Search word: Retrieve verses, illustrations, etc
Word Studies, Devotionals, Sermons, Illustrations
Old and New Testament.
Who are you to
another ? To his
falls; and he will
stand, for the
Greek: su tis ei (3SPAI)
o krinon (PAPMSN) allotrion oiketen;
to idio kurio stekei (3SPAI) e piptei
(3SPAI) : stathesetai (3SFPI)
de, dunatei gar o kurios stesai (AAN)
Who are you to pass judgment on and censure anotherís household
servant? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he
shall stand and be upheld, for the Master (the Lord) is mighty to
support him and make him stand.
Bible - Lockman)
Who are you to condemn God's servants? They are responsible to the
Lord, so let him tell them whether they are right or wrong. The Lord's
power will help them do as they should.
- Tyndale House)
Phillips: After all, who are you to criticise the servant of
somebody else, especially when that somebody else is God? It is to his
own master that he gives, or fails to give, satisfactory service. And
don't doubt that satisfaction, for God is well able to transform men
into servants who are satisfactory.
Wuest: As for you, who are you who are judging anotherís
household slave? To his own personal master he stands or falls.
Indeed, he shall be made to stand, for the Lord has power to make him
Thou -- who art thou that art judging another's domestic? to his own
master he doth stand or fall; and he shall be made to stand, for God
is able to make him stand.
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"
WHO ARE YOU TO
SERVANT OF ANOTHER: su tis ei (3SPAI) o
krinon (PAPMSN) allotrion oiketen: (Ro 9:20; Acts 11:17;
1Corinthians 4:4,5; James 4:11,12)
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."
The ďyouĒ (su) is first in this
sentence (emphatic position) which serves to place emphasis on this pronoun.
It's as if Paul is saying ďas for you,
who are you, etc.Ē
Matters of meat and drink are to be left to
Christian liberty, and no one has any right to dictate to another how he shall
act. It is, however, a good ruleó"in all cases of doubt be sure to take the
(krino) primarily signifies to distinguish, separate or discriminate and
then, to distinguish between good and evil, right and wrong, without necessarily
passing an adverse sentence, although that is often what is usually involved.
indicates this is a continual action.
Servant (3610) (Oiketes
from oŪkos = dwelling, home) designates a household
slave, one holding closer relations to the family than other slaves. He is
one of the household of the ďfamily.Ē It is to his own master that the
servant is responsible, not to "you".
J Vernon McGee has a pithy comment (as usual)...
Paul asks, ďWhat right have you to judge
another manís servant?Ē What right have you, Christian friend, to sit in
judgment on another Christianís conduct when it involves something that is
questionable? Are you God? Is that person accountable to you? Paul says, ďHe is
not accountable to you. He is accountable to God. He is going to stand before
his own Master.Ē Can you imagine being a dinner guest in someoneís home) and the
servant brings in cold biscuits. You say to the servant, ďWhatís the big idea of
bringing me cold biscuits?Ē And you chideóin our common colloquialism, bawl
outóthe servant! May I say to you, there would be an awkward silence in that
home. That person is not your servant. Maybe she should not have served cold
biscuits, but it is not your place to say so. I have a notion that the lady of
the house will go back to the kitchen and will tend to the matter. Now maybe you
disapprove of my conduct in one of these doubtful areas. I donít have to account
to you; you are not my master. I am responsible to Jesus Christ. He is my
Master.' (McGee, J. V. (1997, c1981). Thru the Bible commentary. (Vol. 4,
Page 741). Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
TO HIS OWN MASTER HE STANDS OR FALLS: to idio kurio stekei (3SPAI)
e piptei (3SPAI) : stathesetai (3SFPI):
signifies sovereign power and
absolute authority. It is the one who has absolute ownership and
The first reason why you must not look down
on the weak or judge or condemn the strong is because it is not your
responsibility to change your brother in this area. You are not his
master. He is not your servant. We are not responsible for one another's
conduct in this area. Such responsibility is not defined in the
Scriptures. This is an open area that each one has to decide before God,
and, therefore, we have no responsibility to change each other and no
authority to do so. He is not your servant, Paul says; the Lord chose him.
