Author Archive

What Should We Do? Pt. 2

But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably.  Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.  Let not then your good be evil spoken of:  For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.  For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.  Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

Romans 14:15-19

As Christians, we often have to make decision about things that the Bible does not specifically address.  There are some gray areas of life and we need wisdom and direction to navigate through those gray areas.  This passage will help us to do just that.  We looked yesterday at the fact that we should do things that are “acceptable to God, and approved of men.”  Today, we see two more things that we can look at to help us make decision about questionable things.

Verse 19 tells us that we should follow after “things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.”  “Edify” simply means to help or to build up.  Those are two excellent questions we can ask ourselves when making decisions about anything.

1. Does the thing in question “make for peace?”  Is what we are doing going to help bring peace or is it going to get people mad or annoyed?  Christians should be peacemakers (Matthew 5:9).

2. Does the thing in question help to “edify another?”  Is what we are doing going to help other Christians?  Is it going to help bring someone to the Lord?  Is it going to strengthen someone else’s faith?  Our job is to help and encourage others; not weaken them, cause them to stumble, and shake their faith.

If we will use these criteria, along with “acceptable to God, and approved of men,” we will be well on our way to settling many of the questionable things that arise in our lives!

What Should We Do? Pt. 1

For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.  Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.  For meat destroy not the work of God.  All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.  It is good neither to eat flesh, nor drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. 

Romans 14:18-21

Sometimes we need to make a decision about something that might be questionable.  It might be something simple or it might simply be something that is not specifically addressed in the Bible.  Whatever the reason, there are many things in this passage that can help us to make those decisions.  We will look at a couple of them in the next day or two.

The first thing we can see is this: we need to do the things that are “acceptable to God, and approved of men.”  Those two criteria will help us to solve many of life’s problems and make good and Scriptural decisions.

There are some things that may be approved of men but are not acceptable to God.  The further away the world gets from God, the more and more things will be acceptable to men.  But God has been specific about what He accepts.  He does not change.  We need to do all things that are acceptable to Him.

On the other hand, there may be some things that aren’t technically sins, but might cause another person to stumble.  For example, I could go to a bar, sit at the bar all day and sip water.  There is nothing sinful about drinking water.  But seeing me in that situation might cause someone to stumble or fall.  That would not be “approved of men.”

“Acceptable to God, and approved of men” – just using those two criteria will be a tremendous help to us in our Christian lives!

Savior, Blessed Savior (Hymn)

Savior, Blessed Savior
Godfrey Thring (1862)

Savior, blessed Savior, listen while we sing;
Hearts and voices ringing, praises to our King;
All we have to offer, all we hope to be,
Body, soul, and spirit, all we yield to Thee.

Near, ever nearer, Christ, we draw to Thee,
Deep in adoration bending low the knee;
Thou for our redemption camest on earth to die;
Thou, that we might follow, hast gone up on high.

Great and ever greater, are Thy mercies here;
True and everlasting are the glories there,
Where no pain nor sorrow, toil nor care is known,
Where the angel legions circle round Thy throne.

Dark and ever darker, was the wintry past,
Now a ray of gladness o’er our path is cast;
Every day that passeth, every hour that flies,
Tells of love unfeigned, love that never dies.

Clearer still and clearer dawns the light from Heav’n,
In our sadness bringing news of sin forgiven;
Life has lost its shadows, pure the light within;
Thou hast shed Thy radiance on a world of sin.

Brighter still and brighter glows the western sun,
Shedding all its gladness o’er our work that’s done;
Time will soon be over, toil and sorrow past,
May we, blessed Savior, find a rest at last.

Onward, ever onward, journeying o’er the road
Worn by saints before us, journeying on to God;
Leaving all behind us, may we hasten on,
Backward never looking till the prize is won.

Higher, then, and higher bear the ransomed soul,
Earthly toils forgetting, Savior, to its goal;
Where in joys un-thought of saints with angels sing,
Never weary, raising, praises to their King.

I am not familiar with this hymn, but I came across the words the other day and it is a great one.  Many songs and hymns can be a great blessing even if you are not familiar with the tune that goes with them.  Even simply reading them like poetry can be a blessing and encouragement.  That is how I look at this hymn.  My favorite line is probable this: “Every day that passeth, every hour that flies, Tells of love unfeigned, love that never dies.”  Amen to that.

