Romans 14:4


Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand. Romans 14:4

As can be seen in this verse, Paul doesn’t take sides on the issue of those “weak in the faith” and those who are well-grounded in matters of “doubtful things.” Instead, he acknowledges that both have received exactly the same salvation by noting that they are “another’s servant.” In other words, if they are servants of Christ, then they are saved. Their weakness or soundness in doctrine isn’t an issue which will change that. Because this is so, “Who are you to” so judge them?

If Christ has accepted someone through the exercise of their faith, and they never grow in doctrine, but remain weak concerning these disputable matters, that is between them and God. We have no right to judge their walk. Instead, “to his own master he stands or falls.” It is true that we should grow in the knowledge of the Lord; we should mature in our faith; we should endeavor to walk in soundness of doctrine. It is also true that someone who lacks these things is a weak and ineffective member of the body, but… he is still a member of the body.

And not only has he been accepted, but “he will be made to stand.” What Paul is saying by using the term “stand” is that they will not lose their salvation over their lack of knowledge or growth; instead, they will continue on in His grace until the end. And the reason should be obvious: God doesn’t make mistakes. If someone believes and is sealed with the Holy Spirit based on that belief (Ephesians 1:13, 14), then they have been adopted as a child of God. They will never fall again because “God is able to make him stand.”

It would be unthinkable that God would receive someone and then turn around and “un-save” them. It is contrary to His transcendent knowledge, His omnipotent power, and His great love for the objects of His affection. Those who preach that one can lose their salvation are exactly who Paul is speaking directly to in this verse. When they point a bony finger at another in condemnation, Paul points right back (on behalf of the Lord whom he represents) and says, “Who are you to judge another’s servant?”

It should be noted again though that the term “servant” is applied here. There are those who are in Christ and beyond such judgment, and there are those who are not in Christ. We must use doctrine and reason to defend against heretics who would impose that type of teaching which goes beyond or blemishes Scripture. While accepting our brothers who are weaker in the faith, we must be ready and able to stand opposed to heresy, confusion, and disorder.

Life application: When God’s grace is extended to an individual, we are to accept that individual regardless of how they later develop. Not everyone will become a Billy Graham evangelist. Not everyone will become a Hebrew scholar. Not everyone will become a preacher. Etc. To each God has appointed a measure of faith and a measure of knowledge. Let us accept our brothers and sisters in Christ because God has already accepted them.

Glorious God Almighty, I am told in Your word that I am to accept those whom You have accepted. Help me in this Lord. If they are Your servant, then they are Yours. How can I challenge Your right to receive them? And so when I see someone who is Yours, instead of conflict, let there be peace and acceptance. Again, help me in this that there will be fellowship in the brotherhood. Amen.

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