14 1 He willeth that we so deal with the weak in faith, 2, 5 that through our fault they be not offended. 10 And on the other side he commandeth them not rashly to judge of the stronger: 19 That within the bounds of edification 20 and charity. 22 Christian liberty may conflict.
1 Him [a]that is weak in the faith, [b]receive unto you, but not for [c]controversies of disputations.
2 [d]One [e]believeth that he may eat of all things: and another, which is weak, eateth herbs.
3 [f]Let not him that eateth, despise him that eateth not: and let not him which eateth not, condemn him that eateth: for [g]God hath received him.
4 [h]Who art thou that condemnest another man’s servant? he standeth or falleth to his own master: yea, he shall be established: for God is able to make him stand.
5 [i]This man esteemeth one day above another day, and another man counteth every day alike: [j]let [k]every man be fully persuaded in his mind.
6 [l]He that [m]observeth the day, observeth it to the Lord: and he that observeth not the day, observeth it not to the [n]Lord. He that [o]eateth, eateth to the Lord: [p]for he giveth God thanks: and he that eateth [q]not, eateth not to the Lord, and giveth God thanks.
7 [r]For none of us liveth to [s]himself, neither doth any die to himself.
8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord: or whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lords.
9 For Christ therefore died and rose again, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and the quick.
10 [t]But why dost thou condemn thy brother? or why dost thou despise thy brother? for we shall all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.
11 For it is written, [u]I live, saith the Lord, and every knee shall bow to me, and all tongues shall [v]confess unto God.
12 So then everyone of us shall give accounts of himself to God.
13 [w]Let us not therefore judge one another anymore: but use your judgment rather in [x]this that no man put an occasion to fall, or a stumbling block before his brother.
14 [y]I know, and am persuaded through the [z]Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of [aa]itself: but unto him that judgeth anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
15 But if thy brother be grieved for the meat, now walkest thou not charitably: [ab]destroy not him with thy meat, for whom [ac]Christ died.
16 [ad]Cause not your commodity to be evil spoken of.
17 [ae]For the kingdom of God, is not meat nor drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the holy Ghost.
18 For whosoever in [af]these things serveth Christ, is acceptable unto God, and is approved of men.
19 [ag]Let us then follow those things which concern peace, and wherewith one may edify another.
20 Destroy not the work of God for meat’s sake: all things indeed are pure: but it is evil for the man which eateth with offense.
21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor anything whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or made weak.
22 [ah]Hast thou [ai]faith? have it with thyself before God: blessed is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he [aj]alloweth.
23 For he that [ak]doubteth, is condemned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: and whatsoever is not of faith, is sin.
Romans 14:1Now he showeth how we ought to behave ourselves toward our brethren in matters and things indifferent, offending in the use of them, not of malices or damnable superstition, but for lack of knowledge of the benefit of Christ. And thus he teacheth that they are to be instructed gently and patiently, and so that we apply ourselves to their ignorance in such matters according to the rule of charity.
Romans 14:1Do not for a matter or thing that is indifferent, and such as you may do or not do, shun his company, but take him to you.
Romans 14:1To make him by your doubtful and uncertain disputations go away more in doubt than he came, or start back with a troubled conscience.
Romans 14:2He propoundeth for an example, the difference of meats, which some thought was necessarily to be observed as a thing prescribed by the Law (not knowing that it was taken away) whereas on the contrary side, such as had profited in the knowledge of the Gospel, knew well that this schoolmastership of the Law was abolished.
Romans 14:3In such a matter, saith the Apostle, Let neither them which know their liberty, proudly despise their weaker brother, neither let the unlearned crabbedly or frowardly condemn that, that they understand not.
Romans 14:3The first reason: Because that seeing both he that eateth and he that eateth not, is notwithstanding the member of Christ, neither he which eateth not, can justly be condemned, neither he which eateth be justly condemned: Now the first proposition is declared in the sixth verse following.
Romans 14:4Another reason which hangeth upon the former: why the ruder and more unlearned ought not to be contemned of the more skillful, as men without hope of salvation: Because, saith the Apostle, he that is ignorant today, may be endued tomorrow with further knowledge, so that he also may stand sure: Therefore it belongeth to God, and not unto man, to pronounce the sentence of condemnation.
Romans 14:5Another example of the difference of days according to the law.
Romans 14:5He setteth against this contempt, and hasty or rash judgments, a continual desire to profit, that the strong may be certainly persuaded of their liberty, of what manner and sort it is, and how they ought to use it: and again the weak may daily profit, lest either they abuse the gift of God, or these please themselves in their infirmity.
Romans 14:5That he may say in his conscience, that he knoweth and is persuaded by Jesus Christ, that nothing is unclean of itself, and this persuasion must be grounded upon the word of God.
