Disciple: Love Instead of Conformity

by John and Ruth Greene

“And receive him who is weak in the belief, not criticizing his thoughts.” – Romans 14:1, ISR98

book-romans-blueprint-smWithout question, everyone is different, but this is not cause for alarm. The writer of Romans aptly points out the difference between unity and conformity, first by separating disputable matters from what is important. This continues to be one of the hotbeds of debate among Christians of all kinds today. Over the ages and as a rule, Christians have not been willing to follow this advice. This especially refers to the ‘leadership.’ They prefer conformity and control over unity of purpose and the love of brotherhood. This preference of conformity is a tool of the devil, separating and enraging brothers against one another, by focusing on differences that are of little importance. The ‘faith’ of these persons is weak. They may fall into patterns of pettiness and judgment. This is notorious, even among the ‘leadership’ of many ‘Christian denominations.’

“One indeed believes to eat all things, but being weak, another one eats vegetables.  The one eating, do not despise the one not eating. And the one not eating, do not judge the one eating, for received him. Who are you judging another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. But he will stand, for YAHWEH is able to make him stand.” – Romans 14:2-4, HRB

the-judgeWhile the apostle opens the discussion about eating, more important is the topic of judging. “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” – Matthew 7:1-2, NKJV

The words of Yahshua [Jesus] are very pointed. How you judge others, you will be judged – what you could call the ‘law of judgment.’ He doesn’t say that you shouldn’t use discernment in judgment, but that you must take care how you judge, so that your Heavenly Father will not judge you in the same way that you are judging others. Each disciple is answerable to YHWH, separate from others. Disciples were taking the Messiah’s law of liberty and turning belief into bondage, both for themselves and others. (“Discernment the World Doesn’t Have“; “Discernment: Having an Ear to Deeper Understanding“; “Learning to Live Outside of Blind Justice“; “Video: A History of Justice“)

“One indeed judges a day above another day; and another one judges every day alike. Let each one be fully assured in his own mind. The one minding the day, he is considerate of His duty to YAHWEH. And the one not minding the day, he is not considerate of his duty to YAHWEH. The one eating, he eats to YAHWEH; for he gives thanks to YAHWEH. And the one not eating, he does not eat to YAHWEH, and gives thanks to YAHWEH.”- Romans 14:5-6, HRB

Bible knowledgeWhatever a disciple does within the constructs of discipleship, he does for his Heavenly Father! Disciples were not made with cookie cutters. Disciples are not clones. Disciples are individuals and will have differences. They have unique personalities. This does no harm to the gathering of Messiah. (“Attitude and the Disciple of Messiah“; “The Mission of the Messiah’s Disciple“; “Discipleship is Renewal“)

“For no one of us lives to himself and no one dies to himself. For both if we live, we live to YAHWEH; and if we die, we die to YAHWEH. Then both if we live, and if we die, we belong to YAHWEH. For this Messiah both died and rose and lived again, that He might be Master over both the dead and the living. But why do you judge your brother? Or why also do you despise your brother? For all shall stand before the judgment seat of Messiah. For it has been written, “As I live, says YAHWEH, that every knee will bow to Me, and every tongue confess to YAHWEH. So then each one of us will give account concerning himself to YAHWEH. Then let us no longer judge one another, but rather judge this, not to put a stumbling-block or an offense toward a brother.” – Romans 14:7-13, HRB (Matthew 12:36; 1 Peter 4:5)

set-apart-Spirit-bannerEach disciple is answerable in their unique relationship through Messiah and Holy Spirit [Sanctified, Set Apart Spirit], not to other men or women. We are to be set apart to YHWH, just as the Messiah and Holy Spirit are set apart. While sanctified disciples must be uncompromising towards activities that are forbidden in the Bible, we are not to create additional rules and regulations. Christians often base their judgments on opinion, personal dislikes, upbringing and cultural differences. These things are not the Word of YHWH. Certainly, YHWH, your Heavenly Father is powerful enough to guide His disciples without the small-minded thinking of the weak in faith. (“Responsibility & Accountability“; “Are You Running Away from Messiah?“; “YHWH’s Track of Righteousness“)

Through the teaching of Yahshua [Jesus], first century disciples underwent a revolution from the numerous laws and traditions of Judaism. In the eyes of the Messiah, all spiritual laws that relate to attitude and the heart operate in much the same way as His law on judging. Personal relationship becomes the authority through the Holy Spirit, instead of laws created by sages and tradition. Instead, the writer of Romans cites another viewpoint:

“I know and am persuaded in the Master Yahshua [Jesus] that nothing by itself is common; except to the one deeming anything to be common, it is common.” – Romans 14:1, HRB

More importantly, the writer of Romans cites the ultimate law of love in the brotherhood of Messiah:

“But if your brother is grieved because of your food, you no longer walk according to love. Do not by your food destroy that one for whom Messiah died.  Then do not let your good be spoken evil of. For the kingdom of YAHWEH is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For the one serving Messiah in these things is pleasing to YAHWEH, and approved by men.” – Romans 14:15-18, HRB

brotherly-loveA mature disciple is always concerned about how his conduct affects others, especially in the brotherhood of Messiah. A disciple is willing to give up anything not required by YHWH that stumbles his brother. This law of love is exactly what the brotherhood is about. Anyone that chooses to flagrantly live counter to this love in Messiah is in great spiritual danger. (“What is the Standard of Life Conduct in a Disciple of Messiah?“; “YHWH’s Revolution“; “Hardened Hearts: Strengthening the Brotherhood in Messiah“)

“And Yahshua [Jesus] said to the disciples, ‘It is impossible that the offenses should not come, but woe to him by whose hand they come! It is better for him if a millstone turned by a donkey is put around his neck, and he be thrown into the sea, than that he should cause to stumble one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves. And if your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if seven times of the day he sins against you, and seven times of the day turns to you saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.’” – Luke 17:1-4, HRB

manipulationDespite the spiritual beauty and unity of all this freedom through agape love, you may find yourself with a nagging question. How can it be that the weak in Spirit should be mandating conduct in the gathering of the Messiah by their lack of rightly-divided belief and understanding? Couldn’t it be argued that all divisions within the gathering of Messiah, past and present are the result of the weak in Spirit? This is true in part! The weak in Spirit have separated time and time again from the message of the Messiah to follow their own gospel, (Galatians 1:6-9, 11-12) often grounded in outward appearances, misunderstandings, improperly grounded belief, as well as through following a ‘spirit of light.’ Other times, division may have been created by seeking to restore the accurate message instead of following polluted traditions created by the weak in Spirit that have led in the past. (Ephesians 5:9; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15) Remember righteousness, peace and joy through YHWH’s Holy Spirit! (“Playing It Safe With Another Gospel“; “Condemnation, Dogs & Hogs“)

Instead of honest, righteous relationship in the gathering of the brotherhood, professed disciples have often decided to go their own way instead of standing firm for the Messiah in unity and humility, the true love in the brotherhood through Him. (Philippians 2:1-5, 6-11)

“Do all matters without grumblings and disputings, in order that you be blameless and faultless, children of Elohim without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,  holding on to the Word of life, for a boast to me in the day of Messiah, that I have not run in vain or laboured in vain.  In fact, even if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the offering and service of your belief, I am glad and rejoice with you all.   So you too should be glad and rejoice with me. – Philippians 2:14-18, ISR98

“So then let us pursue the things of peace, and the things for building up one another. Do not by your food undo the work of YAHWEH. Truly, all things are pure, but it is bad to the man who eats through a stumbling-block.” – Romans 14:19-21, HRB

love in scriptureLike the strong in belief regarding matters of YHWH, the weak in belief are not exempted from the law of love, nor are they exempted from practicing forgiveness or creating their own spiritual millstone through their conduct and words. Before YHWH, all disciples are equal, so it is up to the brotherhood to conduct themselves humbly while serving the purpose of the Messiah. In the meantime, the strong in faith are to bear with the failings of the weaker ones, building them up. (Romans 15:1-3; Galatians 6:1-2; 2 Corinthians 8:9) The sacrifice of Messiah made this all possible. (Romans 15:4) Disciples are to endure and encourage, not pleasing self, nor people pleasing, but serving one another in genuine agape love as the Savior did for us. (Galatians 1:10; “Strongholds & the Armor of YHWH“; “Is Your Forgiveness Real?“; “Humility: Do You Need It?“; “Foundation of Salvation“)

“Do you have belief? Have it to yourself before Elohim. Blessed is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.  But he who doubts, if he eats, is condemned, because it is not of belief, and all that is not of belief is sin. ”  – Romans 14:22-23,  ISR98

baptism-ChristThe key to personal trust is relationship before YHWH through a pure heart in the Holy Spirit. Everything a disciple does through righteousness, He approves. Everything a disciple does outside of righteousness is sin. This is very powerful truth. How many acts have been brought about through professed Christianity in sin instead of truth, or even the through the profession of faith? History is full of spiritual plague brought about by a false spirit of light, conformity instead of openness and unity of pure hearts before YHWH. (“The Struggle for Purity of Heart“; “Filling Your Life with Truth Instead of Deception“; “Breaking Strongholds of False Authority“)

In the world of fallen religion (Revelation 18:1-8), the power of conformity is seen as the means to rule instead of loving and respecting one another in brotherly love. This issue originally arose in the gathering of disciples  because of a wide range of views and personal origins. Jews and non-Jews in the gathering often found themselves at odds. For example, Jews in the gathering had the history of following strict cultural rules and norms. In that day, Judaism ordered practically everything while pagan religions were grounded in what appeared to be freedom. The casual observer could have easily claimed they were the same because they both made sacrifices at an altar in their past lives. These were merely cultural differences from the past. Yet, this had little to do with being a disciple of the Messiah. Both were in bondage as long as they were insisted in being grounded in the past instead through Yahshua [Jesus] the Savior. What your Heavenly Father has in mind is the freedom from the constraints of worldly culture by focusing on His truth in Messiah instead of on the world. (Romans 12:1, 16; “The Modern Life Culture Crisis“; “How YHWH Marks His People“; “Freedom from Spiritual Bondage“)

“And may the Elohim of patience and encouragement give to you to mind the same thing among one another according to Yahshua [Jesus] Messiah, that with one accord and with one mouth you may glorify the Elohim and Father of our Master Yahshua Messiah. Because of this, be friendly, and bear one another’s burdens as Messiah also brought us close to the glory of YAHWEH.” – Romans 15:5-7, HRB

run-the-raceYou become a disciple through the work of the Holy Spirit. He brings new life; even your trust to believe is a gift from Him. The Holy Spirit instructs, guides, leads and gives you power. With your cooperation, He ends your bondage to evil desires, and He creates in you the love, peace, joy and changes in life that you need. When the Holy Spirit leads you, He produces His fruit in you. Just as you are saved through belief, not deeds, you also grow through trust. Through your true belief, you can have the Holy Spirit within you, helping you to live for YHWH’s Kingdom. Obey the words of Messiah by following the leading of the Holy Spirit. As disciples, we are to reach the world. At the same time, disciples are not to be patterned after the world. That is the spiritual struggle that ends in victory that disciples must endure. (“Holy Spirit 101“; “Listening to the Holy Spirit“; “Are You Rejecting YHWH’s Holy Spirit?“; “Messiah Teaches about Fruit in the Lives of People“)

“For YHWH so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
John 3:16, RNKJV
Heavenly Father,
Thank you for sending the Messiah, your only begotten Son to be my Savior. I believe in Him and have made this belief the center of my life. Because of this, by faith I have everlasting life! Thank you! I repent of my sins and of my past, freely admitting that I have fallen short of Your glory. I look fully forward to you in my life and commit my life to You. Thank You YHWH, my Heavenly Father for setting me free in the name of your Son Yahshua [Jesus]. Amen.
genuine-articleYou will never enjoy true freedom through the Messiah and power of the Holy Spirit unless you read and absorb the Bible in prayer and trust. You will never know this freedom until you experience it for yourself. Get to know your Heavenly Father, His Son and allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life. The Holy Spirit is your teacher, your Holy Counselor that lives in you to help you learn about the truth of YHWH and His spiritual gifts.
Satan does not want you to have the excellence of YHWH in your life. People pray for protection and want to be taken care of, but often do little in growing close to Him. The world, your husband, your wife, your family, your government do not build your trust in YHWH or free you from spiritual bondage. Your church or your pastor cannot save you. Education, power and money will not free you, but only the Word of your Heavenly Father. Salvation is a daily walk, an act of love for yourself and for those around you, not a one-time event that centers only on you. Make the Word of YHWH your own, your very life!
YHWH is Yahweh, the covenant name of your Heavenly Father.
The names Yahshua and Yahushua are original language names for Jesus,
He is often referred simply as the Messiah or Master.
No portion of this site is to be copied or used unless kept in its original format in the way it appears along with author and website attribution. Your use of this website constitutes your agreement with these terms.
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