7th Response to Legalism
7th Response to Legalism
We begin again with the common understanding of what legalism is, doing works of the Torah, or law, to gain salvation, as defined by the bone of contention around the First Church Council: Acts 15:1, 15 (NKJV) “And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” . . . 15But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.””
Now we come to our next passage of Scripture that relates to this issue of legalism. Romans 14:1-23 (NKJV) “Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. 2For one believes he may eat all things [most grace church folks], but he who is weak eats only vegetables [some denominations promote a vegetarian lifestyle]. 3Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for Yahweh has received him. 4Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for Yahweh is able to make him stand. 5One person esteems one day above another [like Sabbath and holy day observers]; another esteems every day [some believe in ministering every day of the week, like Messiah did.] alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 6He who observes the day [like Sabbath or a holy day], observes it to the Master [I do this]; and he who does not observe the day, to the Master he does not observe it [some do this]. He who eats, eats to the Master, for he gives Yahweh thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Master he does not eat, and gives Yahweh thanks. 7For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 8For if we live, we live to the Master; and if we die, we die to the Master. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Master’s. 9For to this end Messiah died and rose and lived again, that He might be Master of both the dead and the living. 10But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Messiah. 11For it is written: “As I live, says Yahweh, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to the Almighty One.” 12So then each of us shall give account of himself to Yahweh. 13Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way. 14I know and am convinced by the Master Yahshua that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Messiah died. 16Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; 17for the kingdom of Yahweh is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18For he who serves Messiah in these things is acceptable to Yahweh and approved by men. 19Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. 20Do not destroy the work of Yahweh for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. 21It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. 22Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before Yahweh. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 23But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.”
I do not see how I could improve on what Paul has written here. We just need not judge each other. We must give each other grace and mercy to practice their religion according to the dictates of his own conscience in Yahshua. Forgive me if I have judged or offended you. I forgive you if you have judged or offended me.
Notice that eating or not eating, esteeming or not esteeming a day, are not things we do to obtain salvation. We do or don’t do these things to please our Master and show our love to Him. This is our living unto Him.
You may eat more freely than I do. I eat more freely than my wife does. You may Shabbat more freely than I do, and I Shabbat more freely than my wife does. We just don’t need to argue or dispute over these things. We need to get ready for the persecution that is about to be poured out on American Christians in 2013 CE. America’s end is at hand. It’s time to prepare for martyrdom and witnessing under extreme conditions. Thank you for slapping me around and keeping me looking into the Word.
Onward and upward my brother,
Gene Benjamin II
February 17, 2013 CE