In these verses I see instruction to Consider Others as accepted, acclaimed, alive in, and accountable to the Lord. One cannot be a Christian without a relationship with Christ. So since we all must begin the same way why are some so judgmental? The lesson encourages us to understand the Christian walk as one that works toward being people who Consider Others.
1. Consider Others As . . Accepted by the Lord.. 14:1-3
A. Accepted Inspite of . . Views.
1 Accept anyone who is weak in faith, but don't argue about doubtful issues.
B. Accepted Inspite of . . Vegetables.
2 One person believes he may eat anything, but one who is weak eats only vegetables.
C. Accepted Inspite of . . Variances.
3 One who eats must not look down on one who does not eat; and one who does not eat must not criticize one who
does, because God has accepted him.
People may have different
views and interpretations and still be acceptable to the Lord. Some Christians
may choose to eat only vegetables. Paul calls these fellow Christians weak,
but nevertheless they, like us, remain "in Christ." If we can refrain from
being critical of those we disagree with we may in due time win them to
the stronger expression of the teaching of Christ. All of us receive from
the Lord, and we need acceptance from our fellow believers.
2. Consider Others As . . Acclaimed by the Lord. 14:4-6
A. Acclaimed by the Lord in
their . . Convictions. v 4
4 Who are you to criticize another's servant? Before his own Lord he stands or falls.
And stand he will! For the Lord is able to make him stand.
Acclaimed by the Lord in their . . Considerations. v 5
5 One person considers one day to be above another day. Someone else considers every day to be the same. Each
one must be fully convinced in his own mind.
C. Acclaimed by the Lord in
their . . Comprehension. v 6
6 Whoever observes the day, observes it to the Lord. Whoever eats, eats to the Lord,
since he gives thanks to God; and whoever does not eat, it is to the Lord that he does not eat, yet he thanks God.
The Lord acclaims His people;
especially as they follow His leading. He will enable us to stand for Him
in the convictions He gives. In the first century some had different considerations
related to days and foods. Paul encouraged all to stand for what they felt
the Lord wanted them to do. Today people may have different considerations
about places to go for entertainment or places to eat. If the Bible does
not directly speak about our convictions they may well be simply personal
choices. We need to respect all such considerations even if we personally
disagree. Some comprehend matters differently, but all the choices could
be within the freedom we receive from the Lord.
3. Consider Others . . Alive in the Lord. 14:7-9
A. Because of . . Realities In Christ. v 7-8
B. Because of . . Rule In Christ.
9 Christ died and came to life for this: that He might rule over both the dead and the living.
Every Christian receives
life in, and from, Christ. He is the source of our spiritual life now and
forever. God resurrected Jesus for the purpose of His ruling. Every believer
knows this life and the closer we walk with Him the more of a reality this
life becomes. Today and forever Christ rules the living and the dead. He
4. See Them as . . Accounting to the Lord. 14:10-12
A. Accounting as . . Brothers. v 10
B. Accounting as . . Bowers. v 11
C. Accounting as . . Believers. v 12
Some Christians seem to think they are to judge others, but the text reminds
us we will all stand "In Christ" before the judgment seat. Of course this
does not relate to our salvation, but the rewards we will receive as a
Christian servant. We will all bow before Christ, and give Him praise as
we see Him in all His glory. The lost will stand before the Lord at the
Great White Throne Judgment and will have no hope of the salvation we know.
It will be too late for them. Our judgment will be done in the context
of a believer; one who received the grace of salvation through faith in
the Lord. At that time a final reckoning related to the Christians' additional
rewards will be granted. So let us Consider Others Amen? Amen!