testament Epistles: Romans

“The character of these questions is given in the following verses. They are questions concerning which God has given no teaching and which have no bearing on the character of man” (p. 243).


Bryan Vinson, Sr.

Paul's Letter to the Saints at Rome

"Now, if it was a matter of faith and authorized duty, instead of opinion and therefore a matter of indifference, such a qualification would not be proper" (p. 261).


A.W. Dicus

A Brief Commentary on Paul's Letter to the Church at Rome

"In this chapter he (Paul) deals with things or matters that are indifferent within themselves" (p. 99).

action considered in romans 14
Action Considered in Romans14
  • God received him in the action (4)
  • Done with full assurance of mind (5)
  • Done unto the Lord (6)
  • Done giving God thanks (6)
  • “Nothing is unclean of itself” (14)
  • Action was “good” (16)
  • Serving Christ while engaged in it (18)
  • “All things indeed are clean” (20)
  • Called “strong” together with Paul (15:1)