Romans 14:13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. 16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. 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.
Definition of “stumbling block”: (Greek word is proskomma) “provide an opportunity for a fellow believer to do what they consider sin” Definition of “hindrance”: (Greek word is skandalon) “To act in a way that another believer believes is sin and tempts the believer to do what he considers sin. Definition of “grieve”: (Greek word is lupatai) “to cause a fellow believer sever emotional or mental distress” Definition of “destroy”: (Greek word is appolooe) “to cause a fellow believer to be ruined in their walk with God by doing what they consider sin in his presence.”
Paul is teaching this local church how to love one another. Some in the church are judging others in the church and having nothing to do with them. When we do that we cut off parts of our body that we need to do the work Jesus has given us to do. Instead of judging another’s lifestyle as sin, we first need to find if the scriptures call it sin. If the scriptures don’t call a lifestyle sin, but our brother in the Lord thinks it is sin, then it is sin for our brother. If the practice our brother thinks is sin is done by our brother, then he is sinning, not in action, but in attitude. We are to love our brother by not doing in in his presence or providing an opportunity for him to do what he considers sin. An example: If our brother thinks drinking alcohol is sin, then we are to not drink alcohol in his presence and tempt him to sin. We are not to invite him over and offer only alcoholic beverages and put him in a position to sin. Even though having a drink is not a sin in the scripture or in our practice of faith, we are to limit our freedom in the presence of a brother who thinks it is sin.
Read on in the passage and discover what a believer is not to do and what a believer is to do and why. We will cover more of this passage tomorrow.