The Lord, then, is the one responsible to change him. The Lord chose him
without asking you or me
AND STAND HE WILL, FOR THE LORD IS ABLE TO MAKE HIM STAND: de dunatei gar o kurios stesai (AAN)
auton: (Ro 14:3; 11:23; 16:25; Deuteronomy 33:27-29; Psalms
17:5; 37:17,24,28; 119:116,117; John 10:28, 29, 30; Romans 8:31, 32, 33, 34, 35,
36, 37, 38, 39; Hebrews 7:25; 1Peter 1:5; Jude 1:24) (Isaiah 40:29)
spite of your sharp criticisms of one another. NLT is a good paraphrase & brings
out Paul's idea well "Who are you to condemn God's servants? They are
responsible to the Lord, so let him tell them whether they are right or wrong.
The Lord's power will help them do as they should."
Ray Stedman comments that...
The thing Paul brings out (V4) is that the man under consideration is
being changed. He is on his way to standing. He will stand, Paul says. Stand, of
course, means that he will be straightened out if he is doing wrong in this
area. If it is really wrong, God will straighten him out and it is not up to you
to do it. This is why I enjoy so much that little pin that Bill Gothard gives
out with the letters PBPGINFWMY, i.e.,
"Please be patient, God is not finished
with me yet."
We are all in the process of change.
The Lord is doing it, and he will do it. He is changing us, and if we will
just wait a little while we can see some of the changes. Now, if the
problem is one of not understanding truth, the solution is teaching the
truth more plainly. As people hear it and understand it, they will be
freed from this. To try to force them into some kind of compliance with
something they yet do not understand is ridiculous and futile. Therefore,
be patient. If they are being exposed to truth, they will change. Let the
Lord change them; it is his responsibility. Not only will he do so, but he
is perfectly able to do so. God is able to do it. I like Phillips'
translation here. He says, "God is well able to transform men into
servants who are satisfactory." That is exactly what Paul is relying on
Trying to Change Others)
Ro 14:4 "Who are you to judge the
servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and stand he
will, for the Lord is able to make him stand."
The word "judge" is krino, which means
to separate or to discriminate, to form or give an opinion after
considering the particulars of a case. Let me give you an example. I go
overseas a lot, and a lot of the people there just donít understand grace.
They are so tied to the law. They are tied to so many things. I walk in
and see these precious, precious people and immediately the discernment
comes. But you see, I canít take the next step and make a judgment. I am
there to encourage and instruct. By the grace of God they will be able to
come to the light of realizing that Jesus Christ determines their eternal
security with Him and that nothing they do or donít do affects that. It
may affect their fellowship, but not their eternal standing with God.
You see, it is immediate that we realize we are not somebody elseís lord.
He is Lord of both. Paul says, "to his own master he stands or falls." In
other words, it is his master that is going to cause him to stand or
determine whether he is going to fall. It is not our determination. Our
determination is to love without hypocrisy. Our determination is to make
sure that whatever we do builds up, encourages and instructs. We are never
to take the place of lording over or judging that individual for his lack
of understanding of grace.
Then Paul goes on in Ro 14:4 to say, "and stand he will, for the Lord is
able to make him stand." The word "to stand" there means to be established
and to confirm. Thank God for that. God will establish both men. He will
establish the strong men. He will establish the weak men.
Thank God for that back when I did not understand grace. Folks, I didnít.
And I tell you what, hiding behind the corner of great things that God is
doing in your life is that temptation to be spiritually proud and to judge
your brother because he hasnít done what you have done. There have been
many, many times when God has led me to a fast that nobody knew about.
Those times of fasting are those times of deep commitment. Somehow you
think you are in a realm that nobody else is in, and you become
spiritually proud and begin to judge others because they donít do as you
do. I had that judgmental "I can tell you how to live if you will just ask
That is the biggest problem in the body of Christ today. People are
spiritually proud of what they know and what they understand, so they take
that and use their freedom under grace to become a stumbling block for
somebody else. We have no right to do that. It says that He will be the
one to establish them. I am so glad that God loved me when I was so
arrogant. I went from ignorance to arrogance in about six weeks. When I
was so arrogant, I had an answer for everything. Buddy, if you wanted to
know how to live your life, just ask me and I would tell you. The word
"lovingkindness" is one of my favorite words in scripture. God just loved
Finally through people and situations He began to bring me into an
understanding of what grace really is. When you come to realize it that
way, who are you going to throw a rock at? You used to be in the same
boat. You see, this is what this love is all about. This is the thing that
distinguishes us. Letís donít get proud of what we know or what we do or
donít do. It is not that at all. My spirituality is not ever determined by
what I do or donít do in the sense of that. It is in the sense of whether
or not my relationships are totally wrapped up in such unconditional love
that nobody can question that God is doing something in this personís
life. That is the key. (Romans
person must be
convinced in his
Greek: os men
(gar) krinei (3SPAI) hemeran par
hemeran, os de krinei (3SPAI) pasan
hemeran: hekastos en to idio noi plerophoreistho (3SPPM).
