Romans Chapter 14

"Practical Application for Living, the Brethren."

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription/ location is provided by http://www.theseason.org

Romans 14:1 "Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations."

When someone is imperfect in the Word of God and weak in their faith, don't tare him (her) down in your correction of his life. After all, no one will ever achieve the perfection of God, and we are only mature to the point of our personal development within God's Word. Don't let ones faults turn into a dispute, but be gentle and courteous with the new believer. Be patient with those that are trying to follow Christ in obedience. Remember that our freedom that we have in Christ is through our repentance in Jesus' name, for we fall short of Jesus' perfection. The heavenly Father forgives us of all our sins, for Christ is the one that paid that price for both you and the new believer.

Romans 14:2 "For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.

Paul is going to give us an example here. We are speaking of the spiritual condition of the person that is eating these herbs, and to be weak spiritually means that you have doubts in your conscience towards eating the meat. This is stating that rather then not knowing what meat that God approves of, he just leaves the meat alone. Your doubts caused your spiritual weakness. Then taking the meat against your conscience is sin.

The mature person knows the laws concerning the things that we eat, and why those health laws exist. The weak Christian has fear of taking any meat because of his lack of knowledge. When you know the truth on any matter then doubt does not exist, then what you do cannot be a sin to the mature believer. Many people just cannot see why they are continually get sick, and is it any wonder when they totally disregard the health laws of the Bible.

Romans 14:3 "Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth; for God hath received him."

Paul is telling the mature Christian not to jump on the weakness of the new believer, or the weak Christian that just doesn't know the Word and is afraid of eating certain foods. God has accepted both the one with strong faith, and the one with who is weak. It is for God to judge in both cases, for it is the conscience of each person that establishes if there is sin or not.

Eating has nothing to do with your eternal salvation, it is in a different category. We are talking about health here, and what keeps the flesh healthy, and not the spiritual condition of the soul. There is no comparison between the two conditions. So if you are a mature student of God's Word, and jump on a immature believer, turn the subject into an argument, and possibly drive them away.

Romans 14:4 "Who art thou that judgest another man's servant: to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand."

Before you judge another person harshly, think deeply on this matter first. There can be only one master to the Christian, and that is God Himself. Each of us are servants to Him, and in your judging that other person, you are judging a servant of God, and our heavenly Father doesn't like you taking His authority from Him.

Remember what our freedom in Christ. Even if that person is guilty of something, if that person has repented of his or her sin to the Father, he is right with the Lord and that sin simply doesn't exist before the Lord. That would make you accusing him wrongly of the fault. God judges us by our conscience as to whether we have violated something that we individually think is wrong. God knows the intent of our minds, and that is an area that no man can enter to judge another person.

If God promised salvation to an individual, it is He that gives it, and not you. If He withholds salvation, that also is for God to be the judge. He is the Master, and all believers are His servants. The Holy Spirit helps us to stand, even when it becomes difficult for the new believer.

The health laws tell us that when we eat certain foods, our body will suffer for that, because certain foods are just not to be eaten. That is life, whether you understand it or believe it, it doesn't matter; certain wild animals and fowl carry toxins and diseases, because they were created to be scavengers, and not as food for mankind. But never let this become a stumbling block to you when you are studying to prepare yourself for the end of this earth age.

You just can't compare the two, it is better that one is sick, then he goes to hell, if it becomes a matter of your judgment driving a new believer from the Lord.

Romans 14:5 "One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind."

Paul is saying, let every man decide for himself what days are important to him or not. It just doesn't matter, for the judging is based on what is in the person's mind and not by what you think another should be doing. Every man must be fully persuaded in his own mind, and that thinking process is what we call our conscience. Some churches feel that worship should be only on Sunday, while others worship on Saturday, still others look at all days alike, with no respect as to the day. God is worshipped equally on every day. Friend, it just doesn't matter what you think of the other person, it is what that person's conscience directs him to do that matter to him. It is up to each of us to make up our minds as to how we will respect any day or days of the week, and when we do, that is what we will be judged by when we stand before the Lord.

