Principles of Conscience
14 As for the [a]one whose faith is weak, accept him [into your fellowship], but not for [the purpose of] quarreling over his opinions. 2 One man’s faith permits him to eat everything, while the weak believer eats only vegetables [to avoid eating ritually unclean meat or something previously considered unclean]. 3 The one who eats [everything] is not to look down on the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat must not criticize or pass judgment on the one who eats [everything], for God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? Before his own master he stands [approved] or falls [out of favor]. And he [who serves the Master—the Lord] will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
5 One person regards one day as better [or more important] than another, while another regards every day [the same as any other]. Let everyone be fully convinced (assured, satisfied) in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord. He who eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; while he who abstains, abstains for the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 None of us lives for himself [for his own benefit, but for the Lord], and none of us dies for himself [but for the Lord]. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord. So then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For Christ died and lived again for this reason, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
10 But you, why do you criticize your brother? Or you again, why do you look down on your [believing] brother or regard him with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God [who alone is judge]. 11 For it is written [in Scripture],
“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall give praise to God.”(A)
12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.
13 Then let us not criticize one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block or a source of temptation in another believer’s way. 14 I know and am convinced [as one] in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean [ritually defiled, and unholy] in itself; but [nonetheless] it is unclean to anyone who thinks it is unclean. 15 If your brother is being hurt or offended because of food [that you insist on eating], you are no longer walking in love [toward him]. Do not let what you eat destroy and spiritually harm one for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what is a good thing for you [because of your freedom to choose] be spoken of as evil [by someone else]; 17 for the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking [what one likes], but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For the one who serves Christ in this way [recognizing that food choice is secondary] is acceptable to God and is approved by men. 19 So then, let us pursue [with enthusiasm] the things which make for peace and the building up of one another [things which lead to spiritual growth]. 20 Do not, for the sake of food, tear down the work of God. All things indeed are [ceremonially] clean, but they are wrong for the person who eats and offends [another’s conscience in the process]. 21 It is good [to do the right thing and] not eat meat or drink wine, or do anything that offends your brother and weakens him spiritually. 22 The faith which you have [that gives you freedom of choice], have as your own conviction before God [just keep it between yourself and God, seeking His will]. Happy is he who has no reason to condemn himself for what he approves. 23 But he who is uncertain [about eating a particular thing] is condemned if he eats, because he is not acting from faith. Whatever is not from faith is sin [whatever is done with doubt is sinful].
Self-denial on Behalf of Others
15 Now we who are strong [in our convictions and faith] ought to [patiently] put up with the weaknesses of those who are not strong, and not just please ourselves. 2 Let each one of us [make it a practice to] please his [b]neighbor for his good, to build him up spiritually. 3 For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written [in Scripture], “The reproaches of those who reproached You (the Father) fell on Me (the Son).”(B) 4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope and overflow with confidence in His promises. 5 Now may the God who gives endurance and who supplies encouragement grant that you be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify and praise and honor the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7 Therefore, [continue to] accept and welcome one another, just as Christ has accepted and welcomed us to the glory of [our great] God. 8 For I tell you that Christ has become a servant and a minister to the circumcision (Jews) on behalf of God’s truth, to confirm and verify the promises made to the fathers, 9 and for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy [to them, since God had no covenant with them]. As it is written and forever remains written,
“Therefore I praise You among the Gentiles,
And sing praises to Your name.”(C)
10 Again it says,
“Rejoice and celebrate, O Gentiles, along with His people.”(D)
11 And again,
“Praise the Lord all you Gentiles,
And let all the peoples praise Him!”(E)
12 Again Isaiah says,
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises.
14 Personally I am convinced about you, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, amply filled with all [spiritual] knowledge, and competent to admonish and counsel and instruct one another. 15 Still, on some points I have written to you very boldly and without reservation to remind you [about them] again, because of the grace that was given to me from God, 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. I minister as a priest the gospel of God, in order that my offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable [to Him], sanctified [made holy and set apart for His purpose] by the Holy Spirit. 17 In Christ Jesus, then, I have found [legitimate] reason for boasting in things related [to my service] to God. 18 For I will not [even] presume to speak of anything except what Christ has done through me [as an instrument in His hands], resulting in the obedience of the Gentiles [to the gospel], by word and deed, 19 with the power of signs and wonders, [and all of it] in the power of the Spirit. So [starting] from Jerusalem and as far away as [d]Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel [faithfully preaching the good news] of Christ [where it had not before been preached]. 20 Accordingly I set a goal to preach the gospel, not where Christ’s name was already known, so that I would not build on another man’s foundation; 21 but [instead I would act on this goal] as it is written [in Scripture],
“They who had no news of Him shall see,
And they who have not heard [of Him] shall understand.”(G)
22 This [goal—my commitment to this principle] is the reason why I have often been prevented from coming to you [in Rome]. 23 But now, with no further place for work in these regions, and since I have longed for many years to come to you— 24 whenever I go [on my trip] to Spain—I hope to see you as I pass through [Rome], and to be helped on my journey there by you, after I have first enjoyed your company for a little while. 25 But for now, I am going to Jerusalem to serve the saints (Jewish believers). 26 For [Gentile believers in] [e]Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints (Jewish believers) in Jerusalem. 27 They were pleased to do it, and they are indebted to them. For if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual things, then they are indebted to serve them also in [tangible] material things. 28 Therefore, when I have finished this [mission] and have safely given to them what has been raised, I will go on by way of you to Spain. 29 I know that when I do come to you, I will come in the abundant blessing of Christ.
