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do not let
what is for you a
spoken of as
Greek: me blasphemeistho (3SPPM)
oun humon to agaqon
Amplified: Do not therefore let what seems good to you be
considered an evil thing [by someone else]. [In other words, do not
give occasion for others to criticize that which is justifiable for
Bible - Lockman)
NLT: Then you will not be condemned for doing something you
know is all right. (NLT
- Tyndale House)
Phillips: You mustn’t let something that is all right for
you look like an evil practice to somebody else.
Wuest: Therefore, stop allowing your good to bespoken of in a
reproachful and evil manner; (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: Let not, then, your good be evil spoken of,
Jew and Gentile
Restored to Israel
Slaves to Sin
Slaves to God
Life by Faith
Modified from Irving L.
Jensen's excellent work "Jensen's
Survey of the NT"
DO NOT LET WHAT
IS FOR YOU A GOOD THING
BE SPOKEN OF AS EVIL: me blasphemeistho (3SPPM) oun humon to agathon:
Middletown Bible -
The Law of Love (Romans 14:1-15:3) -
For further help in understanding how to
live so as to not cause a brother to stumble, see our paper entitled,
67 Biblical Tests to Use in Deciding Upon a Course of Action."
As in the preceding verse,
Greek construction combines a negative ("me" = not) with a
present imperative (command), it means to stop an action which
is already going on. So stop letting this good thing be "blasphemed"
This word is used 2 other times in Romans (Ro 2:24-note,
Blasphemy is any word or act that insults
the honor and dignity of another person or thing. Paul reaffirms that the
position of the strong is right and "good", but advises them to stop letting
what is good become the object of slander or reviling. You may be fighting
so hard for your rights over a "non essential" that others are beginning
to speak of it as evil. Don't allow anyone to say that what you consider
good as being evil. The strong is to give up his rights in
these areas of non essentials.
Liberty does not mean license. The believer is to
use his liberty, but not abuse it and not place an obstacle or stumbling
block in a brother's Christian walk or do anything that would bring ruin
to the brother's spiritual life. These are grave dangers not to be
underestimated. The stronger brother must always to keep in mind how his
conduct in this area of non essentials (externals rather than eternals)
will affect weaker Christians.
Good (18) (agathos
[word study]) means intrinsically good, inherently good in
quality but with the idea of good which is also profitable, useful,
benefiting others, benevolent (marked by or disposed to doing good).
refers to the quality of wickedness and
thus in a moral sense means depravity, vice or baseness (James 1:21-note,
Acts 8:22). It is the opposite of
and all virtue and therefore lacks social value. It denotes a vicious
disposition, evilness, ill-will, spitefulness.
In reference to behavior kakia
conveys the idea of a mean-spirited or vicious attitude or disposition as
indicated by words such as malice, ill-will, hatefulness, and dislike. It
is an attitude of wickedness as an evil habit of one's mind. Kakia is used
in NT to describe the wickedness which comes from within a person.
Malice describes a vicious intention and expresses the desire to hurt
another and rejoices in it!
