When the focus is on making others perfect instead of helping them to grow, the body of Christ suffers. In chapters 14-15, Paul provides guidance regarding the actions that loving Christians must take—even when they strongly disagree. Perhaps the two most often used words in today’s church are vision and destiny. and in your name do many mighty works?’. Paul’s letter to the *Romans. It is very difficult not to demonize those from the other side. It is therefore vitally important for us to respect our interdependence. 3Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgment on those who eat; for God has welcomed them. It is very difficult to love them. Paul stands our opinions alongside the judgment seat of God to let us see how inconsequential our judgments really are—how little they count. Perhaps the only available meat has been sacrificed to idols—an issue in Corinth (1 Corinthians 8), from which Paul writes this epistle. Particularly with respect to different kinds of food, Romans 14:2-4. Romans 14 – Helping a Weaker Brother A. Don’t judge each other in doubtful things. Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. We can only guess why some Roman Christians eat only vegetables. To his own lord (kurios—lord or master) he (singular) stands or falls“ (v. 4a). Just as the observance of dietary restrictions is a mark of the faithful Jew, so also is observance of the Sabbath and holy days. this is the conclusion, drawn from the foregoing account of things, that there will be a general judgment, that Christ will be Judge, and all must appear at his bar; from whence it necessarily follows, that every man, and so every Christian, strong or weak, whatever may be his gifts, talents, and abilities, Part of The Bible Teacher's Commentary on the Book of Romans. but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 4Who are you who judge another’s servant? For none of us liveth to himself, and none dieth to himself. The strong (those who eat) are inclined to despise the weak, and the scrupulous (those who abstain) are inclined to judge the less scrupulous. One position is intensely legalistic and structured, and if you do not agree with them in such positions, you are not spiritual. We Must Accept Fellow-Believers Despite Our Differences of Opinion (:1-3) a. Paul quotes Isaiah 45:32, with minor modifications. The “weak in faith,” mentioned in the first verse of this reading apparently abstain from meat, observe one … Continue reading "Commentary on Romans 14:1-12" didn’t we prophesy in your name, 1. Or you again, why do you despise your brother? 4, 10). The bystander who passes judgment on the servant risks offending, not just the servant, but the master as well. How would you describe the strong? The 21st century, like the church in Rome, is operating under the same ecclesial and political system of the weak and the strong, whereby others are excluded, shunned, and at times silenced. The principle of addressing concerns to the master does not apply in situations where there is no conflict. Commentary on Romans 14:1-12 View Bible Text . In things indifferent, Christians should not condemn each other, Romans 14:1. In the following verses, he will ask us to temper our convictions with charity, but first he asks us to have convictions. Soon, Paul will tell us that those who fail to live by their convictions “is condemned…, because it isn’t of faith; and whatever is not of faith is sin” (v. 23). in your name cast out demons, Romans 14:1-12 give instructions for the overscrupulous Christians who made indifferent things a matter of conscience; ... Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1970), p. 456. Romans 14:1-6 Directions to treat a weak brother kindly, and not to despise or censure one another in matters of indifference. While differences might divide them, their common faith binds them. Or if we die, we die to the Lord. Paul correctly identifies the tendency of both sides. 2 One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks. Starting in chapter 12, he moves into the practical results of the gospel. Starting in chapter 12, he moves into the practical results of the gospel. In the early church, Christians often disagreed with each other and created problems for one another. “Don’t let him who doesn’t eat judge him who eats, for God has accepted him (him)“ (v. 3b). The wealthy and educated ones, regardless of their faith, tend to look down on the uneducated, the poor, and those living in the so-called Global South. Sincerity is necessary but insufficient—it does matter what we believe. Some have one opinion regarding the observance of special days, and others have a different opinion. 