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Therefore let us not
this --not to
block in a
Greek: Meketi oun allelous krinomen (1PPAS):
krinate (2PAAM) mallon, to
me tithenai (PAN) proskomma to adelpho
Amplified: Then let us no more criticize and blame and pass
judgment on one another, but rather decide and endeavor never to put a
stumbling block or an obstacle or a hindrance in the way of a
Bible - Lockman)
NLT: So don't condemn each other anymore. Decide instead to
live in such a way that you will not put an obstacle in another
Christian's path. (NLT
- Tyndale House)
Phillips: Let us therefore stop turning critical eyes on one
another. If we must be critical, let us be critical of our own conduct
and see that we do nothing to make a brother stumble or fall. (Phillips:
Wuest: Therefore, no longer let us be judging one another. But
be judging this rather, not to place a stumbling block before your
brother, or a snare in which he may be entrapped. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: no longer, therefore, may we judge one another,
but this judge ye rather, not to put a stumbling-stone before the brother,
or an offence.
Jew and Gentile
Restored to Israel
Slaves to Sin
Slaves to God
Life by Faith
Modified from Irving L.
Jensen's excellent work "Jensen's
Survey of the NT"
All verbs in
indicate commands, not suggestions!
hold mouse pointer over
underlined links for pop up of Scripture which stays open and can
refers back to [Ro 14:10,11,12] in which Paul reminds his readers that God alone is
qualified and has the authority to judge the minds and hearts of His people,
who will all stand before His judgment seat (Ro 14:10) and give account of
themselves to Him (v12 cf.
2Co 5:10). Judgment is God’s
exclusive prerogative (cp Ro 12:19-note).
James Denney explains that in Ro
The Apostle now proceeds to argue the
question of Christian conduct in things indifferent from another point of
view—that of the influence which our conduct may have on others, and of
the consideration which is due to them (Romans 14 Commentary
- Expositors Greek Testament)
Middletown Bible -
The Law of Love (Romans 14:1-15:3) -
For further help in understanding how to
live so as to not cause a brother to stumble, see our paper entitled,
67 Biblical Tests to Use in Deciding Upon a Course of Action."
LET US NOT
JUDGE ONE ANOTHER ANYMORE: Meketi oun allelous krinomen (1PPAS):
[Mt 7:1, 2, 3, 4, 5 James 2:4, 4:11]
Let us no longer have the habit of criticizing one another.
This statement summarizes what we have covered so far:
we are not to judge one another which is in harmony with what the Jesus
instructed [Mt 7:1-note]
It is the unloving attitude of contemptuous superiority by strong
believers and the equally unloving attitude of self righteousness by weak
believers (Ro 14:3-note)
by which they judge one another. From Paul’s day to ours, those wrongful
judgments have been major causes of disrespect, disharmony, and disunity in
Judge - "A beautiful Mimesis
(repetition of words in order to refute them) in relation to what
precedes, let us no longer judge (This matter requires careful attention.
V. G.)" (Bengel)
(allelon) means each other and speaks of a mutuality or sharing
of sentiments between two persons or groups of persons. Allelon
is a reciprocal pronoun which most often is used in the context of
encouragement and edification which is mutually beneficial. In the
present context the reciprocal activity (passing judgment) is mutually
detrimental, divisive or even destructive.
is a common NT phrase (especially in Paul's letters) with most uses
relating to the building up of the body of Christ. As such the "one
anothers" in the NT would make an excellent Sunday School study (or
topical sermon series), taking time to meditate on each occurrence,
asking whether it is being practiced (in the Spirit-note)
in your local church and seeking to excel still more (cp Php 1:9, 10, 11 -notes;
Below is a list of the NT uses of one another (be sure to check
for the most accurate
12:10, 16; 13:8; 14:13, 19; 15:5, 7, 14; 16:16; 1Co 6:7; 7:5; 11:33;
12:25; 16:20; 2Co 13:12; Ga 5:13, 15, 26; Ep 4:2, 25, 32; 5:19, 21; Php
2:3; Col 3:9, 13, 16; 1Th 3:12; 4:9, 18; 5:11, 13, 15; 2 Th 1:3; Heb
3:13; 10:24, 25; James 4:11; 5:9, 16; 1Pe 1:22; 4:8, 9, 10; 5:5, 14; 1Jn
1:7; 3:11, 23; 4:7, 11, 12; 2Jn 1:5
Unfairly Judged - We sometimes criticize others unfairly.
We don’t know all their circumstances, nor their motives. Only God, who is
aware of all the facts, is able to judge people righteously.
John Wesley told of a man he had little respect for because he considered
him to be miserly and covetous. One day when this person contributed only
a small gift to a worthy charity, Wesley openly criticized him. After the
incident, the man went to Wesley privately and told him he had been living
on parsnips and water for several weeks. He explained that before his
conversion, he had run up many bills. Now, by skimping on everything and
buying nothing for himself he was paying off his creditors one by one.
“Christ has made me an honest man,” he
said, “and so with all these debts to pay, I can give only a few offerings
above my tithe. I must settle up with my worldly neighbors and show them
what the grace of God can do in the heart of a man who was once
Wesley then apologized to the man and
asked his forgiveness.
(judge) THIS: alla touto krinate (2PAAM)
(krino) (see 14 uses in
Romans) is used twice in this verse, but with a
slightly different connotation. In the first use of "krino"
"let us not judge one another" the verb carries the idea of condemnation,
as it does in (Ro 14:3, Ro 14:4, Ro 14:10). But in the following phrase,
the same verb is translated determine, which refers to making a decision.