Psalm Saturday (9f)

I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.  I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.  When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence.  for thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in the throne judging right.  Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.  O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end: and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with them.  But the LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment.  And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.  The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.

Psalm 9:1-9

Verse 8 in this Psalm gives us a solid and comforting assurance that the Lord “shall judge the world in righteousness.”  He is going to “minster judgment to the people in uprightness.”

Sometimes human judgments are not fair.  Sometimes the judgment is too harsh and sometimes it is too lenient.  And sometimes judgments are just wrong, due to missing fact or human biases.  But we don’t have to worry about those things when dealing with the judgments of the Lord.  We can rest assured that His judgments will be right.  He can and will judge everyone in righteous judgment.  He will judge the entire world and every one of His judgments will be right.

Knowing that His judgments will be right can comfort us, knowing that He has already judged sin at the cross of Calvary.  We have a wonderful Saviour!

Stumbling Blocks

Let us not therefore judge on another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.  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.  But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably.  Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. 

Romans 14:13-15

The Bible tells us in these verses to not “put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall” in our brother’s way.  It would be a terrible thing to be the cause of another Christian falling.

This is something that, as Christians, we need to watch.  We need to be careful not to do things that are going to cause others to stumble.  Verse 15 tells us to “Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.”  Paul uses the illustration of eating meat.  He has no problem eating meat, but he isn’t going to do it if it is going to cause problems in someone else’s mind.  Even if something is not sinful, we still don’t want to do that thing if it is going to cause someone else to stumble.

We have enough trouble standing and walking with the Lord as it is.  We find ourselves constantly attacked by the world and the Devil.  We also have enough trouble with our own flesh tripping us up, that we don’t need to be tripping each other up.  We can’t control what everyone else is doing, but we can control what we are doing.  We need to do all that we can to avoid tripping up our brothers and sisters in Christ.  We are going to encounter plenty of stumbling blocks in our lives – let’s make sure we don’t put them in front of each other!

Giving Account

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.  For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

Romans 14:10-12

To me, one of the scariest or most intimidating verses in the Bible is Romans 14:12.  “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”  Every one of us is going to stand before God Himself and give account of ourselves.  No matter if we are rich or poor; no matter if we are old or young; no matter if we are good or bad – we are all going to stand before the Lord and give account of ourselves.

To me, that is an intimidating verse.  I have done many stupid things in my life.  I have done many sinful things in my life.  I have wasted a ridiculous amount of time in my life.  I have wasted or missed many opportunities in my life.  And I will have to, one day, stand before my maker and answer for it all.

There will be no excuses on that day.  There will be no do overs on that day.  There will be no talking our way out of things or blaming other people for the mistakes that we have made.  It will only be us, standing there and answering for our lives.

What have we done with the lives that God has given us?  Have we been using it for Him and His glory or have we been wasting it on ourselves and our own fleshly desires?  Whatever the answer to that question, we need to remember this future meeting.  We need to be ready to give account of our lives, because that is exactly what we will do someday.

Judging Others

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.  For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

Romans 14:10-12

When it comes to “judging people,” there are two main things that we need to remember: 1. We are not the judge (Jesus Christ is the judge) and 2. We need to judge ourselves first (take the beam out our own eye before we try to take the splinter out of someone else’s eye).

This passage asks “why dost thou judge thy brother?”  Why do we judge our brothers and sisters in Christ?  This is not dealing with some blatant sin in their lives.  This is dealing with matter of opinion and “little things.”  Those are things we don’t need to worry too much about in the lives of others for the two reasons I mentioned above.

First, we need to remember that, as good of Christians as we may be, we are not the judge.  We are not the final authority.  Verse 10 ends with this statement: “…for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.”  Jesus Christ is the judge.

Second, we need to remember that, as good of Christians as we may be, we still have quite a few sins and flaws in our own lives to deal with.  I have always said that I don’t have time to go around trying to fix everyone else’s problems – I’ve got too many of my own to deal with!

We need to be careful in this matter of judging our brothers and sisters in Christ.  We will all one day stand before the true judge, and we need to concentrate on getting ourselves ready for that meeting!

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