14 Accept the one whose faith is weak,l without quarreling over disputable matters. The person in jeopardy is not the person from the other side of the fence, but is instead the person who is guilty of passing judgment on the master’s servant (v. 4a). This shift from individuals to groups muddies the focus in the sense that it is easier for us to love the neighborhood, everyone (theoretical love)—than to love the neighbor, the particular person (practical love)—especially if our neighbor happens to play the trombone. Romans 14:1-12. Romans 14:12 - Romans 14:23. Fundamentalists, evangelical conservatives, evangelical liberals, and flaming liberals (!) Today, the divided and splintered global Christian world is in need of spiritually renewed minds and hearts. Romans chapter 14 is a complex segment of scripture that frequently is both misunderstood and abused. “For to this end Christ died, rose, and lived again, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living” (v. 9). the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. Paul’s word that God welcomes people from both sides is surely a surprise to both sides, each of which believes their side to be doing God’s will and the other side to be an offense to God. That was the case in Paul’s day, and the principle still applies today in any well-structured organization. “For if we live, we live to the Lord. The weak “eats only vegetables,” in deference to Jewish dietary restrictions—even though Jewish law makes provision for eating meat. Romans 14:1-23.SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED--CHRISTIAN FORBEARANCE. Filter The Archives: Wordpress Meta Data and Taxonomies Filter. Rather than siding with those on one side of the fence, Paul calls both sides to consider carefully what is required and to live with conviction. While this is a great privilege, it also obligates us to try to live as God would have us to live. all distance themselves over differences of opinion. English Standard Version Update. Paul does not endorse every sincere-but-murderous opinion, but instead calls us to live by our convictions. He is led into making it quite incidentally.  Richard A. Batey, The Letter of Paul to the Romans (Austin, Texas: The R. B. What do Romans 14:7-8 mean? Typically, the person with an agenda welcomes others only as a means to an end. Yes, he will be made to stand, for God (Greek: ho kurios—the Lord) has power to make him stand. The weak are “weak in faith.” In this context, “weak in faith” does not mean not believing in Christ. He then asks Christians not to cause one another to stumble (14:13-23). The Apostle’s world had become tribal in nature, with the church caught in an intricate web of tribalism and racism between Jews and Gentiles. Verse 7. Life gives us opportunity to serve the Lord, and death will bring us home to the Lord. Not only is it possible that the Lord might uphold both weak and strong, but Paul says that God will actually do that. “For it is written, ‘As I live,’ says the Lord, ‘to me every knee will bow. What follows from the preceding (from πάντες γὰρ … onward). 6He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. They understand that salvation depends on Christ alone, and is not enhanced by dietary restrictions. We must not judge each other; for all judgment belongs to God, Romans 14:10-13. In this instance, Paul tells us, God wants us to welcome Christian brothers and sisters who differ with us (v. 1). (1-2) Receiving the weaker brother. In the early church, Christians often disagreed with each other and created problems for one another. To have done so earlier would have further polarized the Jewish and Gentile Christians to whom he was writing, and his goal is to bring them together instead of driving them further apart. Romans 14:1-12 SW-Admin 2019-08-12T18:09:57-07:00. Romans 14:1-12 Obstacles - What refreshing and potentially helpful advice from Paul for our own age which has long since been divided over non-essentials and differences of biblical interpretation. Application to Doubtful Things (14:1—15:13) It is not difficult to run across two extreme positions in Christianity. “Yes, he (singular) will be made to stand (histemi), for God (ho kurios—the Lord) has power to make him (singular) stand” (v. 4b). or loving our neighbors (Ro 13:8ff.). What are the contours of praise for God?1. As we read this part of Romans, we are also called to put ourselves in the place of ancient Jews and Gentiles, and to recognize the changes that are necessary to be a hospitable church. This is a study guide commentary ,which means that you are … It is of little consequence, so far as the principles involved are concerned, whether these were the food which the Mosaic ordinances made unclean, or, as in Corinth, meats offered to idols. “Let each man be fully assured in his own mind” (v. 5b). Summons to brotherliness towards the weak ones (Romans 14:1). Read from a resurrection and spiritual point of view, Romans 14:1-12 seems to reiterate and interpret Romans 8:31-39 and also Philippians 2:5-11. As a result, Sunday morning has become deeply tribal in church attendance. When the church fails to be a sacred space for unity and appreciation of diversity, the entire secular world suffers. 