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Tuesday: No Offense — 50 Comments

  1. just a question: with what Paul has said in chapter 14 about food, where do we stand regarding Pork meat and fish without scale etc. confused.

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    • What Paul is saying to me, is to not judge anyone. If I am a vegetarian and the other person is a vegan and the other person is a pork eater. For me is to be a good vegetarian and not a vegetarian one day and a pork person the next. And to use common sense when dealing with other people and to let go and let God and the Holy Spirit lead and guide us into all truth..And the best we can do as human is to love one another.

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      • My Brothers and sisters if we really think first of all we are missing the point of the lesson which is not to judge some one by their diet, their are more important things to salvation. Second I have been and Adventist all my life but I am pretty sure God has his people in many many other churches, including the Catholic church, people who read the scriptures just and we do and see the dietary guidelines in Deuteronomy but has not come to full acceptance. The Holy Spirit dwells in them as well. My point is your diet is not necessary for salvation. Whats more important is our relationship with God and how we treat others. Dont be the person thinking they are going to heaven because they are early for church but yet drive pass a family in distress on the side of the road to go to church. Dont be the person thinking you are going to heaven because you followed a vegan diet all your life.

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    • I personally feel that the Apostle Paul here was not disparaging the Leviticus rule of "Clean and unclean meats." Pork is still an unclean meat according to that rule. There are plenty of clean meats to eat without including pork as a meat to eat also. And as far the health message, EGW makes two statements, one in the book Counsels On Health page 324 and another one in Ministry of Healing page 241. Both statements are very clear that negative emotions have more to do with the foundation of diseases and death and decay than what one eats or does not eat. In fact in these two quotes EGW makes absolutely no mention of diet or articles of diet.

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      • Recent research reveals that what you eat has a profound impact upon your physiological functioning at a cellular and genetic level and is a major contributing factor to disease processes at those levels. All animal products (including dairy), processed foods, sugar and oils contribute to these disease processes via activation of inflammatory cascades. Every bite we take impacts our physiology for better or for worse. And it is now evident that these disease processes underpin emotional and mental health problems in many more instances than was previously realised.

        So it is not accurate to say that negative emotions have more to do with the foundation of diseases and death and decay than what one eats or does not eat. They are both significant contributing factors.

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    • Karry, the instruction given by God in Leviticus 11 on clean and unclean meats still applies but it is a health and well being decision not a salvation decision. 1 Corinthians 6:19 reminds us that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and we are instructed to care of our body. The chapter primarily focuses on food and sexual immorality but the general principle is to refrain from things that weaken the body and mind.

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    • Karry,

      Paul is not talking about food that has already been deemed unclean; even before the flood. The diet outlined by God before food being sacrificed to idols still stands.

      If pig was sacrificed to idols, the pig in itself is unclean before and after the sacrifice, so that is not to be consumed. But if a chicken was sacrificed, it would have been okay before and after, because the chicken has not been deemed unclean by God.

      Paul is only talking about \"approved food\" being sacrificed to idols.

      Ben D

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    • Clearly, the lesson said this was not about turning away from what God already said was unclean. The bible is very clear on what meats are unclean/clean.

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    • This my understanding,when Paul is talking about food,I believe he is refering to what was defined as food is the book of Levites chapter 11. It doesn't apply to just whatever is around. So pork in that case what defined as unclean and therefore in the context of the Holy Bible,pork is not foòd.

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      • Good point. Paul was referring to food that was acceptable for eating. More important he was saying that although the food in itself did not become unacceptable because it was offered to idols, what was important was the effect eating that food had on observers.

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    • In Chapter 14 Paul is talking about food offered to idols. The animals you are mentioning were not given to man as food. No where in the bible does it say pork is food. So you must understand that Paul is talking about that meat which was given to be food. What do we do when this food has been offered to an idol before being prepared to be eaten?

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    • While I thank God for the insights given both in the Levitical law and to our denomination about healthy living, it is all to easy to equate them with salvation (as the Jews did) which they are not.

