No One Lives To Himself

No One Lives to Himself

Romans 14:1-13

14 Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; [a]and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks. For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died [b]and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of [c]Christ. 11 For it is written: “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.” 12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not judge one another [d]anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.

What is going on in the church in Rome? Romans was written about 25 years after Paul’s conversion. He writes to further explain the glorious gospel of Jesus. And as usual, to address certain problems in the church. God had brought two different groups of people together: Jews learning to stand in the righteousness of faith and reject legalism, and Gentiles learning to obey God’s moral law instead of the lawlessness they had been accustomed to. If the church was going to reach both groups, those mature in the faith needed to help care for those less knowledgable about the faith and those still fearful when dealing with old forms of religion. To make matters worse, some of the new believers were shocked at what they saw long-time believers doing. Sound familiar? Nothing new under the sun.

Paul tells those strong in the faith to adopt the weaker in the faith to enter into a true love relationship, not to criticize them. They should be patient with those less knowledgable. Many in Rome had strong feelings about not eating meat sold in the public market because most of it came from sacrifices conducted in pagan temples and there were demons associated with these sacrifices. Some had come out of that environment only recently and still felt the darkness and demonic oppression associated with those sacrifices. It probably stirred up old memories. Others had been away from it long enough that it held no memory for them. They had the confidence that once blessed by God, it no longer had any demonic association. There were also Jewish believers who only wanted meat slaughtered according to Scriptural guidelines.

Look around you, we have a wide variety of people from a wide variety of backgrounds and past history with the world. WE all have a different story and paths that led to our salvation.

Paul needs the church to understand is that what really matters is the person’s motivation and conscience. Whether you eat or do not eat, it must be to honor the Lord. Paul warns the church to not “judge” neither a brother who is strong in the faith nor one who is weak in the faith concerning non-essential matters. “Let us no longer judge” is NOT expanded to mean we passively tolerate sin and moral depravity. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise. (for all you “don’t judge me people”)

Paul’s comments are directed toward specific, pastoral issues which had become divisive in the Roman church. He discusses whether or not to eat, special days of worship, and he also mentions the drinking of wine, probably because of widespread drunkenness. Paul then leaves no doubt to the correct theological perspective: do not do anything to cause your brother to sin and Jesus will judge us all.

Let’s talk about the first part- do not do anything to cause your brother to sin.

Ps Matt has been talking about this a lot lately. We are to have such a strong control over our flesh that we are willing to sacrifice our own liberties for the sake of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Apparently, the Corinthian church was having the same problem”

1 Corinthians 8:9-13

But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a [a]stumbling block to those who are weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? 11 And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

Paul tells us, when we cause our brethren to sin, we sin against Christ. Let’s say that you thought drinking Starbucks was a sin because of their support for a godless culture. Because of my love for you, I would be willing to never drink another cup of Starbucks coffee the rest of my life. It just does not matter to me. Your conscience and purity is more important to me than what I can or cannot do.

Ladies- how you dress matters. If clothes do not matter, then why don’t you just go naked? If you dress in a manner to cause your brothers to sin, you are in sin.  Drinking- I do not drink at all, I have a past with drugs and alcohol. I loved the drink. For the first several years, I could not be around alcohol at all. Now, it does not bother me because I have gotten victory over it. I also know plenty of Christians that do not have and have never had a problem with alcohol. I had Christians tell me back in those years that I could have a drink. No, I can’t. You can have a drink. I cannot.

Tatoos- I saw a pastor giving tatoos during his sermon in church on a Sunday. Shameful. I know many people that believe tatoos are a sin. Me personally, I believe they are benign. I do not care one way or the other but tatoos are forbidden in Levitical law and they have ties with paganism. Love your brother enough to not flaunt it.

Scripture is clear: if you cause a brother to sin, you are in sin. Period. Take it up with God. Here’s a good question: Why are you so defensive? Do you truly love God and love the brethren? Or do you just want the fellowship the church provides? We are to be known by our love for one another. Agape love is sacrificial love. Is your desire to do something really that important to you that you are willing to cause another to sin? This is selfish and lacks love.

“No one lives to himself and no one dies to himself.  So then each of us shall give an account of himself to God.”

I want to turn to Moses. The following rebuke always seemed so harsh to me,

“Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”” Numbers 20:12 NKJV

There are multiple commentaries on Moses’ sin and why he was greatly punished. I have studied it and have come to the following conclusion: it points to disobedience and indiscretion; to such disloyal conduct and language as to produce a bad impression upon the people (of God), and did not place God’s character before them in its true light. The want of belief with which Moses stood charged was not a want of faith in the power of God, but a want of obedience to the will of God, bearing in mind that the two faults of disbelief and disobedience are but two sides of the same coin, and are perpetually confounded in the language of Scripture. What then was the disobedience of Moses? It is true that Moses struck the rock twice instead of (or perhaps in addition to) speaking to it; but God had bid him take the rod as other times. It was the fact of the bad impression of God that was made upon the people which was the ground of the harsh rebuke. There is a simple conclusion expressed by the Psalmist

Psalm 106:32-33 They angered Him also at the waters of [a]strife, So that it went ill with Moses on account of them;Because they rebelled against His Spirit, So that he (Moses) spoke rashly with his lips.

