Romans 14


Paul explains to the new and old in the faith that the more important aspect of Christianity is Godliness before food or offense.  But, as he explains, this does not do away with the Sabbath or unclean meats as so many believe.


Romans 14:1 Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things.

New in the faith. We are not to remain this way by any means. We take this time of the year to vet ourselves, see the problems, change and grow

Not arguing about opinions.

Romans 14:2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables.

eat all things [clean] [both meat and vegetables]

Wrong thinking that they should or have to eat only vegetables is defined by the Bible by as weak

Reasons: meat sacrificed to idols; today: health and/or philosophy

Of course there is Deuteronomy 14 in addition to Leviticus 11 (2 chapters making it clear what meats to eat)

Christ ate meat and promoted it (fishes and loaves) Jesus, when He appeared to his disciples after His resurrection, ate fish (Luke 24:41-43).

The peace offering could be eaten after certain parts were given to Aaron, his sons, and the priests. Leviticus 7:30-34

God gave the Israelites quail in the wilderness Numbers 11:4, 13, 31-33)

Deuteronomy 12:20  “When the LORD your God enlarges your border as He has promised you, and you say, ‘Let me eat meat,’ because you long to eat meat, you may eat as much meat as your heart desires.

God’s health laws are healthy.  When he said that we can eat these things, it is because we can do it in moderation and be healthy

Nonetheless Paul says they are weak so we as the stronger more mature Christian need to treat them a certain way until they grow in the faith and come to understand more clearly God’s Word.

Romans 14:3 Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him.

Don’t judge them for their lack of understanding.

Despise = contemptible, least esteemed, set at nought or nothing; don’t demean them or bring them down.

Not judging is a two way street. Neither should judge the other. This can be hard to do when these two groups are to co-exist

Romans 14:4 Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.

Domestic/household servant –

Who will go into another’s house and tell the maid to only use this much starch in the shirts or tell the gardener to trim the hedge this way or to show up for work on this day but not that one?

We don’t go into another’s house and [say with contempt] that’s not the way the way that you are supposed to be doing it!

Is it then up to us to be contemptible towards those that are the servants of God? Do we not think God can bring them around to the right way?

Of course God can help the weak, eventually, to be able to stand on their own…and He will

Before we read the next two verses what day is it OK to fast on? Ludicrous!

Romans 14:5 One person esteems [krino: judges] one day above another; another esteems [krino: judges] every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.

Many believe this does away with the Sabbath, but nothing could be further from the truth.

The context is eating; why were they judging one day to be better to eat on?

This says nothing about days that are to be considered HOLY

We don’t know all the reasons why

Romans 14:6 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; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.

Here is what Paul is referring to here: the days that they/we fast on.

Observes = to exercise the mind, that is, entertain or have a sentiment or opinion; by implication to be (mentally) disposed (more or less earnestly in a certain direction); intensively to interest oneself

Luke 18:12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’

Gill: Now the two days in the week on which they fasted were Monday and Thursday, the second and fifth days; on which days the law of Moses, and the book of Esther were read, by the order of Ezra; and fasts for the congregation were appointed on those days …. the reason for this is, by some, said to be, because Moses went up to Mount Sinai on a Thursday, and came down on a Monday. But though these men fasted so often, they took care not to hurt themselves; for they allowed themselves to eat in the night till break of day.

So kind of a half of a fast

The day that we fast and eat on doesn’t matter.

So now to address some more of what some take this to mean about the Sabbath.

IF Paul would have done away with the Sabbath what do you think the Jewish community would have done? Paul throughout the book of Romans enjoins the law without doubt. When you fast during the week it is not a matter of law.

This whole chapter is about judging and eating and even the context of this verse is about eating and fasting.

Romans 14:7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.

none of us lives to himself Christians do not follow their own will or opinions as the word “observes” means in the previous verse

We find the answer of whom we live to, if not ourselves, in the next verse

Romans 14:8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.

We belong to Jesus Christ because He died for us, thereby paying the penalty of death for our sins. Because of this and the fact that we are His servants (:4) He is the One that judges, not us

Romans 14:9 For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.