Those two connotations are also found in the English word judge.
conveys the sense of taking a definite action ("Do it now! Just do it!"), even a sense of "urgency":
The idea is "Do this & do it now! Do it effectively!" Check
yourself out first -- Are you pushing your Christian liberty so hard, are
you insisting on your rights in certain areas, and your freedom to indulge
in something, that you are upsetting others and forcing them to act beyond
their own conscience (stumbled or snared)? That is what you ought to judge.
What is the effect upon others of your attitudes about some of these things?
We should determine
(judge) that we will never do anything to hinder a brother in his spiritual
progress. None of these nonessential matters is important enough for us to
cause a brother to stumble or to fall.
“Being judgmental” carries the negative
idea of denunciation, whereas “using your best judgment” refers to making
a careful decision, with no negative connotation. Paul’s play on words
demands that we should never be judgmental of fellow believers but instead
should use our best judgment to help them.
NOT TO PUT AN OBSTACLE: to me tithenai (PAN) proskomma:
[word study] from prós = to, against +
kópto = cut, strike)
describe literal or figurative stumbling. It is something a person trips
over. Thus proskomma can be an obstacle in the way which if one
strikes his foot against he stumbles or falls or figuratively it can
describe that over which a soul stumbles i.e. by which is caused to sin or
which causes an occasion of apostasy. It is also used figuratively, to
describe a cause of falling or an occasion of sinning (Ro 14:13, 20; 1 Cor.
8:9; Sept.: Ex. 23:33; 34:12)
Proskomma - 6x in 6v in NAS
- Rom 9:32, 33; 14:13, 20; 1 Cor 8:9; 1 Pet 2:8. NAS = obstacle(1),
offense(1), stumbling(3), stumbling block(1).
James Denney explains that
does not occur in the Gospels, but it
is a remarkable fact that in most of our Lord’s express teaching about
sin, it is sin in the character of skandalon, a snare or stumbling-block
to others, with which He deals. (Romans 14 Commentary
- Expositors Greek Testament)
proskomma, means 'a barrier', 'a
hindrance', 'a road-block'. It is the word that would be used for a tree
that has been felled and laid across a road to block it. We must never do
or allow anything which would be a road-block on the way to goodness.
(William Barclay. New Testament Words)
In this verse
speaks of the spiritual hindrance to another caused by
a selfish use of liberty or alternatively our tendency to set up a list of
do's and don'ts. Either way could cause the other person to stub his
spiritual toe!. Paul says do not do this.
Robertson McQuilkin has a note
regarding the importance of context as a guide to accurate interpretation
Keep Context King)
in his excellent work Understanding and Applying the Bible...
Romans 14:13-15:1: The Strong and
the Weak - We might think that a strong person is one who is strong in
his opinions, his convictions, his character, or his spirituality. One who
is weak is weak in one or more of those areas. That view is legitimate.
But is that what Paul was contrasting in Romans 14 when he spoke of the
strong and the weak? The context must determine. He was speaking of being
strong in faith and weak in faith. The one who is strong in faith has
confidence that he may eat anything. The one who is weak in faith lacks
that confidence. In Paul's case, he was the strong person and biblical in
his convictions. However, it is quite possible to be strong and wrong.
Such a person could be weak in character or weak spiritually and still be
"strong" in the sense in which Paul used the term here.
It is important for the interpretation of the entire passage to learn from
the context what the meaning is. That is, incidentally, another good
example of how the context extends beyond chapter divisions. In Romans
15:1 we have additional exhortation and contrast between the strong and
the weak: "Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those
without strength and not just please ourselves." Paul then gives Christ as
a model to show how that difficult injunction can be obeyed—all in another
chapter but part of the same thought. (Moody Pub. 1983, 1992)
OR A STUMBLING BLOCK IN A BROTHER'S WAY: to me tithenai (PAN)
proskomma to adelpho e skandalon:
from a root meaning jump up, snap shut) (Click
in depth study of
skandalon) was originally the piece
of wood that kept open a trap for animals. Outside the Bible it is not used
metaphorically, though its derivative skandalethron (e.g. a trap set through
questions) is so used. The English word scandal is derived from the
noun via the Lat. scandalum.
Thus skandalon was literally, that movable part of a trap on which
the bait was laid, and when touched caused the trap to close on its prey.
Skandalon thus came to mean any entanglement of the foot. Figuratively,
as used most often in Scripture, skandalon refers to any person or
thing by which one is drawn into error or sin. (but see more detailed notes
The use of alcohol
is an example of a stronger brother who in the process of using his liberty
regarding alcohol intake potentially sets a stumbling block in his weaker
brother's way. One must never underestimate the potentially detrimental
effect this can have on a former alcoholic. Our drinking, even in
moderation, could easily place a stumbling block in that brother’s way and
cause him to fall back into his former addiction.
Skandalon - 15x in 13v in the
NAS - Matt 13:41; 16:23; 18:7; Luke 17:1; Rom 9:33; 11:9; 14:13; 16:17;
1 Cor 1:23; Gal 5:11; 1 Pet 2:8; 1 John 2:10; Rev 2:14. NAS = cause
for stumbling(1), hindrances(1), offense(2), stumbling block(7), stumbling
explains "stumbling block" or skandalon as
literally, that part of a trap on which
the bait was laid, when touched caused the trap to close on its prey
came to mean any entanglement of the foot."