Moses lost his temper, and in the irritation of the moment spoke and acted in such a way and in such a spirit as to dishonor the Lord; Moses did not hallow God before the people.

Luke 12:48But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.

Moses’ job was to reveal to the people the nature and character of God. He was to hallow God’s name before the congregation of Israel.

And so Jesus taught us to pray,

Matthew 6:9 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.

I did a daily awhile back on “taking God’s name in vain”. It’s not just saying that one bad curse word. Taking his name in vain is doing a thing in His name but not honoring Him with our words or actions, such as coming to worship in His house and leaving to go back into the world. His name is to be honored in us, among us and through us to those around us. Enter the above situation with the great leader Moses. Hear the words of our Lord to Moses, “you did not HALLOW Me in the eyes of the children of Israel”. This was a disobedience so severe Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land. Think on that.

“No one lives to himself and no one dies to himself.  So then each of us shall give an account of himself to God.”

Our attention should be on ourselves, examining our motives and behavior to see if we are operating in love or our selfish desires. IS your mantra, “I can do what I want!”?? I can’t even tell you how many times I have heard this cry from rebellious Christians.

Our words and actions should not only seek to honor the Lord above all, but Jesus lets us know that HE is so one with believers, that when we honor one another, we honor Him and when we sin against others, we sin against Him.

Matthew 25:40And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

YOU WILL GIVE AN ACCOUNT. The problem with most Christians is that they do not live with an eternal mindset. They live in the here and now and operate in that realm. Their prayers are selfish and worldly. They amass stuff that cannot really satisfy. They put roots in the world instead of being rooted in heaven. They want comfort instead of character; prosperity instead of perseverance; worldliness instead of godliness. They would rather go on a mission than stay on mission. Whatever makes them look and feel good, that’s the plan. The Spirit prophesied of our generation,

2 Timothy 3:1-2But know this, that in the last days [a]perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

I see so many seek to honor themselves under the guise of doing a work for Jesus. Men shall love themselves more than God. Think about that statement. Put it on. Does it fit you? Examine your heart. Examine your words and actions. Are your words about you and what’s good for you? Do you elevate your thoughts, ways and philosophy? Do you exalt humans and their wants over the Lord? Or are you elevating Jesus and His Word?

The apostle Paul is my hero. Look at his life- just a man like you and me. Yet, he lived his life as one fully surrendered to Christ. He had been crucified with Christ and the life he lived was not his own. He kept eternity in his mind. A whole nation of people sought to kill him and yet he would not quit preaching truth. This is my goal. Do whatever you want to me, say whatever you want about me. I am not serving Him for a mansion, nor do I want a crown. I want to be in His presence for eternity. I just want to sit at His feet. That’s my goal and I will give an account. I refuse to be distracted and I will not fear what man can do to me. The devil seeks to destroy my life, but I’m staying on mission. What about you?

“For it is written: “ As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.” Romans 14:11-12

Ask yourself these questions:

Are we exercising our rights, doing something that negatively influences another believer? Baby Christians are very susceptible. Like a young child, they will follow you and do whatever you do. My spiritual mom Grace

Does your example cause someone to fall back into unbelief? I do not want this recorded of me in His book.

Is your behavior causing another to be reintroduced to an addictive bondage they escaped?

Are you honoring the Lord in your walk? Hallowing His name before others or does your life look like the world?

Is every picture of you on social media partying and drinking? I could name a few people who fall into this category

Women, are you revealing your body parts that should be covered? We are the bride, not the whore of Babylon

Men, are you loving your wife as Christ loves the church? Would someone want to even be a Christian by watching how you love your wife? The marriage is a reflection of Christ and His bride

Parents are you training your children in God’s Word? Singles, are you saving yourself for your spouse? Not living in sin, but in purity? These are things that honor and hallow His name— in us, through us, among us and to those around us.

No one lives to himself. One day will all give an account of our lives to the Lord.

Here’s what I want to leave you with: we need to live with an eternal mindset. One day, I will give an account of my life, my words and my actions. Did I honor God and stay truthful to His Word, hallow His name among others, did I seek HIS HONOR and glory, or to honor my own name? and how did I treat the brethren (last days separation of the sheep and goats)?

I do not have a high opinion of people who have a low opinion of the church and spurn the gathering. It is selfishness. Individual Christianity is not only lifeless, it is godless. We are a holy people, filled with the Holy Spirit. Are you treating the brethren like they are holy? The love of God is displayed in us when we sacrifice for one another and put the brethren and their needs above our own. We have to look different than the world. Our words and actions display what we love-

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