Classic Christianity – Book of Romans P55 (03-16-20)
There is nothing we can do to make ourselves acceptable to God. Now that is difficult to grasp by many people. Why is that? Is it because they do not know what sin really is or what righteousness really is? Most people tend to evaluate themselves next to how other people are doing. After all, they say, “I never murdered anyone one like Adolf Hitler”. They see sin in categories, where actions are greater than attitudes, committing adultery is worse than lust or murder is worse than anger or jealousy. Many view sin as a numerical counting system, where adultery gets you 10 points, stealing 9, and the other things we do a lot more of, such as lying, gets you one or two points. So many people think as if God grades on a curve, that somehow if your good outweighs your bad, then you will make it into heaven.
But that is not how God operates. God is so holy he cannot look upon sin. Sin is defined as anything that does not come from faith. The attitudes of the heart are treated just as if you committed the sinful act. Jesus said that if you look lustfully at a woman in your heart, then you have already committed adultery. The standard God has set for righteousness is the same standard of Jesus, where Jesus said, “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect”. You see, the essence of sin, is having an independent and rebellious attitude, that thinks you do not need God and can figure this out yourself. That is the nature of sin inherited in Adam. When Adam sinned, what was the one thing he did that God said if he did, that he would surely die? God said, “Do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The day you do you shall surely die.” So you see, the wages of sin is death, and if you sinned once, you are guilty of breaking all of the law. Why? You are not operating in faith, in trust in the God who perfectly loves you. Since you are without the love of God in your heart, you are cut off from a trusting relationship with the living God, are without the Spirit of God living in you, are spiritually dead, and thus going your own way.
Out of love for fallen mankind, Jesus, at just the right time, came into this world, died, was buried and rose again. He did something for man that man could never do for himself. He took away the consequence of sin, which is death, by the gift of God, which is life. The same life that raised Jesus, who is God in the flesh, from the dead, is the same life that can raise you and I from the dead. So, we never had any righteousness of our own, and all our good deeds are like filthy rags before God. So the only righteousness is the righteousness of Jesus, which can only be received as a gift from God, believing in what Christ Jesus alone did for you.
So, if you are born again, what is there to boast about? Certainly not in what you did. Your faith was securely placed in Christ alone in what He did for you. Why then should we judge someone else? That is what the apostle Paul is now addressing, this judgmental attitude occurring between the Jews and the Gentiles. Here are the Jews, steeped in religion, accustomed to following strict dietary laws and all kinds of religious practice, required under a former Old Covenant system, and the Gentiles, who formerly had no knowledge of God, steeped in all manner of idolatry. God, in his foreknowledge of love and grace, formed one new body out of the two, from two totally opposite backgrounds, who came to Christ by faith and became born again. The problem is that the Jews would destroy the work of God to uphold what they believed is bad, and the Gentile, would destroy the work of God by flaunting that in their face. This is easily seen in this matter of food, where a Jew would see it sinful to eat meat that had been sacrificed to idols and a Gentile would eat pork right in front of their face.
Now we see these kinds of judgmental attitudes today, in what day of the week you are to worship or seeing someone as not a believer or backslidden since he does not go to church, as if he is forsaking the assembly of believers. The basic issue that we can understand easier is this issue of eating food. If you think it is bad to eat meat on Friday, do not eat it. How many of you were Catholics when you could not eat meat on Friday? So he says, “No, I cannot do it.” Some did, but others didn’t. The ones who didn’t eat it, you probably felt good about yourself. And those of you who did, you probably had to go to confession next week. If it bad for you, then it is bad. It is not bad because it is bad. It is bad for you.
The passage of scripture that summarizes this attitude of love that we should have toward those who sees things differently on matters is this.
14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. 15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love.
Depending on your background, it takes time to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. So be aware of that, and do not allow your actions to be perceived as evil, for conscience sake, their conscience, not yours. It is bad for you because anything that does not come from faith is sin. That is called weak faith, because it is not based on truth, but error, but it takes time for error to be replaced with truth. Until such a time, do not look down on someone who does not have the same knowledge as you do. God will cause the growth, but do not allow his faith to be destroyed because of what you approve, but he sees as wrong.
