Romans 14

Conflict and misunderstanding about fasting, eating and observing certain days
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Text Comments
.1 ¶ Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. 
 2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
 3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
  Weak in the faith We do not see this person as one whose faith is weak but one who sincerely believes certain religious behavior to be required by God when it is not.
  Doubtful disputations "Disputable matters" (NIV) pr2604.
  Eat all things Less than a year earlier, Paul had written to the believers at Corinth about eating patterns. Read 1co08 to better understand the problems here.
 4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.    Another man's Should be translated "Another's." From v6 we see that it is the Lord's servant. Paul is saying, Don't tell the people what to eat. They are not your servants but the Lord's.
   Servant An uncommon Greek word oiketes meaning household servant instead of the usual meaning as "slave." See the word in ac1007, lu1613.
  Standeth or falleth Consider 1co1012.
.5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. 
 6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

Textual evidence favors omitting the clause colored green above.

  One day above another Another element of contention is introduced. In the first three verses above, it was food. Eating or fasting on certain days was apparently part of the "commandments of men" which had been taught to the people mr0706f. Of course there had been times to fast and approach the Lord. Jesus spoke of fasting mt0914f.
  Notice several issues this chapter does not deal with: 
Corporate worship, 
A day of rest
Clean and unclean foods (See on v14),
Health.
  Then why were fasting and days a problem? Converts from Judaism had come out of a system of ceremonies. Because Christ had fulfilled most of what these had pointed forward to, certain ceremonies no longer applied. In any case, it seems that the ceremonies were not the most important part of the gospel, and people were allowed to grow in Christ gradually.
  Please read the observations of William Dheil.
 7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
.8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.
  None ... liveth to himself In v6 Paul spoke of considering a day "unto the Lord." Here he generalizes. All we do is to be for Him 2co0514f. Notice why.
 9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.   Christ died.... Better ". . . Christ died and lived again, that he might. . . ." (RSV), or "Christ died and returned to life, that he might" (NIV). He purchased people by His death and delivers or raises them by His resurrection. Compare ro0425, ro0510.
  Both of the dead and living Those who believe that the righteous dead are really living as spirits in heaven may see this verse as confirmation of their belief. However, the passage and its context does not clarify the state of man in death. See jb1421, ec0905f, jn1111ff.
  Lord ... of the dead He is Lord of the righteous while they are sleeping in death 1th0416, re1413. He is Lord of the wicked dead, too. He is their Lord whether they acknowledge it or not. They will be resurrected at the end of the thousand years re2005 by Christ jn0526-29.
.10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
.11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
 12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
 13 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.
  10 - Why dost thou judge thy brother This is the main point. In verse 9, Christ is the brother's Lord and, in the rest of this verse, he will stand before God in judgment.
  10 - Judgment seat of Christ Literally "... of God" God the father will judge the world through Christ ro0216, ac1731. And in 2co0510 it is the judgment seat of Christ.
  11 - It is written ... every knee From is4523. This is at the final judgment around the great white throne re2011, re0513a.
 14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 
 15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
  Nothing unclean Read also v15 to get the message. Even if a food rule is invalid, we are not to make an issue of it and turn one "weak in the faith" (v1) away from hearing the gospel and from salvation. Compare Paul's statement that all things are lawful 1co0612.
  Unclean The Greek word koinos is better translated "common." The Jews had added prohibitions beyond what God had given mr0707. Notice that Peter was faced with both common and unclean animals ac1014. We must limit our interpretations of rules about various kinds of food to the problem at hand here.
 16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
.17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
.18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
  16 - Good ... evil spoken of A great principle. There is a time to speak to a fellow believer about his sin mt1815ff. And there's a time to be silent simply showing a good example ec0307. Harshness in approaching people closes their minds to things you would want to share.
  17 - Kingdom of God This expression is used for those who have chosen to belong to Christ the present kingdom of grace mt0417, mt0502,3. Or it may identify the future kingdom of glory 1co0609.
 
 19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
 20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.
 21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
  19 - Let us ... The verse more accurately reads: So then let us go after the things of peace and the things of upbuilding for one another." Compare 1th0511, 1co1426.
  20 - Meat In modern English, "food."
  20 - Destroy From kataluo. "literally, 'to loosen down.' The word is used to describe the pulling down of something that has been built up and thus carries on, by contrast the figure begun by 'edify,' literally, 'build up,' in v. 19. For the sake of mere food Christians are not to fight against God by tearing down and destroying what He has built up." (SDA Bible Commentary, p.640).
  21 - Good ... neither The mature Christian avoids offending someone who does things that God has not required. We assume that the things the weak one did were not a violation of Scriptural principles.
 22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
.23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
  22 - Hast thou faith? Or "The faith you have." "You" is emphatic in the Greek.
  23 - Doubteth Or "Argues with himself." Compare with the double minded man ja0106, mt2121, v20.
  23 - Damned if he eat This would be the person who understood eating a certain thing to be wrong and did it anyway.
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