Ok – same song, different chorus. Paul continues in chapter 15 with:
3) PLEASE GOD BY GETTING ALONG WITH EACH OTHER AS WE FOLLOW CHRIST: (1-13)
HOW DO WE LIVE LIKE THIS?
a. Bear with (1)
b. Please your neighbor (2a)
c. Build up (2b)
d. Follow Christ’s example (3)
e. Seek to glorify God (6)
f. Accept (7)
g. Be a servant (8)
h. Rejoice (9-13)
i. Trust Him (13)
Paul then finishes up with ministry to the Gentiles and his plans to visit Rome.
*So here is how this weak/strong thing looks: GOD lays down a law or a principle. Man comes along and reduces God’s great law to some set of rules that is burdensome, and so people are no longer required to make individual choices! Then man elevates rule keeping as a mark of spirituality and judges himself AND others by it! THIS is hazardous to unity in the body! Luke 12 – “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees!” Why? Their opinions are becoming laws! “Traditions of men” become the standards! Why do we want rules? One reason is because rules make it easy to measure. We also fear that if we don’t have all these rules, people are going to run wildly into sin and do what they want, SO we have these rules to control people! This becomes an attempt to force people to do what is right! Forced compliance IS NOT spirituality & conformity IS NOT sanctification! Often times we don’t believe the Holy Spirit works in people’s hearts and has the power to take the Word of God and direct people into right living… instead we think we’ve got to “help Him.” I am NOT SAYING have no rules – we must, especially in the early years! BUT I WANT my kids/students to LEARN God’s principles & apply them to life!
*So – who is right? Doctrinally the strong are right. BUT BOTH groups need correction in the areas of attitude and conduct! Here are a few additional verses to look at: Hebrews 12:1-3, 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, Matthew 28:19-20. Which way do you lean?
*Finally, remember that one of Satan’s plans is to get us fighting with each other so we never get involved in our Lord’s work!