A Verse Few Understand… “Judge Not”

A Verse Few Understand… “Judge Not”

Our theme for July is looking at the judgment and seeing it as God sees it. There are many aspects of judging, for we make judgments every day. Let’s take time to look at one of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible about judging others. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Judge not that you be not judged” (Matt. 7:1).

The evidence that is so misunderstood is best seen when you are discussing the Bible with another and simply restating truths which are found in it. Far too many seek to negate what you have said by accusing you of violating Jesus’ words about not judging others. While the reality is that what you said is what Jesus said, they have felt the force of what you have shown them in the Bible. They hope to end the religious discussion with these words.

To see that these words of Jesus are being misunderstood, look on the same page where they are found and note that Jesus also said, “Beware of false teachers who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Matt. 7:15). How could we beware of these false teachers without making a judgment against them? The fact that Jesus teaches us to beware of the “wolves” shows that not all judging is wrong.

On another occasion Jesus spoke about judging. “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgments” (John 7:24). The One who said do not judge also said judge! He commanded righteous judgment. His words about not judging concerns unrighteous judgment.

What kind of judging did He forbid? Look again at all that He said in the Sermon on the Mount. He describes the situation when one with many faults harshly condemns another. “Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank that is in your own eye” (Matt. 7:3)? This is unrighteous judging.

How will God treat this kind of judging? “For with what judgment you judge you shall be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you” (Matt. 7:2). If we use the standard of sinless perfection on others, God will use that standard on us! God is full of mercy and willingly treats us this way. “Blessed are the merciful, for they will obtain mercy” (Matt. 5:7). Read Psalm 18:24-26 to see David’s description of this. This man of God understood our God.

So do not hesitate to deal with ungodly behavior. Keep yourself out of the discussion and use the words of the Bible in talking to others. Speak the truths of God, using the words of God. They cannot accuse you of judging when the words of judgment are the words of God!

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Until the Harvest… Sowers, Laborers

Until the Harvest… Sowers, Laborers

Before Jesus died, He revealed to the apostles what lay in their future. They were to be sowers of the word of God into hearts that were like wayside, thorny, stony and good soils (Matt. 13:1-9, 18-23). He also told them that in the field they were planting seed which would produce the kingdom of God. He then told them they should expect Satan to come add seeds of evil among the seed the apostles had planted (Matt. 13:24-30, 36-43).

That kingdom began, and Satan began his work by “planting weeds” in the church. He tried to change the very nature of the church into one which demanded all men, especially Gentiles, be circumcised. For the next generation, the church of Jesus struggled with tares (weeds) of Judaism. Take a moment and look around you. The church of Christ is eternal and will always be on the earth, but Satan has never ceased trying to hide it among the tares of religious division.

When the Owner of the field was asked about removing the tares planted by Satan, He said, “Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, ‘First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barns’” (Matt. 13:30). Good seed and tares will be here “until the harvest.”

So, what are we to do until the harvest? Jesus said, “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Matt. 9:38). The time of the harvest is not yet, but He wants us to pray that laborers may be in the fields. He even told the apostles that they were laborers in that field (John 4:38). We need to pray for laborers and to be laborers.

What do we do until the harvest? We need to realize that all of us can be laborers in many ways. Paul spoke of those who planted and those who watered. He then reminded us that it does not make any difference who does any of this work. He said he who sows and he who waters are to do their work realizing it is God who gives the increase (1 Cor. 3:7).

What are we to do until the harvest? Ask God to use you. Lift up your eyes unto the field. Plant, water and ask God to put you in situations where you can be used as one who goes into the world sowing the seed. The fact that others might be better “sowers” or “waterers” than you makes no difference. Remember every seed sown and every drop of water added to the seed together makes for a great harvest.

There is so much that is happening in our world which can only be changed by those who are sowers and waterers, lights in the darkness and salt seasoning the earth. Pray, ask, sow, water, light and salt—let God use you!

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They Got It Wrong… Coelacanth

They Got It Wrong… Coelacanth

The “story” played out so well and it “seemed” plausible—and also, it plugged a major hole in their theory. So, they went with it…big time. For years the coelacanth, a lobed-finned fish, was touted as the creature that took us out of the water onto the land, eventually giving rise to the dinosaurs. It was allegedly the ancestor of all modern land-dwelling tertrapods (four-footed animals).