If you [as a stronger brother] are going to create
division by arguing so hard for your rights, or your freedom, or by
flaunting your liberty in the face of those who do not agree with it, then
you are distorting the gospel itself, Paul argues. He actually uses the
word blaspheme. You are causing that which is good, Paul says, the good
news about Christ, to be blasphemed because you are making too much of an
issue over a minor matter. You are insisting that your rights are so
important that you have to divide the church over them, or separate from a
brother or sister who does not believe as you do. That is saying to the
watching world around that Christianity consists of whether you do, or do
not do, a certain thing. I heard of a church some time ago that got
into an unholy argument over whether they ought to have a Christmas tree
at their Christmas program. Some thought that a tree was fine; others
thought it was a pagan practice, and they got so angry at each other that
they actually got into fist fights over it. One group dragged the tree
out, then the other group dragged it back in. They ended up suing each
other in a court of law and, of course, the whole thing was spread in the
newspapers for the entire community to read. What else could
non-Christians conclude other than that the gospel consists of whether you
have a Christmas tree or not? They made such an important issue over it,
they were ready to physically attack one another." (The
Right to Yield)
God is not
joy in the
Greek: ou gar estin (3SPAI)
e basileia tou theou brosis kai posis alla dikaiosune kai eirene kai chara
en pneumati hagio:
Amplified:[After all] the kingdom of God is not a matter of
[getting the] food and drink [one likes], but instead it is
righteousness (that state which makes a person acceptable to God) and
[heart] peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Amplified
Bible - Lockman)
NLT: For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or
drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy
- Tyndale House)
Phillips: After all, the kingdom of Heaven is not a
matter of whether you get what you like to eat and drink, but of
righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Wuest: for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but
righteousness and peace and joy in the sphere of the Holy Spirit; (Eerdmans)
for the reign of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness,
and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit;
FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS NOT EATING
and DRINKING: ou gar estin (3SPAI)
e basileia tou theou brosis kai posis:
(Col 2:16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23)
The kingdom of God is the
sphere of salvation where God rules as King in the hearts of those He has
The main point of the Christian faith is not eating or drinking or
____________ (fill in the blank = some moral, ethical procedural area not
clearly spelled out in Scripture). The kingdom of God does not consist in
observing or not observing days, eating or not eating meats, or any other
secondary issues of religious scruples. The kingdom of God is not externals
but eternals. What really counts in the kingdom of God is not EXTERNAL
REGULATIONS but ETERNAL REALITIES.
Paul's main point is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. A
non-Christian, looking at a Christian, ought to see these things, not
wrangling and disputing and fighting and law courts, but righteousness, here he is
not referring so much to our righteous standing (justification)
but our righteous walking (sanctification).
BUT RIGHTEOUSNESS and PEACE and JOY IN THE HOLY SPIRIT:alla dikaiosune kai eirene kai
chara en pneumati hagio:
(Ga 5:22, Php 4:8, 9)
As we are
submitted to the Lord of the Kingdom, King Jesus, we will chose to surrender
our rights daily, moment by moment and His Spirit in us will cause us to
walk in His statutes (Ezekiel 36:27
"I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes
will be careful to observe My ordinances.") and the result is His
righteousness produced in us along with the fruit of the Spirit, peace and
Paul is not referring in 'righteousness' with right standing with God
(as in ch1-11) but in the context of (Ro 12:1, 2-see notes
with the emphasis on the "service of salvation" in this last segment (Ro
12-16) he is emphasizing
practical holy living. A concerned believer who is walking in love will
chose right conduct, harmony, and joy rather than forcing his own lifestyle
and liberty in Christ on others. This one then is serving Christ (showing he
is a true "doulos
or bondservant who is submitting his rights to those of his Master), is
acceptable to God and is approved by men (Ro 14:18) instead of being blasphemed by
men (Ro 14:16).
Not the externals,
eternals must be
first in our lives: righteousness, peace, and joy. Where do they come from?
The Holy Spirit of God at work in our lives (Ro 5:1,2-note).
If each believer would yield to the Spirit and major in a godly life, we
would not have Christians fighting with each other over minor matters.
Spiritual priorities are essential to harmony in the church.
W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor
is the loving tranquility, produced by the Spirit, that should
characterize believers’ relationships with God and each other (Gal 5:22).
is part of the Spirit’s fruit, this describes an abiding attitude of
praise and thanksgiving regardless of circumstances, which flows from
one’s confidence in God’s sovereignty (Gal 5:22-note;
a feeling of inner gladness, delight or rejoicing.
dictionaries define joy as the emotion evoked by well-being,
success, or good fortune or the emotion evoked by the prospect of
possessing what one desires. The world's definition of joy is
therefore virtually synonymous with the definition of happiness, for
both of these "emotions" are dependent on what "happens".
Certainly there is
joy in human life, such as joy when one experiences a victory
(" We will sing for joy over your victory, and in the name of our God
we will set up our banners. May the LORD fulfill all your petitions."
or reaps a bountiful harvest (see Isaiah 9:3), but more often the Bible
speaks of joy in a spiritual sense. For example, Nehemiah declared to
the down in the mouth (not very filled with joy) Jews that "The joy of
the Lord is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10).
