1/31/17 Weak Or Strong In Our Faith, We Are All Worshipping Jesus

“I know that among you are both Jews and Gentiles, and each person comes to his salvation from a different background. As a Jew myself, I understand very well how deeply engrained the Jewish practices and rituals are, and I’m sure many Gentiles come from cultures which have their own deeply held beliefs and practices. These things are difficult to part from, because they are not just religious practices, but part of your culture, part of who you are at your core. Those of you who have held your faith in Jesus for many years now and have studied both the Scriptures and the teachings of Jesus may have a much deeper understanding of what is an acceptable practice in Christianity and what is not. Others, who may be new to the faith and not yet strong in it, may feel that they need to continue certain practices to assure themselves that they are not leaving anything out that might be important. It is in this light that I call attention to something that has come to my attention – arguments among you regarding food and the observance of holidays. Those who are stronger in the faith seem to be looking down at those who are weaker for their insistence on keeping the traditions of their old lives, and the weaker disdaining the stronger for their insistence on throwing out the old ways and fully embracing the freedom that Jesus brings us. Is this what we should be doing as Christians? We are commanded to love one another, to live at peace with one another, so that we may be an example to the world of how God’s people are meant to live and to treat each other. Now, to those who are strong in their faith, who have no qualms about eating any kinds of meat, clean or unclean, and who no longer observe the Jewish holidays, but treat each day the same as another, I commend you for the strength of your faith, but I caution you to accept those whose faith may not be so strong. Do not treat them as lesser Christians because they are not in the same place as you. We know that Jesus has redeemed all things, so that there is no longer anything forbidden because of uncleanness. But many of our brothers and sisters are not comfortable with this yet. If they stay away from certain kinds of meat in deference to and reverence for God, is that not worship? If they choose to rest from their work and celebrate the old holidays, do they not do so to remember God’s goodness and provision for us all? No matter how strong or weak we are in our faith, we all worship and honor God through faith in His Son, Jesus, and by the leading of the Holy Spirit. Instead of berating each other for differing beliefs within the same faith, we must come together and embrace each other, learning from each other and growing in faith as one.”

 

Romans 14:1-7

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