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14. The Weak and the Strong

1But him that is weak in faith receive ye, yet not for decision of scruples. 2One man hath faith to eat all things: but he that is weak eateth herbs. 3Let not him that eateth set at nought him that eateth not; and let not him that eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. 4Who art thou that judgest the servant of another? to his own lord he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be made to stand; for the Lord hath power to make him stand. 5One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let each man be fully assured in his own mind. 6He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord: and he that eateth, eateth unto the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, unto the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. 7For none of us liveth to himself, and none dieth to himself. 8For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; or whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. 9For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. 10But thou, why dost thou judge thy brother? or thou again, why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment-seat of God. 11For it is written,

As I live, saith the Lord, to me every knee shall bow,

And every tongue shall confess to God.

12So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God. 13Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge ye this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock in his brother's way, or an occasion of falling. 14I know, and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean of itself: save that to him who accounteth anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15For if because of meat thy brother is grieved, thou walkest no longer in love. Destroy not with thy meat him for whom Christ died. 16Let not then your good be evil spoken of: 17for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18For he that herein serveth Christ is well-pleasing to God, and approved of men. 19So then let us follow after things which make for peace, and things whereby we may edify one another. 20Overthrow not for meat's sake the work of God. All things indeed are clean; howbeit it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. 21It is good not to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor to do anything whereby thy brother stumbleth. 22The faith which thou hast, have thou to thyself before God. Happy is he that judgeth not himself in that which he approveth. 23But he that doubteth is condemned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith; and whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

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5. One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day—The supplement "alike" should be omitted, as injuring the sense.

Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind—be guided in such matters by conscientious conviction.

6. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it to the Lord—the Lord Christ, as before.

and he … not, to the Lord he doth not—each doing what he believes to be the Lord's will.

He that earth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks—The one gave thanks to God for the flesh which the other scrupled to use; the other did the same for the herbs to which, for conscience' sake, he restricted himself. From this passage about the observance of days, Alford unhappily infers that such language could not have been used if the sabbath law had been in force under the Gospel in any form. Certainly it could not, if the sabbath were merely one of the Jewish festival days; but it will not do to take this for granted merely because it was observed under the Mosaic economy. And certainly, if the sabbath was more ancient than Judaism; if, even under Judaism, it was enshrined among the eternal sanctities of the Decalogue, uttered, as no other parts of Judaism were, amidst the terrors of Sinai; and if the Lawgiver Himself said of it when on earth, "The Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day" (see Mr 2:28)—it will be hard to show that the apostle must have meant it to be ranked by his readers among those vanished Jewish festival days, which only "weakness" could imagine to be still in force—a weakness which those who had more light ought, out of love, merely to bear with.

7, 8. For none of us—Christians

liveth to himself—(See 2Co 5:14, 15), to dispose of himself or shape his conduct after his own ideas and inclinations.

and no man—"and none" of us Christians "dieth to himself."

8. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord—the Lord Christ; see Ro 14:9.

and whether we die, we die unto the Lord; whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's—Nothing but the most vivid explanation of these remarkable words could make them endurable to any Christian ear, if Christ were a mere creature. For Christ is here—in the most emphatic terms, and yet in the most unimpassioned tone—held up as the supreme Object of the Christian's life, and of his death too; and that by the man whose horror of creature worship was such, that when the poor Lycaonians would have worshipped him, he rushed forth to arrest the deed, directing them to "the living God," as the only legitimate Object of worship (Ac 14:15). Nor does Paul teach this here, but rather appeals to it as a known and recognized fact, of which he had only to remind his readers. And since the apostle, when he wrote these words, had never been at Rome, he could only know that the Roman Christians would assent to this view of Christ, because it was the common teaching of all the accredited preachers of Christianity, and the common faith of all Christians.




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