In Romans Chapter 14, Paul gives more instructions to believers about living together in harmony. He discusses the problem of criticizing other believers and causing others to sin because of your actions.
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Weaknesses and Strengths
Paul said that if a person has a weak faith, those who have a stronger faith should not argue with that person over trivial matters such as what to eat. People who have a strong faith eat as they wish. Those with a weaker faith follow rules about eating.
If your faith lets you eat as you wish, Paul said, do not waste time judging someone who follows eating rules. God is not concerned about this and you are not in a position to judge. Each servant stands or falls for the Master. The Lord will sort it out.
Paul Addresses Sacred Days
Paul continued in Romans Chapter 14 by saying that some people think there are sacred days while others do not. Regardless of what practices a person has, they are done for the Lord. Paul explained that the Lord is always with us, and whatever we do, we do for the Lord. He reminded believers here that Christ died and rose again in order to be the Lord over all.
Paul said in this chapter that we should have no reason to treat our brothers and sisters with contempt or to judge them. He explained that God will eventually judge us all and we will all bow down before Him and praise Him. Everyone will have to account for themselves and their actions to God.
For this reason, Paul said, people should not judge one another and tell each other that their habits will stand in the way of salvation. He said that if a person thinks something is unclean, it will be unclean for him or her.
Causing Others to Sin
Paul told the church in Romans Chapter 14 that when we distress another with our habits, we are not behaving in a loving manner. He said we should not purposely eat or drink things that will cause other believers to stumble in their walk with the Lord. Likewise, if you believe something is good, do not force others to go along with it.
Romans 14 (King James Version)
1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.
2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.
7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.
9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.
14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.
21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.