November 13, 2018

Faith Is Not Wishing

Romans 14:22–23

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22 The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.1

Footnotes

[1] 14:23 Some manuscripts insert here 16:25–27

In Context:

17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. 20 Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. 21 It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. 22 The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

Faith Is Not Wishing



Bio | Scott Coy

A Watermark veteran, I have had the pleasure of serving in various ministries over the last 18 years—currently supporting our community team. My wife Susan and I are celebrating 38 years of marriage, which alone stands as a testimony to God's grace and kindness. Together, we have two children: Stephen, married to Chelsea; and Sheridan, married to Ben. Collectively, they have given us five precious granddaughters who refer to me as "Boss." Susan and I are still with the core community group we started the church with some 18 years ago, but not without a little "scraped paint."

 

Central Truth

Certain areas of conviction in the Christian life are areas of freedom, but not reckless freedom.

Devotional | Romans 14:22–23

I didn't enjoy much freedom before I trusted Christ. I was held captive by performance and comparison. If I performed "better" than others, then I felt "better" about myself . . . for a...

I didn't enjoy much freedom before I trusted Christ. I was held captive by performance and comparison. If I performed "better" than others, then I felt "better" about myself . . . for a while. Freedom came with truth, and truth came by learning the Word of God. I was free to reshape my conscience and free from the burden of judging others' actions. Romans 14:22-23 gives light to this real freedom, faith, and conscience.

The context of this passage is food, and the issue is the freedom believers have to follow their conscience when making decisions regarding food. The healthiest of consciences are shaped by the Word of God. Many, however, have consciences that are shaped by childhood, mentors, and even experiences. All can be accurate, but the true test and best source for the conscience is Scripture. This passage speaks to the role of a healthy, well-informed conscience regarding the eating of certain foods, and it remains the liberty of the individual believer.

A wider application of the use of conscience and faith might be drawn but with certain precautions. This passage should not be used to create one's own theology that breaks from orthodoxy or written biblical truths. The freedom that believers have to disagree on issues—such as food, use of money, the size of our homes, or the cars we drive—are indeed freedoms. But they too must be guided by Scripture and are not free to interpretation in accordance with our own biases. Acting on the conviction of Scripture is a practice of faith. To act otherwise is to make a decision motivated by self, which is a sin. Here's the kicker: it's not my job (or yours) to judge another's conscience. Let's leave that to the individual and the Holy Spirit.

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Discussion Questions

1. Can you think of areas that you might "deem" unacceptable, but that other believers are free to indulge in?

2. How has Scripture reshaped your conscience regarding dos and don'ts of the Christian life? 

3. What freedom do you now enjoy and what areas have you brought into submission that once held you in chains?

8 Comments available

Britt Starnes about 3 hours ago

Scott, Awesome devo! Thanks for all you do/have done for Watermark!

Sheetal Agrawal about 3 hours ago

I will always remember one of my favorite Scott Coy moments- teaching me to walk in freedom and hold things loosely while yielding to the conviction of the Holy Spirit as we were standing in front of Abraham’s gate in Israel. You crushed Romans 14 like a “boss.” Thanks for that reminder from 2 years ago!

greg jones about 3 hours ago

Great title. Can’t read it without being reminded of Hebrews 11:1.

I wish that when christians spoke around the water cooler I heard this less-Well I believe_ and I just wish_. That’s not faith, I have believe we will do more.

Faith seems to be like walking toward a picture window to see a view better, barefooted on broken glass. It gives you humble feet, for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

Michael Scaman about 3 hours ago

There is a time to say Romans 1:16 and a time to hold back and say Romans 14:22 and wisdom knows the difference

Hope Harris about 8 hours ago

GM Scott great to see you on JTJ, I love this statement: “The healthiest conscience is shaped by the word of God.”

I have just finished listening to Jackie Hill Perrys book “Gay Girl, Good God.” One of the things that has stood out to me is how the Word of God has shaped her new life in Christ.

When we surrender to God’s will and allow His word to mold our lives we become secure in our faith.

Sue Bohlin about 9 hours ago

Scott, your devo is the single best thing on the conscience I’ve ever read or heard! Bless you!

My takeaway from today’s passage is to resolve our doubts before taking action. That’s one way to love God with our minds.

Lindsey Driscoll about 10 hours ago

Scott thank you for the devo and for leading in different ways over the past many years! Q3- Verse 14:23 reads “everything that does not come from faith is sin.” I thinking about boundraries the Holy Spirit has guided me to set in place at different seasons of life. Phone usage once held me in chains of pornography addiction. But boundraries with phone content, usage, time, and location have become a blessing to freely use the tool of a phone for communication. In Paul’s writing to the Romans over food he reminds us that our conviction is “between yourself and God.” 14:22. Instead of condemning, or holding all people to what boundraries God has led us to for freedom, we can rejoice that God made each of us different in the body of Christ and as we walk in different struggles we can help point each other back to Christ.

Hugh Stephenson about 10 hours ago

GM Scott! What a joy it is to see you leading us today!!

I’m centering on the word “For” in 23b.

Have faith? Then surrender. That’s what God asks me and then directs me to do repeatedly.

Until 2012 I lived 55 years betting with Pascal’s Wager, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal’s_Wager.

Another friend calls it “fire insurance”.

The fork in the road, (Psalm 1), came in 2012 when God showed me that a life of real faith could lead to a life of Real Peace, http://www.watermark.org/blog/real-peace#.

I learned that question #1 was “Is the resurrection true?”. Question #2 was “Is the Bible reliable?”

Praise God that He made the answers so clear to me.

Q3 – The freedom I now enjoy is deep spiritual peace when I surrender to an eternal perspective, (Colossians 3:2). The broken chains are the disabling fears and anxieties that come from serving me rather than surrendering to Him.

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