      I do not believe Paul had any intention of addressing "clean"/"unclean" foods in Romans. Nor do I believe he had any intention of discussing vegetarianism or even healthy living in Romans. Those were simply not his priorities. And only by missing the point could one not see that if he were talking to us today, he would say we are missing the point. For his point is that our focus needs to be on love and acceptance and not judging.

      Further, while the Levitical laws were the insight of a loving God that are as useful today as they were back then, they are very clearly a part of the ceremonial and social laws given to Israel, not the moral law, and as such are not morally binding on anyone today. That doesn't mean a prudent person should go out and eat pork chops. But it does mean that entrance to the kingdom is not based on whether one does.

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  2. When it comes to salvation, what you eat or do not eat is not important. We are saved by grace.

    Personally I do not try and make a case for healthy living detail out of isolated texts in the Bible. Romans 14 is not a textbook on healthy living. It is using diet as an illustration of where we ought not to judge because God does not require dietary conformity to be saved.

    There are other ways of determining what is good or not good for you that more effectively describe healthy living.

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      • You are not saved by what you eat. But a person who is saved cares for their body. We can make a good case for healthy living without telling people that they are not saved if they don't obey the dietary rules.

        It is very important to see the difference. We often give people the guilts about what they eat and do not eat. Paul is essentially saying that is wrong. The best argument for healthy eating is being healthy ourselves.

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      • Unfortunately in English translations it is easy to miss the fact that in the texts that refer to the body temple, "body temple" is singular, and "you" (the believers) is plural. Paul in other places clearly states that we are members (plural) of the body of Christ (singular). Think particularly of his passages on spiritual gifts where he equates it to different parts of the body.

        Looking at the "body temple" texts in context one can easily see that he is concerned about the impact of individual members on the health of the body (church), not on their individual health. His emphasis is clearly spiritual, not physical. For instance in 1 Cor 6:15 his concern is a member of the body of Christ being joined to a prostitute. That doesn't have anything to do with diet!

        So while such texts may have homiletic application to taking care of our physical health, that isn't Paul's original intent.

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    • If some food can cause your mind to deny the Grace of God in you, then what you eat is important for your salvation because Grace does not save you unless it is accepted. Proverbs 30:8-9.

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      • he is clearly taking about being satisfied and content with what you have. If you have too much (Being full) you may see no need for God.

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      • They are talking about being content and satisfied with what you have not about food. Just as rich men say I have no need of God the author was saying he does not want to be rich or poor but have enough to satisfy his needs. Another version of the text. Keep falsehood and deceitful words far from me.

        Give me neither poverty nor wealth;

        feed me with the food I need.af

        9 Otherwise, I might have too muchag

        and deny you,ah saying, “Who is the Lord?”ai

        or I might have nothing and steal,aj

        profaningJ the name of my God.

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  3. No no what you eat is inportant for your salvation, eating unclean foods is not good. Even though we're save by grace, we still have to conform to the command of God to receive that grace. God doesn't go back on His words, what He says is unclean is unclean and clean remains clean. We cannot eat what we want and still give Him all glory, because we would be going against His will.

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    • When you go to the market to even buy so called clean food that food is not the same anymore. GMO and other by product a infecting even vegetable We just a to pray over everything

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    • I agree with you but what about Act 10:14 is there a contradiction?.personally i i think not all Christians are at the same stage of maturity. God deals with each person differently at different times. In some areas I may be the stronger brother while in other ways I am the weaker Christian. The main thing is to be obedient to the Word of God and sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading in my life.Christians should not condemn each other, Particularly with respect to different kinds of food, and the observation of certain days. None of us should live unto himself, but unto Christ, who lived and died for us. The kingdom of God does not consist in outward things, Christians should endeavor to cultivate peace and brotherly affection, the necessity of doing all in the spirit of faith.

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    • There are very good reasons for not eating unclean foods but we are indeed saved by grace. I also believe it is important to look after our bodies to the best of our ability.