The key to understand what judging is is to distinguish between judging actions and judging motives. Where we get into the mistake in our lives is when we are judging motives, not the actions of people, but the motives behind them. That is why you hear a person saying, “There is no way that that person could be a Christian and be doing what they are doing?” Is that judging? Yes. We are not God. We cannot make that decision. We can say that what you are doing is inconsistent with who you are as a child of God. If you are indeed a child of God, then you are living totally outside the box.
The way we are designed to live, as a child of God, is live by abiding in Christ. He is the vine and we are the branches, and apart from him we can do nothing (John 15). Now, we have been given the privilege to participate in the divine nature, but we can also choose to live according to what the flesh desires. We can be a believer, doing sinful actions, letting our self be on the throne, rather than abiding, letting Christ be the head and leading us.
God knows those who are truly his. We can address a sinful behavior as something contrary to what God desires, something inconsistent with someone who is a child of God, but to claim someone is not a believer by what he does gets into motives of the heart, which we cannot see. You can discern where a person is at by proper diagnostic questions, asking questions as to what he believes concerning Christ. That way, you are led by the Spirit to guide the person in responding to and receiving truth.
1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves.
We are instructed to confront those caught up in some sin, but in a spirit of humility lest you be tempted yourself. And what should the attitude of your own heart be toward those who are caught in sin? Is not love the law of Christ, where love is the fulfillment of the law and love does his neighbor no wrong? Do you look down on someone who is trapped in sin, as if you are something, and so deceive yourself?
How can we make such decisions of when to confront unless we judge actions? Otherwise, how can we reach out to restore a person gently? So in scripture, Jesus is not telling us not to judge, but to be careful how we judge. Are we judging actions or motives? What is our own attitude toward someone who is trapped in sin?
37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
39 He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.
41 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Jesus is addressing attitudes of the heart. In this scripture, Jesus was speaking to religious Pharisees, those who sought a righteousness of their own, and did not stoop down to help someone in need, but rather boasted in their own righteousness while putting greater burdens on people through the law. They had no room in their heart for God, for they themselves were seeking a way to kill Jesus, who they saw as a threat to their place and their kingdom. They themselves would not come to Christ for fear their own deeds would be exposed. Keep in mind also that Jesus is speaking to those still under an Old Covenant since he has not yet gone to the cross to complete the work God gave him to do. So the Pharisees, seeing themselves as teachers of the law, were demanding others to obey the law that they themselves could not even keep. Jesus is exposing that attitude to them, that the law would serve its purpose, identifying them as a sinner in need of a savior, so that they may turn to Christ for life and live. So if you have Christ in you, are led by the Spirit of God, would you not then have discernment to remove the speck from your brother’s eye? And when you do so the fruit of the Spirit would be evident and displayed through you. Who then is really doing the work? Jesus. Who is abiding and resting? You are. So where is the boasting? In Christ alone.
This is what religion does, to deceive you into thinking that you can impress God. No, you cannot impress God. We cannot even impress each other, let alone God. So we get into this type of a mindset where we want to add to what God has completed. There was no way for you or me to ever go into the presence of a living, holy God, period! He had to make us acceptable in His sight.
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation – 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
In and of myself, I am not acceptable in the sight of God. I am not acceptable to people, sometimes. But I am for sure not acceptable in the sight of God in and of myself. God had to make me acceptable.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
He said, “Be you perfect”. Great encouraging passage, be perfect? “Okay, Lord. How perfect do you want me to be?“ Jesus said, “As perfect as my Father in heaven”. Then I think I have had it. When you think you have had it, you got it. So he is saying you cannot do it.
48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
So what did he do?
14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
He had to make me perfect, complete. Not perfect perfect, but complete. He had to make me holy. He had to make me justified. He had to make me sanctified. I cannot do that on my own. There is nothing in my flesh that would make me worthy to go into the presence of God. Worthy is the lamb, not the sheep. We have to understand that truth. That is all of us.
The other thing we have to understand is that God does not have a numerical system on sins, where adultery gets you 10 points, stealing 9, and the other things we do a lot more of, such as lying, gets you one or two points. There is no numerical system on sins. God says sin is sin. That is what Jesus said, yet everyone is hung up on adultery. Jesus said that if you looked lustfully at a woman in your heart, you already committed adultery.
