July 13th Be kind
13: Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. 14: I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15: But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. 16: Let not then your good be evil spoken of: 17: For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. 18: For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. 19: Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. 20: For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. 21: It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. 22: Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. 23: And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
Paul continues, We are not to condemn and pass sentence on one another in fact we are not to put a stumbling block or something in front of a fellow christian that will cause him to fall. Paul says l know that there is no food that is in itself unclean but l realise that to the christian who thinks that a certain food is unclean – if he ate it, his conscience would tell him that he has sinned. And of course if he saw you eating what he thought was unclean then he would think that you have sinned. So we must be careful that we take our brothers conscience into account in all we do. We must not let our good conscience be spoken of as an evil thing. The christian life does not consist of meat and drink but righteousness, peace and joy in the Spirit. The Christian who serves Christ in these things is not only acceptable to God but also has the approval of men. So let us follow after those things that lead to peace and edification to each other. Let us not destroy the work of God among us over the food we eat. Every thing is clean but it is not clean to him that is stumbled by it. Blessed is the man whose conscience does not condemn him in the things he does. The christian who does what he thinks is wrong is condemned by his conscience. He is not living faithfully to God and whenever he is not faithful to God he is sinning.
- What does Paul mean by the word 'Judge'?
- In what special way are we to be kind to others – from this passage?
- How are we to know what might offend others?