Read This Week’s Passage: Romans 14
The church is to be a place where we welcome one another because Jesus has welcomed us (Romans 14:1; 15:7). The church is not a debating society. It is not a place where we quarrel over our opinions (Romans 14:1). The unity of the church isn’t dependent upon uniformity of opinion. Our unity depends upon our willingness to avoid placing stumbling blocks in our brother’s or sister’s way and by pursuing the things that make for peace and build one another up (Romans 14:13, 19).
Making peace and building one another up involves refusing to judge on disputable matters. We know that we don’t stand before the judgment seat of each other. We stand before the judgment seat of Christ (Romans 14:10, 11). We will give an account of ourselves to God, not to each other (Romans 14:12). Every servant stands or falls before his or her own master. Our Master is able to make us stand (Romans 14:4). Our Master can guide us safely through the judgment. It would be a terrible mistake to judge and condemn those whom God has welcomed.
The quarrels the Roman Christians engaged in centered on the appropriate feasting and fasting days, as well as the types of foods people chose to eat. Paul reminded them that “the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).