Romans 14

Romans 14:1-23

1  Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things.

2  For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables.

3  Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him.

4  Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.

5  One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.

6  He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.

7  For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.

8  For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.

9  For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.

10  But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

11  For it is written: “AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL CONFESS TO GOD.”

12  So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.

13  Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.

14  I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

15  Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died.

16  Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil;

17  for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

18  For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.

19  Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.

20  Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense.

21  It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.

22  Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.

23  But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.

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10 months ago

Just because we’ve been freed from a list of dictates that would frame our every moment, there is yet a moral and ethical guide on the inside that we can either hold to out of honor or violate to prove a point of independence. When there is a choice to violate our conscience, it doesn’t reflect a heart of faith toward God and becomes a sin. Even though the act itself may not be an issue, the rebellion against one’s own conscience will compromise faith toward God. Where this becomes especially grievous is when our own personal compass becomes a means for judging others’. Even urging them to go along with something that would compromise their own hearts and bring harm to them is a corruption of our own faith toward God. Practicing what we feel a freedom to do in front of others who might have that very thing as a stronghold in their own lives will not prove anything other than that love is not our guide. Instead of looking to validate and defend marginal actions while judging in these same areas, there is an opportunity to become more concerned about how anything we’re free to do might affect those around us. The law that should dictate every choice made of action and heart is that of love, which doesn’t elevate ourselves above others, but is always seeking their betterment. The heart that is the residence of the Holy Spirit will reflect that Spirit’s effect of holiness both in our lives and those we influence.

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