SPOKEN PRAYER: Out loud, pray for God to speak to you through your reading. Praise God for giving us His word. Ask the Spirit to help you read with faith, and to live out what you hear from God through the passage.
God’s Judgment Does Not Need Our Help
by Pastor Dave Mann
There are some things in Christian behavior that are clearly right or clearly wrong. But not everything falls into these categories. There are some things that are disputable, things over which devout Christians can agree to disagree.
In this passage, the apostle Paul is referring to dietary practices. Apparently, certain believers felt that it was unholy to eat certain kinds of food. We get the sense from the writing that Paul believes that there is no sin in eating any of the foods in question. But Paul’s main point is NOT to declare who is right and who is wrong. Paul’s goal is to produce harmony between the two camps of thought.
What is Paul’s foundational principle that should predispose Christian believers to avoid judging others with whom they disagree in disputable matters? That principle is this: God will judge us all.
We will all stand before God’s judgment seat. (v. 10)
Each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. (v. 12)
If it is true that all of us will stand before the Lord on The Last Day, and if it is true that God’s judgment is just and fair, then we do not need to take judgment into our hands. God is the One who is solely equipped to do the judging. We are to stay in our lane. God can manage his job just fine – thank you! He does not need help from us who are not qualified to judge.
Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? (v. 4)
Then, Paul in the conclusion of this passage (vv. 13-14) deals with the possibility of someone being influenced to leave the practice of something to adopt the practice of someone else. However, the first party is not fully convinced that it is okay. If we still believe that it is sinful, we should not do it even if others exert social pressure on us. We should listen to our conscience and still hold to it until we are fully convinced in the Spirit that we can change.
Lord Jesus, you alone have the pure moral integrity to judge fairly and finally. Please save me from the need to judge others. Help me to give grace when I do not agree with others. Help me to walk in love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.