This is Episode #332 and today we’ll read Romans chapters 14-16 together. …so that you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with one mind and one voice.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #332 and today we’ll read Romans chapters 14-16 together. …so that you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with one mind and one voice.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
Romans Chapter 14
The Law of Liberty
Welcome anyone who is weak in faith, but don’t argue about disputed matters. One person believes he may eat anything, while one who is weak eats only vegetables. One who eats must not look down on one who does not eat, and one who does not eat must not judge one who does, because God has accepted him. Who are you to judge another’s household servant? Before his own Lord he stands or falls. And he will stand, because the Lord is able to make him stand.
One person judges one day to be more important than another day. Someone else judges every day to be the same. Let each one be fully convinced in his own mind.
Whoever observes the day, observes it for the honor of the Lord. Whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; and whoever does not eat, it is for the Lord that he does not eat it, and he gives thanks to God. For none of us lives for himself, and no one dies for himself. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and returned to life for this: that he might be Lord over both the dead and the living. But you, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written,
As I live, says the Lord,
every knee will bow to me,
and every tongue will give praise to God.
So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.
The Law of Love
Therefore, let us no longer judge one another. Instead decide never to put a stumbling block or pitfall in the way of your brother or sister. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself. Still, to someone who considers a thing to be unclean, to that one it is unclean. For if your brother or sister is hurt by what you eat, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy, by what you eat, someone for whom Christ died. Therefore, do not let your good be slandered, for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Whoever serves Christ in this way is acceptable to God and receives human approval.
So then, let us pursue what promotes peace and what builds up one another. Do not tear down God’s work because of food. Everything is clean, but it is wrong to make someone fall by what he eats. It is a good thing not to eat meat, or drink wine, or do anything that makes your brother or sister stumble. Whatever you believe about these things, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But whoever doubts stands condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith, and everything that is not from faith is sin.
Romans Chapter 15
Pleasing Others, Not Ourselves
Now we who are strong have an obligation to bear the weaknesses of those without strength, and not to please ourselves. Each one of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself. On the contrary, as it is written, The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me. For whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that we may have hope through endurance and through the encouragement from the Scriptures. Now may the God who gives endurance and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, according to Christ Jesus, so that you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with one mind and one voice.
Glorifying God Together
Therefore welcome one another, just as Christ also welcomed you, to the glory of God. For I say that Christ became a servant of the circumcised on behalf of God’s truth, to confirm the promises to the fathers, and so that Gentiles may glorify God for his mercy.
As it is written,
Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles,
and I will sing praise to your name.
Again it says, Rejoice, you Gentiles, with his people! And again,
Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles;
let all the peoples praise him!
And again, Isaiah says,
The root of Jesse will appear,
the one who rises to rule the Gentiles;
the Gentiles will hope in him.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
From Jerusalem to Illyricum
My brothers and sisters, I myself am convinced about you that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another. Nevertheless, I have written to remind you more boldly on some points because of the grace given me by God to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, serving as a priest of the gospel of God. God’s purpose is that the Gentiles may be an acceptable offering, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
Therefore I have reason to boast in Christ Jesus regarding what pertains to God. For I would not dare say anything except what Christ has accomplished through me by word and deed for the obedience of the Gentiles, by the power of miraculous signs and wonders, and by the power of God’s Spirit. As a result, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum. My aim is to preach the gospel where Christ has not been named, so that I will not build on someone else’s foundation, but, as it is written,
Those who were not told about him will see,
and those who have not heard will understand.
Paul’s Travel Plans
That is why I have been prevented many times from coming to you. But now I no longer have any work to do in these regions, and I have strongly desired for many years to come to you whenever I travel to Spain. For I hope to see you when I pass through and to be assisted by you for my journey there, once I have first enjoyed your company for a while. Right now I am traveling to Jerusalem to serve the saints, because Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem.
Yes, they were pleased, and indeed are indebted to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual benefits, then they are obligated to minister to them in material needs. So when I have finished this and safely delivered the funds to them, I will visit you on the way to Spain. I know that when I come to you, I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.
Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, through our Lord Jesus Christ and through the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in prayers to God on my behalf. Pray that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea, that my ministry to Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, and that, by God’s will, I may come to you with joy and be refreshed together with you.
May the God of peace be with all of you. Amen.
Romans Chapter 16
Paul’s Commendation of Phoebe
I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church in Cenchreae. So you should welcome her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints and assist her in whatever matter she may require your help. For indeed she has been a benefactor of many — and of me also.
Greeting to Roman Christians
Give my greetings to Prisca and Aquila, my coworkers in Christ Jesus, who risked their own necks for my life. Not only do I thank them, but so do all the Gentile churches. Greet also the church that meets in their home. Greet my dear friend Epaenetus, who is the first convert to Christ from Asia. Greet Mary, who has worked very hard for you. Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews and fellow prisoners. They are noteworthy in the eyes of the apostles, and they were also in Christ before me. Greet Ampliatus, my dear friend in the Lord. Greet Urbanus, our coworker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys. Greet Apelles, who is approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus. Greet Herodion, my fellow Jew.
Greet those who belong to the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord. Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, who have worked hard in the Lord. Greet my dear friend Persis, who has worked very hard in the Lord. Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother — and mine. Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers and sisters who are with them. Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
All the churches of Christ send you greetings.
Warning against Divisive People
Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who create divisions and obstacles contrary to the teaching that you learned. Avoid them, because such people do not serve our Lord Christ but their own appetites. They deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting with smooth talk and flattering words.
Paul’s Gracious Conclusion
The report of your obedience has reached everyone. Therefore I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise about what is good, and yet innocent about what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
Timothy, my coworker, and Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my fellow countrymen, greet you.
I, Tertius, who wrote this letter, greet you in the Lord.
Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus greet you.
Glory to God
Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation about Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept silent for long ages but now revealed and made known through the prophetic Scriptures, according to the command of the eternal God to advance the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles — to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ — to him be the glory forever! Amen.
I remember exactly where I was when my eyes were first opened to see Romans 14:1b – …but don’t argue about disputed matters. It was almost 20 years ago in Alicks and Amy’s Sunday School class. I was new to the church and new to a class that only opened the Word, went around the room and took turns reading. And then we would discuss what we read. I learned so much in that class. My brothers and sisters were so devoted to rightly dividing the word of God, the Bible.
It would seem that many Christ followers have not seen this short passage or have not taken it to heart in obedience to God. There is a level of shame that should be felt in the Church for the disputable matters that are used like weapons against each other every day. I have seen congregations take sides over politics, over petty grievances and hurts, and over doctrines and traditions. We just discussed yesterday how Roman 12:18 says, If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. And yet we bicker and fight and get our feelings hurt and leave for another church body at the slightest offense. It’s no wonder the world calls us hypocrites.
Let’s pray. Father, I am culpable in this sin too. Please forgive us, Lord, for these hateful shenanigans. Help us to take Paul’s admonition not to argue about disputable matters to heart. Help us to love one another as You have first loved us. Help us to return to Romans 12 and emulate those behaviors every day. Remind us to leave the vengeance to You. Amen.
And look at that! You have finished one of the most cerebral books in the whole Bible! Share your thoughts with me at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray that by spending time in His Word every day, you will be changed. Visit me at Lifting Her Voice.com with your comments and questions. And don’t forget to visit the Blog page while you’re there. If you like the podcast, it would be great if you’d give it a five-star review and share it with everyone you know. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you tomorrow!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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