Matters of Conscience

The New Testament is quite clear: 1) Matters of doctrine must be uniformly believed among Christians; 2) Matters of conscience must be uniformly tolerated; and 3) Conflating these two categories is unacceptable—decreeing that you can “let your conscience be your guide” in doctrinal matters is just as wrong and sinful as decreeing that a matter of conscience must be uniformly believed and practiced.

In Romans 14:1-15:13 the inspired penman states four authoritative principles which govern matters of conscience and the liberty granted each of us in Christ.

  • The strong are to receive the weak; neither is to view the other unfavorably (14:1-13).

  • All Christians are to focus on helping every one of his brothers and sisters in Christ get to heaven, not on judging them over trivial earthly matters (14:14-23).

  • Out of love the strong are to bear with the scruples of the weak in conscience (15:1-6).

  • All Christians are to follow Christ’s example and receive each other as their Lord receiv­ed each of them.

Loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength means unity of belief in matters of revealed doctrine. It also means loving others as yourself and thus granting liberty of con­science to your beloved brethren.

Living by these four principles is imperative to the unity of God’s people.

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Author: jchowning

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