Romans 14 – Live by Faith and Do Not Be a Stumbling Block to Another Person’s Faith

Romans 14: 1-13. This chapter begins with welcoming a new weak believer. Do not jump all over him/her because you disagree with their opinions or involve them in complicated discussions. Paul gives example of criticizing what people think is right to eat or what day to observe and honor God. These are not moral issues. It isnot our place to criticize or judge others. They stand and are upheld and juged by their Lord and Master. Let eveyone live by faith and convictions to thank and honor God. We live to the Lord and die to the Lord, giving account for our own lives to God. So, instead of criticizing or blaming, try to keep from being an abstacle or hindrance to your brothers and sisters. Love one another and try to do and speak what will help them. Speaking the truth in love and with patience and kindness.
Romans 14: 14. It is important to understand this verse!
“I know and am convinced (persuaded) as one in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is forbidden or unclean (defiled and unholy in itself). But, none the less, it is defiled and unholy to anyone who thinks it is unclean.” Amplified verson
To better understand, let me use the example of guns. In themselves, they are neither good or bad. As tools, they can be used for both good or bad. It is in the hand of the user as to its us and in the intentions of their minds whether for good or bad. The “thing” is neutral. How it is used in motivation and purpose rns into truth and morality. The same can be said about food, houses, property, money, animals, buildings, the internet, musical instruments, or any “thing”. Plus, remember it is just a “thing”, a tool…and should never become a goal or idol.
Looking from Paul’s Jewish perspective, pork had been an unclean meat and forbidden under the Law, but now pok is neutral. This is the same concerning meat coming from animals sacrificed to pagan gods. Paul teaches that a more mature Christian will now understand that either meat is just neutral meat and can be used for the good of nourishing the body. (I Corinthians 10:25-31).
But, weaker new believers may still see these meats as sinful to eat. To them it really would be a sin to eat it because it would be going against their faith and efforts to honor God. Everything not of faith is sin…Romans 14:23. So, when the more mature Christian with understanding eats with the new believer, they should not eat those meats or begin an argument of opinions, and tehrefore should not be a stumbling block to fatih. Celebrate, fellowship, and eat together in peace, in thanksgiving, and in faith in God.
Use what God gives to His glory and with thanksgiving in all right ways of thinking and doing (righteousness).
Romans 14: 14-23
As brothers and sisters in Jesus, we are supposed to love one another and muturally build one another up…plus, the more mature should support the faith and developement of the younger new believers. In their presence, do not do what they would see as evil, even if you know it is ok. It is not good for anyone to go against their conscience or convictions in honoring God. Give them time to learn and grow in God’s Word of Truty. When the time is right, you will be able to speak the truth in love. Do not be the person to cause them to stumble in their faith. You are free to do those other things in private where no one will be offended or criticize you. Your personal convictions should be to strive to know truth and obey God’s will.
Do you judge yourself? Happy is the person who does not convict himself by what he chooses to do… other words feel guilty because he/she has gone against their personal convictions.
Verse 23 is major…..”But the man who has doubts (misgivings, an uneasy conscience) about eating, and then eats (perhaps because of you), stands condemned (before God), because He is not thrue to his convictions and he does not act from faith. For whatever does not originate and proceed from faith is sin (whatever is done without a conviction of its approval by God is sinful).”
Let me share how I have seen this work in one area of my life. If I decide to go on a diet to lose weight and determine some foods are “unlawful”, but I eat them anyway, then my conscience convicts me of acting outside of faith. I feel guilty. I must repent. On the other hand….If I believe all things are lawful, but not all are beneficial, therefore I should eat in obedience to God’s will asking Him one meal at a time, then I can eat in faith. I am no longer under the Law, but I am living by faith in the freedom and life of Jesus. I still repent when I disobey God and fail to follow Him. But, I find that I less frequently come under guilt and conemnation from judging myself.
Oh what a blessing to live in and walk with Jesus! His love and mercy endure forever!

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