Romans 14 (Matters of Conscience)

Rom 14:1-4     Recall that Paul had recently written to the Corinthians on a similar subject (1 Cor 8-10).  Who were the “strong” and “weak” in Corinth?  Who are the “strong” and “weak” in Rome to whom Paul refers in these verses?  What is Paul’s command to each in regard to the other?  Of what great Christian virtue he has been discussing are his words here an application?  See Rom 12:9-10, 13:8-10, and Rom 14:15.

Rom 14:5-9     Over what additional matter did the church in Rome appear to be disputing?  See Rom 14:5.  What is Paul’s admonition?  What do his words teach us about the importance of worshiping on Sunday as opposed to Saturday (the Sabbath), or any other day of the weak (pun intended!) or year (like Christmas, Easter, etc…)?  What does Paul mean by “live” and “die” in Rom 14:7-9?  See Rom 14:6.

Rom 14:10-12 To whom does Paul refer as judging their brother?  To whom does he refer as regarding their brother with contempt?  What reason does he give to both parties against such behavior?  See Rom 14:10b, 12, and again Rom 14:3-4; see also 1 Cor 4:5.  What is the danger of judging a brother or sister?  See also Rom 2:1, Mat 7:1-2, James 4:11-12, 5:9.  Does the Scriptural prohibition of judging others mean that it is wrong to speak against sin?  Were the matters about which Paul is speaking matters of sin?  See the title for this lesson.  Even regarding matters of sin, is there a difference between judging a person for his sin, and pointing out to that person that God will hold him accountable for his sin?

Rom 14:13-23 Instead of acting in judgment, what does the royal law of love teach as a means of resolving disputable matters?  See Rom 14:13, 19, 21-22, 15:1.  To what sorts of disputes that bodies of believers face today might Paul’s words in this chapter be applied?  What does Rom 14:17 teach us about the nature of both the kingdom of God, and the evidence that would indicate a person has entered the kingdom of God?  See also Col 2:20-23, Gal 5:22-23.  What do these verses teach us about the importance of obeying our conscience, even in regard to matters about which other Christians have no scruples?  See Rom 14:14 & 23.  What is the danger of “evangelizing” other Christians to our point of view on such matters?  See Rom 14:16, 20 & 22, and again Rom 14:1 & 4.  What does Paul mean in Rom 14:22, “Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves”?  Is there not also a danger that our fallen nature may deceive us to suppose that a clear command of God is only a matter of conscience, and the reason it doesn’t bother us is because through unrepentant sin our conscience has been seared as with a branding iron (1 Tim 4:2)?

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