Amplified: One man esteems one day as better than another,
while another man esteems all days alike [sacred]. Let everyone be
fully convinced (satisfied) in his own mind.
Bible - Lockman)
NLT: In the
same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while
others think every day is alike. Each person should have a personal
conviction about this matter.
- Tyndale House)
Phillips: Again, one man thinks some days of more
importance than others. Another man considers them all alike. Let
every one be definite in his own convictions.
Wuest: For, on the one hand, there is he who judges a day above
another day. On the other hand, there is he who subjects every day to
a scrutiny. Let each one in his own mind be fully assured.
One doth judge one day above another, and another doth judge every day
alike; let each in his own mind be fully assured.
ONE MAN REGARDS (judges)
ONE DAY ABOVE ANOTHER: Os men (gar) krinei (3SPAI)
hemeran par hemeran: (Galatians 4:9,10; Colossians 2:16,17)
Again, one man thinks some days of more
importance than others (Phillips)
In the same way, some think one day is
more holy than another day (NLT)
Though it was no longer required by
God, the weak Jewish believer felt compelled to observe the Sabbath and other
feast days associated with Judaism (Gal 4:9-10, Col 2:16, 17-notes). On the other hand, the weak Gentile
might want to separate himself from the special days of festivities
associated with his former paganism because of its immorality and
Some kept the Jewish festivals and some did
Read this example of a "weaker" brother who regarded one day above another
(and it helps one understand that a "weaker" brother is not
necessarily one who is not spiritually mature):
Eric Liddell, the "Flying Scotsman"
was the fastest man in world in 100 meters. For months Eric Liddell trained
with the purpose of winning the 100-meter race at the 1924 Olympics in
Paris & indeed most sportswriters predicted he would win. Then Eric
learned the qualifying heats were scheduled for Sunday. This posed a
problem: Eric believed that he could not honor God by running on the
Lord's Day. He simply said "I'm not running on a Sunday" & even said "no"
to Prince of Wales, all because he regarded "one day above another".
Eric didnít make a big deal about it and shout his convictions from the
rooftop so people would see how pious he was. Nevertheless his fans were
stunned by his refusal. Some who had praised him now called him a fool.
But Eric stood firm in his convictions and did not go against his
conscience (Ro 14:6 "he who observes the day, observes it for
the Lord" & 14:23 "he who doubts is condemned if he
(runs on Sunday), because his (running) is not from faith; and
whatever is not from faith is sin") . Many thought it was completely
in character for Eric & a lot of the athletes were quietly impressed by
it. They felt that here was a man who was prepared to stand for what he
thought was right, without interfering with anyone else, and without being
dogmatic. That's the power of integrity. His masseur gave him the
following verse just prior to his world record race. (1Samuel 2:30
"those who honor Me I will honor") As God's providence would have
it a runner dropped out of the 400-meter race, scheduled on a weekday.
Eric offered to fill the slot, even though this was four times as long as
the race for which he had
trained. When the 400 meters had concluded, not only did Eric win running
away, but he did so in record time! What Eric did was was "acceptable
to God and approved by men" (Ro 14:18). And God did honor him. And men
did approve of him. However Instead of basking in the glory & potential
fortune that might have been his as an Olympic gold medalist, he chose to
finish his education at the U. of Edinburgh. Upon graduation he left
Scotland for the missionary fields of China. As he left the train station
in Edinburgh, all the faculty, students & town sang "All
Hail the Power of Jesus' Name" In China he was captured
by the Japanese during WWII & imprisoned with 1800 others in an area no
bigger than 100 x 200 yards. In this difficult environment this man of
integrity, proved to be a daily source of a righteous life lived out,
bringing peace & joy, preaching, singing & ministering to his fellow
prisoners, many of whom were also missionaries. He died there in 1945,
shortly after his 43rd birthday, and just prior to the liberation.
