It’s not for me to judge you or your beliefs. God will judge you in His time. That’s the crux of Romans 14. Back in the first century, the Jews tried to keep what we know today as kosher foods. The Gentiles didn’t care. They ate everything. God showed Peter in Acts 10 that all food is OK to eat…
It was about noon, and he was hungry. But while a meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw the sky open, and something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners. In the sheet were all sorts of animals, reptiles, and birds. Then a voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.”
“No, Lord,” Peter declared. “I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws have declared impure and unclean.”
But the voice spoke again: “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.” The same vision was repeated three times. Then the sheet was suddenly pulled up to heaven.
Peter was very perplexed. What could the vision mean?Acts 10:9-17
God was telling Peter that it was OK to eat foods that were once considered unclean. After all, He created them, so they were good. There was also a time back then when Christians were forbidden to eat meat that was sacrificed to pagan idols. Remember, Paul is addressing Christian Jews and Gentile Christians in Rome — the heart of pagan territory.
These days, people have different beliefs about food and drink. I won’t get into them here. However, the idea is to not judge someone because of their food preferences. Or doing something in front of a friend that would make their life difficult. For instance, I have many friends who are reformed alcoholics. It would be mean of me to order a glass of wine when out to dinner with one of them. Even though they’d probably say that they wouldn’t mind. Still, out of respect for them…well…
Let’s Read Romans 14 and I’ll get to the Paul’s main point at the end…
Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them. Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive his approval.
In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God. For we don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves. If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and rose again for this very purpose—to be Lord both of the living and of the dead.
So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For the Scriptures say,
“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bend to me,
and every tongue will declare allegiance to God.’”
Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.
I know and am convinced on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong. And if another believer is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don’t let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. Then you will not be criticized for doing something you believe is good. For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.
Don’t tear apart the work of God over what you eat. Remember, all foods are acceptable, but it is wrong to eat something if it makes another person stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else if it might cause another believer to stumble. You may believe there’s nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right. But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.Romans 14 (bold emphasis mine)
True Christianity is About Salvation
It’s not about what denomination or church building you attended. It’s not about what you eat and don’t eat. If you eat meat on Fridays or you don’t. If you drink wine, beer or spirits, even coffee or you don’t.
I love what Paul says in verses 17 and 18…
For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too.Romans 14:17-18
Do you have the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is the gift that God gives when you…
Believe. Repent. Are Baptized — then you Receive the Holy Spirit.
For over 50 years I lived my life missing out on the strength, power and love of the Holy Spirit living inside of me. I really don’t want you to miss out also.
Pray this prayer humbly and wholeheartedly…
“Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe You died for my sins. Please forgive me. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and life to you. I confess You as my personal Lord and Savior. I will follow you for the rest of my life. Thank You for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Soli Deo Gloria — to God Alone be the Glory!
- Part 1: From Catholicism to Prodigal
- Part 2: From Prodigal to a Progressive, Halfway Christian
- Part 3: From a Halfway Christian to a True, Born Again Believer and Follower of Jesus Christ
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