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Romans 14:5-9

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Romans 14:5
  • Romans 14:6
  • Romans 14:7
  • Romans 14:8
  • Romans 14:9

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.


Christ died and resurrected to be the Lord of our lives. There may be petty differences in how we live, but whatever we do should be for the Lord, rather than ourselves, according to our conscience.

Paul addresses other differences, in this case regarding religious practice. Some people of weak faith regards one day above another, thinking certain days are holier than others and another regards every day alike. Some modern Christians take the Lent season very seriously and some ignore it. Each is fine, so long as he is fully convinced in his own mind (verse 5). The other key is to be thankful, irrespective of how and what days are celebrated, he who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God.

The same applies to food. Whatever decision is made about food, the key is to be thankful. The heart attitude is the key.

Paul writes later on in this chapter, in verse 14, “I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself,” but he acknowledges that for some weaker believers there are still substances or practices that can harm their walk with God if indulged in, or if abandoned.

Jesus Himself was criticized by the Pharisees for breaking a rule on the Sabbath, and His response was, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). The Sabbath is a day that God has made that we can rejoice in. Does that mean we throw the Sabbath principles out the door? No. We need rest. We need time set aside for God. But is there just one way to do that? No. Paul describes different ways believers practice their faith, all with the intention of doing it for the Lord, not for themselves.

We should live our lives in faith and in thanks to the Lord, even if we go about certain practices differently. Paul doesn’t want us to fall into judging one another for these differences, as he states in the following verses. His main point in this passage is that we are the Lord’s, whether we live or die, for not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. He desires we live out our daily lives for Him, rather than looking down on others for their weak faith, or their old habits of obsolete religious practices. Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

Biblical Text

5 One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God. 7 For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; 8 for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

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