Consider Others       January 29, 2006       Romans 14:1-12
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    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.  v 1
         1 Accept anyone who is weak in faith, but don't argue about doubtful issues.

    B.    Accepted Inspite of . . Vegetables.    v 2
        2 One person believes he may eat anything, but one who is weak eats only vegetables.

    C.    Accepted Inspite of . . Variances.  v 3
        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.

    B.    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

        7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 8 If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die,
        we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

    B.    Because of . . Rule In Christ. v 9
        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 is Lord!

4.    See Them as . . Accounting to the Lord.  14:10-12

    A.    Accounting as . . Brothers.   v 10

        10 But you, why do you criticize your brother? Or you, why do you look down on your brother? For we will all
        stand before the judgment seat of God.

    B.    Accounting as . . Bowers.   v 11

        11 For it is written: As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to Me, and every tongue will give praise to God.

    C.    Accounting as . . Believers.   v 12

        12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

        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!