Romans 14:19-21

19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.

20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense.

21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.

We can only build each other up if we are at peace.

destroy = pulling down, as opposed to building up

work — spiritual grown

“We have no right to give up our dearly-bought liberty, but we do have the liberty to give up our rights.” (Bultema).

1 Corinthians 8:9 — But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.

The food and drink mentioned here were previously offered to idols and then sold in the market. This offended some new Christians. As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. … Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled (1 Corinthians 8:4, 7).

Things that make for disunion, that cause trouble in churches: An unforgiving spirit. Self-seeking. A legalistic spirit. Playing God for others. Hypocrisy. Failing to appreciate others’ gifts. Failing to make allowances for one another (Ephesians 4:1-3; James 2:12). Lack of patience. Not sympathizing with others’ infirmities or, perhaps, their lack of gifts that we possess. Evil speaking (James 4:11; Titus 3:2). Assuming, without grounds, that others are at fault (James 5:9). Pulling one another to pieces. Suspecting the motives of another. A domineering spirit. A rebellious spirit. Snobbery. Hatred. Grumbling, arguing, murmuring. Maliciousness. Being a busybody. Greediness. Bitterness. Resentment. A sense of inferiority (i.e., not resting in the Lord, not being satisfied with the gifts He has given). Lack of security. Instability. Timidity. Spite. Laziness. Economic sponging. Lying and slander. Jealousy. Thinking too highly of oneself. A critical spirit toward others. Carrying on controversy. Being ill-informed about the position of another.

Goals toward which we should move in our lives: Willingness to be in subjection to one another. Considering others better than oneself. An understanding spirit. A sense of intimate relationship with Christ. Not insisting on our rights. Willingness to confess a wrong spirit. Sincerity. A generous spirit. A sympathetic spirit. Trusting others. Having faith in Christ, not necessarily in others, but expressed as trust to others, knowing that we belong to Him. Joyfulness. Prayer. Discretion. A critical spirit toward oneself. A gentle and quiet spirit (2 Timothy 2:25). Humility (1 Peter 5:5). Using our gifts for one another. Remembering our own mistakes (James 3:2). Christ-centeredness. Love, in word and deed. Fair dealing. Integrity. Recognizing one’s place. A forgiving spirit. Doing things decently and in order. Conscientiousness. Faithfulness. Being responsible to perform the tasks assigned to us. Not misusing the authority over others. Being willing to follow those in authority over us. — Barnhouse, page 21-22.

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