In the book of Romans, Paul discusses at length many different doctrines, but one that he spends a great deal of time is that of sin, grace and liberty.
It is in this book that we find that the law was made so that we would know sin. It is also in this book that we find that we’re all sinners in need of a Savior.
However, one of the themes that also repeats itself is “What now?”
What I mean by this question is “what do we do with this knowledge?” Before, the law was in effect, and in order to have a right relationship with God there were things to do and to follow. There were ceremonies and sacrifices—and the religious leaders of the day had added things on top of it.
So, the new believers wondered “What do we continue to do?” In Acts, the council of Apostles only laid a couple of restrictions on the new converts—to abstain from meat offered to idols and fornication. But that really didn’t really square well, and how do you handle when one group of believers thinks that one thing is sin and another believes it to be something acceptable?
It is in this vacuum that Paul wades in with a new standard—the standard of the point of the exercise:
He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. – Romans 14:6
That standard being, where the Word of God is silent, there is liberty as long as what is done is done to the glory of God.
So I Have Liberty?
Yes, Paul is saying in Romans 14 that many of the things that were forbidden in the past—like meat offered to idols or holding days sacred—had their mission but no longer are binding. We are all related to God directly, rather than corporately.
But there are conditions that apply for each person. We’ll cover those starting tomorrow…