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Romans 14:1-9

Talks for Growing Christians

Weak Christians and Strong Christians

Romans 14:1-9

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Lesson Number 41

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Weak and strong Christians should live together in happy fellowship.
  2. Weak and strong Christians should not judge or despise one another.
  3. Weak and strong Christians should look to the Lord and not to each other for approval.

Practical Application

  1. Let's not use false tests for spirituality.

Questions

  1. Give an example of a matter that is morally neutral, but affects the conscience.
  2. What does it mean to have scruples?
  3. Who is the weak Christian? Who is the strong Christian?
  4. Give an example of an area of scruples in the early church.
  5. To whom should weak and strong Christians look to for approval.

Answers

  1. Wearing jeans to church on Sunday (is it OK? OK for men? OK for young people?). Another example is, "Is it OK to have a glass of wine with dinner? Or, are drums and guitars acceptable in church? Still another issue is that of what activities are proper for Sunday afternoons.
  2. It is to be reluctant to do something because of a tender conscience in a matter that is of secondary importance and is essentially morally neutral.
  3. The weak Christian is the one with a strong opinion. The weaker Christian is more hung up in areas of controversy. The stronger Christian is more freed up in the neutral areas.
  4. Whether you should eat meat that had been dedicated to a pagan god. Another area was the matter of keeping the Sabbath and other special days of the law.
  5. To the Lord, and not to each other.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Supposing that one Christian enjoys current music and a variety of instruments in the church. Another Christian prefers standard hymns, organ and piano music. They are both on the music committee. How should they approach and deal with this difference?
  2. The stronger Christian tends to despise the weaker one, and the weaker one tends to judge the stronger Christian. What does the Bible command?

Challenge

  1. Let's not use false tests for spirituality. Do you have a tendency to do this at times or with certain groups?

Key Verses

  • "Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things." Romans 14:1
  • "If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's." Romans 14:8

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