Peace In The Building

Pastor Don Carpenter

When In Doubt / Romans 14:19–23

We have discovered some powerful things in our study of Romans 14. We learned that when it comes to things the Bible is not clear on, folks may come to different conclusions and that is ok. We have learned that we should not judge another man’s servant. We have discovered that God is evaluating our actions even in extra biblical matters so we have enough to worry about to mess with judging others. We saw that there is no longer anything unclean or common that cannot be used for good for God, but if someone has a weaker conscience, it is unclean to them.

Tonight we will see the conclusion of this chapter. Paul uses a conclusion connective, “therefore” to bring everything down to a conclusion and application. He admonishes us that when it comes to extra biblical, doubtful disputations we should follow after peace, edification, and stability. This will give us peace in the building.

Follow After Peace

Romans 14:19 KJV

Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

“Follow” is di?k? (?????), “to run swiftly in order to catch some person or thing, to run after, to pursue,” metaphorically, “to seek after eagerly, earnestly endeavor to acquire.” 1 

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader 

14:19 what promotes peace The Greek phrase used here, ta t?s eir?n?s, refers to actions that do not cause hostility but create harmonious relationship between believers.1 

1 John D. Barry, Douglas Mangum, Derek R. Brown, et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Ro 14:19. 

Romans 12:18 KJV

If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Psalm 34:14 KJV

Depart from evil, and do good; Seek peace, and pursue it.

Psalm 133:1 KJV

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity!

Matthew 5:9 KJV

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

2 Corinthians 13:11 KJV

Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

James 3:17–18 KJV

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 

And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

1 Peter 3:11 KJV

Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.

Follow After Edification

Romans 14:19 KJV

Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

oikodomeo (?????????, 3618), lit., “to build a house” (oikos, “a house,” domeo, “to build”), hence, to build anything, e.g., Matt. 7:24; Luke 4:29; 6:48, rv, “well builded” (last clause of verse); John 2:20; is frequently used figuratively, e.g., Acts 20:32 (some mss. have No. 3 here); Gal. 2:18; especially of edifying, Acts 9:31; Rom. 15:20; 1 Cor. 10:23; 14:4; 1 Thess. 5:11 (rv). In 1 Cor. 8:101 

1 W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 82. 

Acts 20:32 KJV

And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

Acts 9:31 KJV

Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.

1 Corinthians 10:23 KJV

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

Ephesians 4:29 KJV

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Follow After Stability

Don’t Tear Down What God is Building

Romans 14:20 KJV

For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.

Commenting on the words, “All things are pure,” Denney says, “This is the principle of the strong, which Paul concedes; the difficulty is to get the enlightened to understand that an abstract principle can never be the rule of Christian conduct. The Christian, of course, admits the principle, but he must act from love. To know that all things are clean, does not (as is often assumed) settle what the Christian has to do in any given case. It does not define his duty, but only makes clear his responsibility. Acknowledging that principle, and looking with love at other Christians, and the effect of any given line of conduct on them, he has to define his duty for himself. All meat is clean, but not all eating.1 

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 240. 

It is evil (intentionally hurtful) to the one who eats with offence 

Explaining the words, “It is evil for that man who eateth with offense,” the same authority says; “Sin is involved in the case of the man who eats with offense. Some take this as a warning to the weak: but the whole tone of the passage, which is rather a warning to the strong, and the verse immediately following, which surely continues the meaning and is also addressed to the strong, decide against this. The man who eats with offense is therefore the man by whose eating another is made to stumble.”1 

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 240. 

It Is Better to Curtail Your Freedom than to Stumble Your Brother

Romans 14:21 KJV

It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

The issue here is not eating meat or drinking wine per se, but that Gentile meat (suspected of having been offered to idols or not having the blood properly drained) and Gentile drink (some of it possibly used for libations to gods) were suspect to Jews. But like a good rhetorician, Paul calls his readers to concede his point even in the most extreme case, requiring abstinence from all meat or wine (and if it applies to the extreme, “how much more”—following a standard style of argument—to all lesser cases). (Although some Jewish groups abstained from wine for periods of time—Num 6:3; cf. Jer 35:5–6—diluted wine was a normal part of meals; thus the language here is probably hyperbolic; see comment on Jn 2:9–10.)1 

1 Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), Ro 14:20–21. 

Make Private Stands In Private In Faith

Romans 14:22–23 KJV

Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. 

And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

Surely conscious limitation for the sake of others is the Christian approach. If we do not exercise it, we may well ?nd that something that we genuinely thought to be permissible has brought ruin to someone else! It is surely better to make this deliberate limitation than to have the remorse of knowing that what we demanded as a pleasure has become death to someone else. Again and again, in every sphere of life, Christians are confronted by the fact that they must examine things not only as they affect themselves, but also as they affect other people. We are always in some sense one another’s keepers, responsible not only for ourselves but for everyone who comes into contact with us. ‘His friendship did me a mischief,’ said Robert Burns of the older man he met in Irvine as he learned the art of ?ax-dressing. God grant that no one may say that of us because we misused the glory of Christian freedom!1 

1 William Barclay, The Letter to the Romans, 3rd ed. fully rev. & updated., The New Daily Study Bible (Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002), 228–229. 

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 12:59 PM February 26, 2021.

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