When the bait touches trap it is
triggered and closes shut on its victim. That's a "great" picture of sin
which is deceptive (Heb 3:13-note) and virtually always looks alluring
(and in fact does have a transitory "pleasure" - Heb 11:25-note), but
when "touched" (whether in thought, word, or deed), it captures its
unsuspecting prey (cp "cords of sin" in Pr 5:22 -
; Jesus' warning in Jn 8:34 where commit is in the
= one's habitual practice!)
has a helpful discussion:
Skandalon originally was the name
of the part of a trap to which the bait is attached, hence, the trap or
snare itself, (in the picture of the trap note the centrally located
"pitchfork" shaped trigger where bait is to be placed & which when stepped
on releases the two side
bars which entrap the victim in a vise like grip -- keep this picture in
mind as you meditate on the uses of this word in Ro 14:13 & in the other NT
passages) as in Ro 11:9, ‘stumblingblock,’ quoted from Ps 69:22, and in Re
2:14, for Balaam’s device was rather a trap for Israel than a stumblingblock
to them, and in Mt 16:23, for in Peter’s words the Lord perceived a snare
laid for Him by Satan. “
In NT Skandalon is always used metaphorically, and ordinarily of anything
that arouses prejudice, or becomes a hindrance to others, or causes them to
fall by the way. Sometimes the hindrance is in itself good, and those
stumbled by it are the wicked.”* Thus it is used (a) of Christ in Ro 9:33,
“(a rock) of offense”; so 1Pe 2:8; 1Co 1:23 (kjv and rv, “stumblingblock”),
and of His cross, Ga 5:11; of the “table” provided by God for Israel, Ro
11:9; (b) of that which is evil, eg, Mt 13:41, rv, “things that cause
stumbling” (kjv, “things that offend”), lit., “all stumblingblocks”; Mt
18:7, rv, “occasions of stumbling” and “occasion”; Lu 17:1; Ro 14:13, rv,
“an occasion of falling” (kjv, “an occasion to fall”), said of such a use of
Christian liberty as proves a hindrance to another; Ro 16:17, rv, “occasions
of stumbling,” said of the teaching of things contrary to sound doctrine;
1Jn 2:10, “occasion of stumbling,” of the absence of this in the case of one
who loves his brother and thereby abides in the light.
Love, then, is the best safeguard against the woes pronounced by the Lord
upon those who cause others to stumble. Cf.. In Ho 4:17, the Septuagint is
partaking with idols hath laid stumblingblocks in his own path.” (metochos
eidolon Ephraim etheken (3SAAI) heauto
W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson
Living With Others in View -To become a Christian is easy — for
it is just receiving God's grace through faith in the Savior. To live
the sanctified life, however, is extremely difficult, especially since
the pathway to Glory is narrow, and our instructions for travel include
such admonitions as: "pray without ceasing," "be ye perfect," and "love
thy neighbor as thyself." In fact, we are told to curb even legitimate
desires, if they tend to offend a weaker brother (Rom. 14: 19-21). Paul
warns in our text that we must be doubly careful not to put a "stumbling
block or an occasion to fall" in the way of a fellow believer.
I am told that tourists in the Alps are cautioned at certain points by
the guides not to speak or sing or even to whisper, as the faintest
breath might start reverberations in the air which could loosen a
delicately poised avalanche from its place on the mountain, and bring it
crashing down upon the villages and fields in the valley below. J. R.
Miller, in commenting on this, wisely points out, "There are men and
women who are walking under such a stress of burdens, cares,
responsibilities, sorrows and temptations, that one whisper of censure,
criticism, complaint or unkindness may cause them to fall under their
load. Let us beware, therefore, how we conduct ourselves, for it is a
crime thus to imperil another soul."
Recognizing the seriousness of life, every Christian who is consecrated
at all must guard against being an offense to others. Let us walk
carefully and prayerfully today lest some thoughtless word or deed
impede the spiritual progress of a fellow believer! Have your feet on
errands of love been bent,
Or on selfish deeds has your strength been spent? Has someone seen
Christ in you today; Or has your life led a soul astray? — V. B.
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
Live for thy neighbor, if thou wouldst live for God!
—Seneca (An Unbeliever!)
convinced in the
itself; but to him who
anything to be
unclean, to him it is
Greek: oida (1SRAI)
kai pepeismai (1SRPI) en kurio Iesou
hoti ouden koinon di heautou, ei me to logizomeno (PMPMSD)
ti koinon einai (PAN) ekeino koinon.
Amplified: I know and am convinced (persuaded) as one in the
Lord Jesus, that nothing is [forbidden as] essentially unclean
(defiled and unholy in itself). But [none the less] it is unclean
(defiled and unholy) to anyone who thinks it is unclean. (Amplified
Bible - Lockman)
GWT: "The Lord Jesus has given me the knowledge and conviction
that no food is unacceptable in and of itself"
NLT: I know and am perfectly sure on the authority of the Lord
Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone
believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong. (NLT
- Tyndale House)
Phillips: I am convinced, and I say this as in the
presence of Christ himself, that nothing is intrinsically unholy. But
none the less it is unholy to the man who thinks it is. (Phillips:
Wuest: for I know with an absolute knowledge and stand
persuaded in the Lord Jesus that not even one thing is unhallowed in
itself except it be to the one who reasons it out to be unhallowed.
I have known, and am persuaded, in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean
of itself, except to him who is reckoning anything to be unclean -- to
that one it is unclean
I KNOW AND
AM CONVINCED IN THE LORD JESUS THAT NOTHING IS
UNCLEAN IN ITSELF: oida
(1SRAI) kai pepeismai (1SRPI)
en kurio Iesou hoti ouden koinon di heautou: (1Ti 4:4, 5)
We must not violate our conscience. We may
not do what we believe to be wrong because we see others do it. We must neither
judge them nor excuse ourselves.