1. The clarion call of Romans 14:1-12 is captured in a single concept, “hospitality” (14:1a). Romans 14:1-12 give instructions for the overscrupulous Christians who made indifferent things a matter of conscience; and Romans 14:13-23 outline the instructions for the proper employment of Christian liberty. Romans 12:14 Bless them that persecute you; bless, and curse not. It is very difficult to welcome Christians from the other side as Christian brothers and sisters—and to accept the possibility that God welcomes them too. He obviously considers those who eat anything to be the strong in faith in the sense that they rely on Christ alone. Nor did St. Paul attempt to end them. c. Our Attitude = spirit of acceptance. Many will tell me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, 2. In Romans 14:1-12, Paul’s main point is that we are to accept one another and not judge or look with contempt on those who differ with us over non-essential matters. Contact & Service Times. They are members of our Christian family, and will be for eternity. “Don’t let him (singular) who eats despise him (singular) who doesn’t eat“ (v. 3a). 14 Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. Paul writes to the Romans that “the man who is weak in faith . Where there are categories, there is no unity. Romans 12:14 Bless them that persecute you; bless, and curse not. (Whiteside p. 253) Pray for their salvation, instead of their damnation! (12:1—15:13) B. 2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. When we stand in line on Judgment Day, we will be too conscious of our own faults to worry about our sister’s faults. Romans 14:1-12 King James Version << Romans 13 | Romans 14 | Romans 15 >> Those Weak in Faith. In this passage Paul exhorts the Roman Church to focus on offering their lives to God through Christ, not … First, he deals with differences of opinion regarding rules about food and days (14:1-12). Paul expressed a similar sentiment in his letter to the Philippians: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). Hilda Bright and Keith Simons. Paul is more concerned about the manner in which we deal with differences than about the fact that we have differences. “but not for disputes over opinions” (v. 1b). By despising or judging our Christian brother or sister, we risk incurring God’s wrath—God’s judgment (see Matthew 7:1; Luke 6:37). It would be easy to misunderstand “Let each man be fully assured in his own mind” (v. 5b) as endorsing, “It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere”—a popular belief in many quarters, but one fraught with peril. Such observance is a part of the Jewish identity, and it would be very difficult for people who have practiced it throughout their lives to discontinue it. We should not lose sight of the fact that Paul speaks of our fellow Christians as brothers and sisters. A Living Sacrifice. This passage has been a favorite among Christians who object to vegetarianism. Devotional Questions – Romans 14:1-12 1. It is clear, however, that he is speaking only of Christians who intend to honor God by their actions and who live their lives in thankful dependence on God. It was just such self-righteousness that led scribes and Pharisees to plot Jesus’ crucifixion, and self-righteousness has plagued the church throughout its history. Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things.For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables.. a. He calls us to recognize our essential connectedness as brothers and sisters in Christ (vv. Barclay, William, The Daily Study Bible: The Letter to the Romans, revised edition (Edinburgh: The Saint Andrew Press, 1975), Brueggemann, Walter; Cousar, Charles B.; Gaventa, Beverly R.; and Newsome, James D., Texts for Preaching: A Lectionary Commentary Based on the NRSV — Year A (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1995), Craddock, Fred B.; Hayes, John H.; Holladay, Carl R.; and Tucker, Gene M., Preaching Through the Christian Year, A (Valley Forge: Trinity Press International, 1992), Dunn, James D. G., Word Biblical Commentary: Romans 9-16, Vol. Sweet Company, 1969), p. 165. However clergy and lay Christians choose to address this question, the Apostle Paul boils everything down to God, in whom all created beings have their foundation, form, living, and destiny. 