Day 121: Personal Convictions

Romans 14:1-4

Now accept one who is weak in faith, but not for disputes over opinions. One man has faith to eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. Don’t let him who eats despise him who doesn’t eat. Don’t let him who doesn’t eat judge him who eats, for God has ccepted him. Who are you who judge another’s servant? To his own lord he stands or falls. Yes, he will be made to stand, for God has power to make him stand.

We have now come to a section that is quite different than the other parts of Romans. Up to this point, everything we have been studying has been about the facts of Christianity. These are things that are non-negotiable and must be believed in order to either become a Christian or in order to live a good Christian life.

Now Paul starts to address “disputes over opinions.” Many of us know that these kinds of issues exist in church groups today and that some haven’t been handled very well. Paul was already well aware of these kinds of issues at the time the Romans was written. Even though the way to handle these things is still non-negotiable, negotiable things are the topic. These are things that some Christians personally believe is right or wrong, but aren’t specifically described in the Bible.

Paul makes it clear, even in these opening verses, that the difference between these believers is the strength of their faith. In this chapter, we learn valuable things about how faith, conviction and sin are related.

Paul starts out here using the subject of diet. Those who believe it is right only to eat
vegetables shouldn’t look down on those who eat meat and vice versa. God has obviously accepted both sides. The point is that God is the master of both kinds of servants and if God thinks it’s OK for some of His servants to eat meat and at the same time OK for some of them to not eat meat then both should trust in God’s judgment on the matter. We shouldn’t judge our Master’s servants. To do that would be to act as if we know better than our Master. If we don’t understand, we should seek God about the matter because He is able to strengthen our weak faith if it needs to be strengthened. Whatever we do, we need to do what we know is right personally because we have our own relationship with the Lord. We need to concentrate on our own relationship with God and not on the personal relationships between God and others.