• The Weak in Faith Devotional

    Romans 14:1

    John Calvin comments, “They who are strong should spend their labor in assisting the weak, and that they who have made the greatest advances should bear with the more ignorant. For God, by making us stronger than others, does not bestow strength that we may oppress the weak.” As a general rule, mature Christians are to be extraordinarily patient with immature believers, putting up with their misunderstandings and other growing pains as they aim for maturity in the Lord. View Resource

  • The Weak and the Strong Devotional

    Romans 14:1–6

    Pressuring a weak believer to do something he perceives as wrong is the wrong way to help the weak become stronger. The right way is to teach the principles of biblical religion, and address the specific issues in an atmosphere of teaching. In the light of this, how would you deal with someone who thinks it is wrong to drink wine? View Resource

  • Christian Liberty Devotional

    Romans 14

    The principle of Christian liberty is difficult to apply. Many take advantage of Christian freedom and stick their liberty in the faces of weaker brothers. Others become legalists, elevating human traditions and scruples to the level of divine mandate. The solution to both these problems is an accurate knowledge of what Scripture does and does not say, which knowledge can only be acquired through the prayerful study of God’s Word. View Resource

  • Dealing with Those Who Are Weaker Devotional

    Romans 14

    How does your response to weaker brothers and sisters line up with the three guidelines given in this reading? View Resource

  • The Legalist Distortion Devotional

    Romans 14

    As a modern example of legalism, some Christians have said that it is wrong for believers to consume alcohol. However, while such rules may be motivated by a noble concern that people avoid the sin of drunkenness, Scripture nowhere condemns sensible drinking of alcohol, and, in fact, it commends such consumption (Ps. 104:14–15). We are free to decide ourselves not to drink, but to impose a rule like this on others is legalism. View Resource

  • Partaking and Abstaining Devotional

    Romans 14:2-4

    As fallen people, we are tempted to pass judgment all too quickly on others without first seeking to understand why they do what they do. As we will see, this is part of what was plaguing the Roman church, as the meat-eaters did not understand why the vegetarians were vegetarians and the vegetarians did not understand why the meat-eaters were meat-eaters. Taking time to understand one another can go a long way in helping us not to judge them inappropriately. View Resource

  • Honoring the Lord Devotional

    Romans 14:5-6

    John Calvin says the weak in the Roman church “would have thought otherwise, had they possessed a certain and a clear knowledge of Christian liberty. But in abstaining from what they thought to be unlawful, they evidenced piety, as it would have been a proof of presumption and contempt, had they done anything contrary to the dictates of conscience.” Mature Christians should keep this in mind, and strive to come alongside the less mature to help them learn God’s Word. View Resource

  • Living and Dying to the Lord Devotional

    Romans 14:7-8

    Understanding that it is not our job to judge others who disagree with us regarding minor issues is freeing. Those with whom we differ belong to the Lord, so we can leave it in His hands to sort everything out. We are then freed up to seek the Lord and to serve Him in the best way that we can. In so doing, we are far more likely to succeed. We have enough to worry about in regard to our own obedience, so we do not need to be concerned about others when it really does not matter. View Resource

  • Lord of the Dead and the Living Devotional

    Romans 14:9

    That the Son of God is also our Creator should be enough to convince us that the Lord alone has the right to judge us. But God goes a step further, making it clear that we belong to Him because the Son ransomed us from sin and Satan. Since Jesus is our Master, we must accept those whom He accepts, and Romans 14 tells us quite plainly that the Lord has received into His presence those who are mature and strong in the faith as well as those who are immature and weak in the faith. View Resource

  • The Judgment of God in Christ Devotional

    Romans 14:10-12

    If we are in Christ Jesus by faith alone, the sin of judgmentalism will not keep us out of the kingdom. We will find ourselves repenting for this transgression, and the blood of our Savior will cover us where we fall short. Still, we must remember that God’s weighing of our hearts will determine the rewards we receive in heaven. We are granted heaven by grace alone through faith alone, but a judgmental spirit will reduce the blessings we will receive once we are actually there. View Resource

  • Clean and Unclean Devotional

    Romans 14:13-14

    That something which is not unclean in itself may become unclean to certain people is a concept we will develop more in the days ahead. For now, let us note that it is a lack of understanding that leads a person to view as unclean something that is not inherently unclean. In making disciples of all nations, the church is responsible to help immature believers learn this truth so that they may enjoy their freedom in Christ. View Resource

  • Real Joy and True Peace Devotional

    Romans 14:13–23

    If you are a Christian, the Spirit has been poured into your heart, which means joy and peace have been poured into you. If you don’t feel much joy in Christ or peace with others right now, stop and seek these fruits by faith. The Spirit causes us to love Christ, our Husband, and to joy in Him and to have peace with His people. View Resource

  • Preserving Christ’s Sheep Devotional

    Romans 14:15-16

    Christians who choose not to exercise their liberty before immature believers need not do the same when they are not with immature believers. The weaker brother may not bind the conscience of the stronger believer, and as we will see, the weaker brother is actually expected to grow out of his misunderstanding regarding morally indifferent matters. May the strong walk with wisdom in these issues but not let others bind them where Christ has left them free. View Resource

  • The Joy of Everlasting Life Devotional

    Romans 14:17

    Knowing that we have everlasting life comforts us because we know that it is a life grounded in the perfect righteousness of Christ and, therefore, secure forever. It also comforts us because we know that we will experience righteousness, peace, and joy forever. Even now, we begin to enjoy these things as we are being conformed to Jesus in our sanctification. Only Christians can know true righteousness, true peace, and true joy. View Resource

  • The Second Petition Devotional

    Romans 14:17

    Today, God’s special kingdom of blessing is manifested primarily in the church. It is through the ministry of Word and sacrament that we learn what it means to bow the knee to Christ as Lord. Furthermore, it is through the church’s ministry that we receive the blessings of sanctification and Christian growth, for the Spirit works through other believers to conform us to the Son. Let us further the kingdom through active service in our local churches. View Resource