Although most of his fellow prisoners did not know it, Eric had been
suffering headaches from what proved to be a brain tumor that caused his
death. And yet despite his personal torment, this godly saint persevered
to the end, proving to be a source of comfort, continuing to manifest his
radiant smile literally up to the very day before he died. His biographer,
Sally Magnusen, freely admitted the source of his spirituality: "He seemed
to get his strength and self-discipline and his air of quiet serenity from
his early-morning sessions of prayer, meditation, and Bible study. . . .
somewhere in this daily discipline of faith lay the secret of the man,
perhaps the secret of how he ran."
presented a compelling model for how we should live, calling himself
others to an honest life & to self-sacrifice:
"Let us put ourselves
before ourselves & look at ourselves. The bravest moment of a person's
life is the moment when he looks at himself objectively without wincing,
without complaining, [However] self-examination that does not result in
action is dangerous. What am I going to do about what I see? The action
called for is surrender -- of ourselves to God."
EVERY DAY ALIKE: os de krinei (3SPAI)
strong brother was unaffected by days. They were all a gift from God to
him. Nowhere in the NT are Christians ever told to keep the Sabbath or the
Lord's Day (Sunday). And yet at the same time we recognize the principle
of one day in seven, one day of rest after six days of work.
LET EACH MAN BE FULLY CONVINCED IN HIS OWN MIND: hekastos en to idio noi plerophoreistho (3SPPM):
(Ro 14:14,23; 1Corinthians 8:7,11) (Isaiah 40:29) (1John 3:19, 20, 21)
from pleres = full + phero = to bear or bring) means literally to
carry fully and so to bring to fullness or to bring to a full measure. All of
the meanings in the NT are figurative and can be divided into either (1) to
fulfill, accomplish or achieve, carry out fully or (2) to be fully convinced,
to be wholly certain or to be persuaded as in the present verse. The primary
idea is, being filled with a thought or conviction.
Each person should have a personal conviction about this
matter. Each Christian must follow the dictates of his own conscience in matters
not specifically commanded or prohibited in Scripture. Since conscience is a
God-given mechanism to warn, and responds to the highest standard of moral law
in the mind (Ro 2:14, 15-notes), it is not sensible to train yourself to ignore it.
Rather, respond to its compunctions and as you mature, by learning more, your
mind will not alert it to those things which are not essential.
It should however
be clear that such a principle applies only to matters that are morally neutral
-- the externals but not the eternals. When it comes to fundamental eternal
doctrines of the Christian faith, there is no room for individual opinions. But
in the area where things are neither right nor wrong in themselves, and
Scripture is silent, there is room for differing views. They should not be
allowed to become tests of fellowship, which far too often is the case in
practice. Paul then is saying in essence "I know you are sometimes going to
choose differently from each other, but by all means be confident in what you
choose. Be settled in your conviction & don't be flipping back and forth." There
is a reverse truth implicit here also, which is: If the Lord convicts you that
something is wrong in your life, you had better not do it, even if other
Christians are doing it!
Lord (2962) (kurios
is found 10 times Romans 14 and 38x altogether in
in classical Greek, was used of gods, and the inscriptions applied to
different gods (Hermes, Zeus, etc.) or also of the head of the family, who
is lord of wife and children. In the present context kurios
describes the One Who has absolute ownership and uncontrolled power.
No Christian has the right to "play
God" in another Christianís life. We can pray, advise, and even admonish,
but we cannot take the place of God. What is it that makes a dish of food
"holy" or a day "holy"? It is the fact that we relate it to the Lord. The
person who treats a special day as "holy" does so "unto the Lord." The
person who treats every day as sacred, does so "unto the Lord."
The Christian who eats meat gives
thanks to the Lord, and the Christian who abstains from meat abstains
"unto the Lord." To be "fully persuadedóor assuredóin his own mind" (Ro
14:5) means: Let every man see to it that he is really doing what he does
for the Lordís sake, and not merely on the basis of some prejudice or
whim. Some standards and practices in our local churches are traditional
but not necessarily scriptural. Some of us can remember when dedicated
Christians opposed Christian radio "because Satan was the prince of the
power of the air!" Some people even make Bible translations a test of
orthodoxy. The church is divided and weakened because Christians will not
allow Jesus Christ to be Lord." (Wiersbe)
G Campbell Morgan writes the
following note on this verse...
