Romans 14:1-12 “Strength and Weakness”

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In every church from the very beginning, there have been people that have been in different places in their faith walk.  Truth be told, in Jesus’ ministry, we see Him interacting with people that were all over the map with regards to their maturity and understanding of faith.  From Pharisees to the woman at the well to Mary Magdelene the reformed prostitute, Jesus provides an example of love, acceptance, and even challenge in these relationships.

Paul, with this in mind, applies Jesus’ teaching and example in the shadow of his own teaching on the command to continual (Agape) love (Romans 13:8) in the way that we interact with each other.  Specifically, he talks about how believers should interact with each other. Paul speaks at length about “Christian freedom,” how that freedom is governed by the command to love is precisely what he addresses here.

Questions to take home:

  1. What are the images of “strong” and “weak” faith that Paul sets up here?  How does he describe them? Does any of that surprise you? How does it impact how you think about your own faith journey?
  2. Paul uses the example of “sacred days” in the exercise of faith, referring specifically to Jewish high holidays and feasts.  What do you think he is really getting at here? What “disputable matters” do we find ourselves quarreling over and how can we learn from this?
  3. One of Paul’s main points here is that “we belong to the Lord.”  What do you think he means by this? How does that impact how you think about your life and faith?  How does it change how you view others, particularly other believers?