Romans 14:6 "He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks."

When you "regardeth the day unto the Lord", you set that side for the Lord. If you decide that you will not set aside any day for the Lord, then that is a matter from your conscience, for many consider all days alike and give everyday unto the Lord.

In all matters not essential to eternal life, it becomes important for us to guard against using our freedom in a manner that would cause another believer to fall. Even though you do what you do with a clear conscience, and what we do is not a sin unto us, it could be a stumbling block to another person weak in the Word. We are to let our conscience be our guide, and never forget that other believers simply do not believe as you do. All people are judged by what they are guided by in their own conscience. We are to be in harmony though in the little things, and we must set our priorities in all matters.

Romans 14:7 "For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself."

It is God that giveth all life, and the air that you breath, and as servants of the Lord, he will direct each of us differently. We all have different gifts, and the abilities to use those gifts, and we are to use those gifts to the glory of God, not ourselves. As we live our lives, we are to fulfill the purpose that God has for us, for it is God that giveth eternal life.

Romans 14:8 "For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's."

When we live, we are to live our lives for the Lord, and study to seek the purpose that God has for our lives. A God's appointed time each of us shall die and then our soul and spirit returns unto the Lord. This is given in Ecclesiastes 12:7; "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God Who gave it." The dust is our flesh body that upon death, decays back into the elements of the dust of the earth that it is made from, and the spirit, which is the intellect of the soul, returns to the Father who gave it life in the first place.

Romans 14:9 "For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that He might be Lord both of the living and the dead."

It is for this reason that Jesus Christ both died and rose from the dead, for He will be with us in the eternity. Though the body will either die, or change upon the sounding of the seventh trumpet, as Paul spoke of in I Corinthians 15:50-53.

I Corinthians 15:50 "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption."

Our flesh and blood bodies simply cannot exist when Jesus comes at the sounding of the seventh trumpet. "Corruption" as stated here is the flesh body, and "incorruption" is our soul body. This is talking about the kingdom that be here on earth at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. At that time there simply will be no flesh or things of the flesh for they will all be gone.

I Corinthians 15:51 "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed."

The mystery that Paul is revealing is that not all mankind will see death. The final generation that lives here on earth under the rule of Satan the Antichrist are the ones that will not die, but be changed at Christ coming. "Sleep" as stated here is "death of the physical body, and at a certain appointed moment in time, all flesh will be changed into another form and done away with.

I Corinthians 15:52 "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."

The moment that this happens will be in an instant in time, and at that moment in time this earth age of the flesh will be brought to a close. If you are looking for a "rapture", you will have already been deceived by the Antichrist long before this time, for the seventh trump sounds ending the Antichrist's reign over his one world system. You would have already been deceived by Satan the Antichrist, and you will be one of those of the unfaithful bride. You will also be changed as all flesh is changed in the wink of an eye. By worshipping Satan even in ignorance, your immortality will have to wait for the thousand year Millennium Age to pass, and then you will be judged by your works within the Millennium age when you knew right from wrong. Your salvation then will not be by faith but by your works.

I Corinthians 15:53 "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."

All those that knew God's Word, and were not deceived by Satan receive their immortality, eternal bodies and life at this time.

When Christ defeated death for our soul, He became the Lord of both the spiritual dead and living, for He bought the whole field, or world, so that He could save out of that world those that would repent and believe on His name. Many today try to maintain their flesh bodies to the point to where they think that it will not end. They try to continue living far beyond what the Lord as designated mankind his full life. They lose sight of the fact that it is our spiritual soul that is eternal, and the flesh will decay to dust at the appointed time. Remember that the price has been paid for the souls of all people that Love God, and will repent of their sins.

Romans 14:10 "But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ."

Paul is asking, if we know all this, why then do we judge our brother? Why do you even look down at him when he is not as you are? The manuscript text read, "We shall all stand before the judgment seat of God." It doesn't matter because Jesus Christ, the Son, and the Father are one, and Jesus said, "When you see the Son, you see the father. I and my Father are one."

