In this final sermon from Romans 14, Pastor Shawn summarizes the 10 principles that Paul has given to protect unity and foster love within the church when believers hold differing convictions on secondary matters. The nature of the conscience is discussed as well as how faith is to be the basis for all we do in the Christian life.
As Jesus enters into the final week of his life before his crucifixion, he begins to explain the purpose of why the Jews have not believed his words. The Jews have been hardened by God, according to His good sovereignty, to fulfill the prophecies of Isaiah. The Jews have loved the glory of man rather than God’s glory, and they are willingly choosing to reject the words of Christ which will result in their condemnation before God.
If a believer sincerely thinks that partaking of something would be dishonoring to God, if his conscience — even in weakness or immaturity — is convinced that something is unclean or profane before God, then it is indeed unclean, and for him to partake of it is sin. You see, faith is trusting in the sufficiency of God, being content with all that He is for you and has for you. When you act against your own spirit-directed conscience, you are valuing something more than God. That is why being a stumbling block is such a serious sin.
Alcohol consumption, tattoos, watching “R” rated movies, Courtship vs Dating, Sacred vs Secular Music, Public School vs Homeschool — How are we to live with one another when our convictions on these different matters can be so very different and so very strong? In this text, Paul frames his discussion of Christian liberty and being stumbling blocks by commanding us all to live in a spirit of love and deference when we find ourselves in disagreement about non-essential matters.
After Jesus defies all of nature, by raising His friend Lazareth from the dead, some believed in Him and some saw it as a threat to their regime. In this text, John gives us a detailed account of the reasons that even Jesus’ greatest miracle in Scripture, is not enough evidence to soften the heart of those which God has hardened. In fact, this miracle, led them in a plot to kill him.