Romans 14
International Standard Version

How to Treat Weak Believers

1Accept anyone who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of arguing over differences of opinion. 2One person believes that he may eat anything, while the weaka person eats onlyb vegetables. 3The person who eats any kind of foodc must not ridicule the person who does not eat them,d and the person who does not eat certain foodse must not criticize the person who eats them,f for God has accepted him. 4Who are you to criticize someone else’s servant? He stands or falls before his own Lord—and stand he will, because the Lordg makes him stand.

5One person decides in favor of one day over another, while another person decides that all days are the same. Let each one be fully convinced in his own mind: 6The one who observes a special day,h observes it to honor the Lord. The one who eats, eats to honor the Lord, since he gives thanks to God. And the one who does not eat, refrains from eating to honor the Lord; yet he, too, gives thanks to God.

7For none of us lives for himself, and no one dies for himself. 8If we live, we live to honor the Lord; and if we die, we die to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9For this reason the Messiahi died and returned to life, so that he might become the Lord of both the dead and the living.

10Why, then, do you criticize your brother? Or why do you despise your brother? For all of us will stand before the judgment seat of God.j 11For it is written,

“As certainly as I live, declares the Lord,k

every knee will bow to me,

and every tongue will praisel God.”m

12Consequently, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

Acting in Love

13Therefore, let’s no longer criticizen each other. Instead, make up your mind not to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14I know—and have been persuaded by the Lord Jesus—that nothing is unclean in and of itself, but it is unclean to a person who thinks it is unclean. 15For if your brother is being hurt by what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not destroy the person for whom the Messiaho died by what you eat. 16Do not allow what seems good to you to be spoken of as evil. 17For God’s kingdom does not consist of food and drink, but of righteousness, peace, and joy produced by the Holy Spirit. 18For the person who serves the Messiahp in this way is pleasing to God and approved by people. 19Therefore, let’s keep on pursuing those things that bring peace and that lead to building up one another.

20Do not destroy God’s action for the sake of food. Everything is clean, but it is wrong to make another person stumble because of what you eat. 21The right thing to do is to avoid eating meat, drinking wine, or doing anything else that makes your brother stumble, upset, or weak.q 22As for the faith you do have, have it as your own conviction before God. How blessed is the person who has no reason to condemn himself because of what he approves! 23But the person who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not act in faith; and anything that is not done in faith is sin.


Footnotes:
a 14:2 Or ill
b 14:2 The Gk. lacks only
c 14:3 The Gk. lacks any kind of food
d 14:3 The Gk. lacks them
e 14:3 The Gk. lacks certain foods
f 14:3 The Gk. lacks them
g 14:4 Other mss. read because God
h 14:6 Lit. the day
i 14:9 Or Christ
j 14:10 Other mss. read of the Messiah
k 14:11 MT source citation reads LORD
l 14:11 Or confess
m 14:11 Cf. Isa 49:18; 45:23
n 14:13 Or let’s not criticize
o 14:15 Or Christ
p 14:18 Or Christ
q 14:21 Other mss. lack upset, or weak



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