Rom 14:1-4 teaches, ” Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eats herbs. Let not him that eats despise him that eats not; and let not him which eats not judge him that eats: for God hath received him. Who art thou that judges another man’s servant? to his own master he stands or falleth.
Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. “
Romans 14:17 for the reign of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit;
Paul addresses the strong in faith by saying to them in jist, “Their “strength” in Christ was never to be ungentle; never to be “used like a giant’s.” It was to be shown, first and most, by patience. It was to take the form of the calm, strong readiness to understand another’s point of view.
“It was to appear as reverence for another’s conscience, even when the conscience went astray for want of better light.”
And contrarily, ” Paul does, in passing, rebuke “the weak” for their harsh criticisms of “the strong.”
” …let not him which eats not judge him that eats: for God hath received him” Romans 14:3b
But, he throws all the more weight, the main weight, on his rebukes and warnings to “the strong.’” Expositors commentary.
Paul follows with some strong points of fact:
- “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dies to himself. “Romans 14:7
- ” For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord:” 14:8
- “whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.” 14;8b
- “for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” 14:10-12
And then some strong recommendation on how to proceed:
- 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.
- But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walk thou not charitably.
- Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
- Let not then your good be evil spoken of: Romans 14: 11-16
“But to him that esteemed any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. “
Romans 14:19-22, now exhorts us, ” Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. ” “For meat destroy not the work of God.” “It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbles, or is offended, or is made weak.”
Paul summarizes the chapter with:
“Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God.”
“Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth” Romans 14:22
“Paul will concede the point that there is nothing impure in the food itself; but he likewise insists that there is nothing pure in causing a brother to stumble.” “However, we shouldn’t think that Paul would permit this kind of heart to cater to someone’s legalism. Paul speaks about the stumbling of a sincere heart, not catering to the whims of someone’s legalism.” enduringword.com
However brief, my treatment of Romans 14 presents a fine point of Christian ethics. If we stumble at it’s understanding, we are not alone. Nevertheless, the passage leaves us with a sure solution — to walk in love. Friends, we are called to liberty, but to not use that liberty as an occasion to the flesh, but, in love, serve one another. Weak or strong, love, love, love. Allegorically speaking, One person represents the eye of the body, another the foot. Question? Does the foot comprehend the sensitive function of the eye? Does the intricate eye grasp the power and supportive strength of that foot? Not really. What then? Love. Love ya
More Tom Sliva at healingatthecross.com