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Volume 30 - Page 141 of 179 Index | Zoom | |
If the person thus exercising his liberty "esteems such an act or thing unclean."
If the act causes offence. The "good", if "evil spoken of", or if it "causes offence"
(Rom. 14: 16, 20), becomes "inexpedient" or "destructive".
Here we have the attitude of the believer himself, and also the effect of his action upon
others, and it is important to notice that both these things can have evil consequences.
The last statement of principle in this section is that of Rom. 14: 22, which runs on
into the separate member B2 | 14: 23 (which is in correspondence with B1 | 14: 1;
see the structure Volume XXIX, page 110).
"As for you and your faith, keep your faith to yourself in the presence of God. The
man is to be congratulated who does not pronounce judgment on himself in what his
actions sanction. But he who has misgivings and yet eats meat is condemned already,
because his conduct is not based on faith; for all conduct not based on faith is sinful"
(Rom. 14: 22, 23. Weymouth).
We must beware of falling into the error of applying this last statement, "Whatsoever
is not of faith is sin", to matters that are not in the context. Some readers may be
acquainted with Augustine's "Omnis Infidelium vita, atum est", but this certainly takes
the Apostle's words beyond their legitimate inference. The whole life of "infidels" is
nowhere in view in Rom. 14:, while a study of Rom. 2: will reveal that God has His
own gracious way of dealing with the "infidel" who has heard neither "law" nor
"gospel". In Rom. 14: 23, "faith" means "the moral conviction of the rectitude of a
mode of action" (Chrys., De Wette, Meyer, etc.).
The Apostle now proceeds once more to bring to bear upon the conscience the
relationship of all this to Christ. He has already done this, when he suspended his
argument to speak of the Lordship of Christ (D1 | 14: 6-12), and he now confirms
his argument by referring to the Lord's humility (D2 | 15: 1-5).
Romans 15: 1-5.
D2 | 15: 1-5. THE HUMILITY OF CHRIST. IT IS WRITTEN.
c4 | c | The strong should bear infirmities of the weak.
d | Not please self.
c | Please neighbour for good and edifying.
d | Christ pleased not Himself.
d4 | REPROACHES FELL ON ME.
c5 | c | Things written before for our learning.
d | Patience, Comfort, Hope, Scriptures and God.
The believer has before him the example of Christ, the teaching of the Scriptures, and
the revealed character of God to encourage him in the exercise of the Christian spirit
inculcated in Rom. 14: The "strong" of Rom. 14: 2 are exhorted to bear the
infirmities of the "weak", and in denying what would otherwise be legitimate liberties,
they will really be exercising the Christian privilege of "not pleasing ourselves". There
may be many objections put forward to this "invasion of sacred rights of the individual",