Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Mt 11:28

Friday, December 9, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Dec 10, Rom 14-16

Today's readings are Rom 14-16. Tomorrow's are Acts 20-23.

Rom 14 shows us some of the doctrinal latitude we have in living with each other as believers. We are not to judge each other on non-essential points of doctrine. One wants to eat meat, the other to avoid it. Both are OK and should not be points of division. This should promote harmony within the body, a sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit. That harmony is not the ultimate goal. But it is the evidence of Christ in us. Being divisive over things like mode of baptism, church polity, type of music, roles in the church and a host of other issues that are not essential to salvation only dilutes our witness. If we can't get along with each other without becoming judgmental, how will we ever minister to the lost? Is our primary goal in ministry is to convert people to our way of thinking, our mode of worship, our style of preaching, our translation of the Bible, our method of baptism, our interpretation of the end times, our understanding of the gifts--the list goes on and on. If any or all of those elements of our particular church are primary, it becomes far too easy to lose sight of the reason the church is here on earth--the gospel. Our distinctives are important. But, they should never divide us.

Rom 15 builds on ch 14, showing that a mature believer seeks to please others more than he pleases himself. This also means that a mature believer does not view himself as better or wiser than others. Christ, setting the example, welcomed and received Gentiles and Jews. We should be willing to do the same for each other rather than judging each other and elevating ourselves above those around us.

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