James Denney comments that...
In principle, the Apostle sides
with the strong. He has no scruples about meats or drinks or days. In
the Lord Jesus: it is as a Christian, not as a libertine, that Paul
has this conviction; in Christ Jesus he is sure that there is nothing in
the world essentially unclean; all things can be consecrated and
Christianised by Christian use. (Romans
14 - Expositor's Greek Testament)
What Paul is saying in essence
is "Don't violate your conscience."
When Paul says here that there is nothing unclean of itself, we must realize
that he is speaking only of these indifferent matters. There are plenty of
things in life that are unclean, such as pornography, suggestive jokes, PG &
higher rated movies & every form of immorality. Paul’s
statement must be understood in the light of the context. Christians
do not contact ceremonial defilement by eating foods which the Law of Moses
Having been a
Pharisee, a member of
those well known for majoring on the minors, Paul doubtless had been
extremely careful about what he ate and did not eat. But he now understood
with absolute certainty the truth which the Lord declared to Peter three
times in a vision: “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy”
(Acts 10:15). That divine cleansing referred directly to the multitude of
animals Peter was commanded to eat that were ceremonially unclean ac-
cording to Mosaic law (Acts 10:12, 13). Indirectly, and in an even more
important way, it referred to God’s full and impartial acceptance of
believing Gentiles into the church (Acts 10:28, 34).Jesus declared that
“there is nothing outside the man which going into him can defile him” (Mk
7:15). The strong Christian is therefore entirely right in his conviction
that he is at liberty to enjoy anything the Lord does not declare to be sinful. The
weak Christian, on the other hand, is wrong in his understanding about some
of those things. But he is not wrong in the sense of being heretical or
immoral. He is wrong in the sense of not having complete and mature
understanding, which causes his conscience to be unnecessarily sensitive.
Morris writes that...
To the believer, saved by grace through faith in Christ and His
provision of full forgiveness and justification, all things are legal. Note
such assurances as [Titus 1:15 1Co 10:23 Ga 5:1,4]. Nevertheless, since he should now desire to
live and die as unto the Lord (Ro 14:8), this should clearly affect all his
behavior and make him very different from those yet unsaved."
Henry: Defenders Study Bible. World Publishing)
Stedman adds that...
As one who is in the Lord Jesus," that is, as one speaking as a
Christian. What Paul really says is, "As one who has been taught by the Lord
Jesus, no food is unclean in itself." The Lord Jesus did say that. It was he
who said, "No food is unclean." He does not mean that all foods are good for
you; some foods are not; some things you can eat are highly poisonous. Jesus
does not mean that everything is all right to take in; he means that there
is no moral question about food. It is never wrong, morally, to eat what
your body may enjoy. Jesus taught that himself, and Paul says, "That is
enough for me. That sets me free." But that is not the only problem
involved. The conscience needs to be trained by this new insight into
liberty. One person's conscience may move much slower than another's,
therefore, we are to adjust to one another's needs along this line.
(Read his full sermon -The
Right to Yield)
What something does to a person determines its quality. One man
may be able to read certain books and not be bothered by them, while a
weaker Christian reading the same books might be tempted to sin. But the
issue is not, “How does it affect me?” so much as, “If I do this, how will
it affect my brother?” Will it make him stumble? Will it grieve him or even
destroy him by encouraging him to sin? Is it really worth it to harm a
brother just so I can enjoy some food? No!"
W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor
BUT TO HIM WHO THINKS ANYTHING TO BE UNCLEAN, TO HIM IT IS UNCLEAN: di
heautou, ei me to logizomeno (PMPMSD) ti koinon einai (PAN)
if someone believes it is
wrong, then for that person it is wrong. Paul is saying essentially "Don't
violate your conscience." If a weak brother thinks it is wrong for him to
eat pork, for example, then it is wrong. To eat it would be to violate his
= reason, word, account) means to reckon, compute, calculate, to take into
account, to deliberate, and to weigh. Logizomai refers to a
process of careful study or reasoning which results in the arriving at a
conveys the idea of calculating or estimating.
Logizomai is related to our
English term logic (which deals with the methods of valid
thinking, reveals how to draw proper conclusions from premises and is a
prerequisite of all thought).
Here are the 40 uses of
logizomai in the NT l- Lk. 22:37; Jn. 11:50; Acts 19:27; Ro. 2:3,
26; 3:28; 4:3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 22, 23, 24; 6:11; 8:18, 36; 9:8; 14:14; 1
Co. 4:1; 13:5, 11; 2 Co. 3:5; 5:19; 10:2, 7, 11; 11:5; 12:6; Gal. 3:6;
Phil. 3:13; 4:8; 2Tim. 4:16; Heb. 11:19; James 2:23; 1Pe 5:12. The
NAS translates logizomai as - consider(6), considered(2),
counted(1), counting(1), credit with(1), maintain(1), mind dwell(1),
numbered(2), propose(1), reason(1), reckoned(11), reckons(1), regard(4),
regarded(3), suppose(1), take into account(3), thinks(1).