Similarly, David pleaded with God to “restore to me the joy of Thy
salvation” (Psalm 51:12
It is not surprising that joy and rejoicing are found most frequently in
the Psalms (about 80 references) and the Gospels (about 40 references).
C. S. Lewis
got a bit closer to the Biblical meaning when he called joy an
“unsatisfied desire which is itself more desirable than any other
satisfaction.” That statement is a bit obtuse but Lewis then goes on to
add that joy "must be sharply distinguished both from happiness and
from pleasure". Ultimately Lewis' experienced joy when he discovered
that Jesus was the wellspring of all joy.
Joy then is
the deep-down sense of well-being that abides in the heart of the person
who knows all is well between himself and the Lord. It is not an
experience that comes from favorable circumstances but even occurs when
those circumstances are the most painful and severe as Jesus taught His
Truly, truly, I say to you, that you
will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful,
but your sorrow will be turned to joy. 21 "Whenever a woman is in
travail she has sorrow, because her hour has come; but when she gives
birth to the child, she remembers the anguish no more, for joy
that a child has been born into the world. 22 "Therefore you too now
have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice,
and no one takes your joy away from you. (John 16:20, 21, 22)
Believers have the
Resident Source of joy within for as as Paul teaches
the fruit of the Spirit is love,
joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness (Galatians
fluctuations cannot disturb this Source of joy. Note Paul’s statement of
this confidence (Php 3:20-note).
In the epistle to the Philippians joy
is like a golden thread Paul
interweaves throughout this epistle
for all 12v with "joy")
As Bengel says “The whole letter is ‘I
rejoice,’ and ‘Rejoice!’”
What the world ought to see is
peace. That comes
across visibly as a kind of calmness, an inner core of unflappability that
is undisturbed by the minor irritations of the moment. It is that quiet and
calm assurance that God is present in the situation; that he will work it
out for his glory, and therefore, we need not get upset or angry, or
vindictive toward someone. It is hard for the world to get that impression
of peace and calmness if they see two people screaming at one another over
what they disagree on. That does not look very calm. The important thing,
therefore, is that you manifest that gift of God, which is peace. The third
Joy. These three
always go together: righteousness, peace, and joy. They are gifts of God.
They do not come from you; they come from him.
Joy is that
delight in life that always finds life worthwhile, even though it may be
filled with problems.
Joy, in a
Christian, does not come from circumstances. I was down south a couple of
weeks ago, and I met a lady who has been lying in her bed for 13 years. She
has arthritis so bad that her joints are disconnected and she cannot even
raise her hands. But the smile on her face, the joy that is evident in her,
is an outstanding witness to the fact that joy of this kind is a gift of
God. It comes out of relationship, not out of circumstance. She has a
tremendous ministry to the community around her because of that. (The
Right to Yield)
Paul is saying that if that (righteousness peace joy) is what you have
discovered, if that is the center of your focus and interest, then you can
easily give up some momentary indulgence in a pleasure that you enjoy and
are free to participate in, if it is going to bother someone, or upset
someone, or make them move beyond their own conscience. Sometimes, when you
enter a main highway, you see a sign that says "YIELD." Now, I would not
suggest that you steal one of those, but it would be good if you could make
one and put it up in your dining room. That is a Christian philosophy -- to
yield, to give way. Do not insist on your rights under these circumstances
Right to Yield)
A W Pink (from The Lord's
One may ask, ”Which aspect of the
Kingdom is here prayed for as yet future? Certainly not its providential
aspect, since that has existed and continued from the beginning. The
Kingdom must, then, be future in the sense that God’s reign of grace is to
be consummated in the eternal glory of His Kingdom in the new heavens and
new earth (2Pe 3:13). There is to be a voluntary surrender of the whole
man—spirit and body—to the revealed will of God, so that His rule over us
is entire. But if we are to experience and enjoy the eternal glory of
God’s Kingdom, we must personally submit to His gracious reign in this
life. The nature of this reign is summed up in three characteristics:
the Kingdom of God is…righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost
(Ro 14:17). A person experiencing this present reign of grace is
characterized by righteousness in that the righteousness of Christ is
imputed to him as one who, by faith, has become His willing subject;
furthermore, he also possesses the righteousness of a good conscience
because the Holy Spirit has sanctified him, that is, has set him apart to
a new life of holiness to the glory of God. Such a person is also
characterized by peace: peace of conscience toward God, peaceful relations
with God’s people, and the pursuit of peace with all his fellow creatures
(Heb. 12:14). This personal, godly peace is maintained by attention to all
the duties of love (Luke 10:27; Ro 13:8). As the result of righteousness
and peace, such a person is also characterized by joy in the Holy Spirit,
a delighting in God in all the states and vicissitudes of life (Phil.
