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Standing by Grace (Romans 13,14)

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Romans 14

Do not judge others for their conscience
As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not so as to just quarrel with him over opinions. 2 One man has faith to eat all things, but he that is weak eats herbs. 3 Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats; for God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own lord he stands or falls. Yes, he shall be made to stand up. For the Lord has power to make him stand.
   5 One man esteems one day above another. Another esteems every day alike. Let each man be fully assured in his own mind. 6 He that regards the day, regards it to the Lord, and he that eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he that eats not, to the Lord he eats not, and gives God thanks.
   7 For none of us lives to himself, and none dies to himself. 8 For whether we live, we live to the Lord. Or whether we die, we die to the Lord. Whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you set at nothing your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For it is written: As I live, says the Lord, to Me every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess to God. 12 So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God.
   13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14 I know, and I am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean of itself. Save that to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you walk no longer in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died 16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not about what we eat and drink, but about righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For he that herein serves Christ is wellpleasing to God, and approved of by men.
   19 So then let us follow after things which make for peace, and things whereby we may edify one another. 20 Do not overthrow the work of God for the mere sake of food. All things indeed are clean, however it is evil for that man who makes another stumble by what he eats. 21 It is good not to eat meat nor drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. 22 The faith which you have, keep between yourself and God. Happy is he that has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. 23 But he that doubts is condemned if he eats, because he eats not from faith. And whatever is not of faith is sin.


14:1 The spiritually weak, in understanding and practice (e.g. regarding things like the Jewish food laws and the Sabbath, which this chapter goes on to talk about) should be welcomed and not rejected.

14:6 Since keeping the Sabbath is a matter of personal conscience, it is wrong to insist that a believer ‘must’ keep the Sabbath.

14:10 All stand- The Greek can mean ‘made to stand up’. In verse 11 we read of a scene we can well imagine- at the day of judgment we will be on our knees, begging for mercy, realizing our unworthiness. But we will be made to stand up (v. 4), to receive God’s gracious acceptance. So if this is what will happen to us, we should not condemn our brother now.

14:19 We need to examine our attitudes and positions, and watch our words, to ensure that we are trying to make peace rather than division.