28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
How many of you want to say, “Oh, not me”. So if that causes you to sin, pluck your eye out, is what Jesus said. If all of us were honest, you would not be able to see me, and I for sure would not be able to see you. But that is what God said.
47 And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell
Is this real or not? Is that true or not? If you are angry with your brother, then you committed murder.
1 John 3:15
15 Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.
So how many people did you kill on the freeway on your way to work? Is that true or not? To us that is not true. You cannot go to jail for lusting or being angry. So we think if you cannot go to jail then it is not sin. But Jesus said that is sin. Why is that? That which is not of faith is sin.
everything that does not come from faith is sin.
The definition of sin is that which is not of faith. How many times a day do we as Christians not exercise faith? So if you are trying to keep short accounts with God, all I have to say is “good luck”. You are not going to have time to eat and sleep or anything else. You will be one busy person if you are going to try keeping short accounts with God, if you look at sin as God looks at it. None of us will ever be able to stand before God in our own righteousness. It is not there. God had to give us His righteousness. That is what happened to you and I when we were born again.
What had to happen for us to be born again? Jesus took away the sins of the entire world. That means that every sin ever committed, from the time of Adam forward to all eternity, has been taken away. All sins have been taken away at the cross. That is why Jesus had to undergo suffering that he did, to cover the sins of the entire world.
2 Corinthians 5:21
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Where is that righteousness? In Him. Not in us. In Him. Do we understand that? Were all of Hitler’s sins taken away at the cross? Yes. How about yours? Yes. All of them. How about the ones you are going to commit tomorrow? People ask, “I know how Jesus died for all my past sins, but how about my future sins?” How many of your sins were in the future when Jesus died 2000 years ago? All of them.
Someone said, “I came to Christ when I was 8 years old.” So you have done all your sins when you were a Christian. I only did half of mine as a Christian. That is true, is it not? What we have to understand is that God had to take away the cause of spiritual death once and for all. That is what he did at the cross, folks. He did not do that so that we continue to go back to our day of atonement, shedding the blood of bulls and goats. He did not do that so that we keep going back to the confession booth to get our sins forgiven, and doing Hail Mary’s. He did not do that so that we can keep going back to an altar call, week after week, to get our sins forgiven. He did not do that so we keep our 1 John 1:9 talk, asking God to please forgive me.
34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
Jesus did it once, and he did it for all, and he did it for all time, and he sat down at the right hand of God because his work was finished. What does he want us to do with that truth? Enter into the Sabbath rest, resting from your works just as he did from his. When he said “It is finished.”, he rested. When he said “It is finished.”, he sat down. And he says, why don’t you sit down, and rest in that truth instead of trying to add to that where you cannot add to that except your man-made nonsense?
Quite frankly, that is what the majority of religion is today, a bunch of man-made nonsense. Whether Catholic, Protestant or Jew, you cannot keep the law. What do you have it for? He gave the law to the Jew and he could not do it. But we sit in the law and say, “You watch me, Lord. You watch my smoke. I will do it”. No, you won’t. You cannot do any better of a job than they did. That is why he needed to usher in a new covenant. Why? The old covenant was weak and useless.
18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.
Why? Nobody can keep it. It is weak and useless. If something is weak and useless, then what are you hanging on to it for? So people have difficulty in understanding this. People say, “You cannot get rid of the law. What tracks are you going to run on?“ and many other things like that they say. What do you think was the meaning of the resurrection of Christ Jesus? The reason Jesus was raised from the dead was so that that life that raised him from the dead can come and live in you and raise you from the dead, and to eternally indwell you.
18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
So we no longer follow Christ, guys. That is a term that you do when you follow him to where he went, to the cross and to the empty tomb. After you are indwelt by Him, do you follow Him? No. You are led by Him. It is now when you are following him, he is out there, and you are going along behind him. When you are led, He is in you, and He is leading you where to go. That is the difference between salvation we have today and before the cross.
25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
All of this is what He is saying to us, “look I want you to rest in My completed work. I have made you complete. You are not going to get any better. You are not going to get any worse. I have made you holy in My sight. I have made you complete in My sight. I have made you righteous in My sight.” Now, you tell people that, and they say, “Brother, that just means to go out and live it up”. I say, “Well, how are you doing in what you have been taught?” I do not notice too many people under the law not just going to do what they want to do. They just hide it better. Am I right or wrong? You live in bondage. So people are really saying, “I hope nobody finds out what I am really like underneath this skin.” In church, you sit like this and hope nobody knows what is going on inside. But after the service you are happy. “Hi there. Good to see you.” Then you get your children in the car, knock their heads in there. The children’s heads are going back and forth, and they are wondering what is going on here. That is play acting.
