Sermon for August 14, 2022

A “PEACE” of Advice Romans 14:1–18 (NLT): Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. 2 For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. 3 Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them. 4 Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive his approval. 5 In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. 6 Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God. 7 For we don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves. 8 If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 Christ died and rose again for this very purpose—to be Lord both of the living and of the dead. 10 So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For the Scriptures say,      “ ‘As surely as I live,’ says the LORD,     ‘every knee will bend to me,       and every tongue will declare allegiance praise to God.’ ”  12 Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. 13 So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall. 14 I know and am convinced on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong. 15 And if another believer is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don’t let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. 16 Then you will not be criticized for doing something you believe is good. 17 For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. Where is Paul coming from when he makes this statement?  Well, it is grounded in something foretold in Isaiah… Isaiah 45:19–25 (NLT): 19 I publicly proclaim bold promises.       I do not whisper obscurities in some dark corner.     I would not have told the people of Israel to seek me       if I could not be found.     I, the LORD, speak only what is true       and declare only what is right.      20 “Gather together and come,       you fugitives from surrounding nations.     What fools they are who carry around their wooden idols       and pray to gods that cannot save!     21 Consult together, argue your case.       Get together and decide what to say.     Who made these things known so long ago?       What idol ever told you they would happen?     Was it not I, the LORD?       For there is no other God but me,     a righteous God and Savior.       There is none but me.     22 Let all the world look to me for salvation!       For I am God; there is no other.     23 I have sworn by my own name;       I have spoken the truth,       and I will never go back on my word:     Every knee will bend to me,       and every tongue will declare allegiance to me.”     24 The people will declare,       “The LORD is the source of all my righteousness and strength.”     And all who were angry with him       will come to him and be ashamed.     25 In the LORD all the generations of Israel will be justified,       and in him they will boast. AND… Zephaniah 3:1–13 (NLT): 1 What sorrow awaits rebellious, polluted Jerusalem,       the city of violence and crime!     2 No one can tell it anything;       it refuses all correction.     It does not trust in the LORD       or draw near to its God.     3 Its leaders are like roaring lions       hunting for their victims.     Its judges are like ravenous wolves at evening time,       who by dawn have left no trace of their prey.     4 Its prophets are arrogant liars seeking their own gain.       Its priests defile the Temple by disobeying God’s instructions.     5 But the LORD is still there in the city,       and he does no wrong.     Day by day he hands down justice,       and he does not fail.       But the wicked know no shame.      6 “I have wiped out many nations,       devastating their fortress walls and towers.     Their streets are now deserted;       their cities lie in silent ruin.     There are no survivors—       none at all.     7 I thought, ‘Surely they will have reverence for me now!       Surely they will listen to my warnings.     Then I won’t need to strike again,       destroying their homes.’     But no, they get up early       to continue their evil deeds.     8 Therefore, be patient,” says the LORD.       “Soon I will stand and accuse these evil nations.     For I have decided to gather the kingdoms of the earth       and pour out my fiercest anger and fury on them.     All the earth will be devoured       by the fire of my jealousy.      9 “Then I will purify the speech of all people,       so that everyone can worship the LORD together.     10 My scattered people who live beyond the rivers of Ethiopia       will come to present their offerings.     11 On that day you will no longer need to be ashamed,       for you will no longer be rebels against me.     I will remove all proud and arrogant people from among you.       There will be no more haughtiness on my holy mountain.     12 Those who are left will be the lowly and humble,       for it is they who trust in the name of the LORD.     13 The remnant of Israel will do no wrong;       they will never tell lies or deceive one another.     They will eat and sleep in safety,       and no one will make them afraid.”  

“PEACE” 

P: Personal convictions are not always universally celebrated (14:2-3)

E: Each person must discover ways to grow personally to God (14:14-18)

A: Alone we stand before God. (Romans 14:10-12)

C: Cease the idea that the way I grow closer to God is the only and right way. (14:4)

E: Edification of the same God together. (Romans 14:19)  

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