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Romans 14:13-15

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Romans 14:13
  • Romans 14:14
  • Romans 14:15

The Apostle Paul writes to the world-renowned believers in Rome, the center of the world at that time, in order to answer a slanderous charge made to them against Paul and his message. Paul’s detractors claim his emphasis on faith overturns the law. Paul says that ” just living by the law” does not achieve personal justice before God, while “just living by faith” does. Paul then demonstrates what a just life looks like: harmonious living with Jesus as the leader. Paul also makes clear the choice a believer has: to walk in faith and the power of the resurrection and experience resurrection life, or walk in sin and unnecessarily experience the negative consequences.


Paul continues to demonstrate what living righteously by faith looks like. Part of that is living as an example for others and taking into account their consciences and where they are in their lives. Being able to see their perspective and discern what is in their best interest. Sometimes we might limit our own freedom in order to benefit our brothers and sisters in Christ.


Christians should not condemn one another over opinions, but instead should live sacrificially and harmoniously with each other.

 

Paul is telling the believers in Rome let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. Paul does not want them to argue over opinions (verse 1) because it will harm the righteous and harmonious living that we believers should be pursuing (Romans 12). To illustrate this, Paul uses an example common to the people at the time of his writing. There was a debate over which foods God deemed okay for eating, and which foods were not okay. Even to this day there is common practice among Orthodox Jews to abstain eating certain foods determined in the Old Testament to be “unclean.”

know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. Paul says that even though he is convinced that no food is unclean, if another believer determines certain food as unclean, then that believer should not eat it. This is because anything apart from faith is sin (verse 23). So, if a believer eats or drinks something he believes he shouldn’t, then eating or drinking those things would be sinful for him. If we can’t do something with faith that God determined it as good or ok for us to do, we shouldn’t do it.

The main thing we want to do is serve others in love, so that means we need to understand what blesses people and what harms them, and endeavor to bless them. For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died.

Biblical Text

13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. 14 I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15 For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died.

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