Topic: AM Service Passage: Romans 14:13–14:23
It is interesting and also essential to observe that Paul spends more time in his letter to the church in Rome discussing the problems that arose from differing practices among Christians than almost any other subject. In a letter that sets forth Paul’s teaching about justification, the work of the Holy Spirit, and the sovereignty of God, Paul knew that these secondary issues were a constant danger of being primary in the Church. So in the first half of chapter 14, Paul warns believers not to judge each other, and in the second half of the chapter he continues that train of thought with a discussion of Christian liberty. What is “Christian Liberty” (Romans 14:13-23)? How is it exercised? What are its dangers? It is important for us to understand what our liberty in Christ is and how it is to be exercised among fellow Christians.
I. Christian Liberty is Essential
A. No Compelled Conformity
B. Unity in Diversity
II. Care with Christian Liberty
A. Do Not Harm Your Brother
B. Do Not Harm Your Gospel Witness
III. Exercise of Christian Liberty
A. Build Up the Church
B. Enjoy with Exercising Liberty
Questions for consideration: (1) What are the dangers of forcing a conformity of views on disputed subjects? What makes disputed subjects different from essential subjects? (2) How do you show love to your brother or sister who disagrees with you about a disputed matter? (3) Why does Paul think this subject is so important?