"Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another.". "Commentary on Romans 14:13". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". (NLT - Tyndale House), Phillips: I am convinced, and I say this as in the presence of Christ himself, that nothing is intrinsically unholy. )” God showed Peter the same truth through a vision before he went to preach the gospel at the house of the Gentile centurion, Cornelius (Acts 10:15), “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.” Paul mentions the same thing in relation to food (1Ti 4:4-5), “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.” (See also 1Cor. Not to do anything. In these cases, neither opinion is wrong – either the “more strict” view or the “less strict” one. 4. I say this because it would require them to go against their own conscience, the very thing Paul was trying to avoid when he wrote Romans 14:13-23. The conscience free from the commandments of men. "William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament". Like many other words, the word koinos has other connections. They have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ, and their names are not in the Lamb's Book of Life. Are you in danger of abusing your liberty to the point of hurting yourself? 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. The Christian is free to use or abstain from things indifferent. If every Christian, instead of judging his brethren severely, would resolve that “he” would so live as to promote peace, and so as not to lead others into sin, it would tend more, perhaps, than any other thing to advance the harmony and purity of the church of Christ. Instead of forming a judgment about “others,” let the man form a determination about his own conduct. Judge this rather; decide this rather in your minds. Better you should love him where he is at than force him beyond his secure position. Clean and Unclean - Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible (in depth article), Common - Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature, Clean, Unclean - Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, Unclean - Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature, Unclean and Clean - Fausset's Bible Dictionary, Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary. The lesson of Romans … Some regard the two as synonymous, others as related to different results in the case of the injured brother. Stop ruining by your food that one on behalf of whom Christ died. There are some days when I decide to do nothing for a couple of hours, but I can hardly get through those hours because I have such a guilty conscience. A flat plate without a rim could not become unclean at all; but a plate with a rim could. In general, "the separated life," as the term is commonly used, may be understood to be a life which is separated not only from what can be proved by Scripture to be sinful, but also from various other practices which may be indifferent in themselves; and this separation is regarded as binding on the conscience of the Christian, and is sometimes made a term or condition of ecclesiastical or even of Christian fellowship. I like that figure because a walk, of course, merely consists of two simple steps, repeated over and over again. Followers of Jesus are most effective Comment: Here koinos refers to the gift of salvation shared in common by all true believers. A godly person who understands his liberty in Christ should not be dissuaded from exercising it, but those who are ignorant of their liberties shouldn't be shown a pattern of behavior that will cause them to stumble. Now who is to decide which of these many voices is to be accepted as the authoritative voice of science? BibliographyCoke, Thomas. "All things are lawful — but not all things are expedient. Nothing could be more false and dangerous, than the contention of some religious teachers that a matter must be regarded as sinful — until proved to be indifferent. (See note Php 3:17) 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 Php 3:18), 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. From this comes the derived meaning of what is ordinary and, therefore, to be disesteemed, as contrasted with what pertains to a class, and to be prized, because rare. Steven Cole - Love does not insist on its rights to the point of damaging a weaker brother’s walk with God (14:15). It is not loving to force people to move at your pace. So Christ himself, and his doctrine, was a scandal to the Jews: see 1 Corinthians 1:23 1 Peter 2:8. The second κρίνατε is used as corresponding to the first, and is in fact a play on it: ‘pulchra mimesis ad id quod præcedit,’ Bengel: see James 2:4 for another instance:—but determine this rather. 