      However if we legalistically follow the Biblical definitions of clean and unclean we miss the big health picture. I see many Seventh-day Adventists meticulously avoiding pork products yet indulging in processed foods high in sugar, fat and salt. It is well known that these foods are worse for you than properly cooked pork. If the Bible was written today, I am sure that a lot of processed foods that we use would be condemned. If we are to follow the biblical principle of "whatever we eat and drink ... do to the glory of God", we would be very careful about what we are eating instead of pork.

      I am a great believer in healthy living and continue to be involved in the Church's CHIP program. When I speak to un-churched folk about healthy living, I don't even mention that is has anything to do with my religion's requirements. I tell them how I used to be 25Kg heavier and was out of breath after even moderate exercise. For the last 15 years I have maintained my lighter weight and can walk 10 km every day. Living healthier has nothing to do with being saved, but being saved I want to live healthier.

      And to be fair, there are many Seventh-day Adventists who still eat unhealthy foods. It is not my job to condemn them, but I hope that my example gives them some encouragement to live more healthily.

      Losing 25kg of weight does not save me, but being able to bend down and do up my shoelaces makes living now a whole lot easier.

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      • Big up for losing such weight Maurice, that is no meager achievement! For me, the issue of clean vs unclean foods is a matter of obedience rather than our health message. Unless i have not read deep enough, i have not come across scripture where God gave reasons for a prohibition on eating unclean foods but in our health message, we dwell into necessary specifics as to why; for instance; it is not healthy to indulge in foods with high sugar and fat contents. The knowledge about health hazard posed by these foods is not our preserve as a church but it is shared by the scientific community. Concerning the unclean foods prohibited by God for reasons best known to himself however, i surrender to God's leading and endeavour to follow what he says without questioning although scientific clues about the badness of such foods come in handy . I also agree with you that the first message from my mouth to an unbeliever should typically not be "thou shalt not eat Rabbits and ducks"; but there are people who are not adventists but have come across the issue of clean/unclean foods and are reluctant to hearken to it, to them i have a moral obligation to explain any details that i have on the subject based on God's instructions. I will not beat about the bush concerning the fact that this message is as indispensable as any gospel of obedience to God. It may not be part of the commandments but it is equally inspired to be followed by all adherent Christians. However, the tone used by many of us Adventists when evangelizing; be it about commandments, salvation by faith or any other doctrine; should be a considerate tone with a realization that we are at different stages of christian maturity; what may not be offensive to me may be offensive to someone else. A balance has to be struck between our desire to convince people to come to Christ or be in the same faith as we are and the sensitivity of the people we give such a message to the subject under discussion.

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    • Deloris. Please read Maurice's posts again. If we have to "do something" to deserve grace, then it isn't grace. By definition, grace is undeserved.

      Indeed, trying to deserve (earn) grace, excludes one from receiving it (Galatians 5:4).

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  4. Karry,the Bible says that your body is the temple of God.If that is so,wouldn't you want to put into your body things that are healthy? Eating unclean meat,and the use of intoxicating beverages,smoking and the use of drugs are not healthy.There are many medical studies done that proves this.

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  5. I agree with Maurice, a man eat and give thanks another don't eat and give thanks. Can we determine which one God will accept? God said "My kingdom is not about eating or drinking but about Righteousness and Peace in the Holy Spirit". God also said "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy" his ways and thoughts are different from ours yet we at times wants to make this determination for him.

    God ask us to love one another, he did not give a condition his love is unconditional.

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  6. If God wants us to love our "enemies" how do we treat those who are not? This the depth of how far this subject can go.

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  7. Listen, I love all you guys I don't need to see you to feel love for you, just by interacting I feel the love. Let us not put up barriers between us and people because someone who is not your brother today may be your brother tomorrow.

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  8. Paul accepts that we are free to choose what we do, however he warns that we must be careful that in our choices we do not condemn ourselves. I have interpreted this to mean that there are things which we choose to eat and drink; the ways we choose to worship which may be detrimental to our souls' salvation.

