Section 6, Chapter 15
The strong must bear with the weak. Cautions against judging and giving scandal.
14:1. Now him that is weak in faith, take unto you: not in disputes about thoughts.
14:2. For one believeth that he may eat all things: but he that is weak, let him eat herbs.
Eat all things. . .Viz., without observing the distinction of clean and unclean meats, prescribed by the law of Moses: which was now no longer obligatory. Some weak Christians, converted from among the Jews, as we here gather from the apostle, made a scruple of eating such meats as were deemed unclean by the law; such as swine's flesh, etc., which the stronger sort of Christians did eat without scruple. Now the apostle, to reconcile them together, exhorts the former not to judge or condemn the latter, using their Christian liberty; and the latter, to take care not to despise or scandalize their weaker brethren, either by bringing them to eat what in their conscience they think they should not, or by giving them such offence, as to endanger the driving them thereby from the Christian religion.
14:3. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not: and he that eateth not, let him not judge him that eateth. For God hath taken him to him.
14:4. Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? To his own lord he standeth or falleth. And he shall stand: for God is able to make him stand.
14:5. For one judgeth between day and day: and another judgeth every day. Let every man abound in his own sense.
Between day, etc. . .Still observing the sabbaths and festivals of the law.
14:6. He that regardeth the day regardeth it unto the Lord. And he that eateth eateth to the Lord: for he giveth thanks to God. And he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not and giveth thanks to God.
14:7. For none of us liveth to himself: and no man dieth to himself.
14:8. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord: or whether we die, we die unto the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's.
14:9. For to this end Christ died and rose again: that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
14:10. But thou, why judgest thou thy brother? Or thou, why dost thou despise thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
14:11. For it is written: As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me and every tongue shall confess to God.
14:12. Therefore every one of us shall render account to God for himself.
14:13. Let us not therefore judge one another any more. But judge this rather, that you put not a stumblingblock or a scandal in your brother's way.
14:14. I know, and am confident in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
14:15. For if, because of thy meat, thy brother be grieved, thou walkest not now according to charity. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
14:16. Let not then our good be evil spoken of.
14:17. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink: but justice and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.
14:18. For he that in this serveth Christ pleaseth God and is approved of men.
14:19. Therefore, let us follow after the things that are of peace and keep the things that are of edification, one towards another.
14:20. Destroy not the work of God for meat. All things indeed are clean: but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.
14:21. It is good not to eat flesh and not to drink wine: nor any thing whereby thy brother is offended or scandalized or made weak.
14:22. Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God. Blessed is he that condemneth not himself in that which he alloweth.
14:23. But he that discerneth, if he eat, is condemned; because not of faith. For all that is not of faith is sin.
Discerneth. . .That is, distinguisheth between meats, and eateth against his conscience, what he deems unclean. Of faith. . .By faith is here understood judgment and conscience: to act against which is always a sin.