4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
He is saying that the way we live the Christian life is abiding and trusting. One of the things he sent us to do, if we are to be abiding and trusting, is to quit judging. I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. I did not come to judge it. What are we doing, indwelt by Christ, judging?
Let us turn back now to Romans 14:9.
9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.
10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God‘s judgment seat. 11 It is written:
“‘As surely as I live,‘ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will acknowledge God.‘”[Isaiah 45:23]
12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
In other words, I am not giving an account for you. I am going to give an account for me. Again, the judgment we have in scripture has already been done. The judgment for your sins has already happened. Your sins are judged at the cross. The verdict was guilty. The punishment was death, and Jesus took all of it, and that is why there is none left for you. These words here are an appraisal, which is different than a judgment to a degree. When you go to an art show, you will appraise the work of an artist. That does not mean if he does not do good, you will beat him up. You just appraise his work. We will stand with an appraisal of our work. That will occur at the time of the rapture, when our works will be appraised. It could be that it occurs when we are absent from the body and present with the Lord. We will be rewarded for those things done, not in the energy of the flesh, but those things we allowed Jesus to do in us and through us.
1 Corinthians 3:11-13
11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.
Maybe giving a cup of water in the name of Christ will be rewarded, and building a $10,000 dollar church congregation will not be rewarded. There will be a lot of things done in the flesh that will be wood, hay and stubble. They look good on the outside, but they are wood, hay and stubble. All those things will be tested by fire. Knowing us, we will be saying my ash pile is bigger than your ash pile. But the issue is, it is going to be a bunch of ashes. The only things we allowed Jesus to do in and through us will be rewarded by Jesus. Then we will put the reward back on the one who produced it. So he is saying not to look down on your brother. We will all be giving an account of ourselves to God.
13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another.
If you came up and hit me in the face, am I judging you for hitting me in the face? No, that is not judgment. That is telling the truth. The reasons you hit me in the face is because you do not like Jesus and you are probably lost, and I wish you were. Is that judging? Yes. You are judging the motives of people.
There is where we get into the mistake in our lives when we are judging motives, not the actions of people, but the motives behind them. That is why you hear a person saying, “There is no way that that person could be a Christian and be doing what they are doing?” Is that judging? Is it? Yes. We are not God. We cannot make that decision, can we? We can say that what you are doing is inconsistent with who you are as a child of God. If you are indeed a child of God, then you are living totally outside the box.
We can have Jesus in our lives but we can have ourselves back on the throne of our lives. God is not outside the life. He is inside the life, but I have replaced Him in the control center. Have any of you ever done that? You replaced Him in the control center. You are, in essence, saying, “I really do want you to live inside my life. I am glad you are here. I am glad I have eternal life assured to me but until I get there, I am going to run things. I will see you later.” Can you do that as a child of God? Yes. Some of you are so convinced of that that I think you have. Yes, we can.
Is that the way to live as a child of God? No. Is that going to bring peace to your heart as a child of God? No. Are you going to experience love, joy, peace and kindness? No, you will not experience any of those things. That is what brings you back to the heart of God. In the inner being of our hearts, the things that we long for, more than anything in the world is love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and long-suffering. Those are the things we are longing for. Am I right or wrong? Those are the things we desire more than anything in the world, just to have the peace of God that surpasses all understanding, not the peace you can get at a mountain stream. You can get temporary peace out there, but when you leave the stream you left the peace.
45 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
The peace of God that surpasses understanding, to be able to say, “it is well with my soul”. Wayne, who is going through cancer, is experiencing true peace and joy and love. Unfortunately, you think that you would come to the conclusion of those things without going through trials and tribulations, yet many times those are the things that draws us, where there is no where to look except up. The things we long for the very most is called the fruit of the Spirit. So you are never going to experience the fruit of the Spirit when you replaced Jesus as the control center of your life. You are never going to do that.