Another evolution fairy tail.

Prior to 1938, the coelacanth was known only from fossils, which afforded scientists a great deal of speculation when they tried to extrapolate a physiology from the record of the rocks. Certain structures, such as fins, were determined to be the forerunners of legs for all amphibians. With joy abounding, evolutionists designated this as the animal that allowed fish to crawl out of the muck and mire in order to live on dry land.

Textbooks were quick to point out this “missing link” as a transitional animal between water-dwelling and land-dwelling creatures. For instance, one book explains “The coelacanth is the only surviving member of the ancient group of fishes from which modern four-footed land animals are thought to have evolved” (Maton, et al., 1997, p. 105). Another biology textbook has a beautiful picture of this amazing creation with the following caption:

“The living coelacanth, Latimeria chalumnae. Discovered in the western Indian Ocean in 1938, this coelacanth represents a group of fishes that had been thought to be extinct for about 70 million years. Scientists who studied living individuals in their natural habitat at depths of 100 to 200 meters observed them drifting in the current and hunting other fishes at night. Some individuals are nearly 3 meters long; they have a slender, fat-filled swim bladder. Although Latimeria is a very strange animal, its features mark it as a member of the evolutionary line that gave rise to the terrestrial tetrapods” (Raven and Johnson, 1989, p. 857).

It seemed a good fit at the time. The funny looking creature with lobed front fins appeared to be the perfect candidate for evolutionists’ transitional creature. Yet, the truth has shown this to be completely wrong.

In December 1938, a living coelacanth was caught off the coast of Africa, and soon thereafter the evolutionists’ joy turned to consternation when it was determined that the soft anatomy of the coelacanth was nothing like that of an amphibian. A 1999 book review in Nature provided the following commentary regarding the anatomy of coelacanths:

“…it shares very few advanced characteristics with the tetrapods, and this puts it somewhere near the base of the sarcopterygian [vertebrates in which the fin/limbs portion of the skeleton articulates to the girdles by means of a single bone—BH] tree. In a sense, the coelacanth tells us more about the primitive condition of all bony fishes than about the origin of tetrapods” (Janvier, p. 856).

Fast-forward to 2021, when the demand for shark fins prompted fishermen to take their nets deeper. Tony Carnie reported, “a new commercial market in China for shark fins and oil prompted fishers off the southwest coast of Madagascar to set large-mesh gill-nets known as jarifa in deeper waters: a startling number of coelacanths have been landed as by-catch.” Carnie pointed out that this new discovery had recently been published in the South African Journal of Science. In that journal article researchers Andrew Cooke, Michael Bruton and Minosoa Ravololoharinjara reported that many Coelacanths have also been captured off the coast of Madagascar.

Bob Yirka, writing for Phys.Org noted, “The work involved studying catch records made by fishermen, most of whom were using a type of gillnet known as jarifa—they are used to capture sharks in deep water. The nets are placed vertically in the water down to depths of 300 meters in underwater canyons—the same places where coelacanths live. The researchers found far more recorded captures than they were expecting—34 between the years 1987 and 2019, enough to suggest that as many of 100 of them may have actually been captured over the past several decades.”

These and other studies have made it quite apparent that these fish did not live in shallow areas “ready to crawl out onto land.” All the way back in 1998, Peter Forey observed, “Comoran coelacanths live at about 180 meters, below the 18° C isotherm, and inhabit submarine caves formed through recent volcanic activity” (1998, 395:319). These animals, that allegedly were suppose to have crawled out on land, are extremely deep-water fish. Evolutionists got it wrong—these are not fish that lived millions of years ago that walked out on land, and gave rise to the dinosaurs. No, these are fish that live in tremendously deep waters, and they are very much alive today.


Carnie, Tony (2021), “Ghost fish: after 420 million years in the deeps, modern gillnets from shark fin trade drag coelacanths into the light,” Mongabay News, Online https://news.mongabay.com/2021/05/ghost-fish-after-420-million-years-in-the-deeps-modern-gillnets-from-shark-fin-trade-drag-coelacanths-into-the-light/

Forey, Peter (1998), “A Home From Home for Coelacanths,” Nature, 395:319-320, September 24.

