Disputable matters. It can be exasperating when something that seems to be vitally important to you is just not that important to someone else…especially if that someone else is a friend, or family, or in your church or small group. Disagreements can be difficult and very often the conclusion people come to is that the other involved:
-Are not as wise, smart, enlightened as I am
-Are not as advanced, mature in the faith as I am
-Are rebellious, sinful, and far from God
What is wrong with this kind of thinking?
Our objective is to know and understand that there will be times of disagreement regarding disputable matters. There are some issues that are not clearly addressed in the Bible and within these issues there is room for differing opinions. When we come to disputable matters we should always keep the following in mind: we are always to accept one another; if we have a certain conviction, we need to live by that conviction; and finally, if that conviction is a personal conviction, we need to keep them to ourselves.
“1 Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. 2 One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3 The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. 5 One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. 8 If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’” 12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.
What are the difference between personal convictions and Biblical convictions? What makes an issue a disputable matter? Give an example.
14:1-3: Stop Judging One Another
Why do disputable matters cause us to want to judge others who disagree with us?
Read verse 3. Paul tells us to change our attitudes towards each other. What is key to us applying this verse?
14:4-9: You Have One Master
Why are we not to Judge people’s hearts and motives?
14:10-12: In the End, God will be God
Read verses 10-12 and then discuss the following statement Terry made about it: “What he [Paul] means is that every believer is ultimately answerable to God, not to others, for their conduct in this life.” What are your thought?
When it comes to disputable matters, are your drawing the field to small or to large?
Is your character one that tends to want to rule all matters as being disputable, or no matter as being disputable? If so, what needs to change?
Can you see any area in which you may be a weaker believer (to do so takes great self-awareness!)?
How do these verses challenge you and change you?
Gal. 5:6, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” Ask yourself “what would it look like in practice for you to live the gospel?”