Useful Bible Studies > Romans Commentary > chapter 14

Christians must think about the effect of their actions on weaker people

Romans 14:16

Often, the result of bad and evil acts by Christians is that other people say wrong things against God. So, Godís holy name does not receive the honour that is due to him (2:24).

We might not expect that anything good could ever have a similar effect. However, the freedom that Christ gives to his people is certainly something good (Galatians 5:1). If we use it for Godís honour, then that freedom will bring honour to God (1 Corinthians 9:18-23). However, if we use that freedom to satisfy our own desires, weaker Christians may suffer. We may have the knowledge to prove that our actions are right. Other people may copy our actions but act against their own consciences (1 Corinthians 8:7). That can ruin a personís relationship with God (1 Corinthians 8:10-11).

It is not good enough for a Christian only to do what is right. He must also think about the effect of his actions on other, weaker people.

For example, a stronger Christian might go into a place where people do wrong and evil acts. He might do nothing wrong there, but in the same place a weaker Christian would be in great danger (1 Corinthians 8:10-11). The choice of food and drink was another important example for Paul as he wrote Romans chapter 14. Still today, the use of alcohol places many Christians in serious danger.

Paul sometimes had to warn Christians about their wild and foolish behaviour (1 Corinthians 11:13-16 and 11:22). Perhaps they were only expressing their joy. However, other people would see it, and they would say bad things about God because of it.

Next part: Righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17)


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© 2018, Keith Simons.