Logizomai means to think
about something in a detailed and logical manner and to draw
conclusions through the use of reason. This was a common secular term used
in bookkeeping to describe an entry in an accounting ledger. The purpose of
the entry was to make a permanent record that could be consulted whenever
needed. In sum logizomai
means to draw a logical conclusion from a given set of facts, as in
Romans 6:11 (see
notes) where one is commanded to
imperative) draw the
conclusion (based on the truths "enumerated" in Ro 6:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,
notes) that we are "dead to sin, but
alive to God in Christ Jesus". In the present context it pictures a weaker
brother looking at the issues involved and arriving at the conclusion
that the issues are "unclean". It is easy to see how this brother could
become very judgmental of the stronger brother who considers the same facts but concludes they are not
permissible to indulge in.
means common, defiled, unclean, unholy, profane. "Koinos" was a
technical term to express those customs and habits which, although "common"
to he world, were forbidden to the pious Jew (see similar meaning in
Mk 7:2, Mk 7:5, Acts 10:14, Acts 10:15, 10:28, 11:8, 11:9, Re 21:27).
Koinos is the opposite of
hagion (holy), and signifies that which is not and cannot be brought
into relation to God.
Who thinks anything to be unclean
- Though there is nothing which in itself has this character, some
things may have it subjectively, i.e., in the judgment of a particular
person who cannot help (from some imperfection of conscience) regarding
them so; to him (ekeino = emphatic) they are what his conscience makes
them; and his conscience (unenlightened as it is) is entitled to
For various reasons, there are certain things that we all know are not
sinful but that we do not feel comfortable in doing or even being near. And
as long as we feel discomfort about any such thing, we should avoid doing
it—even if it would not cause offense to other believers. If we ourselves
consider anything to be unclean, then to us it is unclean.
Stedman comment that...
I liken this to crossing a swinging bridge over a mountain
stream. There are people who can run across a bridge like that, even though
it does not have any handrails. They are not alarmed by it, they can keep
their balance well. They are not concerned about the swaying of the bridge,
or the danger of falling into the torrent below. That is fine; some people
can do that. But others cannot. You watch them go out on a bridge like that,
and they are very uncertain. They shake and tremble; they inch along. They
may even get down on their hands and knees and crawl across. But they will
make it if you just give them time, if you let them set their own speed.
After a few crossings, they begin to pick up courage, and eventually they
are able to run right across. It is like that with these moral questions.
Some people just cannot see themselves moving in a certain area that they
have been brought up to think is wrong; they have difficulty doing so. As in
the case of the swinging bridge, it would be cruel for someone who had the
freedom to cross boldly to take the arm of someone who was timid and drag
them across, to force them to run across. They might even lose their balance
and fall off the bridge and suffer injury. This is what Paul is warning
about in [Ro 14:15]. (Read his full sermon -The
Right to Yield)
hurt, you are
love. Do not
destroy with your
food him for
dia broma o adelphos sou lupeitai (3SPPI)
ouketi kata agapen peripateis (2SPAI):
me to bromati sou ekeinon apollue (2SPAM)
huper ou Christos apethanen (3SAAI)
Amplified:But if your
brother is being pained or his feelings hurt or if he is being injured
by what you eat, [then] you are no longer walking in love. [You have
ceased to be living and conducting yourself by the standard of love
toward him.] Do not let what you eat hurt or cause the ruin of one for
whom Christ died! (Amplified
Bible - Lockman)
KJV: But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest
thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
NLT: And if another Christian is distressed by what you eat,
you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don't let your eating ruin
someone for whom Christ died. (NLT
- Tyndale House)
Phillips: If your habit of unrestricted diet seriously
upsets your brother, you are no longer living in love towards him. And
surely you wouldn't let food mean ruin to a man for whom Christ died.
Wuest: For, if because of food your brother is made to grieve,
no longer are you conducting yourself according to love. Stop ruining
by your food that one on behalf of whom Christ died.
and if through victuals thy brother is grieved, no more dost thou walk
according to love; do not with thy victuals destroy that one for whom
FOR IF BECAUSE OF FOOD YOUR BROTHER IS HURT
: ei gar dia broma o adelphos sou lupeitai (3SPPI): (cp
1Co8:9 10 11)
Of food, barely put, to make the
contrast greater between the slight occasion, and the great mischief done.
The mere hurt of your brother, is an offence against love: how much
greater an offence then, if this hurt end in ruining (causing to
act against his conscience, and so to commit sin and be in danger of
quenching God’s Spirit within him) by a meal of thine, a brother, for whom
Christ died! “Do not make more of thy food than Christ did of Hi life”
Bengel. See an exact parallel in 1Co 8:10, 11.
You have liberty to do as you please, but do
not use that liberty if it would be mischievous to your brother in Christ. If
your action, though right in itself, would have a tendency to destroy his soul,
deny yourself for love's sake.
Hurt - "The contrast to this is joy in
Ro 14:17" (Bengel)
from lupe = sorrow) signifies
pain, of body or mind and means to cause one to experience severe mental
or emotional distress or physical pain which may be accompanied by
sadness, sorrow or grief.
The King James' translation of lupeo as
grieved parallels our colloquial sayings like -- "It weighs
heavy on my soul" or "My soul is weighed down with affliction."
or "My soul is so burdened."
Lupeo has the basic meaning of
causing pain, distress, or grief and is used by John to describe Peter’s
reaction when Jesus asked Peter
...the third time, "Simon, son of John,
do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third
time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things;
You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Tend My sheep. (Jn
Lupeo is used of the Holy Spirit,
Who is grieved when we sin...
and do not grieve the Holy Spirit of
God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption
Here are all 26 uses of lupeo in
the NT - Mt. 14:9; 17:23; 18:31; 19:22; 26:22, 37; Mk. 10:22; 14:19; Jn.
16:20; 21:17; Ro 14:15; 2Co. 2:2, 4, 5; 6:10; 7:8, 9, 11; Eph. 4:30; 1
Thess. 4:13; 1 Pet. 1:6
It is wrong to hurt our brother over such trivial matters. It is not loving
to force people to move at your pace. To refuse to indulge a freedom that
you have for the sake of someone else, to adjust to their pace, is surely
one of the clearest and truest exercises of Christian love. Is there some
non-essential ("food") I need to give up for the higher interest of my
brother (that's what agape love does)?