    God will not take our free wills, but He who makes us and knows what is best for us, gives guidance as to how we may enjoy the best of what life has to offer-Here on earth.

    Let us follow the 'Manufacturer's Blueprint' for optimal use of the Item (our bodies).

    (2)
  9. I really dont think a person will go to hell because they eat bacon. Their are many spirit filled Christians who do not know better or grew up culturally eating things we do no see as acceptable. Their health may not be the best while they are here but it does not mean they are going to burn. Remember all our righteousness are as filthy rags, none of us has made the Mark so let us stop judging our brothers in and outside the faith on what they eat. Do they have the Fruit of the Spirit and exhibit them? that's most important

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    • Mark,

      Could you answer this question for me?

      If eating bacon is knowingly making you unhealthy (degrading the temple of God) and you still choose to consume based on stubbornness and unwillingness to change (grieving the Holy Spirit), How Spirit filled are you?

      We can't take what Paul is saying as a "green light" to do as we please and to be submissive to our fleshly pleasures and desires and then proclaim that the blood saves not meat. Whatever we do, eat or drink is to be done all to the glory of God.

      We should not confuse obedience with our own righteousness, because we cannot truly obey without the Spirit. No, none of us has made the mark, but we are to still "run the race" and fight the good fight of faith".

      To know and to still do wrong is sin...To not know and do wrong is ignorance, not sin.

      Ben D

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    • When you are unclean the Spirit of God cannot abide in you. There are things that make people unclean and it is God who said so. Some of these things resemble food that people eat them ignorantly or adamantly and in both cases they are made spiritually unclean. The most important question is: Is it necessary to be spiritually clean to be saved? Hosea 4:6 says it in part.

      (3)
  10. Our God does not contradict. In Lev 11 all clean and unclean animals were given clearly. He cant say, don't eat and again he says eat.

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    • You are right Jason. Problems occur when we do not make the distinction in our own minds. And we need to consider that there is a right time to do things too. One thing that I am always reminded of when reading the Gospels is that Jesus never condemns the struggling sinners. He provides compassion and understanding. The struggling sinners were drawn to him. His condemnation was reserved for those who thought they had it altogether spiritually but were in fact hypocrites. That thought helps me to keep quiet let I be judged.

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  11. I am so glad to read these comments because it has brought more enlightenment to my confusion even though I have read several bible texts concerning this lesson. Mr. Ashton, you make a real good point as well as the others.

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  12. Today’s discussion illustrates some of the implications of how we view what salvation is and what salvation is based on.

    If salvation is primarily or predominately a forensic declaration based on us being declared righteous, then there arises discussion as to what is and is not required for that declaration. And the matter of being legalistic (or not) arises.

    However, if salvation is about the actual restoration of a person back to the way things were prior to sins entry into this world, then anything that contributes to that process is part of salvation and anything that impairs that process is also of relevance. But, nothing is because of legalism for the person who is operating under such a view of salvation because legalism is an irrelevant concept to actual restoration.

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  13. Instead of arguing about what we should consume let us prayerfully read God's word, aided by the Holy Spirit for guidance.
    May we seek to obey when light is shed on our pathways.
    Blessings

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    • Amen Dotson. It saddens me that after an entire quarter of lessons devoted to the Gospel message of righteousness (salvation) by faith alone, many insist on keeping the noose of salvation-by-works firmly around their necks and thereby lose the gift they are working so hard to earn (Galatians 5:4).

      This was the cause of Paul's dismay as well (Galatians 3).

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      • Hi Sieg

        Where do we get the idea that salvation is by faith alone? I know this is a widely held view and the position the lesson has taken. However, the reason I ask this question is that such a position is contrary to what James says in James 2:24. Is is possible that Paul has been somewhat misunderstood by the Reformation?

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        • Hi Phil.

          "Where do we get the idea that salvation is by faith alone?"

          From the Bible. From the mouth of our Creator (Matthew 4:4).

