Sermon Discussion: COVID 19 and the Christian Conscience
Main Idea: Differences of opinion between fellow believers should never cause division within the local church.
1. Who are these “weak” people? (1) What are the external manifestations of this weakness? (2) Why does Paul call them “weak”?
2. How can we be certain this “weakness” was truly a matter of opinion and not a matter of sin?
3. How did was this “weakness” fueling an ever-growing conflict between the “weak” and “strong believers” believers in the Roman church?
4. How many different ways does Paul argue that it is always sinful to judge / condemn fellow church-members over matters of personal opinion in verses 4–12?
5. What does it look like AND feel like when the “strong in faith” welcome those who are “weak in faith”?
6. Have you ever been a part of a church that was embroiled in a heated conflict over matters of true Christian freedom?
- What was the issue and how did it play out over time?
- Looking back how might Paul’s instructions in Romans 14 brought peace and unity?
7. In the sermon pastor Mark noted that, “Mature believers are tempted to become self-serving freedom defenders AND weak believers are tempted to become self-righteous freedom restrictors when they collide.”
- Have you seen this truth played out in your life?
- Do you think that the categories of “mature” and “weak” describe unchangeable “spiritual” states of individual Christians OR that these categories best describe an individual’s convictions about specific areas of Christian freedom? (i.e., might a person be “mature” in regard to one issue and “weak” in regard to another?) Explain your thoughts.
7. How might the three principles in this text help you navigate present and future conflicts of opinion?
- God always appeals to the mature believer first when it comes to issues of opinion. (14:1)
- Disagreements over Christian freedom should never result in divisiveness. (14:3)
- Diverse practices that are motivated by the glory of God and do not violate the revealed will of God should never divide the people of God. (14:4–12)
8. What impacted you the most in this message?
9. Do you sense God calling you to do something as a result of this message? Would you be willing to share it with the group?