This is a far-reaching word. Its
application in Paul's argument was to such very disputable matters as the
observing of days, and the eating of foods. It is really passing strange
how these and similarly unimportant matters have been, and continue to be,
reasons for much bitterness between the children of God. Two matters are
contained in this instructionófirst, that of a man's personal duty; and
second, that of his attitude toward all other men. The first is explicit;
the second is implicit. The personal duty is that a man be fully assured
in his own mind. That means first, that he is to have an opinion. He has
no right to be guided in these things by the opinions or habits of others.
That way lies the paralysing of the powers of personality, and therefore
weakness. It may be that coming to full assurance will demand time and
thought, and in the process he may be helped by conferring with others;
but at last he must find his own stand. This being so, it follows that he
will recognize the right and obligation of every other man to the same
process. Therefore no man can have any right whatever to impose upon any
other man his own convictions. All this is important and reasonable,
because one man may be helped by the observance of a day, while another is
not; one may find strength in abstinence from certain forms of food, and
another weakness. (Morgan, G. C. Life Applications from Every Chapter of
Ro 14:5 Here he shifts from food to
days. It is the same thing, isnít it? You had better get this straight in
your theology. A lot of people who love God believe that you have to meet
on a certain day. That is exactly what Paul was dealing with. Paul was
dealing with the Jewish mind-set there. The Jews felt the Sabbath was the
day to be revered and set aside. That is the last day of the week. Sunday
is the first day of the week. Not only was the Sabbath a particular day
but it also was in regard to other periods that were reserved. The word
"Sabbath" doesnít just mean the Sabbath as we think about it. There were
several Sabbaths they would honor. They would fight to keep this day very
The Apostle Paul was the greatest preacher of grace in the New Testament.
I think he learned it certainly not from the apostles, but he learned it
in that desert when the Holy Spirit of God took him for three years and
taught him what grace was because as soon as he came out, he went
immediately to Simon Peter and told him, "Man, you are not living under
grace. You wonít even eat with the Gentiles and other like that when the
Jewish higher ups are around. You have got to get out from under that
Paul knew and understood grace. He says in Colossians 2:16, 17
Therefore let no one act as your judge
in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a
Sabbath dayóthings which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the
substance belongs to Christ. (Col 2:16, 17-note)
Here is Paul, who wrote that, telling
them in Rome not to ever treat with scorn somebody who doesnít understand
that, who still hangs on to a day. Others treat every day the same. You
see, when you understand grace, you realize that the Sabbath is a shadow.
The shadow means that it is a day of rest, but we donít have a day of
rest. Every day is a day of rest for the believer when he rests himself in
the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is our rest. The reason we worship Him on
Sunday is because that is the day He resurrected. The Psalmist said,
"This is the day the Lord has made. Let
us rejoice and be glad in it." (Ps 118:24-note)
He referred in the context specifically
to resurrection Sunday. That is why we do it. It is a day of beginnings,
the newness of what God has done.
But what about a brother who loves Jesus just as much as you do but still
sees the Sabbath as the day that he wants to worship God? Does that mean I
become his lord or his judge? I pray that God may help me to instruct him.
I pray that God may help him to find the understand where he is wrong, but
I donít scorn him and look down on him and demean him because God will
establish that brother. I am not his lord. Jesus is his Lord. God is the
revealer of all truth.
You see, the mature believer understands that he is free on any day. Every
day is the same as far as loving and praising and celebrating the Lord
Jesus. But Paul drives his point home. It is why you do what you do that
God is looking at. Look at what he says in Ro 14:5
Let each man be fully convinced in his
The word "fully convinced" is
the word that means to be fully persuaded. It comes from two words,
pleres, which means full and phoreo, which means to cover. So
the two words together mean to cover fully to the point that you are
motivated, you are fully persuaded.
There is no doubt whatsoever in his own mind. The word for "mind"
is nous. There are different words for "mind," and this word has to
do with oneís understanding which leads him to deep convictions in his
life. Let each man do whatever he is doing. Now there are some people on
both sides who will do it for the wrong motive, and they are already out
of the picture. That is not what he is talking about. But a person who is
sincere and at that point in his life is doing it because he thinks this
is what will please the Lord, then let him do it out of that motive. One
sees it one way, and one may see it another way. But let them do it from
their own conviction. It is the motive of the heart that God looks at.
