‘Why can’t Christians just get on with each other?’
In Romans 14–15 , the Apostle addresses divisions and arguments in the church. Today in Romans 14 he tells the Christians to make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification (v.19).
It seems there were Christians ‘weak’ in their faith. They still wanted to keep some of the old covenant laws of Moses, like not eating certain foods, drinking certain wine, and keeping the Sabbath as a holy day. Christians ‘strong’ in their faith knew that Christians are free from these laws, but were condemning the ‘weak’ Christians. At the same time, the ‘weak’ Christians were judging the ‘strong’ Christians for their actions. Divisions and arguments were breaking the peace and unity of the church.
The Apostle calls Christian to consider what is most loving for those in their church family, and not just think of themselves. That might mean restricting your freedom for the sake of others.
For us today, that might mean we choose not to drink alcohol for the sake of others. It might mean we dress in a way that won’t upset others. It might mean respecting the ideas some Christians have about the church building, even though we have complete freedom in when and how we meet around the Word of God. It means we won’t judge or condemn others for their choices.
The important thing is that we carefully consider our actions, and do it for the Lord out of thanks. Let’s encourage each other to love one another by doing what leads to peace and mutual edification.
And let’s remember whatever restrictions or sacrifices we might make for the sake of others is only copying the Lord Jesus who put aside his interests for the good of others when he died on the Cross for our salvation.
In Christ, Tory.