A Clay Jar

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Some Guidance for Disputable Matters

Romans 14:22-23

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So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

(Romans 14:22-23 NIV)

Jesus provides us with two commandments that we are expected to follow as his disciples. To love God with all we are and to love other people as we do ourselves. Those two commands should guide us in all that we do each day. If something dishonors God or is hurtful to other people, then I should not do it. But is it possible that something that does not dishonor God or hurt other people might still be wrong for me to do?

In this chapter, Paul discussed two specific examples that fall into what he calls disputable matters. Eating meat sacrificed to idols and regarding some days as more special than others. Today we might add such things as the types of entertainment we enjoy, consuming alcohol, or interactions with the opposite sex. Sometimes we can recognize what we should or should not do regarding these things. But other times, it is not so clear.

Some Guidance

Paul gives us some guidance in these two verses concerning these “disputable matters.” First, keep what you believe about these matters between yourself and God. This is not to say that you keep it a secret from other people. Instead, he tells us not to judge someone who might have reached a different conclusion. God is their judge in the matter, not me.

And the second thing he tells us is that if we doubt whether it is OK for us to do something, then it is not. If I doubt whether it is OK to have a glass of wine with my meal or go to see a particular movie, I should not. For me, that would be a sin. But if I am convinced that it is OK, I can participate. At least so long as it is not contrary to the two greatest commands or leads someone who doubts to follow my example, causing them to sin.

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Ed Jarrett

Just an old clay jar that God continues to see fit to use in his kingdom's work. I am retired, married with 2 children, and 4 grandchildren. I have followed Jesus for many years. And I love to share what He has given me from His word.

A Note to Readers

The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.

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