To do what conscience allows is not always right and to do what it questions is always wrong. The strong Christian should not be contemptuous toward the opinion of a weaker brother on a doubtful question, neither should the weaker man be censorious toward the stronger because of what conscience allows him. Both have a right to opinion and both are responsible to God for it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Romans 14 Intro – J. Vernon McGee
Romans 14:1 – J. Vernon McGee
Romans 14:2-4 – J. Vernon McGee
Romans 14:5 – J. Vernon McGee
Romans 14:5 continued – J. Vernon McGee
Romans 14:6-15 – J. Vernon McGee
Romans 14:16-17 – J. Vernon McGee
Romans 14:18-21 – J. Vernon McGee
Romans 14:22-23 – J. Vernon McGee
Romans 14:1-12 – Consideration toward Brethren
The weak conscience needs further instruction. It is anemic and requires the hilltop, with its further view and bracing air; but in the meantime its owner must be guided by its promptings. A man must not take a certain course merely because others do so, unless he can justify their bolder faith and larger freedom. By thought and prayer and the study of God’s Word, conscience becomes educated and strengthened, and ceases to worry as to whether we should be vegetarian or not; whether we should observe saints’ days, or adopt a specific method of observing the Sabbath. Some people are constantly wondering and questioning about such things, as though their eternal salvation depended on minute observances.
Such would have found but scant comfort from the Apostle. He would have said, “Do the best you know, and when you have once adopted a certain method of life, follow it humbly, until some wider view is opened before you by the Spirit of God.” The main principle for us all is to live and die to please our Lord. He is our Master, and it will be for Him to allot our rewards. In the meantime let us not judge one another, but live in love, leaving each to work out the plan of his own life as his Master directs. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Romans 14:13-23 – Yielding Rights for Others’ Sake
We must be careful of one another’s faith. Unkind criticism or ridicule, or the strong pressure of our arguments and reasons may impede the divine life in weaker natures by leading them to act in defiance of their own conscientious convictions. We must not flaunt our greater liberty or urge men to act against their conscience. We may, of course, temperately and lovingly explain why we are not held by minute scruples. We may show, as Paul did repeatedly, that Christ has called us to liberty; but we must not attempt the regulation of one another’s conduct from without. The sanctuary of the soul must be left un-invaded. The Spirit alone may speak His oracles in the shrine.
Leave each disciple to his own Master, each plant to the Gardener, each child to the divine Fatherhood. In many things you may grant yourself a wider liberty than others allow themselves; but it must be used wisely, and you must refuse to avail yourself of it whenever those around you may be positively imperiled. We need not mind the censorious criticism of the Pharisee, but like the Good Shepherd with His flock, we must accommodate our pace to that of the lambs, Isaiah 40:11. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Romans 14:18—He that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
There are two rules to be observed by us when we consider our behaviour in that great borderland which lies between the dark and light, the clearly wrong and clearly right. We are all conscious of habits and tastes, of inclinations towards certain forms of amusement and recreation, of methods of life, which do not contravene any distinct law of God, but are certainly open to question. It is such things that fall within the scope of these two principles.
First, we must always remember that we are Christ’s bondservants.—Let us look then, every day and hour, and as to the mental habit, every moment, upon Jesus Christ as our Master. Saintly George Herbert chose that to be, as it were, his best—beloved aspect of his Savior; “My Master, Jesus.” “An oriental fragrancy, my Master.” Let us do the same. Let us wear the word next the heart, next the will; nay, let it sink into the very springs of both, deeper every day. And as each fresh question arises in our life, let us stand close beside Him, noticing the expression of His face, asking Him what He would desire, and always reckoning that the least suggestion of his preference is law. “None of us liveth to himself… For whether we live, we live unto the Lord” (Romans 14:7-8).
Second, we must always bear in mind the spiritual life of others.—We are to put no stumbling block, or occasion for falling, in another’s way. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor drink wine, nor to do any other thing, whereby our brother is made to stumble. Let us each of us please his neighbor for good ends, to build him up; for Christ pleased not Himself. —Our Daily Homily