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. Civil legislation does not purpose to bind the conscience — but only the control the conduct of citizens. But don’t do anything that would cause him to violate his conscience by following your example. Why let something as unimportant as food do something as awful as causing spiritual loss for a weaker brother or sister? Mediaeval monasticism was an attempt to separate from the world itself, an attempt to escape corruption by abstaining from all association with the corrupt. Romans 14:13. Some say that σκανδακον signifies properly "a piece of wood that supports a trap, which falls on its being moved;" and so may with peculiar propriety signify whatever may be the occasion of ensnaring another, and drawing him into sin and mischief. Let all church courts beware of committing the sin which Spurgeon described as "violating the crown rights of God who alone is Lord of the consciences of men.". Paul develops his ideas quite freely from his conception of faith, but in all probability he was familiar with what Jesus taught (Matthew 18). A companion is called a koinonos, and the fellowship of believers is koinonia. — Reprinted by permission. It isn’t worth it when you remember that his soul was redeemed at such a towering cost—the precious blood of the Lamb." 7. If we grant to ecclesiastical bodies the right to decide concerning opium and marijuana — do we not thereby concede the entire principle that the church may legitimately decide for its members concerning the use of things indifferent? ----- IN the first three sermons on chapter 14 of Romans we have considered the the problems of living together in the fellowship of true believers. Commentary Critical and Explanatory - Unabridged, Kretzmann's Popular Commentary of the Bible, Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures. A Stumbling Block (4625) (skandalon from a root meaning jump up, snap shut) was originally the piece of wood that kept open a trap for animals. Apollumi means to ruin so that the thing ruined can no longer serve the use for which it was designed. Therefore no universal rule can be made in this matter, for what is an overwhelming temptation to one person — may be no temptation at all to another person. BibliographyAbbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. While I greatly respect these scholars who say that the word destroy here means eternal destruction and I agree with some of the arguments that they put forth in other contexts, it seems to me that the context here overrides the usual meaning of the word and that here Paul means that flaunting your liberty will damage your brother’s walk with God, not that you will cause a professing believer to go to eternal damnation. "He so loved the world, that He gave his only-begotten Son." (Detzler). (NASB: Lockman), Greek: ei gar 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. Acts 15:19. τιθέναι κ.τ.λ. See an exact parallel in 1Co 8:10, 11. Things made of metal could become unclean, except a door, a bolt, a lock, a hinge, a knocker and a gutter. He extends the exhortation to himself, and to the whole body of Christians. In sum, this type of behavior is NOT walking according to love. While it does contain the meaning of power and authority, it also contains the meanings of privilege, freedom, mastery, and liberty. Both the idea and the word are found in Matthew 18:6 (= Mark 9:42), where it is disguised by the translation “offend,” in the sense of “cause to stumble.” The same translation appears frequently elsewhere. We should determine (judge) that we will never do anything to hinder a brother in his spiritual progress. Then the Lord taught him that no meat is "common or profane" (Acts 11:9). But Paul is not talking about those things that are inherently sinful. The Psalms are loaded with verses of trust in God in the midst of life-threatening situations. You have to know the hearts of the people around you so you can be sure to have an unselfish love for them. So a church in China makes a rule against the use of opium by church members — and a church in Mexico a rule against the use of marijuana. They reason “I can’t help it. "Here now is indeed a field for judging! BibliographyPoole, Matthew, "Commentary on Romans 14:13". . But [none the less] it is unclean (defiled and unholy) to anyone who thinks it is unclean. The Biblical Conception: https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/romans-14.html. 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). We must neither judge them nor excuse ourselves. Let us not therefore judge one another any more — Seeing that judgment belongs to Christ. "If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. 14: 19-21). Instead of judging others, let us look upon this as a rule for ourselves, and our own deportment, that we put no stumblingblock, &c. That no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way: q.d. Active scandal is, when any thing is done or said which gives occasion of offence to others, when it is an occasion of grief, or of sin to them, Romans 14:15,21. In the Lord's Prayer we use the petition, "Lead us not into temptation." We are to build up our brother in love by not causing him to stumble, grieve, or be devastated by falling into sin. skandalon. It is a hurt to conscience, which, while not necessarily fatal, may lead to violation or hardening of conscience, and finally to fall. This problem is far more important than is at first apparent. In the Mishnah there are no fewer than twelve treatises on this kind of uncleanness. “The apostle’s meaning is, Since we are all the servants of Christ, and are to be judged by him at the last day, we ought not to usurp his prerogative, by pronouncing one another profane, or