4:10, 11, 12, 13, 14; 1Tim. 6:6, 7, 8, 9, 10).
For he who in
Greek: o gar
en touto douleuon (PAPMSN) to Christo
euarestos to theo kai dokimos tois anthropois
Amplified: He who serves Christ in this way is acceptable and
pleasing to God and is approved by men. (Amplified
Bible - Lockman)
NLT: If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please
God. And other people will approve of you, too. (NLT
- Tyndale House)
Phillips: If you put these things first in serving Christ
you will please God and are not likely to offend men. (Phillips:
Wuest: for the one who in this serves the Christ is well
pleasing to God, and because having met the specifications is approved
by men. (Eerdmans)
for he who in these things is serving the Christ, is acceptable to God
and approved of men.
FOR HE WHO IN THIS WAY SERVES
CHRIST: o gar en touto douleuon (PAPMSN) to Christo:
He who gives up his liberty in
a good thing that heretofore his partaking of had resulted in slanderous
speech...the one who does this is the one is truly a bondslave, serving his
Master Christ, submitting his will to that of His Master and like His Master
walking in love (which includes laying down one's rights for the sake of the
higher good of the other brother). This will result in a righteous, peaceful
and joy filled walk which pleases the Father and men will see and deem to be a
worthy walk, a genuine walk. This is surely "love without hypocrisy"
IS ACCEPTABLE TO GOD AND APPROVED BY MEN :
euarestos to theo kai dokimos tois anthropois:
(2Co 4:2,5:11, 8:21, 1Th 1:3,4, Ja 2:18-26, 1Pe 3:16)
God judges the inward motives.
Man sees the outward effects. If righteousness, peace and joy are being
progressively manifest in our life, this could only come from a heart
surrendered to God, the "branch" bearing fruit because he or she is abiding
in the Vine, walking in obedience to the truth, in context not holding on to
his or her rights concerning external,
non essentials but laying down his or her rights for the sake of eternal lasting fruit.
(dokimos) (related verb "dokimazo"
Conveys the idea of approval
after testing and was commonly applied in the Greco-Roman world to the
practice of assessing the genuineness and value of precious metals like
gold and silver. The metal was given a fiery test and if it came out
"persevering and enduring", the metal was judged to be "proven",
"authentic" or "genuine." This word group is also found in an
early manuscript, referring to the action of an examining board putting
its approval upon those who had successfully passed the examination for
the degree of Doctor of Medicine.
7x in NT: Ro 16:10,1Co 11:19, 2Co 10:18, 2Co 13:7, 2Ti 2:15-see
notes, Jas 1:12)
One gets an added sense of the "dokimos"
by studying several secular uses of the antonym "Adokimos"
(G96) (unapproved) which was used to refer to a COUNTERFEIT COIN that
had been tested and found to be below the standard weight and thus was rejected,
to a COWARDLY SOLDIER who had failed the test in the hour of battle, to a
REJECTED CANDIDATE for office whom the citizens regarded as useless, to a
building STONE which the builders rejected because on examination the stone
was found to have a flaw which if used might jeopardize the structural
integrity of the building. Such stones were marked with a capital "A"
(for Adokimos) and were discarded, having been deemed unfit to be
utilized in the construction of the building.
