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Sabbath and Special Days

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Book of Romans

A Sermon on Romans 14:1-6

Do Not Pass Judgment on One Another

As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. (ESV)

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What is Paul addressing in Romans 14:1-6? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones offers that it is not about the importance of observation of the Sabbath, since that has been established in Scripture for all time. He provides Scriptural support for this, and offers up a question that has been discussed in Christian circles often since the early church: what day of the week is supposed to be set aside for the Sabbath, Saturday or Sunday? He references Biblical evidence for the day of the week that Christians used to meet on, as well as historical evidences from writings that are outside of Scripture. How do Christians today make the right choice about the day to meet on? To answer this, Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds us that the early church would not have changed the day of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday arbitrarily— he argues that they must have received a revelation that it was good to change it. However, he also states that it is not an issue over which Christians should divide. He addresses extreme Sabbatarianism, a view that is very literal about how the Sabbath day should be observed, and provides helpful points to consider when thinking through it. His conclusion, echoing Paul, is that we are to be fully persuaded in our own mind from Scripture about which decision is correct. 


Additional Scripture Translations

Romans 14:1-6, New American Standard Bible

Principles of Conscience

1Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not to have quarrels over opinions. 2One person has faith that he may eat all things, but the one who is weak eats only vegetables. 3The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him. 4Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

5One person values one day over another, another values every day the same. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. 6The one who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and the one who eats, does so with regard to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and the one who does not eat, it is for the Lord that he does not eat, and he gives thanks to God.

Romans 14:1-6, King James Version

1Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. 2For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. 3Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. 4Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. 5One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. 6He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.


About Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.