Unity in Diversity

October 10, 2021 Speaker: Jeff Bedwell Series: One Another

Passage: Romans 14:1–14:23

Series: One Another
Message: Unity In Diversity 
Scripture: Romans 14:1-23

I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:20–21, ESV)

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.” (Romans 12:16, ESV)

Two great realities—unity and diversity—are to coexist in the Body of Christ.

“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”

What We Need To Know

  1. We are called to a profound Acceptance of one another (1-4)

The one who “is weak in faith” is not weak in basic Christian faith, but is weak in assurance that his faith permits him to do certain things

Avoid:

  • Despising (The strong toward the weak)
  • Judging (The weak toward the strong)
  1. People with opposing viewpoints on non-essentials can both be Right with the Lord (5-6)

Reminder: If the Lord convicts you that something is wrong in your life, it is wrong for you to do it!

  1. The Lordship of Christ is Foundational (7-12)
  • Our Salvation is from the Lord (3)
  • Our Service is to the Lord (4)
  • Our Security is in the Lord (4)
  • Our Scrutiny is from the Lord (10-12)

What We Need To Do

  1. Determine not to be a source of stumbling (13-15)

“Did Christ love him enough to die for him, and shall we not love him enough to refrain from wounding his conscience?” John Stott

If something makes someone stumble, love them more than your Freedom

  1. Live as a Citizen of the Kingdom of God (16-18)

The Kingdom of God consists not of externals but of Eternals

  1. Pursue that which builds up (19-21)

“It is a Christian duty to think of everything, not as it affects ourselves only, but also as it affects others.”  William Barclay

  1. Do everything with a Clear Conscience (22-23)

“A neutral thing only becomes a right thing when it is done out of faith, out of the real, reasoned conviction that it is the right thing to do. The only motive for doing anything is that a man believes it to be right. When a thing is done out of social convention, out of fear of unpopularity, to please men, then it is wrong. “ C.E.B. Cranfield

A Helpful Clarification

Truth Matters -  Some things are worth dividing over

There is a time to divide--but the bar for division should be really, really high

Concept of Theological Triage

Gavin Ortlund suggests four basic categories:

  • First-rank doctrines are essential to the gospel itself.
  • Second-rank doctrines are urgent for the health and practice of the church such that they frequently cause Christians to separate at the level of local church, denomination, and/or ministry.
  • Third-rank doctrines are important to Christian theology, but not enough to justify separation or division among Christians.
  • Fourth-rank doctrines are unimportant to our gospel witness and ministry collaboration.

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Two great realities—unity and diversity—are to coexist in the Body of Christ.

“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”

 

Questions To Consider:

  • Of first importance is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Have I personally received God’s forgiveness by repenting of my sin and placing my faith and trust in Jesus Christ as the forgiver of my sin and the rightful leader and Lord of my life?
  • Do I tend to be more “legalistic” or “libertarian”? What are the factors that have helped shape me that way?
  • Who are the people in my life that God wants me to demonstrate love and unity toward even though we differ significantly in some area? What is one specific step I will take this week?
  • Spend time reviewing the teaching above. Begin making any adjustments that you sense God is directing you to begin to live out in your life and relationships.

 

 

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