But if thy brother be grieved with [thy] meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
John Gill Expositor
Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. This is to be understood, not of eternal destruction, that can never be thought to be either in the will or power of any man; such a degree of malice can never arise in the heart of any, to wish for, desire, or take any step towards the eternal damnation of another; and could any thing of this kind be among the men of the world, yet surely not among brethren of the same faith, and in the same church state; and were there any so wicked as to desire this, yet it is not in their power to compass it, for none can destroy eternally but God; see Mat 10:28; besides, it is not reasonable to suppose, that eternal damnation should follow upon eating things indifferent, or be caused by an offence either given or taken through them; moreover, though such as only think themselves, or profess themselves, or are only thought by others to be such, for whom Christ died, may be eternally destroyed, yet none of those can, for whom Christ really died; for they are his special people, his peculiar friends, his own sheep, his body the church, which can never perish; and he, by dying, has procured such blessings for them, such as a justifying righteousness, pardon of sin, peace with God, and eternal life, which will for ever secure them from destruction: besides, should anyone of them be destroyed, the death of Christ would be so far in vain, nor would it appear to be a sufficient security from condemnation, nor a full satisfaction to the justice of God; or God must be unjust, to punish twice for the same fault: but this is to be understood of the destruction of such a manís peace and comfort, which is signified by grieving, stumbling, offending, and making him weak; and the words are a fresh reason, why they that are strong in the faith of Christian liberty, should nevertheless forbear the use of it, to preserve the peace of a weak brother; which is a matter of importance, and the rather to be attended to, since it is the peace of one that belongs to Christ, whom he has so loved as to die for, and therefore should be the object of the regard and affections of such as believe in Christ and love him.
Newell On Romans
Verse 15: for if because of meat thy brother is grieved, thou art no longer walking according to love. Do not with thy meat destroy that one for whom Christ died. " If Christ so loved as to die for him, how base in you or me not to submit to the smallest self-denial for his welfare!" This verse often occasions the question, How could a "brother" be in danger of destruction? Let me quote on this passage from Charles Hodge, one of the greatest Calvinistic writers: "Believers (the elect) are constantly spoken of (in Scripture) as in danger of perdition. They are saved only if they continue steadfast (in faith). If they apostatise, they perish. If the Scriptures tell the people of God what is the tendency of their sins as to themselves, they may tell them what is the tendency of such sins as to others. Saints are preserved not in spite of apostasy, but from apostasy." To this agree Paulís words: "Ye are saved if ye hold fast the word which I preached unto you" (1Co 15:2). "If so be that ye continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel" (Col 1:23). Before us, in verse 15, lies the awful fact that the destruction of one who is called a brother lies within the power of our use of our libertyóif it causes him to "stumble."
This does not touch the security of those born of God and Ď"sealed to the day of redemption." God says even of the carnal Corinthians, that "God was faithful, through whom they were called, " who would confirm them unto the end" (1Co 1:8,9). But we are not saved as automatons! God gives us a gospel to be believed, and a walk to be walked, corresponding to that gospel. That God can (and often does) rescue those whose walk is a failure is seen in the stern, but saving dealing with the brother of 1Co 5:1-5. But this same epistle records the solemn warning quoted above: "Ye are saved if ye hold fast the words." Modernists, like all infidels, make light of "holding fast the pattern of sound words" (2Ti 1:13). But God told earnest, praying Cornelius to send for Peter, who should "speak unto him words, by which he should be saved" (Act 11:13,14). Faith begins and lives by Godís words only!
John OWEN Death of Death
Had we not experience of the nimbleness of our adversaries in framing arguments for their cause, I should despair to find their conclusion pressed out of this place; for what coherence or dependence, I beseech you, is here to be discerned? "The apostle exhorts strong and sound believers to such a moderate use of Christian liberty that they do not grieve the spirit of the weak ones, that were believers also (professors, all called 'saints, elect, believers, redeemed,' and so in charity esteemed), and so give them occasion of stumbling and falling off from the gospel: therefore, Jesus Christ died for all reprobates, even all those that never heard word nor syllable of him or the doctrine of the gospel." Must he not be very quick-sighted that can see the dependence of this inference on that exhortation of the apostle? But ye will say, " Is it not affirmed that he may perish for whom Christ died?"
Ans. In this place there is no such thing at all once mentioned or intimated; only others are commanded not to do that which goes in a direct way to destroy him, by grieving him with their uncharitable walking. "But why should the apostle exhort him not to do that which he could no way do, if he that Christ died for could not perish?"
Ans. Though the one could not perish in respect of the event, the other might sinfully give occasion of perishing in respect of a procuring cause. May not a man be exhorted from attempting of that which yet if he should attempt he could not effect? No thanks to the soldier who ran a spear into the side of our dead Redeemer, that therewith he brake none of his bones. Besides, is every one damned that one attempts to destroy, by grieving him with uncharitable walking? Such arguments as these are poor men of straw. And yet, notwithstanding, we do not deny but that many may perish, and that utterly, whom we, in our walking towards them and converse with them, are bound to conceive redeemed by Christ; even all being to be thought so who are to be esteemed "saints and brethren," as the language of the Scripture is concerning the professors of the gospel. And this is most certain, that no one place makes mention of such to be bought or redeemed by our Saviour, but those which had the qualification of being members of this visible church; which come infinitely short of all and every one.