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.
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.