THE KINGDOM: Romans 14:13-23

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SCRIPTURE

ROMANS 14:13-23 13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. 16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil.17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

20 Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. 21 It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. 22 The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

STUDY QUESTIONS

  1. Read verse 13. What is Paul telling us to stop doing and what he is telling us to start doing? What is Paul getting at in verse 14? 
  2. Read verse 15. Why is it important to understand the context of this passage? What does Paul conclude you are clearly not doing if your eating grieves a brother in Christ? What does he warn against at the end of verse 15?
  3. Read verse 16. Rephrase what Paul is saying. How does verse 17 help us see why this is an important issue? What is the Kingdom of God not about? What is it about?
  4. Read verses 18-19. What will the result be of those who are serving Christ? Do you think Paul means that the world will accept us or is he specifically talking about believers? What does he say we should pursue in verse 19? Do you pursue that?
  5. Read verses 20-21. What do you think Paul means by “stumble”? How do John 11:9-10 and Romans 9:32 help clarify?
  6. Remember the context of verse 1, which says, “As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions” (emphasis added). What is Paul, therefore, getting at in the first half of verse 22? What is the promise and, by implication, the warning in the second half of verse 22?
  7. What is Paul getting at in the first half of verse 23—does he mean that having doubts of any kind is condemning or something else? At the end of verse 23? What reasoning does Paul give to justify his claim? How does this last part of verse 23 help us understand sin, grace, faith, the Christian life, etc.?

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