Romans 14:1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.

2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.

3 Let 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.

4 Who 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.

I Corinthians 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

I Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.


MEMORY VERSE: But why dost thou judge thy brother? Or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. —Romans 14:10


CENTRAL THOUGHT: Although there are differences in opinions, personal requirements, gifts, methods of operation, and ways of speaking, we are to recognize and value those differences, not belittle them, judge them or condemn our brother for them, remembering that we are each responsible before God for ourselves.




Romans 14:1 “Receive ye”: take to yourselves, with kindness, into Christian fellowship. “Not to doubtful disputations”: Not to judge his doubtful thoughts or criticize his scruples. “Do not reject any from your Christian communion because of their particular sentiments on things which are in themselves indifferent. Do not curiously inquire into their religious scruples, nor condemn them on that account. Entertain a brother of this kind rather with what may profit his soul, than with curious disquisitions on speculative points of doctrine” (Clarke’s Commentary).

I Corinthians 12:4 “Diversities” and 12:5 “Differences”: distinctions arising from a different distribution to different persons.

I Corinthians 12:5 “Administrations”: service; ministry; ministration.

I Corinthians 12:6 “Operations”: energizings; workings; effect; results. From a root word which is our word for energy.




In today’s lesson Paul warns the church against unfair judgment of brethren who have differences. The Roman letter explains the liberty and fellowship which should be extended toward one another, regardless of the scruples one honestly has or doesn’t have. To the Corinthians, he establishes that differences in manners of service or the results produced should not bring division, but that all should remember it is the same Holy Spirit working, however differently, in all the distributed gifts. In another place, he also asked, “Who made you differ from one another?” and another time he advised that comparing ourselves with each other is not wise.

Peter also admonishes that, no matter how God has gifted you, you are to do your ministry with the ability He has given, simply, humbly, and without feeling lifted up or inferior if your manner differs from another.

Paul reminds that the different gifts are for the profit of everyone; Peter teaches that the whole point is that God would be glorified.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




1. Personal Accountability: The reason we should not judge one another because of differences is that we are each responsible to our _____ ____________, before Whom we ________ or _________.

2. Mutual Blessing: The Holy Spirit is given individually so that we may ____ ________. 3. The Point Is: What is to be the motive behind all ministering?




There is a story in the book of Judges about a battle between the men of Ephraim and the Gileadites. To keep the Ephraimites from escaping, the men of Gilead gave all fugitives a pronunciation test. If a man could not pronounce “Shibboleth” but could only say “Sibboleth,” they determined he was of Ephraim and killed him. Thousands died because of this cruel bigotry (Judges 12:1-7).

I think of the unnecessary spiritual war carnage that is a result of brethren making so much over differences as ridiculous as the Gileadites and Ephraimites. Here it is, as clear as can be in the scriptures, that we are to receive one another without judging, and we still stumble over this. Most of the time it is well-meaning. We are seriously endeavoring to be valiant for truth. We do think we are doing God service, yet we only end up injuring precious souls. I’m so glad God is the ultimate judge of all. He will judge us righteously and in mercy. But how can we get it right? How can we keep the necessary separation between truth and error, light and darkness, and receive those who think or do differently than we do? I found this writing of Bro. C. E. Orr helpful:

“If I were to say that Jesus does not require us all to live alike, there are some who would say that is a compromising utterance. I do say it, and I will go farther and say that God does not require us in all instances to live now what He may have required of us in the past. God may have required a certain sort of life of you in the past that He does not now, and He will require a life of you in the future that He does not now if you walk life’s way hand in hand with Him. Will you please read Matthew 19:12. There Jesus plainly teaches that He does not require us all to live alike. Some are not able to receive what others are able to receive, and never will be. You are to live to all you are able to receive, but you are not to make this the rule for some other life” (Charles E. Orr, The Rule of a Saintly Life).

There are other good counsels he goes on to give, but I think the essence is, “Keep a heart sincerely open and willing before God, and gentle and merciful to others.” May God help us all to discover the balance.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




A man was inquiring of the Lord just how we would all be able to get along in heaven. Would there be a special room so that the process could begin to alleviate personality differences, lay aside opinions and have all differences settled? What procedure would make it possible to live in harmony in heaven? The Lord replied, “Yes, there is such a place. It’s called ‘life.’ ”

We have been given a serious charge in this lesson today as to how we treat our fellow man. Every soul is lovingly designed by God. In turn, it is with great respect that we should also view and value each person, especially those within the body of Christ. Do I disregard my brother because of his upbringing? Do I value a saint of God less because of his family name? Do I have a feeling of superiority over those that I view as less intelligent than me? Do I harbor prejudices for those who are not like me?

We need the Lord to help us to have such a devotion to one another and fulfill the love of Christ. “For he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” (I John 4:20).

—Sis. LaDawna Adams