Dispensing Grace

Unity does not mean uniformity, yet people often confuse them. While we are called to be one, to work together, and to serve together, we cannot ignore the fact that we are all different. Each one of us bears unique DNA being shaped by God differently.
But God expects us to get along in unity and harmony.

Turn to any era of the Church and you will find conflict. First century believers struggled to maintain unity just as we do today. If even apostles struggled with conflict, certainly we will too. In light of this, how does the believer handle disagreement?

In Romans 14:1-12, Paul recognizes that differences can lead to disunity and disharmony if not addressed as shown in verse 1. Some believers in the Roman church were weak in faith yet Paul tells the stronger believers to accept them unconditionally, without expectation of change.

Many Christians in Rome had converted from paganism after many years of idolatry that involved animal sacrifice. Believers with idolatry in their unsaved backgrounds were repulsed by the idea of eating meat offered to idols. Paul taught that idols weren’t real so any significance to the meat is imaginary. However, the principle is true that my faith will always be weakest in the area of my deepest wounds.

Paul quickly points to the core issue in verse 4: accountability. This is a nonessential matter and matters about which there is no clear scriptural teaching are morally neutral. They might be unwise, but they are not sin.

In verse 5 Paul looks at another issue: observing holidays. Paul says honoring certain days is about conscience since they involve no clear command of Scripture meaning it isn’t sin. You and I need to encourage one another to be pure, not beach each other up.

None of this is saying that truth is relative or that morality is now defined by whatever each person’s conscience can tolerate.
Some things are absolutely and categorically wrong and must be corrected. The Christian conscience is gradually being transformed by the Holy Spirit to reflect the mind of Christ.

We so badly want to help folks grow that we lay heavy burdens on them like stop cussing, stop smoking, read your Bible, get out of debt, etc.
All of those life changes are good but it’s crazy to expect a new believer to behave like a mature Christian overnight.

Paul summarizes the grace: just let one another be!

3 ASPECTS OF THE DISPENSING GRACE

1. Dispensing grace begins with mutual acceptance
Accepting one person doesn’t require you to agree with them, you can respectfully disagree with ideas or opinions without rejecting the person. Acceptance allows others to feel valued in being who they are, even when their bad decisions must be called out, or their opinions need to be challenged. There are times when we confront error and sin because the Bible commands it.

2. Dispensing grace requires releasing others to be who Jesus desires them to be
This is simply releasing someone who has harmed you to answer to God for their actions. He will do what’s best!

3. Dispensing grace forbids me from judging another
I cannot become someone else’s judge because I do not possess the right qualifications. Why?

  • I am not omniscient
  • I am not completely objective.
  • I can condemn but I cannot redeem.

Christian, you must be a dispenser of grace and there is no better time or place to start than now. Who do you need to give grace to?
Pastor Chris Williams
To learn more about Pastor Chris and his teaching, visit us on the web at fcfamily.org  and make sure you subscribe to receive these biweekly encouragements in your inbox.

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