Romans 14:1-23 - Do Not Pass Judgment On One Another

1 But you should welcome [into your fellowship] the person whose faith is weak, and not argue [with him] over questionable matters. 2 One person has enough faith that allows him to eat anything [i.e., without it bothering his conscience that the food, such as animal meat, was used in an idolatrous worship ceremony]. But the weak person can eat only vegetables [conscientiously]. 3 The person who can eat anything should not look down on the person who cannot eat [what was used in idolatrous worship]; and the person who cannot eat [such things] should not pass judgment on the person who can. For God accepts that person, too. 4 Who [do you think] you are, to pass judgment on someone else's household servant? He stands [approved] or falls [into disapproval] before his own Master [only]. Yes, [surely] he will stand [approved], for the Lord is capable of helping him to stand.

5 One person regards a certain day more important than another; the next person regards every day alike. Each person should be fully convinced in his own mind [i.e., concerning their relative importance]. 6 The person who observes a certain day [as specially sacred], does so out of devotion to the Lord. And the person who eats [only certain foods] does so out of devotion to the Lord, for he is thankful to God [for what he eats]. And the person who refuses to eat [certain foods], does so out of devotion to the Lord and he is thankful to God [for what he does eat]. 7 For none of us lives for his own benefit [only], and none of us dies for his own benefit [only]. 8 For if we live, it is for the Lord's [honor]; or if we die, it is for the Lord's [honor]. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 For this is the reason that Christ died and [now] lives again, so that He could be Lord of both those who have [already] died and those who are [still] alive. 10 But why do you [who eat only certain foods] condemn your brother [who feels he can eat anything]? Or, indeed, why do you [i.e., who feels he can eat anything] look down on your brother [i.e., who eats only certain foods]? For all of us will have to stand before the judgment bar of God. 11 For it is written [Isa. 45:23], "As surely as I am the living God, says the Lord, everyone's knee will bow before me, and everyone's mouth will confess to [or, praise] God."

12 So then, every one of us [i.e., including Christians] will have to give an account of himself to God.

13 So, we should stop judging one another any more. But instead, you people should determine not to put anything in your brother's way [to cause him] to trip or fall [away from God]. 14 As one who is in [fellowship with] the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that nothing in itself is [ceremonially] unclean. But to the person who considers something [ceremonially] unclean, it then becomes unclean to him. 15 For if your brother is hurt [spiritually] by [your eating a certain] food, you are no longer acting lovingly [toward him]. Do not destroy [spiritually] the person Christ died for by what you eat. 16 Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken against [i.e., the exercise of a liberty by the strong to eat anything must not become the occasion of criticism by the weak]. 17 For God's kingdom is not a matter of what people eat or drink, but [instead, it is a matter] of doing what is right, having peace [of heart] and having [inner] joy, which come from the Holy Spirit. 18 For the person who serves Christ with these qualities is very pleasing to God and wins the approval of people.

19 So then, let us pursue such things that produce peace and things that build one another up [spiritually]. 20 Do not destroy God's work [i.e., someone's life] for the sake of something to eat. All foods are truly clean [ceremonially]; however, it is wrong for a person to eat something when it causes another person to fall [away from God]. 21 [So], it is better [for you] not to eat bread, nor to drink wine, nor to do anything [else] that could cause your brother to fall [away from God]. 22 Therefore, whatever you believe about this matter should be held between you and God. That person is happy who does not condemn himself for practicing something he believes is right. 23 But the person who has doubts about eating [a certain food] is self-condemned if he [goes ahead and] eats it, because his action is not based on faith [i.e., if he lacks the conviction that he is doing what is right]. And whatever is not done with such a conviction is a sin.