"...whatsoever is not of faith is sin" (Romans 14:23).

That statement could be made concerning each of the various kinds of faith we have mentioned. But it has to do with some personal conviction I have -- something that is peculiar to me. I hold it though, as a matter of religious conviction.

The entire chapter is concerning a weak brother's conscience. Particularly does it pertain to the eating of meats. It could include the unclean meats of the Old Covenant or meats offered in sacrifice to idols. It could have some application to something in our present life but we need to be careful in making these applications. The weak brother is one who has not reached the plateau of learning the scriptures that others have, therefore we need to deal with him gently and consider his weak conscience. He, in turn, needs to recognize his lack of learning and not try to bind his opinion on others.

In spite of such verses as Acts 10:10-16 and 1 Timothy 4:3-5 he feels that it is unlawful to eat certain meats. Paul points out, once again, that this is not to be bound as a matter of law. He points out that these matters of personal conscience, eating or refraining from eating, keeping a certain a day or not keeping a day, should all be accomplished as "unto the Lord." Even though it was not a matter of law, it would be considered as such if a person had a conviction about it.

Thus, it is all summed up in verses 22 and 23: "Hast thou faith? [do you have some personal belief?] have it to thyself before God. [Don't try to bind it on others.] Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. 23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, [He has doubts about it being right but he eats it any way. In his heart he has rebelled against what he believes the Lord condemns] because he eateth not of faith:[personal conviction] for whatsoever is not of faith [his personal faith or conviction] is sin."

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