2 One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. . (Romans 14:1—15:13) V. Application (cont.) 1Now accept one (Greek: the one—singular) who is weak in faith, but not for disputes over opinions. To discontinue would feel unfaithful. BIG IDEA: F. WE ARE TO SERVE GOD BY ALLOWING FELLOW-BELIEVERS THE FREEDOM TO BELIEVE DIFFERENTLY, DESPITE OUR DIFFERENCE OF OPINION. CHAPTER 14. We cannot edify one another, while quarrelling and contending. Commentary, Romans 14:1-12, Mary Hinkle Shore, Preaching This Week, WorkingPreacher.org, 2011. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks. Those unnecessary additions take the focus off Christ and his work.”. When St. Paul says that “each one of us shall give account of himself to God,” he makes one of the most solemn statements that are to be found even in his Epistles. We live our lives in relationship to other people. Even if someone were to tell these people that Christ has freed us from such observance, they would be inclined to say, “But what harm can it do? Consciously, intentionally, and with a clear mind, the human family dehumanizes and pulls down those who do not belong to the tribe. “One man esteems one day as more important. 2One man has faith (Greek: One man believes—singular) to eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. Gentiles are often attracted to Judaism by its strong moral component, and Gentile proselytes are often quite devoted to Jewish law. The entire New Testament is about love, but many people operate with a mindset of … How would you describe the weak believer? Romans 14:1-12 is a call to introspection of individuals, groups, clergy, and faith pillars who have settled into a culture of tolerance instead of love, hospitality, and appreciation of others. Romans 14:1-12 is a call to introspection of individuals, groups, clergy, and faith pillars who have settled into a culture of tolerance instead of love, hospitality, and appreciation of others. SCRIPTURE QUOTATIONS are from the World English Bible (WEB), a public domain (no copyright) modern English translation of the Holy Bible. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. If therefore we live or die, we are the Lord’s” (v. 8). Instead of commending one behavior or the other (eating or not eating), Paul calls both sides to restrain themselves—to abstain from unfavorable judgments regarding the other side. Romans 14:10-12 We must all be answerable for our respective conduct at his judgment-seat. We can help them to become strong, but only through love—logic cannot, by itself win the brother or sister. )—to acknowledge that each of us is accountable to God (v 12)—and to trust God to do his work well. The Internet Troll vs The Inner Toll, Alicia Johnston, ON Scripture, 2017. 2. b. For people who have observed dietary restrictions all their lives, it would be difficult not to consider them essential. If it is not proper to pass judgment on the servants of another—and if Christ is Lord of all—then it follows (as Paul will point out in vv. Paul makes this contrast to highlight the arrogance involved in our judging other Christians. 6. The problem is not the difference of opinions, but is instead the judgmental attitudes that we develop toward Christians on the other side of the fence. 7. suggests that forgiveness might be as simple as taking a pill: once a day for a week and you are good to go. "Call down blessings on your persecutors--blessings, not curses" (NEB) (Luke 6:28; Luke 23:34; Acts 7:60). The NRSV uses plurals to translate singulars throughout this passage to accommodate inclusive language (“their” instead of “his”). The subject here, and on to Romans 15:13, is the consideration due from stronger Christians to their weaker brethren; which is but the great law of love (treated of in the thirteenth chapter) in one particular form.. 1. Problem -- strong in faith vs. weak. This commentary has been through Advanced Checking.. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; Then I will tell them, ‘I never knew you. "To curse does not mean to use ordinary profanity; it is a call for calamity to befall a person." 