Christian Liberty

Christian Liberty

If you been saved for any length of time, no doubt you are keenly aware of the fact that virtually no two Christians believe and practice exactly alike.  Sometimes the differences are very very small, while in other cases the gap is very wide.  Scripture gives us many “black and white” passages that forbid things like murder and adultery but leaves many issues “gray” with general principles to look at for guidance but not much specific clarity.   And therein lies the struggle of determining what exactly God’s mindset should be on those areas that are not clearly spelled out in Scripture.

One of the best passages to look at on this topic is found in Romans 14, which some refer to as the “weaker brother” passage.  Paul tackles this subject by saying there are going to be disagreements among brethren on certain topics, in this case dealing with the eating of certain foods and the celebrating or observance of certain special days.  Paul doesn’t make a definite statement by saying which side of the argument was right but instead states “let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind” in verse 5.   In other words, study it out, pray about it and be fully persuaded in your own mind of your position.  I think the believers in Rome would have loved for Paul to have said which position on those particular issues was right so that the matter could have been settled.  But no, Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, recommended that each be fully persuaded of their position as the Lord gave them direction.

The same principle very much applies to us today on a myriad of topics and issues.  Some believers are absolutely convinced they have the right position on an issue with other believers are absolutely convinced they have the right position.  The only problem is that their positions contradict with each other!   So what should our attitude be?  I think verse 10 sums it up, ” But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.”   In the end it all comes down to the fact that we each individually will have to stand before God at the judgement seat and answer for our own selves.  If God gives me liberty to do something that another believer disagrees with then I have to be ready to answer to God for that.  And if another believer feels at liberty to do something I don’t agree with, then I shouldn’t be running around judging him in any way but just accept the fact that he will have to answer to God for his own actions.  May each of us be fully persuaded in our own minds and be careful not to stand in judgement with those who disagree with us.

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