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Romans 14:14-15:13 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

14 The Lord Jesus has made it clear to me that God considers all foods fit to eat. But if you think some foods are unfit to eat, then for you they are not fit.

15 If you are hurting others by the foods you eat, you are not guided by love. Don’t let your appetite destroy someone Christ died for. 16 Don’t let your right to eat bring shame to Christ. 17 God’s kingdom isn’t about eating and drinking. It is about pleasing God, about living in peace, and about true happiness. All this comes from the Holy Spirit. 18 If you serve Christ in this way, you will please God and be respected by people. 19 We should try[a] to live at peace and help each other have a strong faith.

20 Don’t let your appetite destroy what God has done. All foods are fit to eat, but it is wrong to cause problems for others by what you eat. 21 It is best not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else that causes problems for other followers of the Lord. 22 What you believe about these things should be kept between you and God. You are fortunate, if your actions don’t make you have doubts. 23 But if you do have doubts about what you eat, you are going against your beliefs. And you know that is wrong, because anything you do against your beliefs is sin.

Please Others and Not Yourself

15 If our faith is strong, we should be patient with the Lord’s followers whose faith is weak. We should try to please them instead of ourselves. We should think of their good and try to help them by doing what pleases them. Even Christ did not try to please himself. But as the Scriptures say, “The people who insulted you also insulted me.” And the Scriptures were written to teach and encourage us by giving us hope. God is the one who makes us patient and cheerful. I pray that he will help you live at peace with each other, as you follow Christ. Then all of you together will praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Good News Is for Jews and Gentiles

Honor God by accepting each other, as Christ has accepted you. I tell you that Christ came as a servant of the Jews to show that God has kept the promises he made to their famous ancestors. Christ also came, so that the Gentiles would praise God for being kind to them. It is just as the Scriptures say,

“I will tell the nations
    about you,
and I will sing praises
    to your name.”

10 The Scriptures also say to the Gentiles, “Come and celebrate with God’s people.”

11 Again the Scriptures say,

“Praise the Lord,
    all you Gentiles.
All you nations, come
    and worship him.”

12 Isaiah says,

“Someone from David’s family
    will come to power.
He will rule the nations,
and they will put their hope
    in him.”

13 I pray that God, who gives hope, will bless you with complete happiness and peace because of your faith. And may the power of the Holy Spirit fill you with hope.


  1. 14.19 We should try: Some manuscripts have “We try.”

Romans 14:14-15:13 Expanded Bible (EXB)

14 ·I am in the Lord Jesus, and I know [L I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus] that there is ·no food that is wrong to eat [L nothing impure/unclean/defiling in itself]. But if a person ·believes [considers; regards] something is ·wrong [impure; unclean; defiling], that thing is ·wrong [impure; unclean; defiling] for him. 15 If ·you hurt your brother’s or sister’s faith [your brother or sister is distressed/grieved] because of something you eat, you are ·not really following the way of [L no longer walking/living in] love. ·Do not destroy someone’s faith by eating food he thinks is wrong, because Christ died for him [L By your eating do not destroy that one for whom Christ died!; C so trivial a matter as food must not negate the tremendous sacrifice Christ made]. 16 Do not allow what you think is good to ·become what others say is evil [be criticized/regarded as evil; L be slandered/blasphemed]. 17 ·In the kingdom of God, eating and drinking are not important [L For the kingdom of God is not (about) eating and drinking]. The important things are ·living right with God [righteousness], peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Anyone who serves Christ by living this way is pleasing God and will be ·accepted [approved; respected] by other people.

19 So let us try to do what makes peace and ·helps [builds up; edifies] one another. 20 Do not let the eating of food ·destroy [tear down] the work of God. All foods are ·all right to eat [clean; ritually undefiled], but it is wrong to eat food that causes someone else to ·sin [stumble; fall]. 21 It is ·better [good] not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that will cause your brother or sister to ·sin [stumble; fall].

22 Your beliefs about these things should be kept secret between you and God. ·People are happy [Blessed are those] ·if they can do what they think is right without feeling guilty [L who do not condemn themselves concerning issues they have examined and approved]. 23 But those who eat something ·without being sure it is right [while doubting; with misgivings] are ·wrong [condemned] because they did not believe it was right. Anything that ·is done without believing it is right [or does not come from faith] is sin.

15 We who are ·strong in faith [L strong] should ·help [bear with; be patient with] the weak with their ·weaknesses [failings; struggles], and not please only ourselves. Let each of us please our neighbors for their good, to ·help them be stronger in faith [edify them; build them up]. [L For] Even Christ did not live to please himself. It was as the Scriptures said: “·When people insult you, it hurts me [L The insults of those who insulted you have fallen on me; Ps. 69:9].” [L For] Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us. The Scriptures give us ·patience [endurance] and encouragement so that we can have hope. May ·the patience and encouragement that come from God [L the God of patience and encouragement] ·allow you to live in harmony with each other the way Christ Jesus wants [or grant you the same attitude with each other that Christ Jesus had]. ·Then [L …so that] ·you will all be joined together and [L together with one voice/mouth] you will give glory to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept each another, just as Christ accepted you. ·This will bring glory to God [or In this way Christ brought glory to God; L …to the glory of God]. [L For] I tell you that Christ became a servant of the ·Jews [L circumcised] to ·show [confirm] that God’s promises to the ·Jewish ancestors [patriarchs; fathers] are true. And he also did this so that the Gentiles could give glory to God for the mercy he gives to them. [L Just as] It is written in the Scriptures:

“So I will ·praise [confess] you among the ·Gentiles [nations].
    I will sing ·praises [psalms] to your name [Ps. 18:49].”

10 ·The Scripture also [L And again it] says,

“·Be happy [Rejoice; Celebrate], you ·Gentiles [nations], together with his people [Deut. 32:43].”

11 ·Again the Scripture says [L And again],

“All you ·Gentiles [nations], praise the Lord.
    All you people, sing praises to him [Ps. 117:1].”

12 And [L again] Isaiah says,

“·A new king will come from the family of Jesse [The root of Jesse will come/sprout; C Jesse was the father of King David].
    He will ·come [rise up] to rule over the ·Gentiles [nations],
and they will ·have hope because of [put their hope in] him [Is. 11:10].”

13 I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with ·much [L all] joy and peace ·while you trust [because you trust; through your faith] in him. Then your hope will overflow by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Expanded Bible, Copyright © 2011 Thomas Nelson Inc. All rights reserved.

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