bigoted, or wicked, merely because we differ in opinion about matters, concerning which Christ hath commanded … If you don’t, you’re causing me to stumble.” In some strict Christian circles, women are not allowed to wear any makeup. (Eph 2:1-2-See notes Ep 2:1; 2:2), Paul's 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. No third party can be admitted to determine the question, so far as the morality of the matter is concerned. he asked. Because of this, a number of scholars who believe in the eternal security of believers nonetheless argue that Paul is saying that if you cause a weaker brother to sin by violating his conscience, you could cause his damnation. One weakness I have is on how I spend my time. We have already shown that no material thing can be sinful in itself. Instead of judging, we ought to do another thing, which is not properly judging, but called judging, in allusion to the word immediately going before. His vision (Acts 10) woke him, and, though he relapsed for an instant (Galatians 2:9), the work was done; and when that generation passed away, the religious nature of these distinctions had gone from Christianity; cleanliness, instead of being godliness, was next to godliness. (Ro 13:13-note), For (explaining why they still need milk and cannot take solid food) you (babes in Christ) are still fleshly. This does not take away the need and the responsibility for admonishment (Romans 15:14) or rebuke (2 Timothy 4:2). 21:27, rv, “unclean” (marg., “common”). He was speaking of being strong in faith and weak in faith. Everything that the Christian is and does, always has moral significance. 1857. to the hurt or offence of tender consciences. Determine (2919) (krino) (see 14 uses in Romans) is used twice in this verse, but with a slightly different connotation. BibliographyClarke, Adam. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. 2012. A hollow vessel made of pottery could contract uncleanness inside but not outside; that is to say, it did not matter who or what touched it outside, but it did matter what touched it inside. Agape love lays down its rights, seeking the highest good of the other person. Paul underlines what he says with strong conviction: “I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus.” This could mean that the Lord had revealed these things directly to Paul, perhaps during his time in Arabia shortly after his conversion. He is not talking about judging your brother regarding sin or serious doctrinal error (which we need to do), but rather on non-moral or secondary matters. (2Cor 12:18), Paul charges believers to "walk (present imperative = command to make this one's lifestyle) by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. Science, moreover, cannot tell precisely where the border line between harmless use and harmful use lies. BibliographyJamieson, Robert, D.D. Love foregoes its legitimate rights in order to promote the welfare of a brother. In the NT it may be seen in the case of Simon Peter; he combined Christian beliefs and Jewish distinctions without at first being willing to perceive their variance. They explain this by saying that if the weaker brother falls away so as to perish, then he was a “brother” in name only, not in actual fact. Skandalon - 15x in 13v in the NAS - Mt 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. You should never train yourself to violate or ignore your conscience. (Building Up One Another Without Offending, Part 1 - See dropdown list). This meant that at this stage the hands were wet with water; but that water was now unclean because it had touched unclean hands. The failure to possess this life will involve the utter ruin of those that perish. There is nothing "common" about the Cross of Christ. This was their idea of goodness and of the service of God. If so, then you need to show him your love by limiting your liberty. [You have ceased to be living and conducting yourself by the standard of love toward him.] 7:1)." In short they were rendered useless. Everyone is entitled to a few hours of breathing without being encumbered with some task." In the Levitical sense, as opposed to holy or pure. CONCLUSION: The True vs. the False Doctrine. It is possible that science or experience may show that certain conduct is harmful. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died.” The argument here is, “If Christ loved this brother enough to die for him on the cross, then don’t you think that you should love him enough to be willing to give up your ham sandwich (or glass of wine) so that you don’t lead him into sin?” In other words, get some perspective: Your sacrifice of some liberty is nothing compared to Christ’s sacrifice of His very life! He teaches that it is not enough that we are persuaded a certain course is, in itself considered, right, in order to authorize us to pursue it. There is a play on the word ‘judge,’ which here has the sense of forming a judgment as a principle of action. Beyond question it is a duty to separate from occasions of temptation to sin; but just what constitutes an occasion of temptation to sin — no man can authoritatively say for another so as to bind the other's conscience; much less can any man or church formulate universal regulations binding