"WHATSOEVER IS NOT OF FAITH IS SIN." (Rom.14:23)--If you haven't got the FAITH for something, then it IS a sin for YOU, if you don't BELIEVE properly.
THE DEVIL IS GOD'S PROSECUTOR and quite frequently he condemns you for things you do, sometimes JUSTLY, sometimes UNJUSTLY. Now there's a difference between the CONVICTION of the HOLY SPIRIT and the ACCUSATIONS of the ENEMY. You're not CONVICTED of a sin until the JUDGE, God, has made a decision. But frequently the Enemy will come and ACCUSE you of sins or accuse you of some things which aren't even sins and condemn you for it. 1John 3:21 says:
"BELOVED, IF OUR HEART CONDEMN US NOT, THEN HAVE WE CONFIDENCE (OR FAITH) TOWARD GOD." In other words, if you have such strong FAITH in the SPIRIT and in the WORD that you KNOW what you're doing is right, and you feel convinced in your own heart that what you're doing is the RIGHT thing because of the Word and the Holy Spirit, YOU can do things that some OTHER Christians can't even do, that THEY would feel CONDEMNED about doing!
THE SCRIPTURE ON IT IS VERY CLEAR in Romans 14: "Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat ALL things, another who is WEAK eateth HERBS." (Rom.14:1-2)
PEOPLE HAVE TO OPERATE THE WAY THEIR FAITH GOES. They have to follow their FAITH, and they cannot operate OUTSIDE of the limitations of their faith or they go BEYOND their faith for things they DON'T have faith for, and then to THEM it is SIN. And that's what He says further down in this Chapter:
"I AM PERSUADED BY THE LORD JESUS THAT THERE IS NOTHING UNCLEAN OF ITSELF."--Boy, there's a Scripture for you! Are we going to take that all the way, that NOTHING is unclean of ITSELF?
"BUT TO HIM THAT ESTEEMETH ANYTHING TO BE UNCLEAN, TO HIM IT IS UNCLEAN!"--14th verse. Remember this, Romans 14:14, and watch out! Because if you THINK it's wrong, then to YOU it IS wrong, and you better not do it! That's why you need the WORD to clarify some of these points, to prove that some of these things are RIGHT.
"FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS NOT MEAT AND DRINK"--IT'S NOT FLESHLY NOR EARTHLY. It has very little to do really with what your FLESH does or doesn't do or what you drink or don't drink, etc., but it's "righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost"-- (Rom.14:17)--no matter what little things you eat or drink or do.
BUT, "FOR MEAT DESTROY NOT THE WORK OF GOD. All things indeed are pure, BUT it is evil for that man who eateth with offence."--to OTHERS, that is. (Rom.14:20)--In other words, it may be perfectly all right for YOU to do a certain thing because YOU have the FAITH for it and you KNOW it's Scriptural and so on. But if somebody ELSE who THINKS it's wrong SEES you do it and you cause HIM to stumble, then that's BAD.
MANY THINGS THAT WE HAVE THE SCRIPTURAL LAWFUL FREEDOM TO DO WE DON'T PUBLICISE TO THE WORLD because they wouldn't understand it, especially churchy narrow-minded Christians.
"HAST THOU FAITH? HAVE IT TO THYSELF BEFORE GOD." (Rom.14:22)--In other words, if it's something that might cause your brother to stumble, then keep it PRIVATE just between you and the Lord. "HAPPY is he that CONDEMNETH NOT himself in that thing which he alloweth."--It'll make you happier if you're NOT doing things which you feel CONDEMNED about, or about which you feel guilty or have a guilt complex, things that you're not SURE are right. In fact, if you're AFRAID maybe it's WRONG, then it IS wrong for YOU!
BUT EVERY CHRISTIAN ON EARTH CANNOT FORGO EVERY LITTLE QUESTIONABLE PLEASURE that other weak sisters condemn and accuse you for, or you couldn't do anything!
YOU CAN'T PLEASE EVERYBODY IN EVERYTHING. You can please SOME of the people ALL the time, and ALL the people SOME of the time, but you can't please EVERYBODY ALL the time!
If we stopped everything some people have DOUBTS about, we couldn't do ANYTHING! If THEY doubt it, THEY shouldn't do it, but WE HAVE to carry on!
THE BEST CURE OF DOUBTS IS THE WORD! "FAITH cometh by hearing the WORD of GOD!" (Rom.10:17)--And FAITH is the OPPOSITE of DOUBT! Read the bible and the Letters--they should cure ANY doubts you have--IF you're willing to receive the TRUTH and really want to know!
OF COURSE IF YOUR MIND IS ALREADY MADE UP AND YOU DON'T WANT TO HEAR THE FACTS, THERE'S NOT MUCH HOPE FOR YOU! But if you really WANT to know, the Lord, His Word and the Letters will show you!--Read them prayerfully and ask God to guide you!--He never fails! He'll always answer the hungry heart! God BLESS you! We LOVE you!--And HOPE you'll find FAITH!
SO WHEN IN DOUBT, DON'T!--BUT WHEN IN FAITH, DO!
My name is James Arendt. I was raised in the Hegewisch neighborhood on the southeast side of Chicago, Illinois, served in the USAF from 1970 to 1974, and became a full-time missionary for Christ living 40 years in Japan, 3.5 years in Russia, and a few months in other countries such as Finland, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, South Korea, Taiwan and mainland China where I also served the King of Kings, Jesus, as an Ambassador for His Kingdom.
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