          For the past 6 months we have been studying this subject. We may need to go back and study it further if necessary to understand the “righteousness by faith” Gospel. Our eternal life depends on it and it truly is Good News. If after prayerfully studying the last 2 quarters lessons, we still disagree with what God has given us in Christ, then 1 Corinthians 1:18 KJV applies. In that case, we should pray for wisdom (James 1:5). Our merciful, loving and patient Father will not easily give up on us until finally, after repeatedly rebelling against His truth, He will release us to our own delusions (2 Thessalonians 2:11). No one will be more disappointed by this outcome than God Who wants all to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4).

          From the introductions to last quarter’s lesson on Galatians: https://ssnet.org/lessons/17c/less01.html

          “According to a group of Jewish believers, known as Judaizers, belief in Jesus alone was not good enough for Gentiles. Gentiles must also be circumcised and follow the laws of Moses (Acts 15:1). It is no surprise, then, that when Paul founded a church of Gentiles in Galatia, some of these Judaizers traveled there to “straighten things out.”
          When word of this problem reached Paul, he reacted fervently. Recognizing that this false gospel of salvation by faith and works threatened to undermine the work of Christ, Paul wrote the Galatians an impassioned defense of the gospel. In the strongest of words, he identified this false teaching for what it really was — legalism, pure and simple.”

          From the introductions to this quarter’s lesson on Romans: https://ssnet.org/lessons/17d/less01.html

          “Yes, it was in Romans that Luther found the great truth of “justification by faith” alone. It was here that this man, struggling with assurance of salvation, uncovered the great truth-not just of Romans, not just of the New Testament, but of the entire Bible: the truth about the plan of salvation, “which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began” (2 Tim. 1:9). And this is the truth that salvation is found only in the righteousness of Christ. It is a righteousness credited to us by faith, a righteousness granted to us apart from the keeping of the law. Or as Paul so clearly expressed it in Romans: “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law” (Rom 3:28).”

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          • Thank you Sieg for your reply. I have read carefully all you wrote and have looked up each verse you provided.

            Rom 3:28 is the only verse you supplied that deals with the topic of justification by faith. This verse (in the Greek) does not state or imply that justification is by faith alone - it states and implies that justification is based on a faith that is apart from a particular category of works - those of the law.

            As the wider context of Rom 3 (and beyond) conveys, Paul is addressing a group of people who were of the belief that outward adherence to the Mosaic law/s alone was sufficient grounds for entitlement to justification by God. Within this context, Rom 3:28 is not saying that we are saved by faith alone - it is saying that we are saved by faith that is "apart from" a particular type of 'works' (works of the law) - works that consisted of mere external compliance with the Mosaic law/s where such was being done with an attitude of entitlement to salvation.

            That Paul specifically clarified the term works as "works of law" and didn't just use the word "works" would suggest that he was not discounting works altogether because true faith can not and does not exist independently of true works - as Paul expresses in Gal 5:6. Such a view is also in perfect harmony with James 2 and in particular, James 2:24.

            If, on the other hand as has been widely believed since Luther and has been promoted by this quarter's lesson, Paul was saying in Rom 3:28 that we are justified by faith alone, then we have a problem because Paul is at odds with himself in passages such as Gal 5:6 and is at odds with other bible writers such as James. How would that contradiction be resolved?

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  14. What are you guys doing? Are you studying the lesson? Why are you judging each other about the context of the passages and whether or not what we eat is or isn't a salvation item (or am I too going to be judged by my comment).

    Show some compassion to others opinions and statements. "Be not of this world...", meaning no arguing and definitely no judging!

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    • Hi Nelson,

      I think we need to revisit the start of this quarter's lesson. How quickly we forget...

      https://ssnet.org/blog/sabbath-here-we-stand-luther-on-romans/

      Introduction:

      "Yes, it was in Romans that Luther found the great truth of “justification by faith” alone. It was here that this man, struggling with assurance of salvation, uncovered the great truth-not just of Romans, not just of the New Testament, but of the entire Bible: the truth about the plan of salvation, “which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began” (2 Tim. 1:9)"

      "And this is the truth that salvation is found only in the righteousness of Christ. It is a righteousness credited to us by faith, a righteousness granted to us apart from the keeping of the law. Or as Paul so clearly expressed it in Romans: “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law” (Rom 3:28)."

