1 Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable
|disputable matters. There are some matters not
clearly defined for us in Scripture. Those matters must be left to the
|2 One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another
man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.
||Current disputable matters are drinking, day of worship,
clothing, birth control, discipline of ministers, etc. These matters must be
left with the believers, and for situations involving the church, each local
church should decide how they should handle such matters. These matters are
not left best in the hands of an ecclesiastical board that ushers edicts.
The Apostle Paul found tolerance of differences to be the best method for
handling disputable matters.
faith is weak. Should be be understood
as "sensitive" faith, not weak in the sense of inferior.
|3 The man who eats everything must not look down on him who
does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man
who does, for God has accepted him.
||look down. Do not despise a believer who has a
must not condemn. Do not censure a believer
who has more freedom.
|4 Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own
master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make
||Who are you? Very strong words to remind against
Lord is able to make him stand. Paul shows his optimism.
|5 One man considers one day more sacred than another;
another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in
his own mind.
||fully convinced in his own mind. You do not need to
convince others, but only yourself.
|6 He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He
who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who
abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.
||He gives everyone reasons to rejoice in what they approve or
|7 For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies
to himself alone.
||none of us lives to himself alone. No one belong to
themselves only. Each belongs to the Lord and to one another.
|8 If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to
the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
||we belong to the Lord. A lie many people believe is,
"Itís my life! I can do what I want." Truth is, "My life belongs to God!" So
the person who has freedom exercises his freedom not because it is his
life but because his life belongs to the Lord.
|9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so
that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.
|10 You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you
look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat.
||we will all stand before God's judgment seat. Paul
reminds both the man who has freedom and the man who is sensitive that they
will be accountable to God for how they handled such matters.
|11 It is written: "'As surely as I live,' says the Lord,
'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'"
||every knee will bow...every tongue will confess. This
should not be construed to teach universal salvation, but instead it teaches
|12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to
||each of us. Paul makes the final judgment to be
personal and private. You will stand before God without others listening and
giving their input.
give an account. This is similar to an audit.
Just as the IRS may demand receipts, check stubs, or proof of expenditures,
so God will expect you to explain what, how, and why you did what you did.
It is an accounting, and will be very detailed. This should make us sober.
|13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another.
Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in
your brother's way.
||stumbling block. Do not make the weak stumble.
You may have the freedom to drink wine, but if your freedom causes your
brother to stumble into alcoholism, God will hold you accountable.
obstacle. Do not make coming to Christ an obstacle course for others. If
you put too many rules on seekers then they may be hindered from coming to
Christ, and God will hold you accountable.
|14 As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced
that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as
unclean, then for him it is unclean.
||Paul ultimately takes the view of those who have freedom in
Christ, yet he does not set himself above the brother who is sensitive. In
fact he even goes as far as saying that if the sensitive brother tries to
act like the brother who has freedom, then his acting will be considered
|15 If your brother is distressed because of what you eat,
you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother
for whom Christ died.
||acting in love. The believer has no law except the
law of love. Love should move us in freedom and in sensitivity.
|16 Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as
||Make a stand for what you believe.
|17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and
drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,
||The rules do not really matter. It is the operation of the
Holy Spirit in our lives that really counts.
|18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing
to God and approved by men.
||pleasing to God and approved by men. We should
be concern both with what pleases God and what man approves of. Men do
not have to fully approve of your actions, but God must fully
agree with your actions. We do not please men but we look for
approval. It is important that we maintain a good reputation with the
world. The average person generally like a more moderate view, rather than
too conservative or too liberal.
|19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to
peace and to mutual edification.
||every effort. It takes hard work to make peace and
|20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All
food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone
else to stumble.
||Do not destroy the work of God. The work of God is
the preaching of the gospel. All decisions that people and church boards
make should be based on what would be best for the advancement of the
gospel. Excommunicating members, suspending others from the ministry,
establishing a dress code, and other such things, should be the last resorts
and should only be implemented if these actions would further the gospel.
|21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do
anything else that will cause your brother to fall.
||A person with freedom should not exercise his freedom if
others are offended.
|22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between
yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he
|23 But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats,
because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from
faith is sin.
||everything that does not come from faith is sin. This
statement should be the all inclusive test to determine what is allowable by
God. If you cannot do something without feeling guilty, then do not do it.