William MacDonald notes that...
"When I sit down to eat with a weak brother, should I
insist on my legitimate right to eat Crab Louis or Lobster Thermidor, even
if I know he thinks it is wrong? If I do, I am not acting in love, because
love thinks of others, not of self. Love foregoes its legitimate rights in
order to promote the welfare of a brother. A dish of food isn’t as important
as the spiritual well-being of one for whom Christ died. And yet if I
selfishly parade my rights in these matters, I can do irreparable damage in
the life of a weak brother. It isn’t worth it when you remember that his
soul was redeemed at such a towering cost—the precious blood of the Lamb."
W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson or
YOU ARE NO LONGER WALKING ACCORDING TO LOVE: ouketi kata agapen
What is walking in love? Not all believers are mature, and love demands that the
mature members of the family defer to the immature.
Love (agape) protects people and
gives them a chance to grow up. People may be (will be!) difficult, but we are
to accept them in
love for the Lord’s sake.
= about, around + pateo = walk, tread) means literally to walk
around, to go here and there in walking, to tread all around and
figuratively refers to living or
passing one’s life, signifying the whole round of the activities of the
individual life, whether of the unregenerate, (Ep 4:17) or of the believer
(1Co 7:17; Col 2:6).
The 39 uses of peripateo in the Gospels always refer to literal, physical
walking. Seven of the 8 uses in Acts are also in the literal sense (except
Acts 21:21). (See
Spurgeon's comments on what it means to walk)
Paul uses peripateo only in the
metaphorical sense (32 times in his Epistles -Ro 6:4; 8:4; 13:13; 14:15;
1Co 3:3; 7:17; 2Co 4:2; 5:7; 10:2, 3; 12:18; Ga 5:16; Ep 2:2, 10; 4:1, 17;
5:2, 8, 15; Php 3:17, 18; Col 1:10; 2:6; 3:7; 4:5; 1Th 2:12; 4:1, 12; 2Th
3:6, 11) meaning to conduct one's life, to order one's behavior, to
behave, to make one's way, to make due use of opportunities, to live or
pass one’s life (with a connotation of spending some time in a place).
Some lexicons state
that Paul used peripateo in the Hebraic sense of living, regulating one's
life or conducting one's self.
peripateo (Aristophanes onwards)
is found in classic Greek only with the literal meaning of strolling,
stopping, (e.g. while one walks here and there in the market, Dem.,
Orationes 54, 7); the figurative meaning of walking, with reference to
conduct, is lacking. Only in Philodemus (1st cent. B.C.) does one find the
meaning to live (De Libertate 23, 3)... In the LXX peripateo is found in
only 33 passages, of which more than half come from Wisdom literature...
Only occasionally does peripateo denote in the figurative sense way of
life (2Ki 20:3; Eccl 11:9). (Brown,
Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986.
comments on walk writing
That (Ed: In context Pastor
Stedman is referring to the truth in Col 3:1, 2, 3, 4) is the true basis
for living a Christian life. Scripture calls it "walking with the Lord." I
like that figure because a walk, of course, merely consists of two
simple steps, repeated over and over again. It is not a complicated thing.
In the same way, the Christian life is a matter of taking two steps, one
step after another. Then you are beginning to walk. Those two steps follow
in this passage. Paul describes them as, "Put off the old man" (Col 3:5,
6, 7, 8, 9, 10 see
and "put on the new." (see specific attitudes and actions in
Col 3:12-4:6) Then repeat them. That is
all. Keep walking through every day like that. That is how Scripture
exhorts us to live." (Click
for Pastor Stedman's message on
True Human Potential)
In the figurative
sense, peripateo refers to one's manner of life, to one's habitual
way or bent of life, to one's life-style. For example, Luke describes
Zacharias and Elizabeth, the parents of John the Baptist, as being
righteous in the sight of God,
walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the
Lord (Luke 1:6).
In contrast, Paul
counseled the Ephesian believers to
walk no longer just as the
Gentiles (in context a description of all the unsaved) also walk,
in the futility of their mind” (See note
In Romans Paul
explains how it is possible to no long walk as the Gentiles writing
(speaking of our spiritual baptism into Christ)
we have been buried with Him through
baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead
through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk (peripateo -
Paul's first use in the NT canon) in newness (a brand new kind of life
never possible before) of life. (See note
(God condemned sin in the flesh of His
Son) in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us,
who do not walk (peripateo) according to the flesh, but according
to the Spirit. (See note
Let us behave (peripateo)
properly (fitting or becoming in a manner of behavior) as in the day, not
in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality,
not in strife and jealousy. (See note
Some uses of
peripateo in Corinthians...
For (explaining why they still need
milk and cannot take solid food) you (babes in Christ) are still fleshly.
For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and
are you not walking like mere men? (1Cor 3:3)
for we walk by faith, not by
sight (2 Cor 5:7)
For though we walk in the flesh,
we do not war according to the flesh
(2 Cor 10:3-see
I urged Titus to go, and sent the
brother with him. Titus did not take any advantage of you, did he? Did we
not conduct ourselves in the same spirit and walk in the
same steps? (2 Cor 12:18)
imperative = command
to make this one's lifestyle) by the Spirit, and you will not carry out
the desire of the flesh. (Gal 5:16-note)
classic description of unbelievers in Ephesians...
