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Disputable Matters

Words of Faith Final

Disputable Matters
Words of Faith 11-18-2021
Dr.Jeffrey D.Hoy © 2021
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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Romans 14
    Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.[2] One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.[3] The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him.[4] Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

      Have you noticed how easy it is to slip into judging others? The thing that God has given conviction in our hearts about we think should apply to everyone's life. The problem is that if we are saved by grace and set free from religious rules, we may have a different sense of freedom than those believers around us. Chapter 14 will speak to us about judging others. The transformed life does not stand in judgment.
      Paul writes that we are to accept the person whose faith is weak without passing judgment on disputable matters. We are all at a different place. It is marvelous that God is bringing all who are born of God along on this journey of faith. Some things are a matter of prayerful consideration of conscience. Paul calls these "disputable matters," that is, things that may be a matter of sin for one person but not for another.
      For the Romans, most of the meat available in the market had been sacrificed to idols. This could be a stumbling block for those coming out of pagan religions. Paul wrote to the Corinthian church that a believer should even be careful not to eat such meat around someone of weaker faith so as not to cause them to stumble (1 Corinthians 8).
     But here, Paul also says not to pass judgment on the person who abstains from all meat because of their weak faith! The point here is that we are not to look down on anyone. The truth is that we all struggle with matters of conscience that are disputable. We are not to condemn others regarding areas that may be a sin for one, but not for another.
      How do we apply that today? Does this mean that anything goes? Are there no sins that should be of concern? Of course, there are obvious lifestyle sins that break the law of God. But in every generation, there are lifestyle issues that constitute a temptation for some but not for others. For one person, a glass of wine may be prescribed by the cardiologist. At the same time, for another, it is a temptation that leads to destruction. We are not to judge one another about such things. We are also not to tempt one another with such things.
      The truth is that many decisions of conscience must be made today, including everything from going to the movies to whether to have a home mortgage.
      I once had a dear Christian friend who took it upon himself to condemn every mutual Christian friend of ours who purchased a car with borrowed money. He was personally convicted that this was ungodly debt for him. He failed to realize that it was not a sin for others despite his conviction. It was a disputable matter.
      For some, it is a sin not to home school, while for others, it is a sin to do so. Everything from music to clothing styles is a part of our prayerful consideration of life. The answers are only found on our knees with God. These are disputable matters of conscience. We probably have enough to worry over discerning those issues for ourselves without getting our noses into the business of others.

     So how are you doing in the judgment department? In truth, we don't have to say a word to be judgmental. Judgment is a matter of the heart. We sometimes judge people and then make a decision about them or how we will relate to them based upon that judgment. Paul is clear. This is wrong. Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master, he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

       Lord, I confess the sin of judging others. Set me free from the temptation to judge those around me. Help me to focus only on the grace You have revealed to me so that I may share that grace with others. Help me today, O Lord, to love those around me rather than judge them. In Jesus' name.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2021
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)        
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2021 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.