Romans 14:20-23 – Faith and your conscience

Introduction:

 ‘…the conscience functions as a spiritual nervous system, which uses guilt to inform us that something is wrong and needs correction. Failing to heed the warnings of conscience can lead only to the hardening or searing of the conscience, which in the end will bring us to destruction.’  We have done a great injustice to the conscience in our day and silence it more often than heed it.  We do not appreciate this wonderful gift of God which often stands outside of us as it were to disagree with us and condemn us when we are in sin.  The conscience can be a great source of joy when it is at peace, enabling us to enjoy all things all the more, or it can be a great sense of pain.  As we continue on with Romans 14:20-23 we come to a portion where Paul repeats several things that he has said but he also speaks about the two different types of consciences that the weak and the strong in the Roman church were experiencing.  In the case of the strong there consciences were informed and sound and they were happy.  But in the case of the weak, their conscience or spiritual nervous system was communicating phantom pain and they were bringing themselves into sin.  Romans 14:20-23, ‘Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats.21 It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.22 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.’  

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