And you were dead in your trespasses
and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of
this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit
that is now working in the sons of disobedience. (See notes
contrasting description of believers...
For we are His workmanship, created in
Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should
walk in them. (See note
After describing the
wealth (in Christ Jesus, in the heavenly places) of believers in the first
three chapters of Ephesians, Paul proceeds to exhort us to walk
accordingly (note the concentration of peripateo in the second half
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,
entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which
you have been called, (See note
and walk in love, just as Christ also
loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God
as a fragrant aroma. (See note
for you were formerly darkness, but now
you are light in the Lord;
imperative = command
to make this one's lifestyle) as children of light (See note
Therefore be careful how you walk,
not as unwise men, but as wise, 16 making the most of (redeeming, buying
up every second) your time, because the days are evil. (See note
Here are a few of
Paul's uses of peripateo in other epistles...
imperative = command
to make this one's lifestyle) in following my example, and
imperative = command
to make this one's lifestyle pay attention to, implying mental
concentration regarding) those who walk according to the pattern you have
in us. (See note
18 For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping,
that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, (See note
Finally then, brethren, we request and
exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that, as you received from us instruction as
to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk),
that you may excel still more. (See note
peripateo in the figurative sense affirming that,
if we walk in the light as [God]
Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the
blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin (1Jn
J Vernon McGee
adds the practical comment that
Walking is not a balloon
ascension. A great many people think the Christian life is some great,
overwhelming experience and you take off like a rocket going out into
space. That’s not where you live the Christian life. Rather, it is in your
home, in your office, in the schoolroom, on the street. The way you get
around in this life is to walk. You are to walk in Christ. God grant that
you and I might be joined to Him in our daily walk. (McGee,
J V: Thru the Bible Commentary: Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
Strong believers (Ro 15:1) must not
insist on their liberty in the presence of those whose consciences would
be offended. if a "weaker" Christian is distressed by what you eat, you
are not acting in love if you eat it. Stott says, “Love never disregards
weak consciences”. To the one who loves, a weak brother’s spiritual
well-being is always more important than indulging the right to eat
whatever one likes.
A weak Christian (Ro 14:1, 2, 3) can be hurt or distressed from watching
another Christian say or do something he considers sinful. The hurt is
deeper if the offending believer is admired and respected by the weaker
one. A weak Christian also can be hurt when, by word or example, he is led
by a stronger brother to go against the convictions of his own conscience.
That is by far the greater offense. Being upset over what another
Christian does can certainly hurt, but that hurt is not nearly so severe
and damaging as the hurt of a believer’s conscience over what he himself
has done. He suffers feelings of guilt, and forfeits much of his peace of
mind, his joy, his witness, and perhaps even his assurance of salvation. A
Christian whose careless use of his liberty causes such hurt to other
believers is no longer walking according to love.
is unconditional, sacrificial love and
Biblically refers to a love that God is (1Jn 4:8,16), that God shows (Jn
3:16, 1Jn 4:9) and that God enables in His children (see note on fruit of
the Spirit Gal 5:22-
It is not surprising that Greek
literature throws little light on its distinctive NT meaning. Biblical
agape love is the love of choice, the love of serving with
humility, the highest kind of love, the noblest kind of devotion, the love
of the will (intentional, a conscious choice) and not motivated by
superficial appearance, emotional attraction, or sentimental relationship.
Agape is not based on pleasant emotions or good feelings that
might result from a physical attraction or a familial bond. Agape
chooses as an act of self-sacrifice to serve the recipient. From all of
the descriptions of agape love, it is clear that true agape
love is a sure mark of salvation.
Phileo is emotional
Agape love does not depend on
the world’s criteria for love, such as attractiveness, emotions, or
sentimentality. Believers can easily fall into the trap of blindly
following the world’s demand that a lover feel positive toward the
beloved. This is not agape love, but is a love based on impulse.
Impulsive love characterizes the spouse who announces to the other
spouse that they are planning to divorce their mate. Why? They reason “I
can’t help it. I fell in love with another person!” Christians must
understand that this type of impulsive love is completely contrary to
God’s decisive love, which is decisive because He is in control and
has a purpose in mind. There are many reasons a proper understanding of
the truth of God's word (and of the world's lie) is critical and one of
the foremost is Jesus' declaration that
all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love
(agape) for one another."
F B Meyer has the following
description of agape love...
there is true love, there must be giving, and giving to the point of
sacrifice. Love is not satisfied with giving trinkets; it must give at the
cost of sacrifice: it must give blood, life, all. And it was so with the
love of God. "He so loved the world, that He gave his only-begotten Son."
"Christ also loved and gave Himself up, an offering and a sacrifice to
God." (Ep 5:2-note)
We are to
imitate God's love in Christ. The love that gives, that counts no cost too
great, and, in sacrificing itself for others, offers all to God, and does
all for His sake. Such was the love of Jesus--sweet to God, as the scent
of fields of new-mown grass in June; and this must be our model.
Not to those who love us, but who hate; not to those who are pleasant and
agreeable, but who repel; not because our natural feelings are excited,
but because we will to minister, even to the point of the cross, must our
love go out. And every time we thus sacrifice ourselves to another for the
sake of the love of God, we enter into some of the meaning of the
sacrifice of Calvary, and there is wafted up to God the odour of a sweet
Commentary on Ephesians)
DO NOT DESTROY
WITH YOUR FOOD HIM FOR WHOM CHRIST DIED:
me to bromati sou ekeinon apollue (2SPAM)
huper ou Christos apethanen (3SAAI):
through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined
the brother for whose sake Christ died (1Co 8:11)
Do not destroy
- The Greek combination of a negative ("me" = not) plus the
present imperative (command) can be translated "stop destroying"
(indicating that this was already being practiced by believers in Rome) your brother over these non-essential issues of what you eat,
etc. To act this way is to practice love
with hypocrisy (Ro 12:9-note).