Janvier, Philippe (1999), “Coleacanth a’ la Marseillaise,” Nature, 401:854-856, October 28.

Maton, Anthea, Jean Hopkins, Susan Johnson, David LaHart, Maryanna Quon Warner, and Jill D. Wright (1997), Exploring Life Science (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall), second edition.

Raven, Peter H. and George B. Johnson (1989), Biology (St. Louis, MO: Times Mirror/Mosby College Publishing), second edition.

Yirka, Bob (2021), Advent of gillnets has led to significant numbers of coelacanth captures, May 24th, https://phys.org/news/2021-05-advent-gillnets-significant-coelacanth-captures.html.

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Recientemente leí en un grupo de filosofía y “exégesis” un cuestionamiento bastante serio a 1 Corintios 14:34 y la prohibición de Pablo a las mujeres en las asambleas públicas de la Iglesia. El texto era categorizado como “inexistente” con una imagen del manuscrito vaticano (Uno de los principales unciales) donde se asume de forma rápida y poco objetiva que quienes utilizaban ese texto simplemente ignoraban por completo el griego y eran culpables de ignorancia.

            Ciertamente no soy experto en Griego ni mucho menos pero considero con vehemencia que esta crítica necesita una respuesta forjada con respeto y adornada con la verdad. Cito textualmente las palabras del señor Juan Hernández (que son públicas en Facebook) de su artículo pertinente a esta cuestión, él escribe:

¿Que son los Obelos en los manuscritos antiguos griegos, en este caso, del Nuevo Testamento?

El obelismo es la práctica de anotar con marcas en los márgenes de los manuscritos antiguos. Los editores colocaron un obelo en los márgenes de los manuscritos, especialmente en documentos atribuidos a Homero, para indicar ciertas líneas que pueden no haber sido escritas por el mismo Homero. El sistema fue desarrollado por Aristarchus y se usó notablemente más tarde por Orígenes en su Hexapla. Orígenes marcó palabras espurias entre obelos y metobelos. Originalmente, este signo (o una línea simple) se usaba en manuscritos antiguos para marcar pasajes que se sospechaba que estaban corrompidos o falsos; La práctica de agregar tales notas marginales se conoció como se mencionó al principio (Obelismos)”

Mientras estamos completamente de acuerdo en referencia al obelismo, desentonamos por completo con el uso de los mismo en algunos pasajes del Nuevo Testamento. Es importante recalcar que en este caso al tener frente a nosotros el Manuscrito Vaticano la característica principal del mismo y su relevancia es que es un Uncial; por lo que no posee notas en los márgenes, como otros manuscritos lo harían inclusive el mismo texto masorético. Debe de entenderse entonces que el uso del Obelismo en este manuscrito, en este pasaje de Corintios particularmente NO ES de ninguna forma una nota explicativa  y no puede ni debe ser comparado con la Ilíada de Homero, pues es un documento formal, santo, con el más alto estándar.

¿Qué significa el uso de Obelos en el texto Griego de 1 Cor.14:34?

Bien, la duda que ha existido no es sobre la autenticidad de los versículos 34-35, sino más bien la correspondencia de los mismos. Varios Testigos Occidentales de fuerza trasponen los versículos para que aparezcan después del V.40 (D, F, G, 88, entre otros), Estas modificaciones de los escriban reflejan los intentos de los escribas por hallar un lugar más adecuado contextualmente hablando. Personalmente considero que ambos versículos están muy bien ubicados en la manera tradicional que ha leído la R.V. 1960, la razón que me convence a tener tal apreciación son los testigos que inclinan la balanza para la inclusión de ambos versos aquí y no después del v.40.  A favor de la inclusión tal como la  tenemos figuran los testigos (manuscritos de importancia) tales como: Alejandrino, A, B, K, 0243, 33, 81, 104, 181, 326, 330, 436, 451, 614, 629, 630, 1241, 1739, 1877, 1881, 1962, 1984, Byz… entre otros testigos más. También en la escala de dificultad de crítica de Textos (Disciplina que estudia estos asuntos), el pasaje alcanza “ (B) ” indicando así que no existe mayor dificultad alrededor de los dos versículos de 1 Corintios 14:34.