Ponder the practical
application these pictures conger up in your mind for us as believers who
are as approved
"living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for
a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God
through Jesus Christ" (1Pe 2:5-note).
We may be the "only Bible" many in the skeptical world will ever read as
they "read" how we live with and treat one another over Christmas trees
length of hair and color of the carpet in the sanctuary, etc, etc. How vital
eternally important to our witness is our proper conduct in these "little"
non essential externals!
challenging declaration that...
"By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love
for one another." (Jn 13:35)
gave us a challenging command to...
"Do ALL things WITHOUT grumbling or disputing that you may prove
yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in
the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as
lights in the world". (Php 2:14, 15-note)
Barnhouse has this helpful note on
"In the ancient world there
was no banking system as we know it today, and no paper money. All money was
made from metal, heated until liquid, poured into molds and allowed to cool.
When the coins were cooled, it was necessary to smooth off the uneven edges.
The coins were comparatively soft and of course many people shaved them
closely. In one century, more than eighty laws were passed in Athens, to
stop the practice of shaving down the coins then in circulation. But some
money changers were
men of integrity, who would accept no
counterfeit money. They were men of honor
who put only genuine full weighted money into circulation. Such men were
called "dokimos" or "approved".
F B Meyer
writes (Our Daily Homily)...
Dean Howson renders this verse thus:
“He who lives in these things as Christ’s bondsman is well-pleasing to
God, and cannot be condemned by men.” There are two rules, therefore, to
be observed by us when we consider our behaviour in that great
borderland which lies between the dark and light, the clearly wrong and
clearly right. We are all conscious of habits and tastes, of
inclinations towards certain forms of amusement and recreation, of
methods of life, which do not contravene any distinct law of God, but
are certainly open to question. It is such things that fall within the
scope of these two principles.
First, we must always remember that we are Christ’s bondservants. — Let
us look then, every day and hour, and as to the mental habit, every
moment, upon Jesus Christ as our Master. Saintly George Herbert chose
that to be, as it were, his best — beloved aspect of his Savior; “My
Master, Jesus.” “An oriental fragrancy, my Master.” Let us do the same.
Let us wear the word next the heart, next the will; nay, let it sink
into the very springs of both, deeper every day. And as each fresh
question arises in our life, let us stand close beside Him, noticing the
expression of His face, asking Him what He would desire, and always
reckoning that the least suggestion of his preference is law. “None of
us liveth to himself for, whether we live, we live unto the Lord.”
Second, we must always bear in mind the spiritual life of others. — We
are to put no stumbling block, or occasion for falling, in another’s
way. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor drink wine, nor to do any
other thing, whereby our brother is made to stumble. Let us each of us
please his neighbor for good ends, to build him up; for Christ pleased
pursue the things which
peace and the
building up of
Greek: Ara oun
ta tes eirenes diokomen (1PPAS) kai ta
tes oikodomes tes eis allelous
Amplified: So let us then definitely aim for and eagerly
pursue what makes for harmony and for mutual upbuilding (edification
and development) of one another. (Amplified
Bible - Lockman)
NLT: So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to
build each other up. (NLT
- Tyndale House)
Phillips: So let us concentrate on the things which make
for harmony, and on the growth of one another's character.
Wuest: Accordingly, therefore, the things of peace let us be
eagerly and earnestly seeking after, and the things which edify, which
edification is with a view to the edification of one another.
So, then, the things of peace may we pursue, and the things of
building up one another;
SO THEN LET US PURSUE
THE THINGS WHICH MAKE FOR PEACE: Ara oun ta tes eirenes diokomen (1PPAS):
So let us concentrate on the things which make for harmony, and on the
growth of one another's character.
So then -
This phrase is frequent
in Paul's writings and means in essence "therefore then" which draws a conclusion --
therefore motivated by these worthy goals of being acceptable to God and
approved by men we (note here Paul uses "we" thus including
himself) are to
"...pursue the things which make for peace..."
Because of the great "benefits", Paul is exhorting all believers to have
more than a slight interest in these "things". Webster's 1828 Dictionary
definition of "pursue" gives us a sense of Paul's zeal here --
follow with a view to overtake; to follow with haste; to chase; as, to
pursue a hare. To seek; to use measures to obtain. To endeavor to attain
to; to strive to reach or gain."
