Paul tells us to accept Christians whose diet is different than your own, as well as Christians whose observances are different than your own. [UPDATED]
VERSE 1. Now accept one who is weak in faith, but not for disputes over opinions.
eats only vegetables. A vegetarian believer bases their dietary choices on spiritual convictions and is convinced vegetarianism is the right way for them. Omnivores see it very differently.
That difference between them could stir up strife. But as believers in Christ, they need to accept one another.
Vegetarianism is wonderful. Being an omnivore is wonderful. And being a carnivore is wonderful.
Dietary matters are important to our health. But they are not central to our faith in Jesus Christ. Compared to Jesus Christ, they are peripheral.
Some people, though, feel dietary issues are so important that they mingle them into their spirituality. They feel those who don’t agree with them are morally inferior, or perhaps a threat. They stir up arguments and division among believers, wherever they go.
That’s not the way of a Christian believer. Philosophy of diet is not a central issue for us. Jesus Christ is the central issue.
VERSE 3. Don’t let him who eats despise him who doesn’t eat. Don’t let him who doesn’t eat judge him who eats, for God has accepted him.
VERSE 4. Who are you who judge another’s servant? To his own lord he stands or falls. Yes, he will be made to stand, for God has power to make him stand.
VERSE 5. One man esteems one day as more important. Another esteems every day alike. Let each man be fully assured in his own mind.
One man esteems one day as more important. Liturgical Christians maintain complex calendars of which days are to be esteemed more than other days. They call them “Holy Days.”
Another esteems every day alike. Non-liturgical Christians do not have calendars of Holy Days. For them, every day is alike. To them it is preposterous to observe so-called holy days.
Let each … be fully assured. As believers in Christ, both groups need to accept each other.
In our day, think of the vast difference between Christians who follow no special liturgical calendar, and those who do.
Even in our day, in some places, these two groups can hardly stand each other. There is always some argument brewing under the surface, and it might erupt at any moment.
Even though some believers find a liturgical calendar to be wonderful, and other believers find it to be man-made slavery, these vastly different groups need to accept one another.
A liturgical calendar and holy days, or lack thereof, is not at the center of our Christian faith. Jesus Christ is.
VERSE 6. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks. He who doesn’t eat, to the Lord he doesn’t eat, and gives God thanks.
VERSE 8. For if we live, we live to the Lord. Or if we die, we die to the Lord. If therefore we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
we are the Lord’s. What is important is the Lord Jesus Christ. Whatever happens among us, we are to honor him. Our actions should build up other believers, not tear them apart.
Our key identity does not come from personal convictions, nor from denominational labels, nor from church membership. Rather, our key identity is from knowing Jesus Christ.
How about you? Can you accept people who see things differently than yourself?
VERSE 9. For to this end Christ died, rose, and lived again, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
VERSE 10. But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
VERSE 11. For it is written, “ ‘As I live,’ says the Lord, ‘to me every knee will bow. Every tongue will confess to God.’ ”
Isaiah 45:23. I have sworn by myself. The word has gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and will not be revoked, that to me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall take an oath.
give account of himself to God. We only have to give account to God for ourselves. We don’t face judgment concerning someone else’s life.
VERSE 13. Therefore let’s not judge one another any more, but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block in his brother’s way, or an occasion for falling.
Romans 9:33. even as it is written, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and a rock of offense; and no one who believes in him will be disappointed.”
Romans 14:13. Therefore let’s not judge one another any more, but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block in his brother’s way, or an occasion for falling.
1 Corinthians 1:23. but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews, and foolishness to Greeks,
VERSE 14. I know, and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean of itself; except that to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
VERSE 15. Yet if because of food your brother is grieved, you walk no longer in love. Don’t destroy with your food him for whom Christ died.
VERSE 16. Then don’t let your good be slandered,
VERSE 17. for God’s Kingdom is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
VERSE 18. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.
VERSE 19. So then, let’s follow after things which make for peace, and things by which we may build one another up.
VERSE 20. Don’t overthrow God’s work for food’s sake. All things indeed are clean, however it is evil for that man who creates a stumbling block by eating.
VERSE 21. It is good to not eat meat, drink wine, nor do anything by which your brother stumbles, is offended, or is made weak.
VERSE 22. Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who doesn’t judge himself in that which he approves.
VERSE 23. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because it isn’t of faith; and whatever is not of faith is sin.
VERSE 24. Now to him who is able to establish you according to my Good News and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret through long ages,
VERSE 25. but now is revealed, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, is made known for obedience of faith to all the nations;
VERSE 26. to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever! Amen.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.