Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, December 4, 2023

Life In The Body part 50 – Romans, part 225

Romans 14:23 But the one who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because it is not of faith. And whatever is not of faith is sin.

Here we end chapter 14 with a “bang.”  Is this really all about eating with a clear conscious?  In other words, can it be true that everything is okay to do or eat as long as we don’t feel guilty about it?  That’s what some theologians have put forward.  Heaven forbid, and perish such thinking.  To actually believe that, we would have to believe that committing sin is okay as long as we’re not feeling guilty about it.  Let’s remember the biblical definition of sin.  1John 3:4  Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. KJV (I prefer the KJV here.)

Every sinner rationalizes his/her sin by saying, “I only do what I can handle.”  In other words, “Sin is only sin if I feel bad about it.”  The Bible addresses such thinking.  1Timothy 4:1 Now the Ruach clearly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, following deceitful spirits and teachings of demons 2 through the hypocrisy of false speakers—whose own conscience has been seared.  A seared conscience is no longer sensitive, and cannot be trusted.

Then what does it mean at the end of the chapter, Romans 14:23b And whatever is not of faith is sin?  This goes to our understanding of right and wrong.  Who decides?  God is our Father.  The meaning of the word “father” is “decider.”  God sent His Son and gave us His Word so that we would know how He has already decided all the issues of life.  When we disobey God’s known decisions, that is sin, even if we don’t want to admit it.

Remember our definition of faith from yesterday.  Faith is belief that the promises of God are true.  You can believe a lie, but that doesn’t make it the truth.  Our faith (what we believe) must be in and consistent with the promises of God.  Everything else is either sin or leads to sin.  Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of realities not seen…. 6a Now without faith it is impossible to please God.

Therefore; Romans 14:23b …whatever is not of faith is sin.  Shalom shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Mon 4-Dec-2023 21st of Kislev, 5784
Ge 37:12-22 1 Sa 11 Ps 51 Mk 8 (1 Co 10)