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Romans Fourteen, Love, Fighting, Opinion

Romans Fourteen, Love, Fighting, Opinion

Romans, chapter fourteen, is specifically written to address how stronger Christians should love and accept their weaker brethren, but not for the purpose of wrangling or fighting with them over doubtful and disputable matters of opinion (in other words, those things which God has not specifically addressed one way or the other). Verse 1 says:


  • “Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations”(KJV).
  • “Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things”(NKJV)
  • “As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions” (ESV).
  • “Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions” (NASB 1977).


After establishing exactly what he is addressing, Paul then goes on in verses 2-9 to explain how some brethren regard certain days and foods to be off-limits, while others are of the belief that all such days and foods are acceptable on the same level. However, the main thrust of these verses is not the days or the foods, but that both Christian brethren, fully convinced in their own minds of what they have come to believe regarding these matters of opinion, are deeply loved and completely accepted by God, and therefore should be by each other – even when they areof the exact opposite opinion on those very same matters:


“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; 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 and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.”


The application of this text’s truths to the mask issue within our belovedbrotherhoodis obvious: Brother “A” strongly believes that he must live a markedly different life from the non-Christians around him;that he must not fear(or even appear to fear) what they fear (Isa. 8:12-13KJV) – including fearing either getting, giving, or even dying of Covid as so many outside of Christ do (Ps. 23:4, 46:1-11; 2 Tim. 1:7; Heb. 2:14-15).Brother “A” fully believes that he should live His faith in such a way as to show other Christians by his example, what a life lived in total trust in God should look like no matter the risk (Acts 20:22-24). Thus, because of those beliefs,he is convinced thatit is acomplete compromise of his Christian faith and convictions for him to wear a mask for those reasons.To him, to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Phil. 1:19-21).

On the other hand, you have brother/sister “Z,” who is just as completely convinced and convicted, that due to either personal pre-existing health conditions;perhaps because they fear either getting, giving, dying of,or even contributing to another’s death due to Covid; or maybe even in order to just simply make others around them feel more comfortable and at ease, that they should wear a mask at all times in public.

The Scripture says “Let each be fully convinced in his own mind” (vs. 5). Because the fact is,that just as we see in that same text, God loves and accepts them both – exactly right where they are; and hence so should we – no matter where within thatA-Z spectrum of opinions on masks we maypersonally fall. For each one of us will have to give account to God for our own personal behavior during this pandemic as well as on many other matters; a point which the Lord then goes on, through the divinely-inspired pen of the Apostle Paul, to make even more emphatic:


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 Christ. 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” (Vss. 10-12).


Then, there is the latter part of verse 13 (the entirety of which states, Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.”), whichhas been referencedby someseeking to compeltheir brethren -whose convictions run completely contrary to theirs – to have to comply with their convictions by wearinga maskcontinually in services. The implication is,that those like brother “A”,who are of the opinion that to wear a maskis a compromise of his own personally-held faith, convictions, and conclusions,are unloving, uncaring, and putting a stumbling block before thoselike brother or sister “Z”, who,because of their own personally-held faith, convictions, and conclusions, are of the opinion that a mask should be worn at all times in public. Some things that need to be taken into consideration though…


  • First off, as we all know, we cannot get the complete picture on any given Biblical topicby taking only a small portion of the verses regarding it into account. And so, as we consider some of the other Bibleverses regarding stumbling blocks, we discover something quiteimportant: Stumbling blocks are not always removed – nor should they be – not even by some of the most faithful, devoted, and God-fearing that ever lived. Take for example Jesus; His coming was a stumbling-block(stumbling stone, or stone of stumbling) to many (Isa. 8:14; Rom. 9:32-33; 1 Ptr. 2:7-8) … and yet, He still came. God still sent Him, even though He knew that His coming would be a huge stumbling-block to millions.


