Reading through Romans
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory. You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.
A reading from Romans: Romans 14:1 (NLT)
Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong.
Reflection: Romans 14:1 (John Stott, The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World)
The will of God for changed relationships: (Romans 12:1–15:13)
All believers, irrespective of their ethnic origin, are brothers and sisters in the one international family of God, and so all have precisely the same vocation to be the holy, committed, humble, loving and conscientious people of God.
(Romans 14:1-15:13) Our relationship to the weak: welcoming, and not despising, judging or offending them
If we are trying to picture a weaker brother or sister, we must not envisage a vulnerable Christian easily overcome by temptation, but a sensitive Christian full of indecision and scruples. What the weak lack is not strength of self-control but liberty of conscience.
The positive principle (Romans 14:1)
First, Accept him whose faith is weak (1a).
‘Acceptance’ means to welcome into one’s fellowship and into one’s heart. It implies the warmth and kindness of genuine love.
‘Acceptance’ is a popular word today, and rightly so. Theologically, God’s acceptance of us is quite a good contemporary term for justification. But we should be cautious about modern talk of ‘unconditional acceptance’, as when the concept of an ‘open church’ is canvassed, in which membership is offered to everybody, with no questions asked and no conditions laid down. For though God’s love is indeed unconditional, his acceptance of us is not, since it depends on our repentance and our faith in Jesus Christ.
Second, without passing judgment on disputable matters (1b).
Paul is saying… we must receive the weak person with a warm and genuine welcome, ‘without debate over his misgivings’ or scruples (REB), or ‘not for the purpose of getting into quarrels about opinions’ (BAGD). In other words, we are not to turn the church into a debating chamber, whose chief characteristic is argument, still less into a law court in which weak persons are put in the dock, interrogated and arraigned. The welcome we give them must include respect for their opinions.
“Be Still My Soul” – Selah
Christ, as a light illumine and guide me. Christ, as a shield overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen