Paul, in a letter about what we should believe and how those beliefs should affect our lives, spent a full chapter on the topic of unity or disunity. Too often we have seen teams, bands, companies, and organizations fall from greatness due to internal division. Paul saw some of that going on in the church and addressed it here. This church wasn't divided on important issues, but their division on smaller issues was lowering their impact on the world around them. Today we still disagree on many small things that can reduce our impact. Paul shows us that arguing over small things is rarely worth it. We need unity, not uniformity. 


How to Maintain Unity Even When We Disagree

  1. Don’t Major on the Minors  (v. 1).... Paul tells us to not let non-essential things become big arguments. There are tiers of issues. Some are more important than others. 
    1. 1st Tier - Gospel Essentials… These are the things every Christian believes no matter their denomination or leaning. 
    2. 2nd Tier - Church Distinctive… These are the issues that lead to us having different denominations. They are important, but not critical to salvation. 
    3. 3rd Tier - Non-Essentials… These are minor disputes that have no real bearing on what it is to be a believer. 
  2. Don’t Assume the Worst in Others (v. 3)... Sometimes people will look down on others who hold a differing opinion. That is wrong. It's OK to have different opinions and preferences. 
  3. Obey Your Conscience (v. 5)... Paul tells us that whatever we do, we should make sure we really believe it and allow others to do the same. 
  4. Remember Jesus is the Ultimate Judge  (v. 10).... We are reminded that we aren't the judge of all things. No, that right belongs only to Jesus. We will all stand before Him. 
  5. Build Up, Don’t Trip  Up (v. 13)... Sometimes when we are right, we express it wrongly and cause more issues. People matter more than preferences. 
  6. Pursue & Promote Peace (v. 19).... Unity requires work; it isn't a natural state for us, Often, disunity is over the small things, the minors. That such small matters can lead to such large divisions just shows how difficult it is to achieve unity. 


Unity is critical for the success of any organization. It's important for a church to have unity so that its impact is not weakened. 


In essentials unity,

In non-essentials liberty,

In all things charity

-- Rupertus Meldenius


For Further Study/Resources the Pastor Used to Prepare This Message

  • A Call For Theological Triage by Albert Mohler Jr.
  • Theological Triage in the 21st Century by Trevin Wax
  • Exalting Jesus in Romans by Tony Merida
  • Teach the Text by Marvin Pate
  • Romans, Preach the Word by Kent Hughes
  • ESV Expository Commentary by Robert Yarbrough
  • Romans for You by Tim Keller
  • The Story of God Commentary by Michael Bird
  • Living Insights by Chuck Swindoll
  • NIV Application Commentary by Doug Moo