As a Christian you may have been questioned by one of your friends as to whether your conduct was in line with God’s Word. Do you know what I am saying? Okay! Has a friend ever told you the following?
“I thought you said you were a Christian, that does not seem like anything a Christian should do?”
If you read Romans, chapter 14, you will find six principles given by Paul as a guideline. I have outlined them.
- Liberty of judgment. (Rom.14: 2) Paraphrase: If you eat meat, don’t despise someone who is a vegetarian. Avoid friction – Paul exhorts an attitude of tolerance and the right of a brother/sister to hold an opposing opinion.
- Right of person conviction. (Rom. 14:5) “Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” Paul says that Christians have to be fully persuaded in our own mind and not allow our conduct and character to be dictated by someone else. We alone are responsible for our actions. Some esteem one day above another day.
- Accountability to God alone. (Rom.14: 4) Paraphrase: “A servant stands or falls to his own master.” Paul says our final accountability is to God alone. You are accountable to God before you are accountable to any man.
- Absence of censoriousness when others differ. (Rom. 14:10) Paraphrase: Why do you judge your brother? Paul teaches, it is not our prerogative to judge and criticize our brother’s actions.
- Abstinence in the interest of others. (Rom. 13:10) Paraphrase: “Love does not work ill to his neighbor.” The Christian is not to live for his own pleasure alone but is to be ever mindful of the effect of his conduct on a weaker brother.
- Abstinence from things doubtful. (Rom. 14:23) Paraphrase: “if it is not of faith, it is sin”
The Holy Spirit will speak to our spirit and guide us because true morality comes from the inward part of our heart. The Holy Spirit makes the precepts of the law live in the heart and control the motives of the heart. Sometimes it is the motive of our heart that makes all the difference. That is why God tells us not to judge someone else.
- Abstinence from being doubtful. (Rom. 14:23) Paraphrase: “Whatever is not of faith is sin.” The presence of doubt is a call to defer action until we diligently cast out doubt through God’s Word. It is possible through tradition and prejudice to have doubts about what the Word of God condemns. But it is The Holy Spirit whose work it is to guide us into all truth.