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Romans 14, 1-6

Romans 14, 1-6

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Published by glennpease

Romans xiv. 1 — 6.

Romans xiv. 1 — 6.

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 26, 2013
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ROMAS 14, 1-6REV. RALPH WARDLAW, D.D.Romans xiv. 1 — 6.
** Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, bnt not to doubtful dispntations.For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eatetli herbs.Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which e.it-eth not judge him that eateth • for God hath received him. Who art thou that judgest another man*8 servant? to his own master he stundeth or falleth; vea,he shall be holden up : for God is able to make him stand. One man esteemethone day above another; another esteemeth every day alike. Let every mun befully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardetb it untothe Lord ; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it.He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eat-eth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks."
Thebb are two parties, or two descriptions of persons, referredto in this chapter, to each of which monitory directions areaddressed in regard to the feelings to be cherished and theconduct to be pursued toward the other. In order to ourrightly understanding these directions, as well as the generallessons of the chapter, and the points in which they affectourselves, it becomes indispensably necessary that we haveaccurate conceptions, as far as we can attain to them, re-specting the situation and principles of those respectivelycounselled.The subject of difference between the two parties is evi-dently a part of the Mosaic law. Two topics are specified — the distinction between clean and unclean meats, that is,meats which, according to that law, might be eaten and meatswhich were prohibited, as ceremonially polluting the eaterand unfitting him for the instituted services of divine worship204 LECTURE LXI.
tinder the ancient dispensation, and subjecting him to pun-ishment : — ^and the distinction between the various festivalsor holy days appointed for Israelitish observance and theother ordinary days of the year : — verse second, " For one be-lieveth that he may eat all things : another, who is weak,eateth herbs:" — and verse fiftli, "One man esteemeth oneday above another ^ another esteemeth every day alike. Letevery man be fully persuaded in his own mind."The first of the two classes of believers appears to haveconsisted of Jewish converts, who did not as yet feel theirconsciences released from the obligation of observing therites of the ancient ceremonial, but still conceived thatceremonial to be binding upon them, not clearly discerningits fulfilment and repeal under the GrospeL The second wascomposed of two descriptions of individuals — ^first, of Gentilebelievers, who were under no obligation to such observances ;and, secondly, of those converts from amongst the Jews,who were persuaded of their liberty, and disposed to use it,regarding the ritual of the ancient dispensation as havinganswered its temporary end, and, if not formally and by ex-press revelation, yet virtually and in conformity to ancientprophetic intimations, having been done away in Christ.With regard to Gentile converts, the first and largest por-tion of this class, there could be no dispute. Their case hadbeen discussed and decided. By a decree which had in itall the decisiveness of apostolic authority, their freedom hadbeen affirmed and chartered. The Holy Ghost had dictatedthe declaration of their liberty : — " The apostles, and elders,and brethren, send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch, and Syria, and Cilicia: Forasmuchas we have heard, that certain which went out horn us havetroubled you with words, subverting your souls, sajring, Yemust be circumcised, and keep the law ; to whom we gave nosuch commandment : it seemed good unto us, being assem-bled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with ourbeloved Barnabas and Paul; men that have hazarded theirlives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ We have senttherefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same
ROMAS XIV. 1—6. 205things by mouth. For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost,and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than thesenecessary things ; that ye abstain from meats offered to idols,and from blood, and from things strangled, and from forni-cation : from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well."" And as they went through the cities, they delivered themthe decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostlesand elders which were at Jerusalem. And so were thechurches established in the faith, and increased in numberdaily."*The Grentiles, then, were at full liberty. ay, more.For them to have submitted to the imposition of this yoke,in compliance with the dogmas and requisitions of the Juda-izing teachers, who taught the doctrine that had caused theappeal to the Apostles, and produced the decision we have just adverted to, — ^would have been a renunciation of thegrace of the Gospel and of the benefits and blessings whichit bestows : — " Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewithChrist hath made us free, and be not entangled again withthe yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For Itestify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is adebtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect untoyou, whosoever of you are justified by the law ; ye are fallenfrom grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith." t According to this statement, theirsubmitting to circumcision implied their seeking to be justifiedby the Law; in which case, they forfeited salvation both bythe Law and by the Gospel For the Gospel being a scheme of grace, they necessarily renounced its offers in having at all re-course to the Law, or to any other ground of dependence, inwhole or in part, than the mercy which it revealed through thecross ; — and in having recourse at all to the Law, they becamedebtors to do the wkole, — a perfect fulfilment of all that it

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