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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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9. For to this end Christ both, &c.—The true reading here is, To this end Christ died and lived ("again").

that he might be Lord both of the dead and—"and of the"

living—The grand object of His death was to acquire this absolute Lordship over His redeemed, both in their living and in their dying, as His of right.

10. But why, &c.—The original is more lively:—"But thou (the weaker believer), why judgest thou thy brother? And thou again (the stronger), why despisest thou thy brother?"

for we shall all—the strong and the weak together.

stand before the judgment-seat of Christ—All the most ancient and best manuscripts read here, "the judgment-seat of God." The present reading doubtless crept in from 2Co 5:10, where "the judgment-seat of Christ" occurs. But here "the judgment-seat of God" seems to have been used, with reference to the quotation and the inference in Ro 14:11, 12.

11, 12. For it is written—(Isa 45:23).

As I live, saith the LordHebrew, Jehovah.

every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God—consequently, shall bow to the award of God upon their character and actions.

12. So then—infers the apostle.

every one of us shall give account of himself to God—Now, if it be remembered that all this is adduced quite incidentally, to show that Christ is the absolute Master of all Christians, to rule their judgments and feelings towards each other while "living," and to dispose of them "dying," the testimony which it bears to the absolute Divinity of Christ will appear remarkable. On any other view, the quotation to show that we shall all stand before the judgment-seat of God would be a strange proof that Christians are all amenable to Christ.




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