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THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS - Chapter 14 - Verse 22

Verse 22. Hast thou faith! The word faith here refers only to the subject under discussion—to the subject of meats, drinks, etc. Do you believe that it is right to eat all kinds of food? etc. The apostle had admitted that this was the true doctrine; but he maintains that it should be so held as not to give offence.

Have it to thyself. Do not obtrude your faith or opinion on others. Be satisfied with cherishing the opinion, and acting on it in private, without bringing it forward to produce disturbance in the church.

Before God. Where God only is the witness. God sees your sincerity, and will approve your opinion. That opinion cherish and act on, yet so as not to give offence, and to produce disturbance in the church. God sees your sincerity; he sees that you are right; and you will not offend him. Your brethren do not see that you are right, and they will be offended.

Happy is he, etc. This state of mind, the apostle says, is one that is attended with peace and happiness; and this is a further reason why they should indulge their opinion in private, without obtruding it on others. They were conscious of doing right, and that consciousness was attended with peace. This fact he states in the form of a universal proposition, as applicable not only to this case, but to all cases. Comp. 1 Jo 3:21.

Condemneth not himself. Whose conscience does not reprove him.

In that thing which he alloweth. Which he approves, or which he does. Who has a clear conscience in his opinions and conduct. Many men indulge in practices which their consciences condemn, many in practices of which they are in doubt. But the way to be happy is to have a clear conscience in what we do; or, in other words, if we have doubts about a course of conduct, it is not safe to indulge in that course, but it should be at once abandoned. Many men are engaged in business about which they have many doubts; many Christians are in doubt about certain courses of life. But they can have no doubt about the propriety of abstaining from them. They who are engaged in the slave-trade; or they who are engaged in the manufacture or sale of ardent spirits; or they who frequent the theatre or the ball-room, or who run the round of fashionable amusements, if professing Christians, MUST often be troubled with many doubts about the propriety of their manner of life. But they can have no doubt about the propriety of an opposite course. Perhaps a single inquiry would settle all debate in regard to these things: Did any one ever become a slave-dealer, or a dealer in ardent spirits, or go to the theatre, or engage in scenes of splendid amusements, with any belief that he was imitating the Lord Jesus Christ, or with any desire to honour him or his religion? But one answer would be given to this question; and in view of it, how striking is the remark of Paul, "Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth."

{a} "Happy is he that condemneth" 1 Jo 3:21

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