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Chapter 14

1Treat people who are overscrupulous in their faith like brothers; do not criticize their views. 2One man’s faith allows him to eat anything, while the overscrupulous man eats nothing but vegetables. 3The man who will eat anything must not look down on the man who abstains from some things, and the man who abstains from them must not criticize the one who does not, for God has accepted him. 4Who are you to criticize someone else’s servant? It is for his own master to say whether he succeeds or fails; and he will succeed, for the Master can make him do so. 5One man thinks one day better than another, while another thinks them all alike. Everybody must be fully convinced in his own mind. 6The man who observes the day does it in the Lord’s honor. The man who eats does it in the Lord’s honor, for he gives God thanks, and the man who abstains does it in the Lord’s honor, and gives him thanks. 7None of us lives only to himself, and none of us dies only to himself; 8if we live, we are responsible to the Lord, and if we die, we are responsible to him; so whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9For Christ died and returned to life for the very purpose of being Lord of both the dead and the living. 10What business have you to criticize your brother? What business have you to look down upon your brother? We shall all have to stand before God for judgment. 11For the Scripture says,

“As surely as I live, says the Lord, every knee will bend before me,

And every tongue will make its confession to God.”

12So each one of us must give an account of himself to God.

13Therefore let us not criticize one another any more. You must resolve instead never to put any hindrance or obstacle in your brother’s way. 14I know and as a follower of the Lord Jesus I am convinced that nothing is unclean in itself; a thing is unclean only to the man who regards it as unclean. 15For if your brother’s feelings are hurt by what you eat, your life is not governed by love. You must not, by what you eat, ruin a man for whom Christ died. 16The thing you have a right to do must not become a cause of reproach. 17The Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of uprightness, peace, and happiness through the possession of the holy Spirit. 18Whoever serves Christ in that way pleases God and gains the approval of men. 19Let us, therefore, keep before us whatever will contribute to peace and the development of one another. 20You must not, just for the sake of food, undo the work of God. It is true, everything is clean, but it is wrong for a man to hurt the consciences of others by what he eats. 21The right thing to do is to eat no meat at all and to drink no wine or do anything else if it hurts your brother’s conscience. 22For your part, you must keep the faith you have to yourself, as between God and you. He is a happy man who has no fault to find with himself in following the course that he approves, 23but the man who has misgivings about eating, and then eats, is thereby condemned, for he is not following his convictions, and anything that does not rest on conviction is wrong.

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