PreachingJesus and His gospel has always has been a stumbling-block as well(1 Cor. 1:23) … and yet, the same Apostle Paul who wrote both Romans 14and1 Corinthians 8 (wherein he stated that he would never eat meat again if it caused his brother to stumble –vs. 13), still did not stop preaching the gospel – even though his continuing to do so wasa major stumbling-block tomany; just as he, himself, readily knew, acknowledged, and even  admitted in the Scriptures (1 Cor. 1:23; Acts 20:22-24).


So why would Paul stop doing one thing that was causing people to stumble (eating meat), but not the other (preaching Jesus)? What’s the difference?The answer is simple. When we are discussing something that truly doesn’t matter to God (like whether or not we as Christians eat certain foods or not{1 Cor. 8:8}, or celebrate or abstain from publicly celebrating certain holidays {like birthdays, Flag Day, Memorial Day and etc.}), we should easily be willing to acquiesce to any truly legitimate concern from our weaker brethren in such matters of opinion. However, when our own understanding and convictions arefirmly rooted and grounded in Scripture, then that is an altogether different story, and as Scripture clearly reveals, should not be compromised – stumbling block or not. For example, just because Jesus’ coming would be a stumbling block to many did not mean He would change His plans and refuse to come(Rom. 9:32-33; 1 Ptr. 2:7-8 as previously noted). Just because the preaching of the gospel was a stumbling block to many did not mean that Paul and the other apostles would cease doing that (1 Cor. 1:23; Acts 20:22-24 as already noted as well).


Similarly, although the wearing or not wearing of masks is not specifically addressed in the Scriptures, when one’s Biblical faith, understanding, conscience,and convictions are the foundation upon which their conclusionis built, that becomes anentirely different matter altogether. After all, although the apostle Paul would apparently not eat meat or celebrate certain days above others if it caused his weaker brethren to stumble, certainlythat was not the case when it came to his Biblical understanding of why he needed to continue to celebrate the Lord’s Day – whether it caused his weaker brethren who thought it was time to stop meeting together due to the risks involved to stumble or not (Acts 20:7; see Hebs. 10:19-25).


  • Secondly, any of those good brethren (such as brother/sister “Z” as noted above) who might wish to seek to force their other good brethren (such as brother/sister “A” as noted above) to constantly have to wear a mask in services by staking out their demand on the latter phrase of Romans 14:13, must also understand the terribly precarious position that such an all-out insistence ultimately puts them in.


You see, the latter part of Romans 14:13 could just as easily be used by those like brother “A,” to say that, due to his understanding and convictions, all of those who wear a mask are a stumbling-block to him, because they are not willing to show their faith and trust in God by taking off their masks and being different from the world around them, as he has personally concluded that all Christians should do.


And so, we can easily see how those of either opinion might possibly be tempted to (somewhat selfishly – Phil. 2:3-4) seek to misuse the whole “stumbling-block” Scripture on the other, only in order to get their own way. But to what end – except to possibly create more confusion, division, and destruction? So what is the answer then? Paul unfolds it for us in the followingten verses…

Verse 14 states: “I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.” The Apostle Paul fully understood that in all such matters of personal opinion, that while neither way was necessarily wrong (unclean/unacceptable to God) in and of itself; that if one (either brother/sister “A” or “Z”) truly felt that the other way was wrong, then for him/her to be compelled to have to act in that way – completely contrary to their own personal conscience, convictions, and conclusions on the matter – then for them, thataction would definitelybe wrong (unclean/sinful).

Therefore, we must not thus grieve them by seeking to force them to do that which they have decided in their own minds is wrong (unclean) for them to be doing; for when we do so, we are no longer walking in love (Vs. 15): “Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died.”

