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Would you please state what, in your view, is the bearing of these scriptures on the subject of the paper in the September Bible Treasury, page 137, “The use of wine"? A. R. C.
A.-"The kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.”
The things of peace and mutual building up are here presented as the object of our pursuit. And in so doing we are serving Christ, and are well-pleasing to God, as well as approved by men.
It is not to the “dijudication,” or settlement of disputed questions that we are to receive one another. For one who is “weak in the faith,” a Christian brother, for whom Christ died, may have a conscientious difficulty in regard to the prohibitions of the Mosaic law, through ignorance of the liberty into which (not law, but) grace has now brought us. Yet true, as it is, that we have been called unto liberty, we are not to use this liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love to serve one another.
We are not called to satisfy the “whims” of our brethren in Christ, but it is blessed if, by denying oneself, we succeed in removing a stumbling-block to our brother's growth in the truth. “Weak” though such a one be, he that is strong is not to despise his weak brother, but to “please his neighbor for his good to edification (or building up). For even Christ pleased not Himself.”
If we are filled with the Spirit, we shall not be drunk with wine. All the sophistry of those who declaim against its use, is exposed (to the simple soul who bows to God's word) by the simple and telling fact that our Lord made wine (John 2) — the “use” of which was not therefore prohibited, and yet in excess it is intoxicating, or we should not be told to be not drunk with it; and as the writer of the article points out, it is the “abuse” against which we are warned. And if it be to any of us a snare it clearly ought to be avoided. “Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” What greater safeguard can there be than this?