What Can We Eat? Answers About Liberty (Part 3)
June 20, 2021
There are many things that can destroy the unity of the church. Among the most effective tools that Satan uses is the tool of hypocritical pride that takes the form of judgmentalism. Whenever we think we are superior to others in the body — that we have attained to something they have not and that they are beneath us so that we have a right to criticize and demean them, we are well on the way to destroying the unity of the church and the church itself.
Jesus Himself addressed this early in His ministry when He warned:
“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1–5)
We refer to these men as Mr. Log and Mr. Speck. They demonstrate that it is easy to sit in judgment of others while ignoring the condition of our own hearts. We make such judgments to our own detriment — and to the detriment of the church.
So, in Romans 14, Paul continues the theme of everyday exhortations for the church body that will preserve the body and help it function well. Specifically, he addresses liberty issues and our use of them: how can we joyfully exercise our freedoms in a way that maintains spiritual unity in the church? That’s Paul’s concern in Romans 14, which we have summarized this way:
Use your individual freedoms as a means of preserving the corporate unity of the Body.
Having given five instructions for the use of our liberties in vv. 1-9, Paul returns to the principle of God as Judge from v. 4 with four reminders in vv. 10-12 to keep us from judgmentalism and hypocrisy in the church.
- To Keep From Judgmentalism Remember Your Position (v. 10a)
- To Keep From Judgmentalism Remember Relationships (v. 10a)
- To Keep From Judgmentalism Remember God’s Judgment (v. 10b- 11)
- There is a judgment of believers — He will give rewards (v. 10b)
- There is a judgment of unbelievers — He will be righteous (v. 11)
- To Keep From Judgmentalism Remember God’s Grace (v. 12)
Download the rest of this sermon on Romans 14:10-12.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.