Romans 14:6A reason taken from the nature of indifferent things, which a man may with good conscience do and omit: for seeing that the difference of days and meats was appointed by God, how could they, which as yet understood not the abrogating of the Law, and yet otherwise acknowledged Christ as their Savior, with good conscience neglect that which they knew was commanded of God? And on the contrary side, they that knew the benefit of Christ in this behalf, did with good conscience neither observe days nor meats. Therefore saith the Apostle, verse 10, Let not the strong condemn the weak for these things, seeing that the weak brethren are brethren notwithstanding. Now if any man would draw this doctrine to these our times and ages, let them know that the Apostle speaketh of such things indifferent, as they which thought them not to be indifferent, had a ground in the Law, and were deceived by simple ignorance: and not of malice (for to such the Apostles yielded not, no not for a moment) nor superstition, but of a religious fear of God.
Romans 14:6So the Apostle showeth that he speaketh of the faithful, both strong and weak. But what if we have to do with infidels? Then must we here take heed of two things, as also is declared in the Epistle to the Corinthians. The one is, that we count not their superstitions among things indifferent, as they did which sat down to meat in Idols’ Temples: the other is, that then also when the matter is indifferent (as to buy a thing offered to idols, in the butcher’s shambles, and to eat it at home in a private banquet) we wound not the conscience of our weak brother.
Romans 14:6He that toucheth not meats which he taketh to be unclean by the Law.
Romans 14:7We must not stick, saith he, in the meat itself, but in the use of the meat, so that he is justly to be reprehended that liveth so, that he casteth not his eyes upon God. For both our life and our death is dedicated to him, and for this cause Christ hath properly died, and not simply, that we might eat this meat or that.
Romans 14:7Hath respect to himself only, which the Hebrews utter after this sort, Doeth well to his own soul.
Romans 14:10The conclusion: we must leave to God his right: and therefore in matters, which according as the conscience if affected, are either good or evil, the strong must not despise their weak brethren, much less condemn them. But this consequent cannot be taken of equal force in the contrary, to wit, that the weak should not judge the strong, because the weak do not know, that they which do not observe a day, and eat, observe it not to the Lord, and eat to the Lord, as the strong men know, that the weak which observe a day and eat not, observe the day to the Lord, and eat not to the Lord.
Romans 14:11This is a form of an oath, proper to God only, for he and none but he liveth, and hath his being of himself.
Romans 14:13After that he hath concluded what is not to be done, he showeth what is to be done: to wit, we must take heed that we do not utterly cast down with abusing our liberty, our brother who is not yet strong.
Romans 14:13He rebuketh by this way, these malicious judgers of others, which occupy their heads about nothing, but to find fault with their brethren’s life, whereas they should rather bestow their wits upon this, that they do not with their disdainfulness either cast their brethren clean down, or give them some offense.
Romans 14:14The preventing of an objection: It is true that the schoolmastership of the Law is taken away by the benefit of Christ, to such as know it, but yet notwithstanding we have to consider in the use of this liberty what is expedient, that we may have regard of our weak brother, seeing that our liberty is not lost thereby.
Romans 14:14By the Spirit of the Lord Jesus, or by the Lord Jesus, who I am sure brake down the wall at his coming.
Romans 14:15It is the part of a cruel mind to make more account of meat, than of our brother’s salvation. Which thing they do, that presume to eat with offense of any brother, and so give him occasion to go back from the Gospel.
Romans 14:15Another argument: We must follow Christ’s example: who was so far from destroying the weak with meat, that he gave his life for them.
Romans 14:16Another argument: for that by this means the liberty of the Gospel is evil spoken of, as though it openeth the way to attempt any thing whatsoever, and boldeneth us to all things.
Romans 14:17A general reason, and the ground of all the other arguments: The kingdom of heaven consisteth not in these outward things, but in the study of righteousness, and peace, and comfort of the holy Ghost.
Romans 14:18He that liveth peaceably, and doeth righteously, through the holy Ghost.
Romans 14:19A general conclusion: The use of this liberty, yea and our whole life, ought to be referred to the edifying of one another, insomuch that we esteem that thing unlawful by reason of the offense of our brother, which is of itself pure and lawful.
Romans 14:22He giveth a double warning in these matters, one, which pertaineth to the strong, that he which hath obtained a sure knowledge of this liberty, keep that treasure to the end he may use it wisely and profitably as hath been said: the other which respecteth the weak, that they do nothing rashly by other men’s example with a wavering conscience, for that cannot be done without sin, whereof we are not persuaded by the word of God, that he liketh, and approveth it.
Romans 14:22He showed before verse 14 what he meaneth by faith, to wit, for a man to be certain and out of doubt in matters and things indifferent.
Geneva Bible, 1599 Edition. Published by Tolle Lege Press. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations in articles, reviews, and broadcasts.
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