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Liberty in Non-Essentials: Receive Ye One Another [podcast]

 

God gives each of His saints liberty in NON-essentials, that is, in things not clearly stated as being sin. Read Romans 14 prayerfully, carefully.

The decisions other believers make concerning NON-essentials is none of your business. Read Romans 14 and obey God.

Concerning this important chapter, the Believer’s Bible Commentary notes:

“Romans 14:1-23
In Relation to Other Believers (14:1-15:13)
14:1 Romans 14:1-15:13 deals with important principles to guide God’s people in dealing with matters of secondary importance. These are the things that so often cause conflict among believers, but such conflict is quite unnecessary, as we shall see. A weak Christian is one who has unfounded scruples over matters of secondary importance. In this context, he was often a converted Jew who still had scruples about eating nonkosher foods or working on Saturday. The first principle is this: a weak Christian should be received into the local fellowship, but not with the idea of engaging him in disputes about his ultra scrupulousness. Christians can have happy fellowship without agreeing on nonessentials.”

Issues arise among believers concerning non-essentials. Just what are the essentials of the faith? And therefore what things are non-essential to believers?

Love is the essential concerning non-essentials. Love doesn’t judge another saint concerning things not essential to his salvation which is in Christ (1 Corinthians 13; 1 Peter 4:7-8; 1 John 4:7-8, etc.).

God gives each and every believer individual liberty in the non essentials according to Romans 14. This are part of the in-house order of God’s people.

Never destroy the work God has and is doing in someone’s life for something not essential to salvation.

Read the Galatians 5:19-21 list of soul damning sins so that when you are thinking of addressing another believer on something, you make sure it’s that such as issue is named on this list of sins.

What kind of food someone eats is not on that list. The day of the week a believer chooses to gather with other believers in fellowship is not on that list. Who a believer chooses to marry (age, race, etc.), as long as they are a true believer, is not on that list. How one chooses to spend his money, is not on that list. etc.

Ric Boutot writes:

“And whether you are a ‘Lord’s day’ observer (Sunday) like Ignatius of Antioch, or a ‘Sabbath’ observer (Saturday) like his very close friend, Polycarp, as Paul the apostle would say ‘Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.’ These two men had NO contentions whatsoever between one another. In fact, Polycarp called Ignatius ‘Ignatius the BLESSED.’ Perfect harmony between brothers in Christ.”

The way an individual believer chooses to operate with his God-given personal liberty in non-essentials is up to him and no one else. Yet, he must not condemn others in his heart or otherwise for seeing and practicing their own God-given liberty as they see fit. See Roman 14. Being a “busybody” is condemned in Scripture (1 Peter 4:15).

God’s Word makes it clear that only a “fool” will meddle, interject themselves into the affairs of others unnecessarily.

“It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.” Proverbs 20:3

This is a biblical truth, component, not tended to enough. In order to “grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ”, we must cease being condescending towards other saints concerning things that are none of our business (Ephesians 4:15).

“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink (non-essentials); but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. … For meat (any non-essential) destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.” Romans 14:17, 20

“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.” Romans 14:21

Concerning judging other believers on NON-essentials, the apostle Paul forewarns:
 
“But why dost thou judge thy brother (on NON-essentials)? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” Romans 14:10

Do you know what Scripture reveals of essentials and non-essentials?

It frustrates the grace and work of God when we infringe upon the individual liberty He gave each and every individual saint in non-essentials.

Among authentic disciples (not counterfeits nor wolves), we must never judge each other’s servant/serving. And, we must admit to/realize just how imperfect our own serving is…..

“Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.” Romans 14:4

If you dare take this self-righteous stance to judge other Christians for non-essentials, then you have some things to explain: Unless you are reading the Bible and praying 24 hours per day every day, then you have need to explain just why that’s not sin.

The point in this matter that Paul makes is that what we eat or drink has nothing to do with our salvation and is a matter of individual liberty. So, we have and we give liberty to other believers in non-essentials.

To eat or not to eat is the God-granted decision of the individual disciple. Neither eating or not eating certain foods has anything to do with one’s place with the LORD. The person who doesn’t eat has no better relationship with Christ than the person who chooses to eat that pork, drink that coke, or otherwise.

Speaking of NON-essentials to the faith….

“Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.” Romans 14:1

“By thought and prayer and the study of God’s Word, conscience becomes educated and strengthened, and ceases to worry as to whether we should be vegetarian or not; whether we should observe saints’ days, or adopt a specific method of observing the Sabbath. Some people are constantly wondering and questioning about such things, as though their eternal salvation depended on minute observances.” FB Meyer

ON THE MATTER OF WHAT IS SIN IN GOD’S EYES AND WHAT IS A NON-ESSENTIAL

Recently, a dear brother in Christ began sharing with me how he’s being told by some self-righteous novices that he’s going to hell because he on occasion watches a football game. Here’s my reply to him:

I’ve been attacked by these pharisees too in the past. They are delusional, totally self-righteous. Ask them this: “So, is playing a GAME of cards going to send someone to hell?  yes or no?” Force them to answer. Ask: “Where does God’s Word tell us that playing a game of cards is a soul damning sin? Chapter and verses please? Be the one asking the questions. Then ask them this: “Okay, so if my son or nephew are participating in a sporting event like say, they are playing in a football game, please show me in the Bible exactly what sin I am committing by attending the game. Waiting…..