Now, before I go any further, let me draw a line and say he is not
referring to anything that is wrong doctrine or anything that is
intentionally deceptive. He is talking about a personís walk with God and
his sincerity and purity of his heart. He may not understand grace because
of the trappings of what he came out of, because of other peopleís
influence in his life. He may have it all wrong, but if in his heart he
really believes this is what God wants, you just leave him alone. Instruct
him if you can, encourage him if you can, but donít demean him because God
will bring him out of that. He will come to understand it. If it is not
from your encouragement, if not from your instruction, if it is not
somehow from you, your love will keep him intact and not become a
stumbling block to him while God is able to bring him into an
understanding and revelation of what he needs. (Romans
observes it for the
Lord, and he who
so for the
Lord, for he
God; and he who
eats not, for the
Lord he does not
Greek: o phronon (PAPMSN) ten hemeran kurio phronei
(3SPAI): kai o esthion (PAPMSN) kurio esthiei (3SPAI) eucharistei (3SPAI) gar to theo: kai o me esthion (PAPMSN) kurio ouk esthiei (3SPAI) kai eucharistei
(3SPAI) to theo
Amplified: He who observes the day, observes it in honor of
the Lord. He also who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives
thanks to God; while he who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord
and gives thanks to God.
Bible - Lockman)
NLT: Those who have a special day for worshiping the Lord are
trying to honor him. Those who eat all kinds of food do so to honor
the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who
won't eat everything also want to please the Lord and give thanks to
- Tyndale House)
Phillips: If a man specially observes one particular day, he
does so "to God". The man who eats, eats "to God", for he thanks God
for the food. The man who fasts also does it "to God", for he thanks
God for the benefits of fasting.
Wuest: The one who has formed a judgment regarding the day,
with reference to the Lord he judges it. And the one who eats, with
reference to the Lord he eats, for he gives thanks to God.
He who is regarding the day, to the Lord he doth regard it, and he who is
not regarding the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He who is
eating, to the Lord he doth eat, for he doth give thanks to God; and he
who is not eating, to the Lord he doth not eat, and doth give thanks to
HE WHO OBSERVES THE DAY, OBSERVES IT FOR THE LORD: o phronon (PAPMSN) ten hemeran kurio phronei
(3SPAI): (Galatians 4:10)
"He who observes the day, observes it
in honor of the Lord." (Amplified)
"Those who have a special day for
worshiping the Lord are trying to honor him." (NLT)
who have a special day for worshiping the Lord are trying to honor him. Do
everything you do for the honor of Christ and a heart full of thanksgiving to
Him (Col 3:23, 24-note). Note Paul's repeated emphasis on "for the Lord" (4x in
Ro 14:4, 5,6, 7, 8) in this area of why one does or does not do a "non-essential".
Paul gave us similar principle that should be our guide in this area of
externals in (1Cor 10:31)
"Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you
do, do all to the glory of God."
Their is no difference in motivation
between the two groups (strong & weak) -- both conduct themselves in
the way they are led to do by their conscience so that they might please
their Master , the Lord Jesus.
AND HE WHO EATS, DOES SO FOR THE LORD FOR HE GIVES THANKS
TO GOD: kai o esthion (PAPMSN) kurio esthiei (3SPAI) eucharistei (3SPAI) gar to theo:
(Isaiah 58:5; Zechariah 7:5,6)
When people eat all kinds of foods, they honor the Lord as
they eat, since they give thanks to God. The evidence that both the ďweakĒ and
the ďstrongĒ have right hearts is that they both give ďthanksĒ to God. That is,
both do what they do with the intention of serving the Lord.
In Exodus Moses instructed Israel regarding
the feast of unleavened bread...
'Now this day will be a memorial to
you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your
generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance. (Exodus 12:14)
And similarly in regard to the Passover
It is a night to be observed for the LORD for
having brought them out from the land of Egypt; this night is for the LORD, to
be observed by all the sons of Israel throughout their generations. (Exodus
And in regard to the Sabbath...
And Moses said, "Eat it today, for today is a
sabbath to the LORD; today you will not find it in the field. (Ex 16:25)
Ray Stedman comments that...