What is important at the judgment seat of God, is what book or books you will be judged from. When you have repented of all your sin, then your name is entered into the Lamb's book of Life and your sins are blotted out. This entry only comes in the flesh age we are now in. Those unsaved entering into the Millennium age of Christ's kingdom on earth, without their name in the lamb's book of life will be judged another set of books spoken of in Revelation 20:12-15.

Revelation 20:12 "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life [Lamb's book of life]: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."

Only names are recorded in the Lamb's book of life, for all sins are blotted out. If your name is not there, then your name and your works are written in those other books. The "dead" are the spiritually dead, those that do not have their immortality at the time of the sounding of the seventh trumpet, the start of the Millennium age.

Revelation 20:13 "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works."

"The sea" are the people of the earth which are all one nation at the end of the Millennium age, with Christ ruling as the King of kings. Souls were delivered up from not only this earth, but the holding places of souls and spirits of darkness, where ever they are held. All of the spiritual dead are to be judged by their works at this time.

Revelation 20:14 "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death."

Friend, the time of repentance is now, while you live in this flesh age, and when the blood of Christ will cover your sins through faith and your repentance of them in Jesus' name. This is the age of repentance by faith, because you take Christ into your heart by believing the Word of God. God made the promise in His Word, and that Word has proven to us that the price was paid as promised. The first death is the death of this flesh body, however, the second death is the death of your very soul, and there will be a blotting out of every memory that you that ever existed. That end comes by hell fire.

Romans 14:11 "For it is written, "As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God."

This is going to happen, and that time will not be far away. It happens on the first day of the Millennium age, which is the last day of this flesh age, here on earth. This verse is in reference to Isaiah 45:18; "For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God Himself That formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited: "I am the Lord; and there is not else."

God created this earth to be lived upon and inhabited, and it was at Satan's rebellion in the first earth age that caused the earth to be destroyed the first time. Then in the twenty first verse:

Isaiah 45:21: "Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord? and there is not God else beside Me; a just God and a savior; there is none beside Me."

This has been declared from the most ancient of times, for it was even written in the stars, which we call our constellations. God has always kept us informed, even by His written Word. God is the creator from the ancient times, and also our savior. This identifies God the creator and the savior as one. "There is none beside me." Our Savior is Jesus Christ who shed His blood on the cross.

Isaiah 45:22: "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else."

God is able to save you when you call upon Him for salvation and repentance.

Isaiah 45:23: "I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear."

This statement by God is an absolute that you can count on. God's "Word is gone out of His mouth in righteousness", and that means it is complete and fair in all detail. God said the what is written will never be changed, but will come to pass exactly as it is written. Every person on the face of this earth will swear loyalty to the Father, and the Son on the first day of the Millennium age.

So what Paul is saying here is that when God's overall plan of salvation is completed, so from the very foundation of this earth age: Then every knee of every person shall bow to Jesus Christ, and it shall happen on the first day of the Millennium age. This is the first day of the third Heaven Age, as written of in II Peter 3. Every knee will bow, because those knees that would not bow simply will not be with us. Those that remain will be those that love our Heavenly Father.

Romans 14:12 "So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God."

This is going to happen, and Paul is telling us that we need to be concerned of our own conscience, and condition to the relationship of our own actions and words. We do not give account for anyone else, and their condition and conscience.

Romans 14:13 "Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way."

Be certain, and know that all truth is in faith, which is our understanding our Heavenly Father's Word. Stating facts are not judging people. Facts are facts. The subject here though is "people are weak in understanding God's Word", and we are not to be a stumbling block to them. The way we are to pick them up, and direct them, is by setting an example.

This does not mean that when your nation, and those around you take up a walk that is different from your Christian walk, you must remain silent about their acts, and not judge them. We are not talking about your silence at that time. Truth doesn't hurt , but sets us free from ignorance, and facing facts.

