Three Compelling Reasons for Liberty of Conscience

For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.’ So then, each of us shall give account of himself to God. Therefore, let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way” (Romans 14:9-13).

Unity among Christians with a diversity of strong convictions about personal opinions is only possible when the strong receive the weak in conscience and neither views the other un­favorably.

Embedded in the verses above are three compelling reasons why this principle is to be practiced.

  • Only Christ is qualified to judge the conscience of all. He alone died, rose, and lived again. Since no one among the strong or the weak in conscience has done such, everyone but Christ lacks the sufficient qualifications to be judge.

  • Everyone’s role on the day of judgment will be in the dock, on trial. Only Jesus will be on the judge’s bench declaring verdicts. If you will not be the judge then, why do you think your job is to judge or show contempt for your brother now?

  • Your resolved focus needs to be on edification. As fellow travelers on the narrow and difficult way that leads to life, neither you nor any of your kinsmen in Christ need more stumbling blocks which may trip you up or hidden traps which ensnare you spiritually. A body which intentionally trips itself up is clearly unhealthy.

In light of these three compelling reasons, let us, therefore, not judge one another in matters of Christian liberty.

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Author: jchowning

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