Day 5 Read: Romans 14:22-23
The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.
Reflect: What do you think Paul meant when he wrote, “Do you have a conviction? Keep it to yourself before God”? What do you think Paul means by a “conviction”?
Consider: The final clause of v. 23 (“Everything that does not come from faith is sin”) is applicable on a much wider scale than the immediate context. Whatever is done without the conviction that God has approved it is by definition sin. God has called us to a life of faith. Trust is the willingness to put all of life before God for his approval. Any doubt concerning an action automatically removes that action from the category of that which is acceptable. This principle will be of special help to the Christian in what is sometimes called the “gray area.” If it is gray to you, it is wrong—not in itself necessarily but for the one who is considering it.5
Respond: How could someone condemn themselves by the things they approve? What are some things in your life you might need to be more aware of as potential stumbling blocks?
5 Robert H. Mounce, Romans, vol. 27, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995), 258–259.