|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:19-23 Many wish for peace, and talk loudly for it, who do not follow the things that make for peace. Meekness, humility, self-denial, and love, make for peace. We cannot edify one another, while quarrelling and contending. Many, for meat and drink, destroy the work of God in themselves; nothing more destroys the soul than pampering and pleasing the flesh, and fulfilling the lusts of it; so others are hurt, by wilful offence given. Lawful things may be done unlawfully, by giving offence to brethren. This takes in all indifferent things, whereby a brother is drawn into sin or trouble; or has his graces, his comforts, or his resolutions weakened. Hast thou faith? It is meant of knowledge and clearness as to our Christian liberty. Enjoy the comfort of it, but do not trouble others by a wrong use of it. Nor may we act against a doubting conscience. How excellent are the blessings of Christ's kingdom, which consists not in outward rites and ceremonies, but in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost! How preferable is the service of God to all other services! and in serving him we are not called to live and die to ourselves, but unto Christ, whose we are, and whom we ought to serve.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For meat destroy not the work of God,.... The Syriac reads it, "the works of God"; referring either to righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost, of which the kingdom of God consists; or to the weak brother, who both as a creature, and as a new creature, is the workmanship of God; and to the good work of grace, the work of faith upon his soul, which is the work of God; or rather to his peace, and the peace of the church of Christ, which is both the will and work of God; peace is what he calls his people to, and what he himself is the author of; and may be destroyed, and sometimes is, by trifling things; whereas a true believer, though ever so weak, cannot be destroyed, nor the good work of God upon his soul be lost, nor any part of it; not the work of faith, which Christ prays for that it fail not, and is both the author and finisher of; but the work of peace and edification in particular persons, and in a church, may be destroyed, but it is pity it should, by so small a matter, so trivial a thing as meat, or the use of anything that is indifferent:
all things indeed are pure. The Ethiopic version adds, "to the pure"; to them that have pure consciences, sprinkled by the blood of Christ, and have no doubt or scruple about eating things indifferent; but this addition seems to be taken out of Titus 1:15; though it may serve to explain the sense, which is, that all sorts of food, without any distinction, may be eaten; there is nothing common or unclean, every creature in itself is good, and every Christian may lawfully eat thereof, with moderation and thankfulness. This is a concession which stands thus corrected and restrained,
but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. The Arabic version adds, "of his neighbour"; which is a good interpretation of the passage; for the apostle means not with offence to a man's own conscience, though so to eat is an evil too, but with offence to a fellow Christian; it is not an evil in itself to eat, but when this circumstance of offending another thereby attends it; it is evil, though not in itself, yet in its consequences; it offends a weak brother, displeases Christ, who would not have one of his little ones offended, and brings a woe upon the person by whom the offence comes. The Ethiopic version reads, "who eats inordinately"; which to be sure is sinful, but is not the meaning here.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. For—"For the sake of"
meat destroy not the work of God—(See on Ro 14:15). The apostle sees in whatever tends to violate a brother's conscience the incipient destruction of God's work (for every converted man is such)—on the same principle as "he that hateth his brother is a murderer" (1Jo 3:15).
All things indeed are pure—"clean"; the ritual distinctions being at an end.
but it is evil to that man—there is criminality in the man
who eateth with offence—that is, so as to stumble a weak brother.
Romans 14:20 Parallel Commentaries
Romans 14:20 NIV
Romans 14:20 NLT
Romans 14:20 ESV
Romans 14:20 NASB
Romans 14:20 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible