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Sabbath School Lessons on Romans
About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 40 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 13: All the Rest Is Commentary *
Introduction: We have come to our last study in Romans and I am sad.
What a great discussion we have had about our salvation! I have
learned more about God's will, and if you have been with me each
lesson, I trust that you, too, have advanced in your knowledge of
this important topic. This week we learn about the advantage of
being a hypocrite. Well, perhaps not. I'll let you decide. Let's
dive into our study of the Bible once again to see what we can
- Vegetable Eaters and Sabbath Keepers
- Read Romans 14:1-4. What does eating vegetables have to
do with faith? I've been a vegetarian for decades! Has
my faith been weakened (but my heart strengthened)
because of it?
- Read 1 Corinthians 10:18-21. What is the issue?
(Whether those who eat meat offered to idols are
giving allegiance to demons.)
- Paul's first answer is found next. Read 1
Corinthians 10:23-24. What would you conclude that
Paul thought about eating meat offered to idols? (It
might be permissible, but not beneficial.)
- Let's continue by reading 1 Corinthians 10:25-29.
What is Paul's final answer? (Don't worry about it
unless someone raises the issue.)
- Now that we have a better understanding about the nature
of the vegetable debate, what does Paul counsel those who
think God does (or does not) require the eating of
vegetables to avoid any issue of worshiping idols? (Paul
tells us that this is one (of presumably many)
"disputable matters," ( Romans 14:1) and that Christians
should not get into arguments about it or condemn those
- Read Romans 14:5-6. Is Paul talking about the day we go
to church? Is that a "disputable matter" like eating
vegetables? Does this mean no church attendance on any
special day? Would it be okay to join with our Muslim
friends and worship on Friday?
- Read Hebrews 10:25. Why would Christians be told not
to neglect a regular religious meeting if no
particular day mattered? (Many of the older Bible
commentaries, like Barnes' Notes; Adam Clarke's
Commentary; Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown; Matthew
Henry's Commentary and others argue (convincingly in
my mind) that Paul is not talking about the weekly
Sabbath. Rather, Paul is talking about the Jewish
Sabbath feasts. The Jewish Christians were brought
up celebrating them and the Gentile Christians were
not. In general, these festival Sabbaths were
fulfilled in Jesus, so continuing to celebrate them
was purely optional.)
- Read Isaiah 66:22-23. What does this suggest about
the weekly Sabbath? (We will continue to observe
Sabbaths in Heaven! Read what Barnes' Notes says
about this verse: "There can be no permanent worship
of God, and no permanent religion on earth, without
a Sabbath; ... while the observance [of the Jewish
festivals were] made a part of the ceremonial law,
the law respecting the sabbaths was incorporated
with the ten commandments as of moral and perpetual
obligation." I agree.)
- Tolerance and Hypocrites
- Read Romans 14:7-12. What should be our main worry in our
Christian walk when it comes to obedience and our fellow
Christians? (Our own salvation! In the end, we will be
judged by God, not by each other. Thus, judging each
other on disputable matters is a waste of time - and
harmful to the body of Christians.)
- Read Romans 14:13-14. What should be our goal with regard
to fellow Christians who disagree with us on disputable
matters? (Don't create problems that will discourage them
from staying in the church!)
- Is it possible that something which is sin for one
person is not for another? (Yes. Paul says he does
not think that eating some food is sin. But if a
vegetable eater thinks it is sin, then for that
person it is sin.)
- Read Romans 14:15-18. What does Paul say about hypocrites
- people who hide some of the things they do? (If we
think something is fine (meat-eating, for example), and
we eat meat in front of a vegetarian (who thinks meat
eating is not fine), then we are not showing love. Paul
tells us to refrain from this.)
- Let's list Paul's rules on disputable matters:
- Don't look down on those who disagree with you;
- Don't judge those who you think may not hold the
- The standard for one person may not be the same as
for the other; and,
- If you have a different standard, don't practice it
in front of those who have not yet mastered rules 1-3!
- Read Romans 14:19-20. Do we have some goals that are
more important than others? (Yes. Peace and lifting up
fellow church members are our goals. Getting the
standards straight on food is, at best, a lesser goal
that should be submitted to the higher goals.)
- Read Romans 14:21-22. If you are a righteous meat eater
and wine drinker what may you be called upon to do? (You
are at least called upon to keep it to yourself. Paul
endorses some hypocrisy. But, more than that, you may be
called upon to give it up altogether if it causes a
fellow Christian to lose faith.)
- Read Romans 14:23. What is the theological basis for
approving different standards? (Remember, Paul starts out
this discussion by saying this is limited to "disputable
matters." The key to recognizing sin in our life is ask
whether we are living a life led by the Holy Spirit. Our
life in the Spirit, our Christian walk, is progressive.
Paul suggests that the Christian with the stronger faith
realizes that meat offered to idols means nothing. But,
until the Spirit leads you to that higher ground of
faith, you should act based on your current level of
- The Love Angle
- Read Romans 15:1-3. What do love and self-sacrifice have
to do with our tolerance towards those with a weaker
faith? (Just like Jesus gave up His own rights, so we
need to adjust our freedom in faith to benefit the weak
Christians in our circle.)
- What rights did Jesus give up? (The right to live as
God, the right to be free from harassment, the right
to be free from torture, the right to be free from
unjust accusations and unjust punishment. The right
to be free from being put to death for a crime He
did not commit - just to name some.)
- Read Romans 15:4. How does Paul's call for you to
possibly give up your rights on disputable matters
compare to the rights given up by Jesus? (Paul tells us
that history should teach us something to bolster our
hope. The little we give up compared to what our Lord
gave up reminds us of the astonishing love He has for
- Read Romans 15:5-7. When God accepted you, were you off-course on only disputable matters? (I think Paul has now
gone beyond his discussion of those things which are
- What seems to be Paul's goal for us? (The ultimate
goal is to give glory to God. We don't do that very
well if we are divided. A "spirit of unity" among
His believers is the best vehicle for glorifying
- We can, by God's power, decide to control our own
divisive impulses. What do we do about fellow Christians
who are creating division? (Read Romans 16:17-18. Paul
tells us to avoid them.)
- What does Paul suggest motivates those who create
division? ("Their own appetites." Paul does not say
exactly what those appetites might be, but pride,
arrogance, the love of a dispute come to mind.)
- Read Romans 16:25-27. Friend, we have learned how,
through Jesus, we are saved by grace alone. If you have
not made the decision to rely only on Jesus for your
salvation, will you make that decision right now? We
have also learned how those who are saved have an
obligation to live like it. If you have crossed over
into salvation, will you make the choice every day to
live a life led by the Holy Spirit? A life that brings
glory to God?
- Next week: We start a new series of lessons on the lives of
special people in the Old Testament.
* Copr. 2010, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.