So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.
Faith pleases God. In fact, without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). So, it makes sense that everything we do should originate and proceed from faith, otherwise we are acting of our own accord. Faith is relying on and believing in God’s provision instead of ourselves. Hebrews says that “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). So, in the kingdom of God, faith is very important.
Paul says in today’s passage that “everything that does not come from faith is sin.” This seems like a radical statement. But knowing how important faith is to the believer helps put into perspective everything Paul has been saying in this entire chapter. We are to exercise our personal convictions as if in God’s presence, keeping ourselves striving to know and obey His truth and will. When we operate in this way, we are operating in faith, and God is pleased with faith. This gives us the freedom to live without reservation in His presence and He accepts this. In fact, Paul tells us that we are blessed by this liberty.
In the same way, the man who has misgivings or an uneasy conscience about the things he does, whether it is eating or drinking or something else, is not acting out of faith and so stands in condemnation before God. This is because he is not true to his convictions and brings judgment on himself. If our conscience condemns us, then we will not have boldness before God. The awareness of sin will keep us from having the confidence we need to approach God in faith. Therefore, it is better not to do those things which go against our convictions, even if we see others doing it. Whatever does not originate and proceed from faith or is done without a conviction of its approval by God, is sin for us. It is better for us to keep a clear conscience before God so that we may boldly approach His throne and find grace.
As believers we are to live by faith. This is a process and comes by knowing God and His promises. If we do not know what he has said, then we cannot operate out of faith in accordance to those things. Do not let others hinder you. Let God reveal to your heart those things which are acceptable and good and live in this way. Live your life rooted and established in faith, and you will be blessed in everything you do.
Questions to Ponder
Does everything you do proceed from faith? What does Paul mean when he writes, “Everything that does not come from faith is sin”? Do you have confidence when you approach God? What does it mean to live by faith?
- Thank God that He has enabled you to live by faith and not by sight. By faith you have believed Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior. You have believed in your heart and confessed with your mouth He is LORD.
- In 1 Timothy 1: 14 Paul wrote, “The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” Thank Abba for abundantly pouring out faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
- Ask Him to grant you greater faith, to act/live like God is telling you the truth.
- Pray for our church family, for believers all across America to praise God for how He is going to work in and through us all this next year as we submit to Him, trust Him, seek Him and His will, and walk in His ways.
Abba, it’s by faith that I come before You into Your throne room of grace. It’s by faith that I heard the truth of Your Word and by faith I accepted You into my heart as Lord and Savior. It’s by faith I trust You when things are good and when things are unbearable. Oh God, thank You for granting me faith. Thank You for revealing to me who You are. I love You, Lord, and I know I love You because You first loved me. You are so good, my God and Savior, Your steadfast love endures forever, and you are faithful for all generations. Great is Your faithfulness, oh Lord, my God. Cause each one of us today to know You better and to make You known to all those we come across today. Let Your love abound in and through us more and more for Your great name’s sake. In the Name of Jesus Christ, I ask. Amen.