(4 other uses in Romans: Ro 9:30, Ro 9:31, Ro 12:13, Ro 12:14) This word is
often translated "persecute" in NT but here
means to follow or press hard after or pursue with earnestness and diligence
in order to obtain an objective. Go after with the desire of obtaining, like
a runner in a race running and exerting with every fiber within him to reach
Dioko is in
press hard after = let this be your lifestyle. Not perfection but the
direction! The pattern of your life!
insights compare similar uses of dioko
in 1Co 14:1, Php 3:12, Php 3:14, 1Th
5:15, 1Ti 6:11, 2Ti 2:22, Heb 12:14, 1Pe 3:11.
Dioko - 45x
in 44v - Matt 5:10ff, 44; 10:23; 23:34; Luke 11:49; 17:23; 21:12; John
5:16; 15:20; Acts 7:52; 9:4f; 22:4, 7f; 26:11, 14f; Rom 9:30f; 12:13f;
14:19; 1 Cor 4:12; 14:1; 15:9; 2 Cor 4:9; Gal 1:13, 23; 4:29; 5:11;
6:12; Phil 3:6, 12, 14; 1Th 5:15; 1 Tim 6:11; 2 Tim 2:22; 3:12; Heb
12:14; 1 Pet 3:11; Rev 12:13
Only one RACE twill soon be past,
Only what's yielded to and done for and by Christ will last.
What "things" is Paul speaking of? In context the things which make for
peace have been clearly delineated: accepting of one another, giving up our
rights so that we don't cause a brother to stumble or ruin him, not holding
him in contempt, not judging our brother in those areas where the Bible is
silent, and doing so with the full realization that we all have a Master and
He alone is the Judge Whom we shall all stand before to give an
accounting for our stewardship of those truths which when practiced bring
forth the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
Solomon might add
conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments,
because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to
judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil." (Ecc
from verb eiro = to join or bind
together that which has been separated) literally pictures the binding or
joining together again of that which had been separated or divided and thus
setting at one again, a meaning convey by the common expression of one
“having it all together”. It follows that peace is the opposite of division
or dissension. Peace as a state of concord and harmony is the opposite of
war. Peace was used as a greeting or farewell corresponding to the Hebrew
word shalom - "peace to you".
is defined by Cremer as
"a state of untroubled, undisturbed
peace as a state of
tranquility or quiet, freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or
emotions, harmony in personal relations, a pact or agreement to end
hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity,
state of repose in contrast with or following strife or turmoil.
Eirene can convey the sense of an inner rest, well being and
harmony. The ultimate peace is the state of reconciliation with God,
effected by placing one's faith in the gospel. In eschatology, peace is
prophesied to be an essential characteristic of the Messianic kingdom
is a condition of freedom from disturbance, whether outwardly, as of a
nation from war or enemies or inwardly, as in the current context,
within the soul. Peace
implies health, well-being, and prosperity.
Eirene is the root the English "serene" (= clear and free of storms
or unpleasant change, stressing an unclouded and lofty tranquility!) and
beneath the Almighty's shade,
My griefs expire, my troubles cease;
Thou, Lord, on whom my soul is stayed,
Wilt keep me still in perfect peace.
picture of eirene is reflected in our modern expression "having
it all together." Everything is in place and as it ought to be. When
things are disjointed, there is lack of harmony and well being. When
they are joined together, there is both. Thus Hamlet cried,
“The times are out of joint. O,
cursed spite that I was ever born to set them right.”
with strife and thus denotes the absence or end of strife. Peace for a
believer is not the absence of danger but is the presence of God (cp Psalm
See Spurgeon's note).
Peace is not a hallowed feeling that comes over us in church but is the
supernatural fruit of a heart set deep in God and His trustworthy Word. And
so peace is the conscious possession of adequate resources for God's Name is
"I Am ____________." (Fill in the blank with your need... not your
greed, but your need!) Peace rules your day when Christ (and His Word) rules
your mind, because peace comes not from the absence of trouble, but from the
presence of God.
