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Read Introduction to Romans

 

6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.

 

He who eats, eats to the Lord,

Mature Christians are to make sure that what they do with their choices is done “to the Lord.”

for he gives God thanks;

The strong believer is clear in his conscience to eat meat as over against strictly consuming vegetables. He eats meat with clear conviction that his decision on this matter stands with unmixed motives before the Lord. This important issue must be isolated above other considerations.

This mature Christian believes that God ended the not-eating-meat requirement, so he gives God thanks for the provision. We need to apply the principle of giving thanks to clarify the issue of mixing his motives. When mature believers make a judgment about a weaker believer’s stance, we correctly use the hierarchical idea of giving thanks as the operational principle.  

and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat,

The non-eater of meat also keeps his motives or conscience clear in that he believes non-eating is God’s will. Paul again isolated the issue of whether we eat a given kind of food or not on whether we truly give thanks to God based on a clear conscience.

and gives God thanks.

The directive to give God thanks is repeated, showing that the issue is about genuine worship based on a clear conscience, not about eating or not eating itself. Giving God thanks is proof that we do it “to the Lord.”

1 Co 10: 31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

PRINCIPLE:

The one clear line within differing values is our love for the Lord and the unity of the church.

APPLICATION:

The reason God accepts two different lines of conduct is that the motivation behind them is to please the Lord.

The idea of allowing the weaker brother to function on his misunderstanding of the significance of holy days rests upon the importance of unity. It is not worth fracturing the church over such an issue.

The mature Christian must make the decision about the welfare of the immature believer. He does it on the basis of a clear conscience about the principle of grace, which is our norm about what is true.

It is wrong to impose our personal persuasion about grace on others before they are able to come to grips with the doctrine. To do this will cause them to compromise their conscience. The greater onus is on the stronger Christian (1 Co 8:8-13).

It is possible to serve the Lord as a strong or a weak Christian. The legalistic Christian can serve the Lord, albeit with limitation. God saves us by grace, keeps us by grace, provides for us by grace, and gives us eternity by grace. The book of Galatians makes living by grace a strong point. However, if a weak believer does not fully grasp the concepts of grace, he nevertheless can walk with the Lord—albeit with limitations. It is not his scruples but his orientation to the Lord that makes this possible.

Ro 14: 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

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