Scripture Reading: Matthew 15:1-20
--not issues of God’s law, but externals that get elevated above spiritual priorities.
So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.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.
Stumbling block—an obstacle that causes you to fall.
Occasion to fall—a trip wire, a trap. The trigger of a trap. By inference to cause to sin, to cause to violate one’s conscience.
--not offending sensibilities, but causing them to violate their faith/conscience.
--your job is not to convince the person to do what you think they should do—doubtful disputation.
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:
Know and persuaded—I have knowledge and no doubt.
Nothing unclean—stuff is stuff, there is nothing inherently evil by creation. Uncleanness is subjective not objective—not inherent in the object.
Esteemeth—logizomai—reckon, count, compute.
Grieved—conscience is hurt, wounded, led into sin, doing something against his conscience. The first step down a path to complete destruction.
Destroy—don’t let your meat ruin someone whom Christ died for; don’t value your meat more than Christ has valued his life.
Evil spoken—don’t let what your conscience calls good be used to destroy or hurt another.
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.
IN the Holy Spirit—our spiritual desire to edify others outweighs our physical indulgences.
These things—righteousness, peace, and joy.
Acceptable to God—servant is approved of the master
Approved of men—not speaking evil about, but rather pleased by.
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.
Peace and edification go together. Both have to do with another person, not just you selfishly doing you for your benefit.
Destroy—different Greek word than before. To dissolce or disumite, to tear down, unbuild, opposite of edify.
Work of God—Christ’s salvation, purchasing the person as a servant. They are to grow into Christ; not into you!
Pure—the ritual distinctions of the OT are gone now.
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.
Stumbleth—violates his conscience by following you.
Cause to stumble to obstruct to being completely without strength
--If you won’t give up your liberty for another, then your physical things are still the focus of your faith.
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.
To thyself—not disclosed to others. No one else needs to know here you are on the issue.
Before God—as one who will give an account before Him for real. This is key. Not just you ropinion or your pleasure, but your faith determined course of action before God.
Alloweth—what has passed the test, approved.
Doubteth—root word of condemneth.
Faith—sincere confidence before the Lord.
--be careful if you ask someone if something is right for you to do, implies doubt.