Charity is to rule which Christians owe to one another
as members of a religious community and united by a
Our actions should be with a view of the Lord Christ!
The motive of Christian conduct is the love of Jesus Christ!
Love to Christ and sympathy for His self-denial leads us
to regard the welfare of our brethren for whom Christ
died - thus His sacrifice becomes the model and inspiration.
Differences of Opinion
Zealous people are wont to push their own views, and
zealous controversialists are given to attacking the practice
of others - men often substitute their whims and fancies as
remedies for moral and social ills - we would do well by
going by the Bible - led by the Holy Spirit - considering
one's neighbors and with love towards our fellow Christians.
Strong mindedness and harshness bring about friction in
church and private relations - often this difference of
opinion is over non-essentials and we give "the enemies
of the Lord reason to blaspheme" - this is a menace to
v. 4 - "who art thou that judgeth?" -
v. 10 -
15:1 - "not to please ourselves"
15:2 - "Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good
15:3 - "Christ pleased not Himself"
15:6 - "with one mind and one mouth glorify God"
15:7 - "receive ye one another, as Christ also received us
to THE GLORY OF GOD"
Bear with the weak - Christ exemplified this principle -
when we submit to reproach and exhibit Christ-like
endurance - our comfort and hope are strengthened.
v. 5 - "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind"
v. 6 - Both parties are supposed to be equally desirous
of serving God
This gets back to the "calling of God" and Old Testament
examples of usurpers -
v. 7 - The influence of our lives upon others - life is a trust -
not a possession to do as we like with it - though we
live, we do not live unto ourselves
We cannot live unto ourselves even if we tried - we all
influence one another - we are to live for the glory of the
We are the Master's property for the Master's use!
The great matter is for every one of us to live near to God,
to cultivate a Christ-like character, and then our life will
be a blessing.
One must walk with God if he would have weight with man:
"as a prince hast thou power with God and with men and
Approval of God and the glory of God should be our aim
v. 8 - "we live unto the Lord" - Christ has lived and died
for us - we live and die unto Him
vs. 10-23 - Three principles laid down that would cover
almost every case of difference between
(1) law of charity
(2) law of Christian self-denial
(3) law of Christian helpfulness
vs. 10-13 - Consider the harm that one might do to
the very souls of the weak ones by tempting them
by word or example, to disobey their own conscience.
v. 12 - Individual Responsibility - Men are prone to pass
judgment one upon another - unfortunately, our habit
is to be lenient with self and severe towards others
What should correct this bias is the great fact that
WE ARE ACCOUNTABLE TO GOD - there WILL be
a JUDGMENT - "Every man's work shall be manifest:
for the day will declare it" - I Cor. 3:13
Individuality of Judgment - None is so high as to be
superior to justice - none so low as to escape it - the
Omniscience of God cannot be deceived - His justice
cannot be evaded -
IT IS NOT WE/ME WHO ARE TO BE THE JUDGES
OF OUR/MY FELLOW-CHRISTIANS - BUT GOD!
Each one shall stand alone before God to give account
of self - ( how will me, myself and I and selfishness
Whether others have done their duty or not will not
affect your or my responsibility!
There is not safety in numbers - for Matthew 7:13 says
"broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many
there be which go in thereat"
God will judge them - surely we may with confidence
leave judgment to His hands!
Better to think how we shall meet Christ's scrutiny
ourselves than be contemptuously condemning the
weak brethren around us.
When all our relations are carried up to the feet
of Christ there will be peace and progress.
"But judge ye this rather, that no man put a stumbling-
block in his brother's way, or an occasion of falling"
LAW OF CHARITY
v. 15 - "thy brother is grieved.....now walkest thou not
"destroy not him" - this seems to denote his moral and
religious ruin by shaking his conscientiousness and
upsetting his faith which though weak, is real.
v. 16 - "Let not then you good be evil spoken of"
LAW OF SELF-DENIAL
v, 17 - "For the kingdom of God is not meat and
drink, but righteousness and peace and joy
in the Holy Ghost"
The Christian has higher enjoyments than those of
The virtues which are of highest importance in the
sight of God and which bear the most upon the
welfare of human society.
Righteousness - is what man was made for
Peace - strife and hatred are a curse on humanity
Joy - the gladness of him who is at peace with God
and has the assurance of eternal life!
St. Paul's practice - I Cor. 8:13 - a readiness to deny
himself lawful things, if he might avoid offence to weak
The example of Christ - ch. 15:3 - "For even Christ
pleased not Himself"
Remember - "If any man will come after me, let him
deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow
me" - Luke 9:23
Self-pleasing is a besetting sin with most of us!
LAW OF CHRISTIAN HELPFULNESS
v. 19 - "let us therefore follow after the things which
make for peace and things wherewith one may
ch. 15:2 - "let every one of us please his neighbor for
his good to edification"
The Christian life should not just be the abstention
from evil but a positive doing of what is good!
It is a low type of Christianity that is satisfied with
its own salvation and going through the world as
harmlessly as possible.
True Christianity is the salt of the earth, the light,
the leaven; an active, helpful, beneficent influence
upon those around us.
It is one thing to sacrifice your freedom for a weak
brother and quite another to do nothing where there
is heresy which will adversely affect all who follow!
Contemporary Christianity seems to me to be an
omission of the blood of Christ in salvation with a
substitute of dreamy/feel good/pleasure driven/hey
world see me/ type of religion - I HOPE I AM
To act against a conscientious feeling is always wrong -
many a man who boasts of his ability to pass unscathed
through a fiery ordeal is being singed and maimed
by his recklessness.
v. 5 - "let every man be fully persuaded in his own
mind" - No one is authorized to come between
you and God in such matters!
v. 19 - read again - the trick is how to be tolerant without
laxity - A PROBLEM IN OUR SOCIETY THAT
IS NOW FILTERING DOWN TO CHURCHES.
Christ as Lord - v. 9 - there would be no difficulty in
society or in any area of church fellowship if the
AUTHORITY OF CHRIST WAS FULLY RECOGNIZED!
"One is your master, even Christ and all ye are brethren"
LET MEN BEWARE LEST THEY CUT OFF LIMBS
FROM THE BODY OF CHRIST, AND BY THEIR
DIVISIONS AND EXCOMMUNICATIONS REND
HIS SEAMLESS GARMENT.
Dissention is impossible where "righteousness and peace
and joy in the Holy Ghost" prevail - v. 17 - ignoring
this makes the quarrellings in church history a
weariness to read - whether internationally or local!
With Christ-like endurance will come comfort and a
strengthening of hope beyond all our trials & troubles!
Christ's receiving of the Gentiles was to His glory
and it is implied that the mutual receiving of each
other would be to His glory also - God's glory
being the end - runs through the whole passage.
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