Title:  Accepting One Another

Focus:  We are to accept one another in the body without contempt even though we may have differing “opinions” one certain matters that are not immoral issues.  The reason we should accept them is because God accepts those who serve him in the integrity of their heart, he is the judger, we are all alike in that we are the judgees.  Of course, this does not give persmission to practice immorality which is clearly condemned, nor should this dictate that anything goes in a worship service, since all things should be done for edifiction.

Function:  To help the hearers see how they have been accepted in spite of thier imperfect understanding, on the basis of God’s love and their sincerity. -- So that they can see how they need to accept each other on matters that are not unambiguous.

Text:  Rom 14:1-12



1.  Gas men checking last meters of the day

            a.   One told the other “race you to the truck” 

            b.  They arrived at the truck, a woman out of breath arrived at truck to

            c.  Why you chasing us? 

            d.  She said - I watching you from window checking my meter, saw you

                  running, and figured if gas men running, I had better be running too

2.  We do not always see things eye to eye

3.  Things morning’s passage deals with how love deals with this

            a.  Love goes beyond don’t commit adultery, murder, stealing, etc.

            b.  Love is able to accept one another in spite of certain differences

4.  How?  Through 3 realizations


I.  By realizing that God has accepted the weak (v.3)

            A.  This is diffcult because no one want to be the weak one

                        1.  We decided to apply this principle, and someone was offended

                        2.  He asked, “Are you saying I’m weak?”

            B.  So let’s define exactly what it means

                        1.  Weak person - Has many scruples

                                    a.  Eats vegetables only (v.2) Probably not a Jew

                                    b.  Regards one day more holy than another (v.5)

                                    c.  Does not drink wine (v.21)

                                    d.  Suprisingly - One with more “rules” is weak

                        2.  Strong person - Understands his freedom in Christ better

                                    a.  Can eat all things

                                    b.  Regards each day alike

                        3.  People today not use these terms

                                    a.  Terms like - Legalistic and Liberal

                                    b.  Law driven, or Grace driven

                        4.  Who is right?  Paul avoids getting into that question - Why?

            C.  Lady buys cookies at Airport, sits down to read paper

                        1.  Man sits down next to her, she looks up, He eating cookies!

                        2.  The nerve of him!  She thought.  She looked at him and glared

                                    a.  He kept on eating cookies, and she continued to glare

                                    b.  He glanced up at her, and began to get nervous

                                    c.  She crossed her arms, and cleared her throat

                        3.  He took last cookie and sheepishly offered it to her

                                    a.  No thanks!  You might as well eat it, you at the rest!

                                    b.  Her flight was called, and she picked up her coat

                                    c.  To her horror, her bag of cookies was under her coat

                        4.  Sometimes our judgement is simply mistaken

                                    a.  Doesn’t always solve problem to declare who is right

                                    b.  She thought she was right, and he was bewildered

            D.  In many cases, the question is not:  Who is right? but What is Right?

                        1.  What can I do to preserve unity?

                        2.  Passage shows that unity is not based on 100% agreement

                        3.  It is based on God’s acceptance

                                    a.  That’s why instead of saying who is right

                                          Paul merely says that God has accepted them

                                    b.  If God accepts weak and strong, so should we


II.  By realizing that God is the judge of us all (v.3-4, 10-12)

            A.  There is a lot in this passage about judging

            B.  He emphatically says we are not to judge each other(v.3)

                        1.  Because we are all servants in God’s house (v.4)

                                    a.  The owner of house determines what is acceptable

                                    b.  We stand or fall according to God’s judgement (v.4)

                                    c.  We will all be judged by God, not each other (v.4)

                                    d.  We will give account of self, not our brother (v.10)

