14. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, 1 that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
14. Novi et persuasus sum in Domino Iesu, nihil commune per se esse; nisi qui existimat aliquid esse commune, ei commune est.
15. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat for whom Christ died.
15. Verum si propter cibum frater tuus contristatur, jam non secundum charitatem ambulas; ne cibo tuo ilium perdas, pro quo Christus mortuus est.
16. Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
16. Ne vestrum igitur bonum hominum maledicentiae sit obnoxium:
17. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
17. Non enim est regnum Dei esca et potus; sed justitia, et pax, et gaudium in Spiritu sancto.
18. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
18. Qui enim servit per haec Christo, acceptus est Deo, et probatus hominibus.
By the word
"Meat," he says, "for the stomach, and the stomach for meat; but God will destroy both," (1 Corinthians 6 13:)
"If we eat, we shall not abound," (1 Corinthians 8:8.)
By these words he meant briefly to show, that meat and drink were things too worthless, that on their account the course of the gospel should be impeded.
1 "At the very time of giving forth the sentence, and on the highest of all authority, that there was nothing unclean of itself, he yet leaves others at liberty to esteem anything unclean. We are not sure if anywhere else in Scripture, the divine authority of toleration is so clearly manifested." -- Chalmers.
2 To elicit this meaning, which is in itself true, Calvin must have construed the sentence thus, "I know, and I am persuaded, that through the Lord Jesus nothing is of itself unclean:" but this is not the meaning. What the Apostle says is, that he knew, and was fully assured by the Lord Jesus, that is, by the teaching of his word Spirit, that nothing was in itself unclean, all ceremonial distinctions having been now removed and abolished. -- Ed.
3 From the words "destroy not," etc., some have deduced the sentiment, that those for whom Christ died may perish for everse It is neither wise nor just to draw a conclusion of this kind; for it is one that is negatived by many positive declarations of Scripture. Man's inference, when contrary to God's word, cannot be right. Besides, the Apostle's object in this passage is clearly this, -- to exhibit the sin of those who disregarded without saying that it actually effected that evil. Some have very unwisely attempted to obviate the inference above mentioned, by suggesting, that the destruction meant was that of comfort and edification. But no doubt the Apostle meant the ruin of the soul; hence the urgency of his exhortation, -- "Do not act in such a way as tends to endanger the safety of a soul for whom Christ has shed his blood;" or, "Destroy not," that is, as far as you can do so. Apostles and ministers are said to "save" men; some are exhorted here not to "destroy" them. Neither of these effects can follow, except in the first instance, God grants his blessing, and in the second his permission; and his permission as to his people he will never grant, as he has expressly told us. See John 10:27-29. -- Ed.
4 "Vestrum bonum,"
5 What is here said is no doubt true of the kingdom of God; but by considering what is afterwards said in the two following verses, we cannot well accede to this exposition. Righteousness, peace, and joy, mentioned here, are things acceptable to God and approved by men: they must then be things apparent and visible, which men see and observe; and to follow "the things of peace," refers to the conduct. "Righteousness" then must mean here the doing of what is right and just towards one another; "peace," concordand unanimity, as opposed to discord and contentions; "joy," the fruit of this peaceable state, a cheering delight, a mutual rejoicing, instead of the sorrow and grief occasioned by discord; and these come "through the Holy Spirit" and are produced by him; and they are not the semblances of such virtues and graces, presented in some instances by false religions. See Galatians 5:22,23. Doddridge, Stuart, and Chalmers have viewed the passage in this light, though the latter, as well as Scott, seemed inclined to combine the two views: but this is to mix up thing together unnecessarily, and to destroy the harmony of the context. -- Ed.