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What is a “disputable matter?”
What role does humility and pride play in disputable matters?
Think back to Terry’s sermon… Why do we have good cause to be humble?
Think about pride. How can it keep us from loving one another like we should?
Our objective is to know and understand that when it comes to disputable matters, God wants us to keep from ruining what is good in our relationships with one another because of our disagreements. Many times these disagreements can find themselves rooted in pride and a lack of humility. There is a better way to handle disagreements so that we can disagree in a God-honoring and “others” loving way. We must always remember the goal is “faith expressing itself in love.”
13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way. 14 As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. 15 If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died. 16 Do not allow what you consider good to 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 approved by men. 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 man 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 to fall. 22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.
I. Don’t be a stumbling block: 13-16
- If you have a disagreement, what would be the right way to disagree?
- How can the “Strong’s” actions destroy someone?
- What harm have you seen come from Christians disagreement over minor issues?
II. The Values of the Kingdom: 17-18
- Discuss how the values of the Kingdom: righteousness, peace, and the joy of the Holy Spirit, differ from “eating and drinking,” the things that tend to be legalistic.
- Read verse 17. What do you see here that might help you through a disagreement with another Christian?
- Why might a mature person limit their freedoms? Give some examples.
III. Don’t cause your brothers and sisters to stumble: 19-23
- We live the kingdom values by acting in ways that lead to what?
- What does Paul mean by mutual edification?
- Verses 22-23 speak of both freedom and faith. How do you enjoy both of these in your Christian experience?
When it comes to disputable matters, the mature are those whose faith expresses itself in love.
- Where are you at when it comes to addressing disputable matters, are you prideful and think everything has to go your way—is there room in your life for you to be humble? Maybe you are the one who is wrong.
- What would it take for you to make love the primary?
- Remember that the Gospel is God’s offer of liberty, are you trying to add to or subtract from it?