by Mike Ratliff
1 Τὸν δὲ ἀσθενοῦντα τῇ πίστει προσλαμβάνεσθε, μὴ εἰς διακρίσεις διαλογισμῶν. 2 ὃς μὲν πιστεύει φαγεῖν πάντα, ὁ δὲ ἀσθενῶν λάχανα ἐσθίει. 3 ὁ ἐσθίων τὸν μὴ ἐσθίοντα μὴ ἐξουθενείτω, ὁ δὲ μὴ ἐσθίων τὸν ἐσθίοντα μὴ κρινέτω, ὁ θεὸς γὰρ αὐτὸν προσελάβετο. 4 σὺ τίς εἶ ὁ κρίνων ἀλλότριον οἰκέτην; τῷ ἰδίῳ κυρίῳ στήκει ἢ πίπτει· σταθήσεται δέ, δυνατεῖ γὰρ ὁ κύριος στῆσαι αὐτόν. 5 Ὃς μὲν [γὰρ] κρίνει ἡμέραν παρʼ ἡμέραν, ὃς δὲ κρίνει πᾶσαν ἡμέραν· ἕκαστος ἐν τῷ ἰδίῳ νοῒ πληροφορείσθω. 6 ὁ φρονῶν τὴν ἡμέραν κυρίῳ φρονεῖ · καὶ ὁ ἐσθίων κυρίῳ ἐσθίει, εὐχαριστεῖ γὰρ τῷ θεῷ· καὶ ὁ μὴ ἐσθίων κυρίῳ οὐκ ἐσθίει καὶ εὐχαριστεῖ τῷ θεῷ. 7 οὐδεὶς γὰρ ἡμῶν ἑαυτῷ ζῇ καὶ οὐδεὶς ἑαυτῷ ἀποθνῄσκει· 8 ἐάν τε γὰρ ζῶμεν, τῷ κυρίῳ ζῶμεν, ἐάν τε ἀποθνῄσκωμεν, τῷ κυρίῳ ἀποθνῄσκομεν. ἐάν τε οὖν ζῶμεν ἐάν τε ἀποθνῄσκωμεν, τοῦ κυρίου ἐσμέν. 9 εἰς τοῦτο γὰρ Χριστὸς ἀπέθανεν καὶ ἔζησεν, ἵνα καὶ νεκρῶν καὶ ζώντων κυριεύσῃ. 10 Σὺ δὲ τί κρίνεις τὸν ἀδελφόν σου; ἢ καὶ σὺ τί ἐξουθενεῖς τὸν ἀδελφόν σου; πάντες γὰρ παραστησόμεθα τῷ βήματι τοῦ θεοῦ, 11 γέγραπται γάρ· ζῶ ἐγώ, λέγει κύριος, ὅτι ἐμοὶ κάμψει πᾶν γόνυ καὶ πᾶσα γλῶσσα ἐξομολογήσεται τῷ θεῷ. 12 ἄρα [οὖν] ἕκαστος ἡμῶν περὶ ἑαυτοῦ λόγον δώσει [τῷ θεῷ]. 13 Μηκέτι οὖν ἀλλήλους κρίνωμεν· ἀλλὰ τοῦτο κρίνατε μᾶλλον, τὸ μὴ τιθέναι πρόσκομμα τῷ ἀδελφῷ ἢ σκάνδαλον. (Romans 14:1-13 NA28)
1 Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. 2 One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. 3 The 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. 4 Who 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. 5 One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God. 7 For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; 8 for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. 10 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For it is written, “ AS I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to ME, And every tongue shall give praise to God.” 12 So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this— not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. (Romans 14:1-13 NASB)
When I encounter a believer who is legalistic, no matter how well versed they are on the Biblical passages they specialize in, I know I am dealing with someone who is spiritually immature. The more mature we become in Christ the more Christlike we become and that means we do not pass judgment on those who do not understand the Law of Liberty.
1 Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. 2 One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. 3 The 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. 4 Who 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. (Romans 14:1-4 NASB)
The Greek word translated as “welcome” in v1 of this passage refers to personal and willing acceptance of another. Who are the weak the strong are to welcome or receive? This is describing those believers who are unable to let go of the religious ceremonies and rituals of their past. For example, the Jewish believers who were weak in their faith struggled with abandoning the rites and prohibitions of the Old Covenant. Gentiles who were weak in their faith believed that any contact with their old pagan religion, even eating meat sacrificed to idols, was something that would taint them with sin. Quarreling over “opinions” could better be translated as, “for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions or scruples.” Mature believers must not sit in judgment on those who sincerely struggle with their underdeveloped thoughts that drive them in their weak faith.
Believers strong in their faith, mature believers, had the freedom in Christ to eat meat sacrificed to idols. They knew that an idol was nothing and the meat, being less expensive than regular meat sold at the market, was a bargain. On the other hand, believers weak in their faith would eat only vegetables to avoid eating the meat sacrificed to idols. Notice that Paul does not chide either group. He does not condemn those with freedom nor does he tell the weak to overcome their fears. Instead, he tells the strong to not despise the weak for abstaining and for the weak not to pass judgment on the strong for exercising their freedom. What is important is that it is Christ who evaluates each believer. His judgment does not take into account religious traditions or personal preferences.
