1Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. 2One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3The 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. 4Who 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 him stand.
5One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6He 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. 7For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. 8If 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.
9For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. 10You, 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.
11It is written:
" ’As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
’every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will confess to God.’
"12So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.
13Therefore 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.
14As 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. 15If 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. 16Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. 17For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.
19Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20Do 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. 21It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.
22So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23But 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.
I just wanted to start today by setting some guide lines from the text and what it is and isn’t saying here. We want to be careful not to generalize this chapter, but instead put proper meaning to it.
This text is not an anything goes chapter as far as what we believe or do as Christians. We have to keep in mind two things as we look at this chapter.
1)The church in Rome was made up of two types of Christians; one type came from a Jewish background the other of Gentile background. The Jews wanted to carry over many of their prior beliefs from Judaism such as with meats being eaten or types of meats that were eaten and also Holy Days also from Judaism. The gentiles also had some things the brought into the mix.
2)These early Christians were at a disadvantage because they did not yet have the word of God in the form of the New Testament to help guide them in their direction as Christians.
There are many out there that bring in other stuff in to their churches, stuff that is a part of their history, part of their culture, part of tradition but may not be something that you can find in the word of God.
What I see Paul saying here is these things that people may do, that we should not pass judgment on them for this. These things are not things that we should take a stand on.