God sees both of these men and both of
these viewpoints as honoring him. The one who thinks Sunday is a special day
that ought to be kept different from all other days is doing so as unto the
Lord, therefore honor that, respect that viewpoint. The one who says, "No. When
we are in Christ, days do not mean anything. They are not set aside for any
special purpose. Therefore, I feel every day is alike, and I want to honor the
Lord on every day." Okay, do not feel upset at that. He is doing so out of a
deep conviction of his heart. The one who drinks beer gives thanks to God for
the refreshment of it and the taste of it, and it is perfectly proper that he
does so. The one who says, "No. I cannot drink beer. I only drink coffee," gives
thanks for the coffee. The coffee may do as much physical harm as the beer, but,
in either case, it is not a moral question. It is a question of what the heart
is doing in the eyes of God. Sometimes we are too harsh with one another in
AND HE WHO EATS NOT, FOR THE LORD HE DOES NOT EAT, AND
GIVES THANKS TO GOD: kai o me esthion (PAPMSN) kurio ouk esthiei (3SPAI) kai eucharistei
(3SPAI) to theo: (Matthew 14:19; 15:36; John 6:28; 1Corinthians
10:30,31; 1Timothy 4:3, 4, 5)
Vegetarians also honor the Lord when they eat, and they, too,
give thanks to God. To count every moment absolutely devoted to God, and
therefore holy in the highest sense, is the very essence of the new life in
J Vernon McGee quips
"It is not what
is on the table, but what is in the heart that is noted by God. It
is the heart attitude that conditions Christian conduct." (Thru the Bible
indisputable point here is: people with opposing viewpoints on
non-essentials can both be perfectly right with God. We need to take
this to heart.
Two of the most
famous Christians in the Victorian Era in England were Charles Spurgeon
and Joseph Parker, both mighty preachers of the gospel. Early in their
ministries they fellowshipped and even exchanged pulpits. Then they had
a disagreement, and the reports got into the newspapers. Spurgeon
accused Parker of being unspiritual because he attended the theater.
Interestingly enough, Spurgeon smoked cigars, a practice many believers
would condemn. In fact, on one occasion someone asked Spurgeon about his
cigars, and he said he did not smoke to excess. When asked what he meant
by excess, he waggishly answered,
ďNo more than two at a time.Ē
Who was right?
Perhaps neither, perhaps both! Better yet would be to realize that the two could
disagree and both be in the will of God. (see another
anecdotal story about Spurgeon under the note for Ro14:22).
Ro 14:6 - I want you to know the
greater responsibility to celebrate Christ moment-by-moment, day-by-day,
falls upon the more mature believer. The context is clear. Those of us who
may understand grace and have come further along than others in our own
congregation and in our own city have the greatest responsibility in this.
Listen to what some great mature believers have said over the years.
Ignatius, who was martyred for the faith in 115 A.D., said,
Those who were concerned with old
things have come to newness of confidence, no longer keeping Sabbaths but
living according to the Lordís Day on whom our life as risen again through
Justin Martyr, who was martyred
about 168 A.D., said,
How can we keep the Sabbath who rest
from sin all the days of the week.
Yet, even with that maturity, Paul says
that we are not to use our freedom under grace to become a stumbling block
to a weaker brother.
In 1Corinthians 8 Paul says,
But take care lest this liberty of
yours somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone sees
you, who have knowledge, dining in an idolís temple, will not his
conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to
idols? For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother
for whose sake Christ died. And thus, by sinning against the brethren and
wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. (1Cor
8:9, 10, 11, 12)
You know, this gets into several very,
very complicated areas, doesnít it? You know there are balancing
principles. Whatever you do, you do not cause your brother to stumble. I
have people coming to me all the time and say, "Do you think it is alright
in scripture to drink wine?" I think sometimes people listen to me say
something, but they donít hear it. They just canít wait for an opportunity
to ask me that question after it is over with. "Is there a verse in
scripture that says you canít drink wine?" No, there really isnít. It just
says donít get drunk with it.
But there is another principle in Romans 14, and I want to tell you
something straight out, friend. If you are using your freedom under grace
to cause a brother to stumble, you had better get that stuff out of your
house because you are sinning against God. I say that on the authority of
Romans 14. That is not an opinion coming from this preacher.
Donít we live in a day of the weaker and stronger brother? I am telling
you, they are on every corner. And what God is saying is, "Donít you dare
use your freedom under grace to become a stumbling block to someone else."