So, in other words, a game is a game, so where do we draw the line? right? We draw the line where GOD draws the line in His Word. If something is not directly or principally listed as a sin, it’s not a sin. It’s a non-essential and totally an individual choice for the believer as he/she works out their salvation with fear and trembling before the LORD (Romans 14). Such liberties are not to be judged by other believers which would be being a busybody.

“But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a BUSYBODY in other men’s matters.” 1 Peter 4:15

If something isn’t listed at least categorically on the list of 17 soul damning sins in Galatians 5:19-21, it is not a sin and is a NON-essential. Rebuke and then point these self-righteous devils  to Romans 14 and insist they read it. Personally, I hit and run with these self-righteous devils, for they are the same ilk as the hell bound religious devils Jesus dealt with and told they are going to hell three times in Matthew 23.

COMMON OBJECTION:

“But wait, James 4:4 says that if any man love this world, he’s the enemy of Christ.”

REPLY:

When James speaks of loving the world, he is not speaking about the liberties God gives to each individual believer in this life, otherwise James would be contradicting Paul, and we know that’s not possible. James is speaking of the 3 things Jesus specifically defines as loving this world in Mark 4:17-19: 1. the cares of this world, 2. the deceitfulness of riches, and 3. the lusts of other things. Not the use but the LUST of other things.

“And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.” Mark 4:19

If you define anything other than Bible reading, praying, praise, and fellowship as a sin, you better stop all things like shopping, paying rent, walking down the street, going to work, driving a vehicle, getting something to eat at a restaurant, etc. – because in your conscience, your calculating, mis-guided mind, all those things are sin.

The neutral things of this world are NOT sin. The misuse of them is. Listen to what Christ’s apostle Paul wrote about this world as pertains to married people:

“But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; 30 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; 31 And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away (is temporal). 32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: 33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.” 1 Corinthians 7:29-33

It’s the abuse of the temporal things of this world Paul addresses and not the simple use of them.

Perhaps we’ve all got a bunch of legalism still in us due to the bad example and teachings we’ve heard and our own lack of knowledge of God’s Word on this topic…. we are not yet experiencing Christ’s liberty…. not liberty to sin but rather His joy and love in all things….

In this post, we are addressing and citing those who are sinfully judging other believers for things not essential to salvation – never specifically mentioned as sin…. Read Romans 14:4-5 again please.

Romans 14 is the chapter that is all about non essentials and personal liberty given to each individual believer by the LORD. Get familiar with it friend so we don’t judge other believers on non-essential issues that are none of our business.

PLEASE read Romans 14 every morning this week prayerfully. We must grow up into Christ in all things saints. Learn about essentials and non-essentials. Never argue or in any way hinder God’s work in one of His children concerning a NON-essential. That’s one of the main truths in Romans 14. Please share this truth with other believers.

No where in Scripture do we see that a certain end time view (pre, post, etc.) is essential to our salvation – other than knowing Jesus is coming back. Food and drink are also not essential to our salvation (Romans 14; Mark 7:20-23). Such is never mentioned as a soul-damning sin or as a Gospel imperative. God wants us to mature and not judge other saints for things that are non-essential – not necessary/essential to our salvation. IF you don’t see something identified as a soul-damning sin or essential foundational truth of the Gospel, you may want to refrain from despising in your hearts another believer. This doesn’t negate exhortation or admonishment when needed but we are never to judge another true Christian for observing Saturday or Sunday being that that has nothing at all to do with salvation (Romans 14; Colossians 2:14-19).

Unwarranted intrusion. In part perhaps “intruding” can mean going to places we are not sure of, such as citing someone for something you don’t like while the Bible never says that such a thing is sin. Such non-essentials must be kept in mind to be the God-given individual liberties of each believer, as that individual does so according to his own conscience. We are instructed not to judge another believer on something that is not an essential – something not specifically named as a sin in God’s Word. If something cannot be ascertained as a sin, a disciple of Jesus should not be cited, confronted about such. Instead, perhaps we should mind our own business and allow other members of Christ’s body to exercise themselves as they see fit in non-essentials to salvation. Get to know Romans 14.
 
“Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.” Colossians 2:18-19

Many times, when we become hyper-critical of others, it’s because there’s a deficiency in our own lives. Many times, when called upon to servant-lead, we wonder why others don’t desire to follow. On this note and namely concerning when we are called to lead, Oswald Chambers writes:

“If you are in a position of authority and people are not obeying you, the greatest heart searching you can have is realization that the blame does not lie with them but with you; there is a leakage going on spiritually. Get right with God yourself, and every other one will get in touch with God through you.”  Oswald Chambers, God’s Workmanship, p. 328

Open God’s Word (KJV) and study Romans 14-15 today prayerfully.

