Following Your Conscience
Daily Bible Reading – Romans 13-16
Today’s Key Passage – Romans 14:19-23
In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he discusses the topic of eating meat that had been offered to idols. In the Roman world, animals were often sacrificed to a god in a pagan temple, but only part of the animal was actually burned. The rest of the meat was taken to market and sold. Because of this practice, it was often difficult for a Christian to know if the meat he was buying had been part of this offering to idols, so many Christians decided to abstain from eating meat altogether. Other Christians did not feel obligated to abstain from eating meat, and these two differing opinions were causing strife and dissension in the church. While the idea of eating meat sacrificed to pagan idols does not specifically apply in our world today, the underlying theme of what Paul says in today’s key passage certainly does.
When it comes to what constitutes a sin, in most cases the Bible is pretty clear. Some sins such as lying, stealing, and murder are forbidden in Scripture. It is easy for a follower of Christ to know that he or she should not do these things. In other areas, though, things might not be so clear. Some topics are not expressly covered in the Bible, so often people are left to question whether a particular act would constitute a sin. In these “grey areas”, Paul is advising us to follow our conscience. Paul says that, “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.” (14:23) In other words, if we have doubts about whether something is a sin, and if our conscience is telling us that it probably is a sin, then it becomes sin for us. We are all born with a conscience. Our conscience is a gift from God that he gives to each of us from birth to allow us to know right from wrong. When in doubt about a particular circumstance, it is always best to follow your conscience.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.