We are talking about your relationship with another Christian, who is weak in his faith, because he is immature in the knowledge of the Word of God. When we see a wrong being done, the mature Christian will not participate in that wrong, or allow himself to be used as a stumbling block to his weak friend. That is reality, and we live in a real world today. We are living in this world as a servant of God, and as a servant we are to do the will of our Master. His will is recorded in our Bible.

Though you are not to judge anybody, it doesn't mean you are not to judge times and seasons, for in the final generation we are to be watchman. As such we are to call attention anytime a wrong is affecting people.

Romans 14:14 "I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean."

Paul is telling us that if we have a conviction against anything then that thing is unclean. We are not talking about clean meat, and unclean meat here, we are talking about someone that is so weak that they dare not eat any meat at all, for fear of eating the wrong kind. It is saying then, concerning the higher truths, if someone has a conviction, then they should stick with that conviction, and you should not interrupt.

Romans 14:15 "But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitable. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died."

Christ died for that weak soul that will not eat anything but grass, and if our eating of meat that is clean by our standards, we are not to eat that meat in front or him to cause him to fall from his faith.

Romans 14:16 "Let not then your good be evil spoken of:"

Don't let the right and freedom in Christ be spoken of as evil by those weak brothers in the Lord. If you are sound in your convictions, and your faith, then just don't partake while you are with that weak brother, and allow him to speak evil of what you hold dear. If he has a conviction against this, he is ignorant of your deeper conviction and maturity in the Word. There are many other things, dos and don'ts that weak Christians uses to guide them when their faith and understanding is shallow in the Word of God. In fact today traditional thought is taking priority over God's Word, in things like the clothes you wear, the music you listen to, and even things you like to do. Do what you do, but not when it causes another to fall by your actions.

Romans 14:17 "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit."

The kingdom of God is not what you eat and what you drink, as far as the health laws are concerned, but it is your living in the freedom that Christ gives. That means that it is living your life with a clear conscience, in the righteousness that only our Father can give. When you repent of your sins in Jesus' name, you will then have peace of mind and joy from the Holy Spirit.

We should live in the Plan of God, as recorded in the Scriptures, and that plan was set from the foundation of this earth age. The guidelines are there so that when we fall, our instructions also are there, guiding us to repentance for those things we may commit in sin. When we are around the unlearned, we are to be very patient, that we not contribute to their fall.

Romans 14:18 "For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men."

This is saying that if you try to respect those weak Christians and not violate what is sin in their conscience, then this is acceptable to Christ, and it also will be acceptable to those around you. This is just common sense. We are not talking about making a stand on the higher things, but on the little things that would offend new and weak Christians. Eating and drinking to satisfy the flesh will not be part of the kingdom of God, because the flesh bodies will not be there.

Romans 14:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another."

We are to concentrate on things that will build up other Christians, and not argue over things that tare down ones faith, and drive a wedge in spiritual relationships with our Christian brethren.

Romans 14:20 "For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence."

There is no meat that you can eat that can destroy the work of God within you. However, anything you eat, or drink that causes another to fall, that is against another's conscience, then if you continue in that it is an offence before God. The work of God is bringing others to the saving salvation of their souls, and if by your continuing in offending your brethren, even though it is not against your conviction, it becomes sin by hurting another. Again, we are referring only to those meats and food that were intended to be partaken of.

Romans 14:21 "It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing where thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak."

This is not saying that you don't eat meat, or drink wine, it is saying don't eat meat nor drink wine when it causes your brother to stumble.

Romans 14:22 "Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth."

Paul is asking you, Do you understand the Word of God, and have faith before the Lord. You have certain convictions when it comes to the Word of God. If you have a certain conviction about something, just don't do it. Don't condemn yourself over something that is not against your conviction, for that is not showing faith.

Romans 14:23 "And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin."

Don't jump on someone else for their conviction, and don't also let their conviction direct your conscience, unless that is what your faith is also. When you do or say, or eat anything that is against your faith, that is sin. Be careful for your weak brother in Christ, so that you are not the one that causes him to fall. What you eat or drink, as well as all those little petty things that cause discontent, set them aside while you are around for their sake, that you are not their stumbling block before the Lord.

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