30 I urge you, believers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join together with me in your prayers to God in my behalf, 31 [and pray] that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints (Jewish believers) there; 32 so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and find rest in your company. 33 May the God of peace be with you all! Amen.
Greetings and Love Expressed
16 Now I introduce and commend to you our sister [f]Phoebe, a deaconess (servant) of the church at [g]Cenchrea, 2 that you may receive her in the Lord [with love and hospitality], as [h]God’s people ought to receive one another. And that you may help her in whatever matter she may require assistance from you, for she has been a helper of many, including myself.
3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who risked their own necks [endangering their very lives] for my life. To them not only do I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. 5 Also greet the church that meets in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who is the first convert to Christ from [the west coast province of] Asia [Minor]. 6 Greet Mary, who has worked so hard for you. 7 Greet Andronicus and [i]Junias, my kinsmen and [once] my fellow prisoners, who are held in high esteem [j]in the estimation of the apostles, and who were [believers] in Christ before me. 8 Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my beloved Stachys. 10 Greet Apelles, the one tested and approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the household of [k]Aristobulus. 11 Greet my kinsman Herodion. Greet those of the household of Narcissus, who are in the Lord. 12 Greet those workers in the Lord, Tryphaena and Tryphosa. Greet my beloved Persis, who has worked hard in the Lord. 13 Greet Rufus, an eminent and choice man in the Lord, also his mother [who has been] a mother to me as well. 14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers who are with them. 15 Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all [l]God’s people who are with them. 16 Greet one another with a [m]holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.
17 I urge you, brothers and sisters, to keep your eyes on those who cause dissensions and create obstacles or introduce temptations [for others] to commit sin, [acting in ways] contrary to the doctrine which you have learned. Turn away from them. 18 For such people do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites and base desires. By smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting [the innocent and the naive]. 19 For the report of your obedience has reached everyone, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.
The [wonderful] grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
21 Timothy, my fellow worker, sends his greetings to you, as do Lucius, Jason and Sosipater, my kinsmen.
22 I, [n]Tertius, the writer (scribe) of this letter, greet you in the Lord.
23 Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole church here, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus, greet you. 24 [o][The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.]
25 Now to Him who is able to establish and strengthen you [in the faith] according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery [of the plan of salvation] which has been kept secret for long ages past, 26 but now has been disclosed and through the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all the nations, according to the commandment of the eternal God, leading them to obedience to the faith, 27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forevermore! Amen.
- Romans 14:1 Some Jewish believers may have struggled with abandoning all the old requirements of the Law regarding eating things considered unclean, while some Gentile believers may have been overly sensitive to anything associated with paganism, such as eating meat offered to idols.
- Romans 15:2 I.e. all those with whom we have contact.
- Romans 15:12 Jesse was the father of David the king, and Jesus (the Messiah) was a descendant of David.
- Romans 15:19 Located nearly 1,400 miles from Jerusalem, Illyricum was a Roman province of economic and strategic importance. It was a large region north of Macedonia located between the Adriatic Sea and the Danube River, and was known for its commercial seaports and gold mines. The great Roman road, Via Egnatia, started in Illyricum and ran eastward to Byzantium.
- Romans 15:26 In addition to Macedonia and Achaia some churches in Asia Minor also contributed to this offering.
- Romans 16:1 Phoebe (“bright,” “pure”) was chosen by Paul as his emissary to deliver this letter to Rome. She may have held a recognized position within the church.
- Romans 16:1 Cenchrea, a few miles east of Corinth, served as Corinth’s port and was probably visited by Paul during both his second and third missionary journeys. This letter was written from Corinth near the end of the third journey.
- Romans 16:2 Lit the saints.
- Romans 16:7 Or Junia (feminine). There is a higher probability that the name is feminine; no masculine forms found in this or near time periods.
- Romans 16:7 The Greek and larger context favor this understanding; Andronicus and Junia are not identified as apostles here.
- Romans 16:10 Believed by some scholars to be the brother of Herod Agrippa I and grandson of Herod the Great.
- Romans 16:15 Lit the saints.
- Romans 16:16 A traditional act of salutation in the early church.
- Romans 16:22 Paul’s helper, who wrote this letter as Paul dictated it, inserted a personal greeting, undoubtedly with Paul’s permission.
- Romans 16:24 Early mss do not contain this verse; it was taken from the Latin Vulgate.