Paul has been talking about the application of the gospel of grace in the lives of believers. Romans 12:5 says we are one body in Christ, and all of us are members one of another. So then what do we do when we disagree about what “we” think is important? Romans 14 has the answer.
1. Read verse 1. This verse introduces the topic – doubtful disputations, which means arguments over my opinion verses your opinion. Remember in this chapter Paul is not talking about God’s law or moral standards, but people’s opinions about what they think should or should not be done. Can you think of areas where people argue over opinions today?
2. According to verse 2-3, what were they arguing about?
3. What is the main issue that Paul is trying to deal with to keep the “oneness” of the church? Romans 14:4
4. Read verse 5 several times. Is this verse talking about God’s esteem of a day or man’s esteem of a day? In the context of the previous verses, what were they esteeming the day for? Verse 6
5. Is Paul talking about worshipping on the seventh day Sabbath or is he talking about eating or not eating (fasting)? Verse 6
6. Why do you think he says what he says in verse 7 in the context of arguing over which days to fast and which foods to eat during a fast?
7. Read Romans 14:8-10. What do these verses mean?
8. If we really applied the principle in verses 11,12, how would it change our “judging” of others?
9. Instead of judging and condemning others, what does Paul admonish us to do for others? Verse 13.
10. Read verses 14,15 carefully. What is Paul saying in these verses? What is the application for us today?
11. If we do something that is good, but we do it while condemning others who don’t do it, how does that cause our good thing to be evil spoken of? Verse 16 Can you think of an example?
12. What does Paul say is the most important areas of focus? Romans 14:17,18
13. When it comes to promoting “our opinions”, should we do it at the expense of peace and unity? Verse 19.
14. How does this differ from the command of God to promote the principles of His Law and the messages of Revelation 14?
15. Read verses 20-23. How do these verses summarize the issue that Paul is dealing with in this chapter?
16. How do you think the Roman Christians responded to Paul’s counsel?