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The Tension of Liberty and Love (23 of 26)
INTRODUCTION: We are at a very important intersection in our study of Romans. Paul has spent Chapter 13 teaching us how to relate to the culture around us - Our lost neighbors, our government, etc.
• In Chapter 15 he is going to focus us like a laser on our global mission.
• But before he does that we have chapter 14.
Chapter 14, teaches us how to get along amongst ourselves. You see God knows that we will have very little affect on the world so long as we fight amongst ourselves.
ILLUSTRATION: I heard about one man who was stranded on a dessert island for 20 years. Finally, a boat happened upon this island and located the stranded man. They discovered that he had built three dwelling places. They couldn't help but wonder why one man needed three homes. He explained, "well you see the first is my house, but the second is my baptist church". That's wonderful, what is the third?" they asked. "Well", he replied, "I got upset about the first church and wanted some where to move my letter to, so I built the second".
Well Chapter 14, is dealing with things churches get upset about. I remember when I first started preaching - I thought my biggest trouble would be from cults. But I have found that all you have to do is get those guys talking and everyone will know they are nuts. Generally, when it comes to doctrinal differences, you get people talking and it just seems obvious that one side seems to be standing on the inerrant, inspired Word of God and the other seems to be talking about how they think, or feel.
But the biggest difficulties for the unity of a church come from the areas dealt with in Chapter 14. Chapter 14 deals with the issue of Christian liberty. He is assuming that the Church at Rome is growing, therefore they will consist of both STRONG MATURE Christians who have walked with Christ for some time, and WEAK IMMATURE Christians who are still trying t ...
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