Ray Stedman notes
Whenever you are doing something
that threatens the peace of a community, or a church, or a group, or an
individual, so that they cannot handle it, so that they become angry and
upset, then back off. You who are strong, bear that burden. Do not insist
on your rights. Some Christians get so intent on having their rights that
I have seen them indulge in the very presence of people they knew would be
highly offended by what they did, simply because they wanted to show how
free they were. Paul says that kind of thing is absolutely wrong.
J C Philpot devotional
What a sweetness is contained in the
word "peace." Bunyan well represents this in his Pilgrim's Progress, where
he speaks of Christian, after having been entertained in the "house
Beautiful," going to sleep in the chamber called "Peace." And what blessed
sensations are couched in that word "Peace!" It was the legacy that Jesus
left to his Church. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not
as the world gives, give I unto you;" and the Apostle says of it that it
"passes all understanding."
Now many even of the Lord's people seem
as if they wanted and were expecting raptures. There is, I believe, a vast
deal of enthusiasm in the natural mind of man, as is evident from what I
may call its religious history in all ages; and this leads many who, in
other points, seem rightly taught to look for wonderful visions,
ecstasies, and raptures, things which nature can imitate, or Satan, as an
"angel of light," counterfeit to delude souls.
But I believe Satan cannot speak gospel
peace to the conscience; he cannot bring a holy calm into the soul. He
could lash the waters of Gennesaret into a storm; but there was only One
who could say to them, "Peace, be still." Satan may raise up a storm in
our carnal mind, but he cannot allay it; he cannot pour oil upon the
waves; nor calm the troubled breast, and enable it to rest upon God. Of
all spiritual blessings, none seem preferable to peace; and I believe that
it is what a child of God covets more than anything. For, O how much is
implied in the word "peace!" Is not man by nature an enemy to God? Then to
be saved he must be reconciled; and that implies peace. Is not his heart
often troubled, as the Lord said, "Let not your heart be troubled?" Then
he needs peace. And is not his mind often agitated and tossed up and down
by conflicting emotions? Then he needs peace to calm it. And when he has
to lie upon his dying bed, O, if he can but lie there in peace, peace with
God through Jesus Christ, and a holy calm comes over his soul, flowing out
of manifested mercy and felt reconciliation, it will beat all the raptures
in the world!
To be blessed with peace, through the
blood of sprinkling, before the soul glides out of its earthly tabernacle
to enter into the haven of peace above--this indeed will make a death-bed
happy, this will extract every thorn from the dying pillow, and enable the
departing believer to say, with holy Simeon, "Lord, now let you your
servant depart in peace, for my eyes have seen your salvation." (J. C.
Philpot. Daily Portions)
AND THE BUILDING UP OF ONE ANOTHER : kai ta tes oikodoms tes eis
allelous: (1Th 5:11, Acts 20:32)
Building up (3619)
oikos = dwelling, house + doma = building or demo =
to build) is literally the building of a house and came to refer to
any building process. Oikodome can refer to the actual process of
building or construction. Another literal meaning is as a reference to a
building or edifice which is the result of a construction process (Mt
24:1, Mk 13:1, 2 are the only literal uses of oikodome in the NT).
(See sermon by
Alexander Maclaren entitled "Edification")
Oikodome is also used by Paul in
(Compare similar uses in
2Co 13:10, Eph 4:12-note,
When used literally
oikodome refers to the building of a house (oíkos )
and when used figuratively as Paul does in this verse
refers to the spiritual edification of one another which can include what we
say to one another in regard to non essentials.