The answer? Avoid doing that. Don’t let that happen. Don’t let that which you have decided is the good and right thing for you to do in this situation, to become something evil and destructive like that to another, by seeking to force your brethren of the opposite opinion, into compliance with your convictions. For the kingdom (church) is about much better, and much moregodly and rewarding pursuits, than anyone’s personal opinions on something God has not specifically addressed(vss. 16 + 17): “Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

“For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense”(vss. 18-20). Once again, in verse 20, he repeats essentially the same warning that he stated in verse 14: That while either way on these matters of opinion that one has chosen to go is fine (“pure” or ‘clean’) for them, if another brother or sister sees it just the opposite, then for them it would be “unclean,” “evil,” and “offensive,” to be forced or compelled to have to do that which they are not convicted is the right thing for them to do. Seeking to force brethren to compromise their faith, conscience, and convictions on any matter of opinion, just in order to comply with someone else’s of the opposite opinion, certainly does not make for peace and edification, but only evil, offense, division, and destruction, according to God. And matters of opinion are just not worth that.

“It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak” (vs. 21).That’s right. By implication and application of Paul’s words: It is good to wear a mask (if you can), and yournot wearing one will cause brethren like brother “Z” to stumble. Conversely however, it is also good not to wear a mask, if your wearing one might make brethren like brother “A” stumble. The problem though, is that each congregation likely has good brethren all over the spectrum on this particular matter of opinion, so no matter which way you go,you are more than likelyto be a problem or stumbling block to someone. So, what do you do?

Paul says that each onemust form their own convictions and conclusions on all such matters of opinion– in other words, they must work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, without grumbling and disputing (Phil. 2:12-15) – and simply go with that (Vs. 22): Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.And as he has already thoroughly addressedthroughout the rest of Romans 14, each one must do so without seeking to force everyone else of the directly opposite opinion,into compliance with their convictions and conclusions… and here’s why: Paul says that if you force another brother or sister to compromise their faith and convictionsby going along with you and yours just to get along with you, then they are condemned and sinning because their actions are no longer based on their faith in God, but on your force on them (vs. 23): “But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.


Chapter 15 then begins thus: “We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me(vss. 1-3). We who are strong in our faith and convictions on such matters of opinion had surely ought to be patient and “bear with” those who are not so strong, seeking to please and edify them whenever and wherever possible.None of us should be living to please ourselves, but always someone else. For even Jesus did not please Himself as verse three makes very clear. And just who did He live toultimately please and always put first and foremost? God (Jn. 5:30, 6:38; Mt. 26:39-44) – just as we should. Yes, Jesus lived to teach, edify, and strengthen others who were weak in their faith, by teaching them orally, and then showing them practically, how to trust God completely. He did so by both His words and His example – but never at the expense of His putting and pleasing God first. For example: Instead of pleasingand giving in to Peter in his weakness, Jesus pleased God and put His will first – and He did so more than once (Mt. 16:21-23; Jn. 13:6-8). Instead of pleasing and giving in to the people in their weakness at the cross, Jesus pleased God and put His will first (Mt. 27:39-44).

This is exactly the Biblical example that those who would follow in His footsteps must also maintain (vs. 4). We, too, must always seek to please, edify, and encourage others, but never at the expense of doing and putting the will of God first (1 Sam. 15:10-24). Or, seeing as how we are talking about matters of opinion instead of something that God has specifically addressed – We must always seek to please and edify others, but never at the expense of what we have personally come to the conclusion is the will of God for us individually in these matters, as based on our own personal study, understanding, and application of Scripture. In other words, if brother “A” is firmly convicted, based on his Scriptural study and understanding as outlined on page one of this study, that it is God’s will that He not wear a mask, then He must put that ahead of pleasing those people whose faith and convictions arenot what his is on the issue. On the other hand, if brother/sister “Z” is firmly convicted, based on their Scriptural study and understanding as outlined on page two, that it is God’s will that they shouldwear a mask, then they must put that ahead of pleasing those whose faith and convictions are not what theirs are on the issue as well.

Romans 14 is all about loving and accepting one another to the glory of God, no matter where or how far apart we may stand on such matters of opinion,and without seeking to force everyone else to have to comply with whatever our personal opinion, conviction, or conclusion might happen to be on thesesame matters. The kingdom of God/church of Christ is about exactly that: Loving and accepting one another – just the same as God loves and accepts each one of us no matter where we may stand on such matters; and then moving beyond them to work and serve the Lord together in complete unity:“Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God” (vss. 5-7).


Let’s get to it brethren. Time’s a wasting.

And our mission to seek and save the lost is suffering – terribly.








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