4 Who are you to judge someone … Romans 1-6 - The Conflict . This section of Romans makes it clear that divisions in the church go back to the earliest churches. And so the less scrupulous are tempted to despise the more scrupulous—and the more scrupulous are tempted to judge the less scrupulous. Words in boxes are from the Bible. Having established that it is not proper to “pass judgment on servants of another,” (v. 4), Paul now establishes that Christ is Lord over all—both living and dead. “Accept the one who is weak in faith.” In fact there are three various commands mentioned in verses 1-6.1 They set the foundation of all what Paul says in Romans 14. This commentary has been through Advanced Checking.. Paul’s words would not have the same effect if addressed to people with no Christian faith. “For none of us lives to himself, and none dies to himself” (v. 7). Paul speaks of the “weak” here, but will not use the word “strong” until 15:1, where he says, “Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” Paul obviously counts himself among the strong, and we know that he does not feel bound to Jewish dietary restrictions. The Apostle Paul is thus quick to alert Christians in Rome (and consequently, in every place) about the dangers of failing to live as a family. (Romans 14 Commentary) John Stott summarizes this section - Our relationship to the weak: welcoming, and not despising, judging or offending them - Ro 14:1-15:13 Both previous chapters of Romans have laid emphasis on the primacy of love, whether loving our enemies (Ro 12:9, 14, 17ff.) Conversely, some Jews (Paul is one of these) believe that they are no longer bound by Jewish dietary laws, and therefore feel free to eat non-kosher food. Romans 14:1-12 Bible Study: Respecting Our Differences help us to understand how to think of and respect those that differ than us on unclear areas (interpreting and applying Bible passages in different ways). Paul does not mention Jews or Gentiles until the end of this section. We are not sure which days are in question here—probably Jewish feast days or the Sabbath. . Romans 14:1-12. If therefore we live or die, we are the Lord’s. Christ is, indeed, our only hope, but some who think of him as Savior will be badly surprised. Study the bible online using commentary on Romans 14 and more! We would do well to adopt that heavenly perspective now—to deal with the log in our own eye instead of complaining about the speck in our brother’s eye (Matthew 7:3-5). Romans 14:1-12 -- Piety Allows for Variety. This helps us to identify which positions Paul considers as “weak” and “strong.” This is helpful, because Paul generally avoids endorsing one side or the other here—and “weak” is obviously a negative characterization while “strong” is positive. If we were to welcome a “weak in faith” Christian “but not for disputes over opinions,” (v. 1b) our real concern would be quarreling rather than welcoming. 3 Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment … 2 One man’s faith permits him to eat everything, while the weak believer eats only vegetables [to avoid eating ritually unclean meat or something previously considered unclean]. We should not do any thing by which a weak brother may be stumbled or grieved; lest we destroy him for whom Christ died, Romans 1… Sweet Company, 1969), p. 165. The text arises out of a transitional era in religious history, when many converts to Christ were passing from one great divine system (the Mosaic regime) to another (the Christian age). Epistles: Dealing With Disagreements (Romans 14:1-12) Paul’s letter to the Romans is his most systematic presentation of the gospel. Through these references, Paul seems to be hinting at the way the Jewish and Gentile Christians categorized each other. Yet, the Apostle Paul’s appeal is for people to live in a Trinitarian manner, by honoring and appreciating the humanity of each other. Next. Read the Scripture: Romans 14:1-12 We are back in the fourteenth chapter of Romans this morning, and we are going to be discussing the favorite indoor sport of Christians, that is, trying to change each other. He explains human sinfulness and the forgiveness that we have in Christ (chapters 1-8). 3 The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. The God of the Apostle Paul, Jesus who called him, and the Holy Spirit who worked in his life were not ideological but counter-ideological. 38B (Dallas: Word Books, 1988), Morris, Leon, The Epistle to the Romans (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdman’s Publishing Co, 1988), Mounce, Robert H., The New American Commentary: Romans, (Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995), Wright, N. Thomas, The New Interpreter’s Bible: Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, Vol. The Weak and the Strong. 14 As for the  one whose faith is weak, accept him [into your fellowship], but not for [the purpose of] quarreling over his opinions. Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible. 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