Guarding Against Stumbling
13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. 14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. 15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.
19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.
22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.
DEEP SHEET: Sermon Study Questions
1. What were the major implications of Romans 14 covered in the introduction of the sermon? Which of these has most impacted you?
2. How can we be more sensitive/attentive? In what ways are we prone to ignore or disregard the consciences of our fellow Christians?
3. What is Paul encouraging his readers to guard against? What’s at stake for the weak?
4. How does this passage redirect our focus to what really matters in the Christian life? How does it attack selfishness/individualism?
5. How does Paul call his readers to self-denial? How might this play out in practice in a local church today?
6. What does v. 23 warn us against? How can we educate our consciences so that they are not overly scrupulous?
7. How does the final verse help us to make sense of the “moral” unbeliever?
References: 1 Corinthians 8:10; Romans 5:1-2; 1 Corinthians 8:13; 3:9; Ephesians 2:10; Romans 1:21; 1 Corinthians 10:31-33.