It's Thursday, April 26, 2018. One huge issue Paul faced throughout his ministry was the "mingling" of Jewish and pagan persons into this new Christian community. In this section of his letter to the Church in Rome, Paul addresses whether eating or drinking certain things are inherently right or wrong. See what Paul says is the overriding factor in determining what followers of Jesus should do in such cases. -Chris Adomanis
(Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
In this particular passage, Paul is addressing eating and drinking certain foods/liquids. Can you think of other topics that the Christian world has debated about over the years concerning certain behaviors? Do you have any such list of "do's" or "don'ts"?
Heavenly Father, we are so quick to judge others against our own views of what is right and wrong. You and You alone are the Righteous Judge and King. Mature us where we want to substitute rules and activities for walking in grace and mature us when we use Christian liberty instead of ridding ourselves of sinful habits. Amen
DISCOVER [Romans 14:13-19]
13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. 16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn? (Use these questions below each portion of text to clarify the main point)
_In this context, how does one "put a stumbling block or a hindrance in the way of a brother"? "In the way" of what?
_What is the overriding factor in how to respond in such cases as this? (Read Philippians 2:1-11)
_ Do you think Paul is speaking more harshly toward the "immature" believer who will not allow himself to eat or drink certain things or the more "mature" believer who is "flaunting" his freedom, or both?
+ HOW am I compelled to confess sin and how does the gospel compel me to respond with a simple step of action/obedience? (Here are some thoughts to discuss in break-outs)
_ Confess and repent of any judgmental spirit you have towards others. Confess and repent of any sinful behavior you have tolerated under the guise of Christian liberty.
+ WHO are you walking with to discover or grow in Jesus and what is your next step with them, how can we help?
_Who in your life TODAY is the Lord prompting you to share the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
_Do you have someone in your life TODAY that challenges you (and you challenge back) to be an effective witness for Christ?