Romansby David Cook
In this section, Paul gives the believers in Rome three reasons why they should warmly accept one another and not split over disputable matters.
First, he says in verse 3, “God has accepted them”. Our ongoing acceptance of one another is based on God’s once-and-for-all acceptance of us in Christ.
If God has not made an issue a barrier to fellowship with Him, then we must not create more rigid standards than God’s and make them a barrier for others to fellowship with us. God accepts us through the gospel (v. 4), so we are to accept one another.
Second, he says in verses 5 to 8 that in disputable matters, each person should develop his own convictions. However, verse 6 tells us that those convictions are to be held “to the Lord”. That is, each person must live before God with his conviction.
We are to live under Christ’s lordship (vv. 7–8). And if even life and death cannot disturb my relationship with Christ, then minor matters like food, drink, or days should not disturb my relationship to Christ or to His church.
Third, in verses 9 to 12, Paul says in essence: Who are we to judge one another when it is Christ’s blood which purchased His church? Every knee will bow to Jesus Christ the Lord, not to you; so stop judging one another—that is the Lord’s prerogative alone.
These are good words for us to hear in our diverse Christian communities. It is very easy for us to reduce the number of disputable matters, and then to judge one another over issues that may be no more than a cultural preference.
Paul’s ambition stated in 1 Thessalonians 4:11 is relevant here: “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: you should mind your own business and work with your hands.”
The accuser of our brothers and sisters is the devil (Revelation 12:10), and he doesn’t need any help from us! The one who will judge us is the Lord Jesus, and He shares that throne with no one.
What disputable issues are you tempted to make indisputable?
What are some indisputable matters that you may tend to turn into disputable ones?
How can you tell the difference between a disputable and an indisputable matter?