Paul puts forth the Principles of Conscience Part 1
Romans 14:1-13 Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God. For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall give praise to God.” So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this--not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. NKJV
Paul now tells the Christians in Rome that the result of our wrapping ourselves in Christ Jesus our Lord and putting Him on in all of His Love, Purity, Holiness, and Righteousness we will then equip ourselves to receive other fellow sisters or brothers in Christ Mystical Body in such a way not to bruise or injure anyones weak conscience. Paul again uses the analogy of the eating of meat that may have been offered up to pagan idols, which some in the faith will not be offended by so eating while others who have come out of this pagan practice could have their faith shaken by this. Paul also made this point very strongly to the believers in Corinth when he said these words, 1 Corinthians 8:8-13 But food will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble. NKJV
Paul wanted the Corinthian believers and the believers in Rome and us today to be weary or aware that some who have had their sins forgiven by our Lord Jesus Christ want to adhere to a stricter more restricted liberty in Christ and that is truly acceptable in our Lord Jesus’ Sight and so we must accept them in their views of things that are not clearly defined in Scripture as commands from Christ to us. Whether one determines to eat meat or to be a vegetarian matters not at all as long as they are under the Lordship of Jesus Christ in regard to all of the essential requirements of His Word and Doctrine, as firmly stated by the Apostle John in this manner, 2 John 1:6-11 And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it. For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds. NKJV
Paul declares that though we are members in our Lord’s body we still individually only are being rightfully judged by our Lord Jesus because He Alone can discern our hearts and our motives and intentions (James 4:12). Our Lord Jesus is able to make the weakest of His Saints stand by the grace He Alone provides to each one of the members in His Mystical Body. We must be reminded of this Proverb that says, Proverbs 24:16 For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again, But the wicked stumble in time of calamity. NKJV It is our responsibility to be fruit inspectors (Galatians 5:22-24 & Ephesians 5:9-12) when it comes to our brothers and sisters in Christ, but it is impossible for us to see into their hearts or inner man or woman that is solely our Lord Jesus’ realm of operation (Romans 2:16 & 1 Corinthians 4:3-5).
“It is neither safe nor prudent to do anything against conscience.” Martin Luther
“If you have felt the power and authority of the word upon your conscience; if you can say as David, ‘Thy word hath quickened me.’ Christian, bless God that He has not only given thee His Word to be a rule of holiness, but His Grace to be a principle of holiness.” Thomas Watson
“Now if Christ paid so dearly for His Dominion over souls and consciences, and has such a just and undisputed right to exercise that dominion, we must not so much as seem to invade it, nor intrench upon it, by judging the consciences of our brethren, and arraigning them at our bar.” Matthew Henry
“We are to judge those who call themselves followers of Christ by the fruit borne from their lives and when we find sin in their lives they are unwilling to repent of and turn from, we are to not even associate with them and not even to eat a meal with such people (1 Corinthians 5:11), but we are to receive every person in Christ who disagrees with us on non-essential things as dress, choice of food, recreation activities that are not sinful, and other areas of this earthly walk or pilgrimage that the Word of God does not forbid.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…