Stumbling Brothers (2)

  • Continuing with Romans 14 and bringing Truth to the religious lie about "causing your brother to stumble".

    15 If you hurt the faith of your brother or sister because of something you eat, you are not really following the way of love. Don’t destroy anyone’s faith by eating something they think is wrong. Christ died for them. 16 Don’t allow what is good for you to become something they say is evil. 17 In God’s kingdom, what we eat and drink is not important. Here is what is important: a right way of life, peace, and joy—all from the Holy Spirit.

    In these three verses, Paul gets specific about eating and drinking. In verse 15 he states it is better not to do something that will weaken someone’s faith. But in verse 16 he says don’t allow them to say something that is good for you to be called evil. Finally in verse 17 Paul puts the hammer on the head of the nail and describes what is really important. It’s the Kingdom which is not meat or drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.

    Basically, we can wait on being selfish instead of demanding our rights when it might affect others. Wait until you’re around like minded people and then be free to indulge. It’s not bondage it’s courtesy, or to put it in scriptural terms…preferring others above yourself.

    18 Whoever serves Christ by living this way is pleasing God, and they will be accepted by others. 19 So let’s try as hard as we can to do what will bring peace. Let’s do whatever will help each other grow stronger in faith. 20 Don’t let the eating of food destroy the work of God. All food is right to eat, but it is wrong for anyone to eat something that hurts the faith of another person. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else that hurts the faith of your brother or sister.

    Now I want you to notice that all through this chapter, wine or alcohol has not been mentioned until this verse. It has been about food and judging others. In this verse, wine is thrown in, but so is “anything else” that hurts the faith of our brother or sister. Yet legalists, the religious crowd, single out wine.

    They don’t talk about the gossiper, back biter, tail bearer, or the over weight person that we tempt with the buffet style church picnic on the grounds. That person was told by their doctor to avoid sweets/sugar, so what do we do, bring cookies, lemon pies, chocolate cake, doughnuts, and the like to our bible studies and picnics. Come on. If we’re going to be so legalistic on other matters and establish our ground based on laws of what’s right and wrong, you just can’t pick out wine or beer as is usually the case.

    You forgot that Paul talked mostly about food in these scriptures. Read Galatians 3:10. “But people who depend on following the law to make them right are under a curse. As the Scriptures say, “They must do everything that is written in the law. If they do not always obey, they are under a curse.” So, when someone says they don’t drink or smoke or chew or hang with those that do, better make sure they aren’t overeating at any time, because that’s gluttony.

    They also better not gossip. Come on. If they are railing against you for not tithing, then they better make sure they are circumcised, if male, and have plenty of sheep around to slaughter annually. It says, if you try to impose restrictions of law on people, you better keep the whole law or else you are cursed.

    22 You should keep your beliefs about these things a secret between yourself and God. It is a blessing to be able to do what you think is right without feeling guilty.

    Look at that. Scripture here says “It is a blessing to be able to do what YOU think is right without feeling guilty." So here comes the ya but ministry again. Ya but, how do you know what’s right? I don’t have to worry about that. Weren’t you paying attention? It said in verse 4, “And the Lord’s servants will be right, because the Lord is able to make them right.” God makes this stuff really simple. We make it hard with all our striving.

    23 But anyone who eats something without being sure it is right is doing wrong. That is because they did not believe it was right. And if you do anything that you believe is not right, it is sin.

    Well, you can digest that last verse on your own, but it is very profound. Let me say also that the ministry of God’s great grace is wonderful and powerful. There are people who do not receive it immediately, if at all. That’s okay. Don’t shove it down their throat. Just keep preaching and teaching truth. It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to lead them into that truth and He will. At the same time, don’t let the legalist silence you concerning the grace of God and what you believe. It’s not a shouting match or grand debate, it’s simply presenting truth and letting the Spirit do His job.

    So in closing, let’s look at a real stumbling block.

    Romans 16:17,18

    17 Brothers and sisters, I want you to be very careful of those who cause arguments and hurt people’s faith by teaching things that are against what you learned. Stay away from them.

    Now Paul is referring to “what they learned” as the Grace of God. Those that are teaching another gospel are cursed as it says in Galatians 1:8,9. The legalist loves to start arguments and hurt those around them that are getting a revelation of grace.

    18 People like that are not serving our Lord Christ. They are only pleasing themselves. They use fancy talk and say nice things to fool those who don’t know about evil.

    Gal 5:4 says “If you try to be made right with God through the law, your life with Christ is finished—you have left God’s grace.”

    You see, it isn’t sin that causes you to be separated from Christ, it is trying to be made right by your own efforts to keep the law. Those who preach and teach works oriented Christianity to gain acceptance from God are putting a huge stumbling stone in front of the believer. Talk about hindering someones faith.

    Those who don’t know who they are in Christ will continuously exhibit a sense of false humility, which is the worst form of pride. They will embrace stupidity and call it humility. It goes something like this. “I’m not worthy for God to love me”. “I’m just a sinner saved by grace”. “I’m not holy or perfect”. “I’m trying to clean myself up”.

    Do you see the defeat and lack of hope in those statements? The worst part is when they repeat these false statements to young believers. It causes the new believer to enter a religious path of works and performance with no good results in view. If you’ve followed my posts at all, you know that all those statements are not true, because that’s not what scripture teaches.

    Let me just say you have been made worthy, righteous (no longer a sinner), holy and perfect, and you don’t have to clean yourself up. That is God’s job. When you get saved, the responsibility to change is not yours. It’s not our job to try and get to heaven. It’s our job to get heaven into earth.

    So, bottom line. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:12 “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be dominated by anything”. And in Romans 12:10 he said “Love each other in a way that makes you feel close like brothers and sisters. And give each other more honor than you give yourself”.

    So add these scriptures to the total of Romans 14 and it will provide you all the truth you need concerning what is right and what is wrong. The main thing that we’ve done here again is destroy the works of the devil wherein he tries to pervert the truth. We’ve taken a cliché of religious speak that says don’t cause your brother to stumble and have brought the light of truth to what is really being said in scripture. Grace and Peace.