February 19th Follow-up

Sunday Follow-up
Romans 14 - "When believers have differing convictions"

Yesterday I taught on how believers should handle situations where one believer has a conviction about something that another believer does not share. A conviction is a firmly held belief or opinion about something. Each of us has varying convictions including beliefs that are based on Biblical truths and principles. We need to understand what our convictions are and why we have them. Why is it important? Because our convictions can affect our actions and treatment of others.

The church in Rome was comprised of Jewish and Gentile Christians. Jewish believers believed that the right day to gather together to worship was the Sabbath. This conviction was based primarily on the fact that all their lives they were taught to observe the Sabbath. Jewish believers also held a strong conviction that Christians should not eat meat because much of the meat you could purchase was used in sacrifices to false gods. Gentile believers did not share those same convictions which resulted in each group judging the other. It not only threatened the unity of the church but also hindered its spiritual growth as well.

The Church today may have different convictions than the church in Rome, but the Church still struggles with how to handle those differences in convictions. For example - many believers have a conviction that they cannot vote for a Democrat because of what the Democratic party stands for as a whole. Some Christians do not share that conviction. Those believers who do hold to that conviction may find themselves at times struggling with understanding how another Christian can vote that way. But if a believer doesn’t have a problem with voting for a Democrat, does that mean they are not a Christian? A very outspoken Pastor on social media believes so. In his own words – “you cannot be Christian and vote Democrat.” What he is doing is not only judging another believer, but he is judging their salvation.

Yesterday we looked at three things that can help us navigate our differences. First, we need to accept (embrace) one another as fellow believers despite our differing convictions. Second, we need to let our convictions be our own and follow them for the right reasons. Third, we should do what we can so as not to hinder another believer's relationship with God who does not share our convictions. May it be our heart to help not hurt. May it be our heart to help build one another up rather than tear one another down.

Have a blessed week.

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