Letter to Christians in Rome: Chapter 14 (pt 19 of 19)

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That is what will happen within a church, but what will happen in the eyes of the world? You know, the non-believers who are watching your actions. Christians will be seen to be free people, not controlled by scruples that limit them and narrow them in their enjoyment of God’s great gifts. The world will begin to see that the heart of the Gospel is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, the gifts of God. Those gifts are the basis for freedom in all these areas.

However, I should remind you that you are just as free to say “No” to the indulgence of a gift, as you are to say “Yes” to it. That is true freedom. You are not free if you think you have won your rights. That is not freedom. Freedom is the right to give up your rights, for good and proper cause. That is what the non-believers will begin to see.

As Paul says:

Yet if a man eats meat with an uneasy conscience about it, you may be sure he is wrong to do so. For his action does not spring from his faith, and when we act apart from our faith we sin (Romans 14:22-23)

These are wise words. Properly followed, they will gradually work out the differences of viewpoints we may have. However, if you ignore them, the church is bound to go along with one side or the other, and division, anger, and hurt feelings will follow. But not only that . . . the whole cause of Christ will be injured.

If interested, you can download the entire study of The Letter to Christians at Rome

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