The Berean Expositor
Volume 29 - Page 167 of 208
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"Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath
created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth"
(I Tim. 4: 3).
In Rom. 14:, the Apostle's attitude to these things is less severe than in Galatians,
for their observance was not being insisted upon in Romans as vital to salvation, though
they were spoiling the free and full reception of fellow-believers.
The Apostle asserts the believer's right to liberty, but at the same time he warns the
"strong" against censoriousness, and the "weak" against despising. It is evident that his
own sympathies are with the strong, but he makes it clear that "we then that are strong
ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves" (Rom. 15: 1).
He meets the difficulties of the situation by a threefold argument:
God hath received him.
God is able to make him stand.
Each must be fully persuaded in his own mind.
The Apostle has more to say about this matter, in Rom. 14: 13-21, but before he
discusses such questions as whether a thing is clean or unclean in itself, he turns the
reader's attention to a very serious aspect of the question: namely, that in thus judging
another, the believer is usurping the prerogative of his Lord. This aspect of the Apostle's
teaching we must take up in our next article. Meanwhile, it would be salutary for us all to
examine ourselves in the light of this chapter, and see just how far "days" and "meats"
enter into our own conception of Christian worship, doctrine and practice.