The Romans 14 Formula
Posted: Wednesday, July 31
2 Chronicles 29:1-36
Verse of the day:
12 Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. 13 So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.
Romans 14: 12-13
In Romans 14, The Apostle Paul offered a great formula for answering this complicated question. At the time, there were disputes among believers over several issues, including whether it was lawful to eat meat that had been used in sacrificial worship to idols, and whether certain days were more holy than others for worshipping God. Since God had not given specific commands in such areas, Paul laid out several guidelines to help the early church in Rome determine proper behavior. Those guidelines are reflected in the following questions along with the verse number for reference:
1) Does this action honor God? (v. 6)
2) Does this action violate my conscience? (v. 14)
3) Can this action tempt me to sin? (v. 15)
4) Can this action cause someone else to sin? (v. 21)
What if you ask these questions the next time you face a tough decision about conduct the Bible is not clear on?
It’s important to remember you are called to honor God in everything you do. If this is truly your motivation, your heart is starting in the right place. It’s also important to remember that your conscience is unique. You may be more or less sensitive about certain things than others. If your actions don’t cause you to feel any guilt, you have the freedom to do it. If you do feel guilty about something, it is best to avoid it. You also need to be aware of your personal history. If you’ve previously struggled with a certain sin, it is wise to avoid anything that could lead to you being tempted in that area in the future. You should have the same mindset when you consider how your actions may impact others. The last thing you want to do is let your personal freedom contribute to someone else being tempted and trapped in sin.
Let’s always make sure that our freedom to decide on unclear issues remains accountable to Christ and other people.