                        2.  Another problem with judging (v.5)

                                    a.  “Convinced in own mind” = personal convictions

                                    b.  My personal convictions are not the standard for you

                                    c.  To make them your standard makes me guilty of


                        3.  None of us are qualified to be judges

                                    a.  Mankind has demonstrated perversion of justice

                                    b.  We ourselves stood under judgement

                                    c.  We are made forgiven, not judges

                        4.  (Mt 11:25) - God chose the “poor in spirit” Mt 5:3

                                    a.  First confession of faith in Matthew - Magi

                                    b.  Last confession of faith - Centurion

                                    c.  Those not keep traditions of elders were chosen

                                    d.  Msg - Personal convictions of experts not the standard

            C.  ILL:  Shepherd praying

                        1.  Adonai, make me your servant, I will wash your clothes, comb

                              your hair, sow your clothes, bring you your food

                        2.  Priest heard it and rebuked shepherd

                                    a.  God is Spirit, and does not need your feeble service

                                    b.  How could you pray such an ignorant prayer?

                        3.  Shepherd ran into the desert, dismayed

                        4.  God rebuked the priest

                                    a.  You have driven away my servant

                                    b.  I regard not merely the word spoken, but the heart that

                                          offers them to me

            D.  God is the judge, our judgement may be different than his

                        - Brings to final point


III.  By realizing the principle behind this passage

            A.  God accepts those who serve him in the integrity and sincerity of their


            B.  The whole passage is a practical application of this principle

                        1.  I understand those who were “weak” to be wrong

                        2.  But it says God accepts both the weak and the strong

                                    - Either way, if do it for the Lord, God accepts it

                        3.  Who are we to judge those whom God accepts?

                                    a.  But they are wrong!  There are no “holy days”

                                    b.  They are wrong!  There are no unclean foods!

                                    c.  They are wrong - There ARE holy days

                                    d.  They are wrong - Some foods are unacceptable!

                        4.  But Paul refrains from saying anyone is “wrong” in this situation

                                    a.  In this case, you could please God either way

                                    b.  Paul wanted to avoid division and dissension

                                    c.  This promotes UNITY

            C.  Problem - This passage is often abused

                        1.  Some severly limit the application to Jew Gentile problems

                                    a.  Make it apply to almost nothing

                                    b.  Say it apply to things that don’t matter

                                    c.  But it does matter to those who do them

                        2.  Some severly expand this passage to include everything

                                    a.  Homosexuals in Vermont used it to condone

                                    b.  Paul was clear about sin in Romans

                                                - Rom 1 - God gave them over to depravity

                                                - Rom 6:1 - Shall we continue in sin?

                                    c.  (Gal 5:13) - Not use freedom as opportunity for flesh

                        3.  This is not a passage to promote anything goes

                                    a.  Moral sins are always offensive to God

                                    b.  Open rebellion to clear commands are offensive

                                    c.  Things that a matter of personal conviction are not

                                          offensive to God - quite the opposite is true

            D.  So, we must serve God to the best of OUR PERSONAL understanding

                        1.  There is a reason why we speak where the Bible speaks

                        2.  To go beyond this would be to impose our personal convictions

                              on others



1.  We are to accept one another

            a.  By realizing God accepts weak and strong

            b.  By relizing God is the judge

            c.  By realizing the principle behind the passage

2.  ILL:  Tribe in Kenya

            a.  Established an indigenous church

            b.  Very different - No song leader, no time limit, no “table”, no blg.

            c.  Spontanious singing, antiphonal singing, women started, clap hands

            d.  Did God accept their worship?  If it from the heart! (fully convinced)

3.  What does it mean for us?

            a.  Don’t judge, don’t treat with contempt

            b.  Some observe Holidays, others do not

            c.  Some not have a problem with wine, others do

            d.  Some not eat foods as matter of religious conviction (my sister)

            e.  Those that like new songs & clap (7-11) - Don’t treat with contempt

            f.  Those that like established songs - Don’t treat with contempt

            g.  Prayer posture, kneel, raising hands, bowing, looking up

4.  Next Time will talk about priority of responsibility over rights

5.  For now - Accept; Do not judge, Do not regard with contempt, Be fully convicned in your OWN mind