Have you ever been in an argument about if its ok to have a glass of wine, cut your grass on Sunday or take your kids trick-or-treatinng? How are we supposed to resolve these debates?
Sin is any measure of not living in total glad submission to God and it demonstrates itself outwardly in specific ways that are made clear and obvious in the New Testament. (Galatians 5:19-21, Colossians 3:5-10, Romans 13:12-14)
Convictions are the things people feel they should or should not do based on their own personal understanding and level of faith in the Gospel.
Why is there controversy over convictions? (14:1-2)
Answer: Those who are “weak” in their understanding and faith in the Gospel have a high level of allegiance and sense of righteous identity in religious rules and traditions. However, those who are “strong” in their understanding and faith in the Gospel see little to no value at all in religious rules and traditions. These values diametrically oppose one another at the core level and thus create the potential for serious controversy in the church. (14:1-2)
What is the applicable gospel truth that addresses the controversy? (14:3-12)
Answer: The Gospel says God only saves one way (Grace), and to all who believe, He saves to the same degree (fully). This means that no matter how mature or immature a person is in their understanding of the Gospel or in the exercise of their faith they are non-the-less equally one of God’s children that HE alone is leading and perfecting according to HIS plan! It’s called the Doctrine of the Priesthood of Believers. (14:3-12)
How do we practically apply the Gospel in a situation where two sides are immovable in their convictions? (14:13-23)
Answer: Those who are stronger in their understanding of the Gospel and faith in the Gospel need to demonstrate their strength by taking the initiative and making every reasonable effort to be at peace with other believers (Romans 12:14-21). If you are indeed strong in the faith you should be equipped to prioritize your Christian responsibility to love others more than your freedom! (14:13-23)
Are you a "weaker" Christian who is living his life upset and out of fellowship with Christians who don’t agree with all your rules and traditions?
Are you a "stronger" Christian who is allowing your freedom in something to become your identity over and above Christ who gave you that freedom?