Whatever we do in religion, it will not turn to any good account, except we do it from a principle of faith, with a believing regard to the will of Christ as our rule, to the glory of Christ as our end, and to the righteousness of Christ as our plea. Thus the apostle takes part with the weakest, and condemns the defect in love on the one side more than the defect in knowledge on the other side; agreeably to his principles elsewhere, that the way of love is the more excellent way, Corinthians 12:31. Nothing but the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, can make any sinner free from the law of sin and death. He that will venture to do that which his own conscience suggests to him to be unlawful, when it is not so in itself, will by a like temptation be brought to do that which his conscience tells him is unlawful when it is really so. Nor did St. Paul attempt to end them. Though men condemn us, it is well enough if our own hearts condemn us not, 1 John 3:21. Observe the motives to enforce this caution. In things indifferent, Christians should not condemn each other, Romans 14:1.Particularly with respect to different kinds of food, Romans 14:2-4.And the observation of certain days, Romans 14:5, Romans 14:6.None of us should live unto himself, but unto Christ, who lived and died for us, Romans 14:7-9.We must not judge each other; for all judgment belongs to God, Romans 14:10-13. NASB E-Prime Young's Compare all. (2.) Attempts for producing absolute oneness of mind among Christians would be useless. Consider the evil of giving offence, and what an abuse it is of our Christian liberty. Have it to thyself—a rule to thyself (not to be imposed upon others, or made a rule to them), or a rejoicing to thyself. 14:14-18 Christ deals gently with those who have true grace, though they are weak in it. (14-25) Commentary on Romans 7:1-6 (Read Romans 7:1-6) So long as a man continues under the law as a covenant, and seeks justification by his own obedience, he continues the slave of sin in some form. That healing method is not the less excellent for being common: in things necessary let there be unity, things unnecessary let there be liberty, and in both let there be charity, then all will be well quickly.—Have it to thyself before God. The first is Salvation and is made up of Romans chapters 1 through 11. It will be good for us to ask ourselves, when tempted to disdain and blame our brethren; Has not God owned them? I look at the book of Romans in two main divisions. K.J.V. Let not the reproach arise from any default of ours; as 1 Timothy 4:12; Let no man despise thee, that is, do not make thyself despicable. The former is a stumbling-block, that gives our brother a great shake, and is a hindrance and discouragement to him; but this is an occasion to fall. Now let not this be evil spoken of. The gospel is your good; the liberties and franchises, the privileges and immunities, granted by it, are your good; your knowledge and strength of grace to discern and use your liberty in things disputed are your good, a good which the weak brother hath not. (14-23). The spirit of a man is the candle of the Lord, and it is a dangerous thing to debauch and put a force upon conscience, though it be under a mistake. [3.] Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. First, Drawing a soul to sin threatens the destruction of that soul. Compare Galatians 6:4; Let every man prove his own work, that is, bring it to the touchstone of the word and try it by that so exactly as to be well satisfied in what he does; and then he shall have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. Salem Media Group. The Jewish converts cautioned against judging, and Gentile believers against despising one the other. Here his own heart cannot but condemn him as a transgressor. Observe, The same for whom Christ died (Romans 14:15) are here called the work of God; besides the work that is wrought for us there is a work to be wrought in us, in order to our salvation. made weak, that is, takes occasion to show his weakness by his censures and scruples. Enjoy the comfort of it, but do not trouble others by a wrong use of it. To the same purport (Romans 14:21) he recommends it to our care not to give offence to any one by the use of lawful things: It is good neither to eat flesh nor to drink wine; these are things lawful indeed and comfortable, but not necessary to the support of human life, and therefore we may, and must, deny ourselves in them, rather than give offence. If he wants to honor a certain day, let him do as his conscience requires. This takes in all indifferent things, whereby a brother is drawn into sin or trouble; or has his graces, his comforts, or his resolutions weakened. Secondly, The consideration of the love of Christ in dying for souls should make us very tender of the happiness and salvation of souls, and careful not to do any thing which may obstruct and hinder them. Did Christ deny himself for our brethren, so as to die for them, and shall not we deny ourselves for them, so as to keep from any indulgence? Daniel and his fellows were in better liking with pulse and water than those were who ate the portion of the king’s meat. In those indifferent things which we are sure it is no sin not to do, and yet are not clear that it is lawful to do them, we must not do them while we continue under those doubts; for he that doubteth is damned if he eat (Romans 14:23), that is, it turns into sin to him; he is damned, katakekritai—he is condemned of his own conscience, because he eateth not of faith, because he does that which he is not fully persuaded … See Matthew 18:6, 10. Good praying, preaching, and discourse, may often, for want of prudence in ordering the time, the expression, and other circumstances to edification, be evil spoken of. and in serving him we are not called to live and die to ourselves, but unto Christ, whose we are, and whom we ought to serve. That is the true comfort which we have before God. Hast thou faith? As we tender the reputation of the good we profess and practise, let us so order it that it may not be evil spoken of. K.J.V. Let every man search his own heart and life; he that is strict in judging and humbling himself, will not be apt to judge and despise his brother. Have it to thyself before God, Romans 14:22. This is to be extended to all such indifferent things whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, is involved either in sin or in trouble: or is made weak—his graces weakened, his comforts weakened, his resolutions weakened. 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