upon all men in such matters as these. Separation from OCCASIONS of Temptation to Sin, The Christian is required to separate not merely from sin itself, but also from known occasions of temptation to sin. We do not mean that the Christian is free to use every indifferent thing, except when there is some special reason for abstinence — but rather that, of the whole class of things indifferent, the Christian is free to use any specific things, except those in the case of which there exists some special reason for abstinence. Romans 14:13 Delivered 12/16/2012. MacArthur - How would a weak brother be grieved? Should he abstain from all conduct which might offend any Christian? BibliographyBenson, Joseph. If we have sinned in this way, we should do all that we can to help get him back on track with the Lord. That to the Pharisaic and Scribal Jew was religion. 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 (Ep 4:30-note). John Trapp Complete Commentary. At the point where a secondary authority becomes necessary — the matter automatically passes from the church, to the court of the individual conscience, precisely because God alone is Lord of the conscience, and human authority cannot bind the conscience. Charles Schribner's Sons. at his judgment-seat. However, it is quite possible to be strong and wrong. The relation between the sufficiency of Scripture as the standard of faith and conduct and the problem of the separated life, must be summarized as follows: 1. None of these nonessential matters is important enough for us to cause a brother to stumble or to fall. 1801-1803. 9. This is substantially taught in the words of Christ in Matthew 5:29-30: "And if your right eye causes you to stumble — pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is profitable for you that one of your members should perish, and not the whole body be cast into Hell. We may confidently assert that Scripture requires the separated life, in the sense of separation from sinful conduct, of every Christian — indeed, of every human being. b. (Romans Illustrations - Part 2), Live for thy neighbor, if thou wouldst live for God! When there is any doubt that the matter is sinful in itself — then it must be left to the individual conscience. If it be alleged that this position fails to safeguard the members of the church against harmful and dangerous habits — then we reply that the contrary position dishonors the Holy Spirit and minimizes His work. And anyone who had so become unclean made unclean anything he in turn touched. "), even a sense of "urgency": The idea is "Do this & do it now! 2. Mark (7:19) adds his own editorial comment, “(Thus He declared all foods clean. 11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. What a confession! Note that this hand-washing was not in the interests of hygienic purity; it was ceremonial cleanness which was at stake. "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". 13. μηκέτι οὖν κ.τ.λ. That is fine; some people can do that. Let us not therefore judge - Since we are to give account of ourselves at the same tribunal; since we must be there on the same “level,” let us not suppose that we have a right here to sit in judgment on our fellow-Christians. A dish of food isn’t as important as the spiritual well-being of one for whom Christ died. Compare Romans 9:32, Romans 9:33; Romans 14:20. Bread eaten with unclean hands was not better than excrement. Again, it’s important to keep in mind here that the weaker brother is not a legalist who would never be tempted to do what he sees you doing as you exercise your liberty in Christ. This is what our passage means by the washings of cups and pitchers and vessels of bronze. Evidently this is addressed to those whose freer conduct gave offence to the weak brethren. They are not alarmed by it, they can keep their balance well. One church on the west coast of America was known for the loving care which Christians exhibited toward each other. As your representative. People around me will say, "Why do you feel guilty? Abstinence from things indifferent, while it may proceed from consideration for the weak conscience of a brother — can never proceed from our own conscience, except in the indirect sense that our conscience requires us to be considerate of the weaknesses of fellow Christians; for if a thing is regarded as indifferent — then how could the use of it be sinful in itself, or how could we abstain because of our own conscience? The Christian is accountable to God to take care that in his use of things indifferent, he does not cause others to stumble or be offended. Joseph Benson's Commentary. (2.) Wherever I am, whatever I do, The English word scandal is derived from the noun via the Lat. Then you are beginning to walk. 1989. Its function is to remedy actual wrongs already committed — not to prevent the commission of wrongs by enforcing abstinence from things which are in themselves not sinful but indifferent. Example: If a Jewish person even touched an "unclean vessel," they could be barred from entering the Temple or synagogue. The present world, even regarded apart from sin, as God's creation and possession, is only temporary, a mere preparation for the eternal order of things (Hebrews 13:14). This is NOT being "devoted to one another in brotherly love" and is NOT giving "preference to one another in honor" (Ro 12:10-note). The Popular Conception: It does not mean that a Christian, in performing any particular act, can be regarded as himself morally neutral or indifferent, or that the Christian can at any time take a moral holiday and concern himself wholly with things morally indifferent. They ignore three basic facts about this early Christian phenomenon. In later Greek it came to mean what is profane as in Mark 7:15 (verb form koinoo is used) contrasted to the hallowed or sacred. Because it is the way to occasion him to sin, and consequently to do what in us lies to bring destruction upon him, for whom Christ died: Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. More generally, and usually in a negative sense, koinos means defiled (corrupted in regard to its purity or perfection), unclean (because it is treated as common and thus considered morally or spiritually impure) or profane (not holy because unconsecrated, impure, or defiled). "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". Compare 1Cor 2:14. As to individual judging, can there be any doubt that uncharitable and presumptuous judging of others for their legitimate and conscientious use of things indifferent, is exceedingly common at the present day? Wuest - Defiled” is koinos; the word refers to that which is common to everybody. The Popular Conception: A Prayer Lord, help me not to elevate my opinions and make others follow. Or should the Christian assert his freedom by the free use of things indifferent before the eyes of men. If we ourselves consider anything to be unclean, then to us it is unclean. But our one sin that resulted in our brother’s sin does not cause him to perish. This, however, is not because the use of carbolic acid is sinful in itself, but because it is used with suicidal intent. Thinks (3049) (logizomai from lógos = reason, word, account) means to reckon, compute, calculate, to take into account, to deliberate, and to weigh. (See note Ep 2:10). https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/romans-14.html. Indeed, they often defined something as koinós ("defiled") which was morally neutral, or not "defiled" at all. One example of this use of means to accomplish God’s promises is when Paul was on the boat about to be shipwrecked. This general agreement is, however, no proper ground for church judicatories authoritatively pronouncing such substances sinful in themselves, or declaring their use to be sinful per se. Do not let what you eat hurt or cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died! Henry Alford - Of food, barely put, to make the contrast greater between the slight occasion, and the great mischief done. But if anyone says to you, 'This has been offered in sacrifice,' then do not eat it, both for the sake of the man who told you and for conscience' sake — the other man's conscience, I mean, not yours. adiaphora, indifferent) matters. "It is good not to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor to do anything whereby your brother stumbles.". Any contact (no matter how indirect) with something "unclean" required elaborate rituals of sacrifice (purification). "Frédéric Louis Godet - Commentary on Selected Books". While the hands were still wet each hand had to be cleansed with the fist of the other. Some lexicons state that Paul used peripateo in the Hebraic sense of living, regulating one's life or conducting one's self. ", Since the Christian is declared to be free to use or not use things indifferent — then it follows that any abstinence from things indifferent must in the nature of the case be voluntary, and not obligatory. . But the fact that it is possible for a person to commit sin by excessive use of aspirin — by no means warrants a church assembly in enacting a rule limiting or prohibiting the use of aspirin by church members; because the use of aspirin is in itself morally indifferent. Its sinful character is not contingent upon special circumstances, but is inherent in its very nature and inseparable from it. The transition stage, where some cling to the old laws and others obey the new spirit, with its problems of faith and charity, is treated in Romans 14. It does mean, however, that in a church where the gospel of Jesus Christ is faithfully proclaimed, where a credible profession of faith is required of those admitted from the world, and where the discipline of the Lord's house is faithfully administered — the hypocrites will be very few. We are far from holding that it is "all right" to use opium, marijuana or a great many other material substances — but if the question as to the sinfulness of the use of these things is to be decided for us by a synod or pope — then our freedom of conscience is destroyed, and our soul reduced to bondage to the commandments of men! This is the first consideration which the apostle urges, to enforce the exhortation not to put a stumbling block in our brother's way. Thank You, Lord, that You sent the Holy Spirit To use the drinking illustration, the weaker brother is not the teetotaler who would never touch a drop of alcohol even if he was dying of thirst. 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