      "We are Seventh-day Adventists, and we rest upon the principle of sola scriptura, Scripture alone; hence, we adamantly reject all attempts to draw Christians back to Rome and to pre-Reformation faith. On the contrary, Scripture points us in the opposite direction (Rev. 18:4), and in that direction we proceed as we proclaim “the everlasting gospel” (Rev. 14:6) to the world, the same everlasting gospel that inspired Luther 500 years ago."

      (3)
    • Hi Nelson

      If my motivation for writing something (that is different to what someone else says or challenges what someone else says) is to put the other person down or condemn them, then I am judging them.

      However, if my motivation for writing is because I want to have a clearer/deeper understanding of what the truth actually is, then I will be debating and even arguing in a constructive manner - but I will not be judging.

      So whether or not I am judging another depends upon the motivation of my heart, not upon whether I am presenting an argument or challenging a person's point. This, I believe, is why while man has the tendency to look on the outward appearance, God looks at/on the 'heart'.

      Speaking the truth in love is how I am to go about disagreeing with someone. Arguing and debating in this manner is "not of this world".

      So no, I am not in any way judging you for your comment. The exchange of comments and opinions is how we learn and grow in our understanding of truth and its application. So, feel free to counter anything I have said if you disagree (including the basis for your disagreement).

      (3)
  15. The “train wrecks” of my life have a singular cause: When what I think, do and say (that is, my righteousness) collide with the reality of the Father as revealed by his Son. At each wreck, when I have done a “root cause analysis,” I have found it to be “God is love” and I am not love.

    When I realize that in my righteousness I will “stand before the judgment seat of Christ,” I tremble in abject fear, falling before God and confessing my sin because I can give no justifiable accounting to him for what I thought was right (my right, in my own eyes). (Romans 14:10-12.)

    These words of Paul have special significance to me:
    “But if your brother is grieved with your [fill in the blank with what I think makes me righteous], you no longer walk according to love. Do not with your [fill in the blank] destroy him for whom Christ died.” Romans 14:15.

    Oh God! Save me from the sin of my righteousness!

    The “kingdom of God is not [my standard of what I think is right], but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Romans 14:17.

    Instead, oh God, let your Spirit be the power and glory of my life. Oh, how I long for your righteousness, peace and joy that comes from being a slave of Christ! Romans 14:18.

    Keep me from the sin of undoing your work for the sake of my righteousness. Romans 14:20.

    Amen.

    (1)
  16. Eating will not save you, but it can get you lost. Your diet affects the brain and body. The brain houses the mind. The brain controls the body. So it matters what you eat. What you eat produces nutrients that are absorbed and distributed by the blood (or the lack thereof). We are to eat for strength and not for drunkenness. Most of us, and probably most of the time these days, myself included tend to eat for entertainment rather than for nourishment. When we eat for entertainment are we not eating to the flesh? If we are not nourishing the body aren't we depriving the brain of what it needs to produce good thinking? If we are not thinking properly, can we make good decisions?

    Just like good theology won't save you, but bad theology could get you lost.

    (1)
  17. I have heard variations on the phrase, "Is this a salvation issue?" throughout these comments. It seems to me we are missing the main point of chapter 14, as stated in the last verse, "Whatever is not of faith is sin." It is preceded by verse 5, "Let every man be fully persuaded". We truly are saved by grace, through faith. The Holy Spirit was sent to first convict of sin (John 16). James puts it this way, "If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn't do it, it is sin for them." While certain doctrines are foundational (See Hebrews 6), it is not for us to decide of what the Holy Spirit is convicting others. We can not judge another man's servant. So, is diet a salvation issue? Emphatically, yes! Can I judge another's salvation? No!

    (0)

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