It has been a few days since my last post. I've had a SUPER busy week-I had to get a weeks worth of schoolwork done in just 4 days. Anyway, I am back! Let's continue to discuss Romans 14. If you have not read my two previous blogs, I would encourage you to do so (before reading this one). In my last blog we covered vs. 1-4, let's move on to 5-12
5 One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God. 7 For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; 8 for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. 10 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall give praise to God.” 12 So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.
In my last blog, we established that Paul is addressing new converts to the faith, and that spiritual maturity should not be required to join in fellowship with other believers. It is easy to skip over that, but when we do, we miss the context of the chapter. Or, in the case of certain paraphrase versions (like The Message), the context is all together missing. That said, Paul now goes into some examples of when and why we should be careful when dealing with someone who is new to the faith. His main point is that we all answer to the Lord-everyone of us will have to given his/her own account, then uses Isiah 45 as an example. Yet, at the same time, Paul reminds us that none of us are an island unto ourselves-and that whatever we do, we are to do it unto the Lord. Vs. 10 is talking to both, the new Christian and the Christian who is more mature, and perhaps a bit overly strict or legalistic. He tells the more mature believer to not judge the younger believer-but also reminds the young believer to not develop contempt for the one who has walked with the Lord a long time.
It is very important for us to remember that Paul is addressing something very specific in Romans 14-he is not talking about dealing with the world or with issues of sin. For example, if someone young in the Lord still has things in their life-that are not dealing with matters of conscience, then it's important those things be dealt with (gently). On the flip side, I grew up in a church where the length of a woman's hair and the clothes she wore determined her "holiness." This is what Paul was talking about.
We will continue our look at Romans 14 tomorrow. God Bless.