Concerning “meat and drink” which represents non-essentials to salvation, Christ’s apostle warns: “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. 5  One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” (Romans 14:4-5)

It’s wrong if we impose upon other saints our own personal convictions on non-essential issues – in those things are not essential to salvation. Not one Scripture says watching a family clean movie is a sin or playing a card game or watching a soccer game or going out to eat….. Those who say such things are novices and adding to God’s Word and imposing your own conscience convictions concerning non-essential on others. Obviously you have no clue what Paul taught in Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 10 on Christian liberties.

If Jesus is teaching YOU personally to stay away from all these things, do it – BUT DON’T IMPOSE SUCH ON OTHERS unless it’s clearly taught in Scripture. Paul says “Why is my conscience judged of another man’s conscience?” ….

1 Corinthians 10:29-32: “Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience? 30 For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? 31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:”

It is wise to take a day weekly to worship and rest, reflecting upon the goodness of our LORD. However, this is not essential to salvation. The New Testament Scriptures tell us not to judge one of God’s children if they choose a different day of the week than we do (Romans 14 and Colossians 2:14-17). The point made here is to not condemn another blood-washed saint for something that God gave them personal liberty to choose and that doesn’t affect their relationship with Him. We are saved by faith in the blood of the only Savior and not by what day we observe or don’t observe or our end time view or what type food we choose to eat.

Consider that we are to worship the ONE who makes ALL days whom we are blessed to worship in spirit and in truth every day (John 4:23-24).  No certain day is more special to the LORD than is the other days of the week (Galatians 4:9-11). Yet, if a believer chooses to count a certain day as a day of particular rest and worship, they are not to be condemned for such and neither are those who don’t agree. To walk in Christian maturity, this truth is a must.

Personally, this disciple loves Hebrew 13:9. This truth has helped me much, that is, to grow in divine grace. Asking the LORD to multiply His blessed grace in my life which has taken away nit-picking, critical, “evil eye” which Jesus says is a sin (Mark 7:20-23; Hebrews 13:9; 2 Peter 1:2; 3:18).

It seems obvious that our LORD’s rebuke applies to those, to us, if we have unresolved sin, a lack of victory over sin in our own lives and yet are pointing out the sins or supposed sins of others. In addressing hypocritical judgment, Jesus calls us hypocrites in such a case, in need of repentance ourselves.

“Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:1-5

Praying this verse, taking it before our LORD, has had a great impact on my needy heart.

“Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.” Hebrews 13:9

God’s Word informs us that the LORD Jesus wants His beloved people to “grow up”:

“But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.” Ephesians 4:15

Some unfortunately dis-fellowship other believers for whom Jesus died due to a differing view on the end times.  Ones view of the end times or some other non-essential does not affect their salvation.  We have no divine license to cut off any of Christ’s children for things not essential to our salvation. If we do such, perhaps Christ will cut us off.

We are to receive them as Christ has. Romans 15:7 says “Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.”  “For meat (a non-essential) destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.” (Romans 14:20)   Paul wrote in Romans 14:4: “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.” 

To those of you who have or are being judged for a non-essential, this Word is for you:

Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” Romans 8:33-34

Your verdict comes from God alone:

Let my sentence (verdict) come forth from thy presence; let thine eyes behold the things that are equal.” Psalms 17:2

“One Body in Christ”

“So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” Romans 12:5

Saints, this is not a message about “peace at any price.” No, this is an in-house message from God’s Word concerning Christ’s body – His true, remnant saints who are born again and abiding in Christ via His Word. As such, we are to dwell together in unity as His body, which is made up of “many members.” (1 Corinthians 12:12)

“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” 1 Corinthians 12:12

“But now are they many members, yet but one body.” 1 Corinthians 12:20

“The Unity of the Spirit”

“Endeavouring (working diligently) to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:3

—–   Those who are not working hard to keep “the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” amidst Christ’s true, fruit-bearing remnant, are out of God’s will (Ephesians 4:3).

Listen to His Words in Psalms 133:

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; 3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.” Psalms 133:1-3 

IT IS truly a blessing to see how God’s true children are walking in His love and “endeavoring (working diligently) to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:3) This is beautiful in the sight of our Savior. He is watching exactly how we treat others which is how we are treating Him (Matthew 25:40-46). In these final days, as Jesus promised, the “love of MANY” is waxing “cold.” (Matthew 24:10-13) In light of this and so much more that He told us, you must remember that love, “shall cover the multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)

“But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:7-8

Concerning Unbelievers – Those not Yet Saved

Tattoos, length of hair, length of skirt, has NOTHING to do with salvation. It’s a NON-essential (Romans 14). And, these women aren’t even saved so what’s that matter anyway? “The LORD looketh on the heart.” 1 Sam 16:7 …. It’s time to cease attempting to scale the fish that aren’t yet in the boat…. AND, once they are in Christ’s boat, HE will scale/clean them up. The hell bound self-righteous religionists in our midst haven’t even led themselves to Christ by true repentance and so have no clue or chance to leader another sinner to the Savior.

Why Did Jesus tell His Disciples “Forbid Him Not”? Because You Care

Saved by Grace or Works Righteousness? | Deliverance from Works-Righteousness | Colossal Colossians! | Beware of Dogs

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