Weaker and Stronger
Topic: Expository Preaching Verse: Romans 14:1–15:7
A. Seven Foundational Thoughts to help you understand Romans 14:1-15:7
- The problem in this passage is disunity in the local church caused by differences of opinion on matters of conscience.
- Paul uses three examples to show where this “disunity caused by disagreement on conscience issues” displays itself in the Roman church
- A person is either consistently weak or consistently strong in their conscience. He cannot be free in one and not free in the other. Strong in one and weak in another.
- While there are separate commands to both the strong and weak, the burden of responsibility for church unity falls on the strong.
- It is better to have a strong conscience than a weak one.
- The solution to the disunity problem that results from differences on matters of conscience, is not to avoid talking about nor to HIDE our freedoms.
- Your personal preferences are profoundly less important than the unity of your local church.
B. Unpacking the argument of Romans 14:1-12
- The first command to the strong: Welcome the weak as they are (1)
- The problem in a nutshell: Differences of conscience of diet (2)
- The second command to the strong: Do not ridicule the weak (3a)
- The only command to the weak: Do not condemn the strong (3b)
- The first reason to obey these two commands: God accepts whom you are rejecting (3b—4)
- The conscience problem restated with a new example: days (5a)
- The crucial qualifier to make this a legitimate conscience issue: each acts as unto the Lord (5b-6)
- The reason this qualifier is essential: we do all things as unto God whether we know it or not (7-9)
- The second reason to obey these two commands: You will stand before God and be judged for your own conscience, not your brother’s (10-12)