NextLevel Online: Romans

Session 11: Romans 14-15: How to Fight in Church

We have unpacked four of Paul’s five “church killers” If we’re going to be the church, we gotta find a way to disagree well. Paul gives us just what we need in Romans 14-15.



Classroom

Classroom Instructions

Lesson
Materials: Lesson Outline
Leader
  • So far we’ve unpacked two of Paul’s five “church killers”

    • We compare and compete/look down on others

    • We love only some people

  • Now need to add two more:

    • We let opinions and preferences drive us (14.1-15.13)

    • We try to go it alone (15.14-33)

  • If we’re going to be the church, we gotta find a way to disagree well. Paul gives us just what we need in Romans 14-15.

Here are what I see as the basic principles for navigating disagreement:

  • Don’t be driven by opinions and preferences.

    • Most of us tend to think too highly of our own perspective. We treat our opinions like facts. We treat our preferences like biblical mandates. Stop it!

    • Don’t judge people according to how you fill in the lines the Bible leaves blank. You are not Lord and Master of all. Christ is, and he accepts people whose cultural preferences differ from yours.

  • Instead be driven by the example of Christ.

    • Prioritize the good of other people. Serve them, not yourself. It’s so simple, isn’t it? And yet how many church fights could be avoided or peacefully resolved if both sides actually thought and lived like this?

    • You are not required to obey other people’s extra-biblical rules. You are free in Christ to fill in some lines the Bible leaves blank. You don’t have to do what they want you to do. But that doesn’t mean you are free to do whatever you want any time you want to. That’s not the example of Jesus.

    • Enjoy your freedom in Christ, but don’t be a slave to it. You are free from the law not so you can act without love, but because the most loving person in existence lives in you. Let him out! Live like him by not demanding your freedom in ways that cause others distress.

    • 15.1-6.

Don’t be driven by opinions and preferences. Instead be driven by the example of Christ. Surely that’s simple enough to put into practice.

That’s the kind of church I want to be part of. You probably do too. So here are the questions I want to leave you with.

  • Any unresolved conflicts need attention?

  • If everyone in the church had my attitude, how well would we disagree? If the answer is ugly, you know what you need to do next.

About NextLevel Online

The vision of Ozark Christian College is to glorify God by evangelizing the lost and edifying Christians worldwide. The mission of Ozark Christian College is to train men and women for Christian service as a degree-granting institution of biblical higher education.