Build Up

Pete Kersker - Dec 12, 2019

It is not good to allow "disputable matters" to divide the Body of Christ.  People sometimes draw lines more conservatively than God does.  This doesn't need to divide us, though.

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. (Romans 14:17-19 NIV)

Verse 17 is one worth reading over again.  It's worth memorizing, too.  Righteousness is doing right by God's definition, not ours.  Peace with God happens when we walk with God (doing right). Peace with people happens when we choose peace rather than fighting.  Peace and joy are the fruit of God's Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).  We walk together with God when we do what is right in God's eyes and build up (edify) people.

Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall. (Romans 14:20-21 NIV)

Drinking a little alcohol, for example, does not separate us from God.  Getting drunk, though, does.  Some people draw the line at one drink.  Others draw the line at no drinks.  Others, still, won't walk into a bar.  We can all walk together with each other by simply not having alcohol at our events and not holding the events at a bar.  The Church is unified we are all doing what God considers right, because nobody is drunk.

So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin. (Romans 14:22-23 NIV)

The person who thinks it is wrong to go in a bar, though, is sinning against God if she enters the bar.  The person who thinks it is wrong to have on drink, then, is sinning when he has that one drink.  When we draw the line in a different place and believe that God draws the line there, crossing the line is an act of rebellion against God.  Rather than asking a brother or sister in Christ to do something they consider sin, then, we should be doing things in a way that builds one another up.

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. (Romans 15:1-2 NIV)

How about you?  Do you build people up?

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