He is ruler, authority, and King of Kings and Lord of Lords

Romans 14:10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

But why do you judge your brother [incorrectly or leading to condemnation]? If this is a reference back to :3 then the first question is towards the weaker/Gentile first and then the next question to the Christian Jew.

But both can be applied to us today depending on the situation that we are in, whether we are strong or weak?

Bottom line is that we need to keep our attitude in-check in matters like these and that ultimately Jesus Christ is our Judge, all of us Christian Jew or Christian Gentile – we are all just Christians.

CAVEAT: We are to judge, in the right way just not condemn. Even in this circumstance, we are to make judgments (ie weaker, whether to eat in front of them or not)

Reference: Thou Shalt Judge

stand before substantiate; present, prove, provide, show, yield (as :12 retierates)

the judgment seat of Christ. Judged on our growth in faith and works


Romans 14:12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.

God will be the ultimate judge, we need to be careful about the judgments we make that they would be aligned with God’s.

Romans 14:13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve [krino:judge] this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.

Don’t judge this specific situation, BUT JUDGE this

Are putting a:

stumbling block literally a block that you put in the way for the specific purpose of causing your brother to fall

cause to fall into a snare or a trap

Even if it is lawful what we are doing

Romans 14:14 I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean [consistent translation: common; better/clearer translation:defiled] of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean [common; defiled], to him it is unclean [common; defiled].

Bias in the translation

koinos profane: – common, defiled, unclean, unholy.

Acts 10:14 uses both words unclean vs common

Acts 10:14 But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.”

Acts 10:15 And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.”

Acts 10:28 Then he said to them, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

certain meats uncommon is the only internal evidence what some of this may be about

Leviticus 22:8 Whatever dies naturally or is torn by beasts he shall not eat, to defile himself with it: I am the LORD.

Leviticus 17:13 “Whatever man of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, who hunts and catches any animal or bird that may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with dust;

Leviticus 17:14 for it is the life of all flesh. Its blood sustains its life. Therefore I said to the children of Israel, ‘You shall not eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off.’

If someone thinks it is wrong then don’t judge him in it

Romans 14:15 Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food [not just meat], you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died.

1 Corinthians 8:7 However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.

1 Corinthians 8:8 But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse.

1 Corinthians 8:9 But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak.

1 Corinthians 8:10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols?

1 Corinthians 8:11 And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?

1 Corinthians 8:12 But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.

1 Corinthians 8:13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

If we truly are stronger, then this is what we should/would do.

We can do it ourselves, just don’t make it a problem for them

Romans 14:16 Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil;

Romans 14:17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

In the end what is most important? It is surely not meat and drink

Romans 14:18 For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.

Romans 14:19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.

Summarizes what Paul is getting at and alluding to

Contentions about what day to fast on? Whether we should eat what the Bible says we can eat?

Rather we should not offend and go the other direction and make peace.

Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.


It is evil and breaks the peace to cause others to stumble when it is in your power to not do so. So Paul says:

Romans 14:20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense.

Romans 14:21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.

As we see once again, the question is not whether we should eat unclean meat, but whether we should eat clean meat at all if it offends a weaker member.

It is interesting that when WCG said it was OK to eat what God did not make for eating (is that so hard to comprehend?) that they in using this chapter completely disregarded the main point of the chapter (not to offend others in your eating) especially when they felt they were the stronger, more knowledgeable spiritually!

Don’t do it in front of him – it’s okay in front of God [see next verse]

Romans 14:22 Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn [krino: judge] himself in what he approves [even can have the connotation of discerned].

If when we evaluate an issue and based on what we know and understand correctly in the bible

(or judge it)

Example of voodoo in New Orleans to bring it home

Romans 14:23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.

he who doubts diakrino: discerns; through judgment comes to another conclusion that it is not okay to eat the food then:

is condemned [katakrino: condemn] because he goes against what he believes to be right; he goes against his conscience. And this is where we learn that:

whatever is not from faith is sin

Can’t go against your conscience

Sin is 1 John 3:4 and this adds to it