5 One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God. 7 For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; 8 for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. (Romans 14:5-9 NASB)
The weak or immature Jewish believers felt compelled to observe the Sabbath and other feast days associated with Judaism while the mature Jewish believers knew that that was all fulfilled in Christ. Contrarily, the Gentile immature believers wanted to be separate or set apart from their former idolatry because of the immorality associated with it. God gave the Conscience to Man. It is the mechanism that warns while responding to the highest standards of moral law in the mind. If we “let our conscience be our guide” we are wise. It is not sensible to train ourselves to ignore its warnings. We should always respond to it wisely. As we mature in our sanctification through mind renewal by being in God’s Word as much as possible, our consciences will be renovated as well. This process will eventually cause the conscience to not alert the mind about non essential things.
The strong believer eats as he pleases and thanks God for the food and the nourishment. On the other hand, the weak believer thanks the Lord in the abstinence. The motive for thanks is the same, therefore, the Lord is blessed. Our walks must become more and more aligned with that which pleases the Lord. Our walks must not be about self. To be self-focused is of the flesh. Believers are called to deny their flesh while living for God in pursuit of His will for our lives. Our Lord died not only to free us from sin, but to enslave us to Himself, to establish Himself as Sovereign over all the saints from the distant past (those with Him now) and those still alive on Earth. (Romans 6:22; Philippians 2:11; 1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14; Revelation 19:16)
10 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For it is written, “ AS I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to ME, And every tongue shall give praise to God.” 12 So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this— not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. (Romans 14:10-13 NASB)
We must not fall into sin by judging hypocritically. The Judgment seat of God awaits all believers. Every one of us will give an account of ourselves. The Lord will judge our decisions including how well, or not, we made decisions of conscience. His verdict is all that matters. Instead of judging other believers in matters of conscience we should use our best judgments to help other believers to find the light of God’s truth so they can walk it unashamed. On the other hand, if we do pass judgments as described in this passage we are actually being stumbling blocks that cause others to fall into sin. Since the Judgment Seat awaits, that would not be wise.
Is there a correlation for us in the 21st Century from this passage? Do we have believers who are weak in their faith and other more mature believers? Absolutely! I can think of many examples of believers clinging to “Religion” or “Ritual” or even a certain Bible translation or a denomination while believing that those who are not part of those groups who serve God like they do as being of the Devil. I have also seen mature believers step out of those things and simply pursue God in their freedom while looking down their noses at those still “mired” in their religiosity. Neither group is following Paul’s teaching from this passage. To those who cling to their “religious” things, I say that you must thank God and obey Him in all you do. To those who see these “religious” things as unimportant while walking as living sacrifices, being spirit-filled and obedient in every part of their lives, I say that you too must thank God in your freedom and use your spiritual gifts and wisdom to help others to mature into God’s light as well.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.
“But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality.” Revelation 2; 14
“But if anyone says to you, “This is meat sacrificed to idols,” do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience’ sake;…” 1 Corinthians 10; 28
We are not to eat meat sacrificed to idols.
What Paul was saying is that if we eat meat as such unknowingly, not to let it worry us, but once we become aware, we should abstain.
Many will claim that it’s okay to engage in this or that activity that is contraversial due to their ‘liberty’ in Christ, while those being ‘good’ are just being weak, immature, legalistic brothers. But, this is false. Now of course it is wrong to get into legalism in the Judaic sense, such as keeping the feasts and Sabbath, etc., these have been fulfilled (or will be) by the Lord (last 3 are reserved for end times). It is true that weak believers stumble in such matters and we know we have liberty in Christ. But that liberty is not liberty to sin, but to do good. We are not under the law, but we must not use grace as a license to sin. Many will do this while claiming that those who live uprightly ‘weak,’ while they are indeed the ones who are weak. There is nothing inferior about living upright, it is pleasing to the Lord. I do not mean ‘keeping saturday as the sabbath,’ but in living holy lives according to New Testament teachings. There are many other things that need to be avoided, pagan practices, halloween, abortion, the list goes on. Not (knowingly) eating meat sacrificed to idols is but one of these. If Christ lives through us, we will seek to honor and obey Him, if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. If He is in us, we fulfill the laws as we live by His law of agape, loving God above all else with all we are, and loving our neighbors as ourselves after that. (Love for God’s truth comes before love for self and others if a contradiction arises)
As for judging, the bible tells us we are to judge, but not condemn the weaker brethren, but rather strengthen them in their faith.
Blessings in Christ
Reblogged this on Truth2Freedom's Blog.
Reblogged at ezekielcountdown.wordpress.com
Reblogged this on Ezekiel Countdown and commented:
I encourage readers to follow this series by Mike Ratliff.
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I would have to strongly agree with Victoria on this issue. I wear long dresses and people automatically call me legalistic.They are the ones judging,but they claim I judge.I don’t say a word,I just live out my convictions. I have observed that those walking around bearing the name of Christ,yet living in unrepentant sin[abortions okay,homosexuality okay,living with someone they are NOT married to okay,etc] call everyone else judgmental for speaking truth into their lives,that’s if they are not already attending a church that preaches a watered down Gospel.There are so-called Christians saying those that judge homosexuals within the church,are not really Christians because they are judging and that’s unloving.A neighbor who sees a house on fire,if they care and love their neighbor,will go and tell them their house is on fire.If we really love our brothers and sisters in the LORD Jesus Christ and they are unrepentant and continue to sin,their ‘house’ is on fire.This is the love Jesus is talking about.The love others are talking about is not love at all.In fact,people who don’t speak truth to someone,love only themselves because they are more concerned about being ‘liked’ and not enduring rejection.
Isn’t telling someone they are being Judgmental,in fact,Judgmental?
Tammy and Victoria, I agree with both of you. You should read my series Judge Not!