This is NOT being "devoted to one another in brotherly
love" and is NOT giving "preference to one another in honor"
It is NOT owing "nothing to anyone except to love one
another" for clearly "Love does no wrong to a neighbor"
sum, this type of behavior is NOT walking according to love. If we are to live a life of
consideration for our neighbor then we must learn that even though there are
things we feel we biblically may do, many of those same things, for the sake of
the body of Christ, we should not do. Agape love lays down its rights, seeking
the highest good of the other person.
Since Christ was willing to die for
that weak brother (Ro 5:8, Jn15:13, Isa 53:6, 1 Pet 3:18, 1 Jn 3:16,
4:9,10), certainly we ought to be willing to refrain from eating
something or doing something that would hurt him in his Christian walk.
To destroy (622)
(apollumi is derived from apo
= away from +
olethros =state of utter
ruin) pertains to destruction but not annihilation and basically has to do with that
which is ruined and is no longer usable for its intended purpose. It does not refer to the loss of being, but of well-being.
The KJV sometimes translates it
but in the context of Ro 14
not mean that one brother can cause the
damnation of another brother to the lake of fire, but it does indicate that one can seriously derail
and ruin the offended
brother's spiritual growth "in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior
(2 Pet 3:18, 1Cor8:11, Ro14:20).
Apollumi means to destroy utterly but not to annihilate. It can also
mean to perish (as in Mt 8:25)
Apollumi means to ruin so that the thing ruined can no longer serve
the use for which it was designed. The gospel promises everlasting life
for him who believes. The failure to possess this life will involve the
utter ruin of those that perish. Apollumi then has to do with that which
is ruined and is no longer usable for its intended purpose.
Apollumi is the term Jesus used to speak of those who are thrown into
hell (Mt 10:28). As He
makes clear elsewhere, hell is not a place or state of nothingness or
unconscious existence, as is the Hindu Nirvana but is the place of
everlasting torment, the place of eternal death, where there will be
“weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Mt 13:42, 50).
used some 265 times in the Greek translation of the Hebrew OT (Septuagint
- LXX). In Psalm 1 we
the LORD knows the way of the
righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish (Lxx - apollumi)
apollumi to remind His disciples what happened when men "put
wineskins" for they knew that this would
ruined (apollumi)". (Mt 9:17). The
point is that these wineskins did not cease to exist but they did cease to
fulfill the function for which they were created. In short they were
rendered useless. In a similar way, the noun form, apoleia, is used
to describe the reaction of the disciples when they saw the woman
anointing Jesus' head with "costly
perfume" (Mt 26:8). They became
"indignant when they saw this and said "Why this
waste (noun form = apoleia)"
In essence they were asking Jesus why are You letting the precious oil
perish and be rendered useless? The ointment did not go out of existence,
but was used for what they judged to be a useless purpose (were they ever
wrong!). In a similar way all men and women are created by God for
fellowship with Him and for His glory (cf Isa 43:7), but when they
individually refuse to come to Him for salvation they lose their
opportunity for redemption and for becoming what God originally created
them for. Their lives are wasted and useless (eternally)! They are fit
only for everlasting condemnation and destruction away from the presence
and the glory of the Father. This is the awful picture of what it means to
"perish". This is not the desire of God for as Peter writes
with a meaning similar to Paul here in Romans 14. In
Mt 18:14 Jesus referred to nonpermanent
ruin or loss. When Jesus said, “It is not the will of your Father who is in
heaven that one of these little ones perish [apollumi]”
(Mt18:14), the context makes clear that “these little ones” are believers.
They have been “converted and become like children” (Mt18:3) and “believe in
Me” (Mt 18:6). Jesus was not concerned about their loss of salvation but about their loss of spiritual well
being, which, although not an eternal loss, is a injury the Lord considers to be
A brother's "ruin" is a serious consequence that
I fear most believer's (including myself) do not fully comprehend.
Paul does not
want the church to underestimate the significance of the non-essentials in the
overall spiritual vitality of the body of Christ, for "if one member suffers,
all the members suffer" (1Co12:26) and on a given day yet future we
will ALL (each one individually) give an accounting of how we dealt with our
brethren regarding the "externals"
(Ro 14:10,12, 2Cor 5:10, Mt 12:36; 16:27; 1Pet 4:5). (Don't misunderstand -
Jesus paid for our sins as believers - our judgment will be in relation to
rewards as Paul described in 1Co 3:11, 12, 13, 14, 15)
gives us sage advice
little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence
and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming....We know that, when He
appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. And
everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure."
(1Jn 2:28, 3:2,3)
Be aware (beware, be wary) that some commentators interpret this verse to mean that a person can
lose their salvation. Even the generally conservative College Press NIV
Commentary has a note on the Romans section written by Jack Cottrell (Ph.D. Cincinnati Bible Seminary)
with which I strongly disagree. Cottrell seems to imply in his comment that a believer can
lose his salvation. Cottrell writes
I must conclude, though,
that this strong warning does imply that the careless and unloving exercise of
Christian liberty can lead to actual loss of salvation for a weak brother. Apollumi is frequently used in the sense of eternal destruction in hell
(Mt 10:28; Lu 13:3, Jn 3:16, Ro 2:12). (College
Press NIV Commentary)
We must be Bereans! (Acts 17:11 -