What Matters and What Doesn't: Sermon Notes

Normally I get sermon notes done ahead of time for our team to get them on the church app.
This was a busy week. So here are the notes for today.

What Matters and What Doesn’t
Romans 14:1 – 15:15

Einstein said it is insanity to keep on doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. What have we got these last few years? A nation more divided than ever. Churches more divided than ever. Families more divided than ever. Friendships more divided than ever. Divided and broken. If you keep on doing what you've always done, you'll keep on getting what you've always got.  It's time to STOP DOING what we've been doing and START DOING something different. You say, Okay, I'm ready for something different. What is it? In our last passage, Paul tells you what it is, why you should do it, and how you can do it. It is about What Matters & What Doesn’t.

Anchor Point #1: The Benefit of the Doubt  

I myself am convinced my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another. Yet I have written you quite boldly on some points to remind you of them again because of the grace given to me. Romans 15:14-15

Anchor Point #2: Disputable Matters (that Don’t Matter)  

Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. Romans 14:1
There are the essentials and everything rlse.
There are the gospel essentials and good secondary things.

Many secondary things are important, they just aren’t most important. And they are NOT ESSENTIAL.  

At Living Word it is REQUIRED to believe the essentials.
On everything else, here are our best RECOMMENDATIONS.

DAN HARRIS. See his TED Talk: The Benefit of Not Being a Jerk.
It is about 15 minutes. It also has some bad language in it.

Anchor Point #3: The Kingdom of God is What Matters

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval. Romans 14:17-18

Since the Kingdom of God matters most:
  • 14:19. Make every effort…
  • 14:20. Don’t destroy the work of God over food fights, over mask fights.
  • 14:21. Don’t do anything that hurts another. It is the Hippocratic Oath (not the Hypocrites Oath), DO NO HARM. Don't judge, condemn, censure, cancel, or curse.  
  • 14:22. You have opinions and beliefs. Good. Keep them between yourself AND God.

Anchor Point #4: The Mission of God’s Kingdom Matters Most of All

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy.
As it is written:
“Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing the praises of your name.”

Again, it says, “Rejoice, you Gentiles, with his people.”

And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles; let all the peoples extol him.”

And again, Isaiah says, “The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him the Gentiles will hope.” 
Romans 15:7-12

See John 17, which is almost the last prayer of Jesus: Pray they will be one, brought to complete unity, as the Father and the Son are united. Then the world will know you have sent me.

Anchor Point #5: The Stronger-Weaker Principle Makes All the Difference

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.  Romans 15:1-2

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. Romans 15:5-7


May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit . . . to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ. Amen.  Romans 15:13; 16:27 
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