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Romans 14:14-23

Talks for Growing Christians

Factors that Should Govern the Christian’s Use of Liberty

Romans 14:14-23

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Lesson Number 43

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Christian liberty should be governed by the principles of a clear conscience.
  2. Christian liberty should be governed by the principle of not stumbling.
  3. Christian liberty should be governed by the principle of peace and edification.

Practical Application

  1. When in doubt, don't.

Questions

  1. How should we treat areas of disagreement in the church?
  2. Is it important to have both unity and uniformity within the church?
  3. Christians disagree in the area of scruples, matters that are morally neutral in themselves. Some of these might include, "Is it OK for a man to wear an earring?" "Is it OK for women to wear heavy makeup?" Are these areas to be a test of fellowship or spirituality?
  4. How should a Christian be governed by his conscience?
  5. How else should Christians be governed concerning their Christian liberty?

Answers

  1. If there is a doctrinal or moral problem, the church leaders must deal with it. In such areas as which hymnbook to use, which translation of the Bible, the format of church services, or even the color of the walls, you work them out so it's best for most people involved, and best for the work of the Lord.
  2. It is important to have unity, but there will not be uniformity.
  3. No, nor are Christians to judge or despise one another in these areas. Christians are to properly use their Christian liberty in this area.
  4. The Christian has liberty, but if he has a guilty conscience about doing something, then it becomes sin.
  5. By the principle of not stumbling another believer. It also should be governed by the principle of peace and edification.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Referring to Romans 14:16-19, discuss how Christian liberty should be governed by the principle of peace and edification.
  2. Select an area that might stumble another believer. How should you deal with this?

Challenge

  1. When in doubt, don't. If you are a weak Christian and are bothered in your conscience about something, don't do it. If you are a strong Christian but might stumble a weaker brother by using your liberty, don't do it.

Key Verses

  • "Let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another." Romans 14:19
  • "Do nothing to make your brother stumble or be offended." Romans 14:21
  • "Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God." Romans 14:22

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