37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”[Psalm 118:26]
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
You can do good things for God, but stones can too. Jesus said these stones can cry out. It is not that you cannot do activity when you have yourself at the head of the control center. You can still do things for Jesus and talk about Jesus and do all those things but you cannot experience the fruit of the Spirit. The thing you long for more than anything else in the world is to experience love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness. That has to come from abiding in the source of those things, and the source of love, the source of peace, the source of joy is God. Until we are abiding in Him, you are never going to bear the fruit any more than a branch can bear anything except when he abides in him. Are we together on this?
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Can you have peace in your heart when you are criticizing each other? Can you do that? You are sitting there. Look at these presidential elections. Can you imagine why anybody would want to run for president? How do you say it is okay to be a Monday morning quarterback? You just criticize everything that is going on. Can you experience peace that way? No, you cannot experience peace when passing judgment on everything and what everybody is doing and saying. For your own benefit, and not just for the benefit of the body of Christ, quit doing it. Make up your mind not to put a stumbling block in your brother’s way.
14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean.
The basic issue that we can understand easier is this issue of eating food. If you think it is bad to eat meat on Friday, do not eat it. How many of you were Catholics when you could not eat meat on Friday. “No, I cannot do it.” Some did, but others didn’t. The ones who didn’t eat it, you probably felt good about yourself. And those of you who did, you probably had to go to confession next week. If it bad for you, then it is bad. It is not bad because it is bad. It is bad for you.
15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love.
If you are trying to share Christ with somebody from the Seventh Day Adventist or to an orthodox Jew, do not sit there looking down a pork chop, when you are trying to share Jesus with him. You are going to turn him off. If you are going to share with a Baptist, do not dance next to him and say, “Hi, there”. Is there anything wrong with those things? No. But some people have a hang up on something, and if you know that, do not dangle that in front of them. Do we understand the principle of that?
Now, some guys, it would not matter what you do, it would be wrong. You get up and sneeze, it is wrong. With those, just shake the dust off your shoes and move on. But if you have sincere people who have real convictions on those things, do not be a stumbling block on those things.
I had a buddy of mine in California. He came to Jesus. He was sitting in a bar in Los Vegas, a martini in one hand and a cigarette in another, sharing Jesus with this guy. He looked down and said, “this is a little inconsistent”. That is what the Lord used to put those things away. It was being a stumbling block. “You are talking about Jesus and you are doing what I am doing.” That is where you do not be a stumbling block to your brother.
Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,
That is what the Christian life is all about, righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval. 19 Let us therefore
Now, this is the conclusion of the chapter.
make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
In the context, it is about how a Jew and a Gentile function together. Remember that God’s plan for the Jew and the Gentile was to take the two of them, with a total opposite background, and you could not get any more opposite than the heathenistic Gentile and the religious Jew. You cannot get any more opposite than that.
1 Corinthians 12:13
13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body – whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.
Yet God says he will take those two people and make born again believers out of them. I have a born again Jew and a born again Gentile. I will make a new man out of the two. That is what the body of Christ is going to be, people out of Jew and Gentile backgrounds, where they have become born again believers through faith in Jesus. Because this is My plan to create this one new man out of the two, I want you to make every effort to what leads to peace and mutual edification to one another. Quit getting after one another.
20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food.
Do not destroy the work of God to uphold what you believe is bad. Gentile, do not destroy the work of God by flaunting that in their face.
All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble.
That does not mean ever, but when you are in front of them.
21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.
If it is going to cause him to fall, then do not do it. Here is this deal about eating meat or drinking wine. Do you suppose he is talking about Welch’s grape juice? He says “wine”, doesn’t he? Is this some kind of wine God made that is non-fermented? Did he say, “Do not get drunk on grape juice but be filled with the Spirit?” No. He is talking about wine. That can be a problem for some people. How many of you drink or drink wine, or do not? It is none of my business. This is one of my favorite verses, where it says, “Lead a quiet life and tend to your own business”. It is none of my business. If you are in the presence of someone who has been taught. I remember my pastor, and he was a sweet man, but he was as naive as ever. He was old but naive. “Do you mean to tell me that God’s lips would ever touch alcohol? God forbid.” What did he do at the wedding of Cana? He turned water into wine. That was grape juice? No, it was wine.
22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.