Note Paul's admonition
Let "no unwholesome ("rotten") word proceed from
your mouth, but only such a word as is good for EDIFICATION (oikodome)
according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who
hear." (Eph 4:29-note)
Webster's dictionary says our English "edify"
is derived from the Latin aedificare to instruct or improve
spiritually, in turn from Latin, to erect a house, in turn from
aedes temple, house. What a picture of the power of our words in regard
Do my words tear down a brother, either because I despise
his ignorance of his liberty or because I judge him for what I perceive as
abuse of his liberty? Or do I build up my brother with words that are good
for edification according to the need of the moment" (Eph 4:29)? This chapter is incredibly convicting isn't
In (1Cor 8:1) Paul warned the Corinthian church that KNOWLEDGE makes one
arrogant (and predisposes them to causing another brother to stumble or be
ruined in these "grey" areas) but LOVE edifies or builds up. Considering
that scripture is the best commentary on scripture, examine Paul's
parallel thoughts in (1Cor 8:1-13) where he instructs us on how to handle
the "do's, don't and differences".
Love says I know that I have the liberty to act in this "grey" area but I
will chose not to do it because it might stumble or ruin my brother who is
watching me "indulge". This then is walking in love w/o hypocrisy (Ro 12:9),
being fully devoted to one another in brotherly love, thoroughly giving
preference to one another in honor (Ro 12:10-note),
continually owing nothing but love to one another (Ro 13:8-note)
and so doing with the realization that "the Judge is standing right at the
door" (James 5:9),
that "the night is almost gone and the day is at hand" (Ro 13:12-note)
and that we all have an appointment on our "day timer" to appear at the Bema
seat of Christ (Ro 14:10, 11, 12-note,
The Disciple's Study Bible has this note...
Paul's teaching here is of supreme importance as one of the
building blocks for a consistent approach to Christian decision-making.
Though Paul claimed his freedom in Christ, he still (1Co 9:1,19, 10:25, 26,
27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33) highlighted the need to be sensitive to
others' consciences. Our conscience may not be violated by a particular
action, but such an action may be perceived as immoral by other
individuals living out of another level of ethical maturity. For them
moral confusion may set in. Does one live life, then, continually bending
to the dictates of others' consciences? Yes, when the motivation is to
nurture others in the understanding of the kingdom of God and to bring
honor to God. No, when the bending limits or alters our own sense of
maturity in God. A fragile balance results, and constant vigilance to such
a tension is necessary. We must avoid an attitude of condemnation and a
feeling of guilt. We must seek to mature and help others mature. Above
all, we must seek to avoid quarrels and divisions in God's church. Church
unity is more important than my freedom.
Warren Wiersbe writes that...
Our desire must not be to get everybody
to agree with us; our desire must be to pursue peace (Ro 12:18-note "If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with
all men"), not cause others to stumble, and help others to mature in Christ.
What starts as grieving (Ro 14:15)
can become offending (Ro 14:21),
and causing others to stumble and fall (Ro 14:13, 21). The result might be destroying a brother’s or
sister’s faith (Ro 14:15, 20). Is destroying another just to have your own
way worth it?
W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor
(allelon) means each other and speaks of a mutuality or sharing of
sentiments between two persons or groups of persons. Allelon is a
reciprocal pronoun which denotes that the encouragement and edification is
to be a mutual beneficial activity. As each submits, encourages, loves, etc,
the other members benefit. This is the God's description and prescription
for a body of believers.
is a common NT phrase (especially in Paul's letters) with most uses
relating to the building up of the body of Christ. As such the "one
anothers" in the NT would make an excellent Sunday School study (or
topical sermon series), taking time to meditate on each occurrence, asking
whether it is being practiced (in the Spirit-note)
in your local church and seeking to excel still more (cp Php 1:9, 10, 11 -notes;
Below is a list of the NT uses of one another (be sure to check
for the most
16; 13:8; 14:13, 19; 15:5, 7, 14; 16:16; 1Co 6:7; 7:5; 11:33; 12:25;
16:20; 2Co 13:12; Ga 5:13, 15, 26; Ep 4:2, 25, 32; 5:19, 21; Php 2:3; Col
3:9, 13, 16; 1Th 3:12; 4:9, 18; 5:11, 13, 15; 2Th 1:3; Heb 3:13; 10:24,
25; James 4:11; 5:9, 16; 1Pe 1:22; 4:8, 9, 10; 5:5, 14; 1Jn 1:7; 3:11, 23;
4:7, 11, 12; 2Jn 1:5