Monday, December 13, 2010

Romans 14:1-15:13 (Love is Selfless Sacrifice)

Love amongst the body of Christ is especially hard when there is conflict about the faith. Therefore, Paul addresses this as he had already done with the Corinthian church. Basically, the instruction is as follows: Stronger Christians don’t disdain the weaker. Weaker Christians, don’t judge the stronger. Remember, we answer to God not each other, and He deals with us all as individuals—that is to say, differently.

The important thing in living a Christian life is to do all in obedience to Christ, and for God’s glory—not merely out of our own freedom or weakness as the case may be. Whether or not our motives are pure or not is a matter between each believer and their Lord, not the body. God will be the judge.

Love demands not only that we do not judge, but that we look out for the needs of others. We may be free in many aspects of our lives, but we are still subject to one another. If my freedom causes another Christian to stumble in their walk, I will give that freedom up so as to not hurt anyone. Notice that the role of the stronger Christian is to sacrifice freedom, not instruct the weaker Christian. Whether we are weak or strong is a matter for God to determine, and He will be our instructor when it comes to freedom.

Love demands that we sacrifice our freedoms and pleasures for the body of Christ. Christ Himself is our best example of this. We should follow his lead. There is no difference—be it weak or strong or Jew or Gentile—that should cause conflict in the Church.

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