Romans 14 – Be the True Sons and Daughters 成為真兒女
Wednesday, 21st June 2023
Sister Joanna Liu
Section One V1-13 Do Not Judge Do Not Despise 不論斷不輕看
V1-4 ‘Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.’
V1-4 ‘信心軟弱的，你們要接納，但不要辯論所疑惑的事。 有人信百物都可吃，但那軟弱的只吃蔬菜。 吃的人不可輕看不吃的人，不吃的人不可論斷吃的人，因為神已經收納他了。 你是誰，竟論斷別人的僕人呢？他或站住，或跌倒，自有他的主人在；而且他也必要站住，因為主能使他站住。’
In Romans 14, Paul continues to talk to the Roman church to strengthen their faith. Here he talked about those who were weak in the faith, I believe were the Jews, and those who were strong in faith, the Gentiles, because the Gentile believers they still ate everything, whereas the Jews believers kept their laws very carefully. God does not tell us to be like the Gentiles or the Jews, nor does He want us to do everything we want to do or to be strict in keeping the laws. He created us all differently and there are different lessons for each one of us to learn in life, and we are not here to judge one another, but to help one another in completing the ‘mission’ God has given to us.
I like parables, I like stories, and I like to see things in images, and therefore, God often reveal things to me that way. I see the Bible as the GPS to guide us the way to the Kingdom of God, it’s the same destination for everybody. The churches are like our vehicles for us all to sit in to follow God’s GPS, we all come from different directions, we all go on our vehicles (buses, trains, boats, vans…) from different departure points. It’s just like how a lot of people go to local churches because they are close by, some people go to the church that speaks their mother tongues, some people go to the church with congregations of similar interest, income, social status… of course there are people being called to their churches, because God wants to make sure all these vehicles go to His destination, and He will call those who are needed in the churches.
V5-6 ‘One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.’
V5-6 ‘有人看這日比那日強，有人看日日都是一樣，只是各人心裡要意見堅定。 守日的人是為主守的；吃的人是為主吃的，因他感謝神；不吃的人是為主不吃的，也感謝神。’
Our Pastors and our leaders are like the captain of the vehicle, there are big vehicles and small vehicles, but all the captains have the same mission, the same goal, the same calling, which is to bring their church to the path God has designed for them. The path for different church is different, because as I mentioned, they all come from different places, and as the vehicle goes along the way, it will pick up different people, there are also people getting off half way, some of them found another vehicle to go, but some just got lost in the world. Our job is not to keep people in our vehicle, but to make sure everyone keeps the same faith about where we are going and why we are going there, so they will not easily get off. Submitting to our authority, the captain, is one of the most important elements for staying together as a Body of Christ, and we already talked about it yesterday in Romans 13.
V7-10 ‘For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.’
V7-10 ‘我們沒有一個人為自己活，也沒有一個人為自己死。 我們若活著，是為主而活；若死了，是為主而死。所以，我們或活或死，總是主的人。 因此基督死了，又活了，為要做死人並活人的主。 你這個人，為什麼論斷弟兄呢？又為什麼輕看弟兄呢？因我們都要站在神的臺前。’
So let us go back to my section title, that as children of God, we not to despise one another and not to judge one another, because we are all on the same boat, God put us together because He knows that we can help each other to go to the same direction. You might think it was your decision to make about which church to go and which church to stay, but everything happens for a reason, and it’s not by accident that God puts you in this church today. If you are between churches, I have to remind you, you are always walking on the path by yourself, you are always just hanging by the window of the vehicle, and one day when you lose the strength to hang onto it you will fall. Of course, there are freelance preachers out there, God has given them their own vehicle, but you need to have special calling for that.
We all belong to God, we are all God’s children, how we want our children to love one another, God also wants His children to love one another. I have to admit, I despise men since I was little, as the eldest in the family, I had to take up a lot of responsibilities when I was little, my father was hardly home and my mother basically did everything in and out of the house. So my role model was a strong and knowledgeable woman, I gradually become a woman like this. I have a lot of friends, but my love life had not been easy, boys have not been nice to me and inside of me, I grow an attitude of despise to all men. I love my father, but he was never there, so I don’t really know men. All I see is that they are prideful, they want to be admired but a lot of times, women might do a lot more than them to deserve praises.
V11-13 ‘For it is written: “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.’
V11-13 ‘經上寫著：「主說：『我憑著我的永生起誓：萬膝必向我跪拜，萬口必向我承認。』」 這樣看來，我們各人必要將自己的事在神面前說明。所以，我們不可再彼此論斷，寧可定意誰也不給弟兄放下絆腳跌人之物。’
God reminds me today, that He created everyone differently, we must not judge anyone nor despise anyone, especially those who are on the same vehicle as us! Even our unbeliever families and friends are being dragged by us in this vehicle, we are all in this together.
Section Two V14-21 Seek to Please God 追求討神喜悅
V14-18 ‘I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.’
V14-18 ‘我憑著主耶穌確知深信：凡物本來沒有不潔淨的；唯獨人以為不潔淨的，在他就不潔淨了。 你若因食物叫弟兄憂愁，就不是按著愛人的道理行。基督已經替他死，你不可因你的食物叫他敗壞。 不可叫你的善被人毀謗， 因為神的國不在乎吃喝，只在乎公義、和平並聖靈中的喜樂。 在這幾樣上服侍基督的，就為神所喜悅，又為人所稱許。’
V19-21 ‘Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.’
V19-21 ‘所以，我們務要追求和睦的事與彼此建立德行的事。 不可因食物毀壞神的工程。凡物固然潔淨，但有人因食物叫人跌倒，就是他的罪了。 無論是吃肉，是喝酒，是什麼別的事，叫弟兄跌倒，一概不做才好。’
Section Three V22-23 Be Simple Be Pure 簡單單純
V22-23 ‘Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.’
V22-23 ‘你有信心，就當在神面前守著。人在自己以為可行的事上能不自責，就有福了。 若有疑心而吃的，就必有罪，因為他吃不是出於信心；凡不出於信心的都是罪。’