Romans 14:4-6



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Romans 14:4 Who are you to judge the servant of another ? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.  (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: su tis ei (3SPAI) o krinon (PAPMSN) allotrion oiketen; to idio kurio stekei (3SPAI) e piptei (3SPAI) : stathesetai (3SFPI) de, dunatei gar o kurios stesai (AAN) auton.
Amplified: Who are you to pass judgment on and censure anotherís household servant? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he shall stand and be upheld, for the Master (the Lord) is mighty to support him and make him stand.
 (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT:  Who are you to condemn God's servants? They are responsible to the Lord, so let him tell them whether they are right or wrong. The Lord's power will help them do as they should.
 (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: After all, who are you to criticise the servant of somebody else, especially when that somebody else is God? It is to his own master that he gives, or fails to give, satisfactory service. And don't doubt that satisfaction, for God is well able to transform men into servants who are satisfactory. 
 (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: As for you, who are you who are judging anotherís household slave? To his own personal master he stands or falls. Indeed, he shall be made to stand, for the Lord has power to make him stand.
Young's Literal: Thou -- who art thou that art judging another's domestic? to his own master he doth stand or fall; and he shall be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.


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Romans 14:1-6 Responsibilities Under Grace 13
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God's Holiness
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Jew and Gentile
Gods Glory
Object of
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Power Given Promises Fulfilled Paths Pursued
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God's Righteousness
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God's Righteousness
Slaves to Sin Slaves to God Slaves Serving God
Doctrine Duty
Life by Faith Service by Faith

Modified from Irving L. Jensen's excellent work "Jensen's Survey of the NT"

WHO ARE YOU TO (continually) JUDGE THE SERVANT OF ANOTHER: su tis ei (3SPAI) o krinon (PAPMSN) allotrion oiketen: (Ro 9:20; Acts 11:17; 1Corinthians 4:4,5; James 4:11,12)


Middletown Bible - The Law of Love (Romans 14:1-15:3) - For further help in understanding how to live so as to not cause a brother to stumble, see our paper entitled, "Guidance: 67 Biblical Tests to Use in Deciding Upon a Course of Action."

The ďyouĒ (su) is first in this sentence (emphatic position) which serves to place emphasis on this pronoun. It's as if Paul is saying  ďas for you, who are you, etc.Ē


Matters of meat and drink are to be left to Christian liberty, and no one has any right to dictate to another how he shall act. It is, however, a good ruleó"in all cases of doubt be sure to take the surer side."

Judge (2919) (krino) primarily signifies to distinguish, separate or discriminate and then, to distinguish between good and evil, right and wrong, without necessarily passing an adverse sentence, although that is often what is usually involved. The present tense indicates this is a continual action.

Servant (3610) (Oiketes from oŪkos = dwelling, home) designates a household slave, one holding closer relations to the family than other slaves. He is one of the household of the ďfamily.Ē It is to his own master that the servant is responsible, not to "you".

J Vernon McGee has a pithy comment (as usual)...

Paul asks, ďWhat right have you to judge another manís servant?Ē What right have you, Christian friend, to sit in judgment on another Christianís conduct when it involves something that is questionable? Are you God? Is that person accountable to you? Paul says, ďHe is not accountable to you. He is accountable to God. He is going to stand before his own Master.Ē Can you imagine being a dinner guest in someoneís home) and the servant brings in cold biscuits. You say to the servant, ďWhatís the big idea of bringing me cold biscuits?Ē And you chideóin our common colloquialism, bawl outóthe servant! May I say to you, there would be an awkward silence in that home. That person is not your servant. Maybe she should not have served cold biscuits, but it is not your place to say so. I have a notion that the lady of the house will go back to the kitchen and will tend to the matter. Now maybe you disapprove of my conduct in one of these doubtful areas. I donít have to account to you; you are not my master. I am responsible to Jesus Christ. He is my Master.' (McGee, J. V. (1997, c1981). Thru the Bible commentary. (Vol. 4, Page 741). Nashville: Thomas Nelson)

TO HIS OWN MASTER HE STANDS OR FALLS: to idio kurio stekei (3SPAI) e piptei (3SPAI) : stathesetai (3SFPI):

Master (owner)(2962)(kurios [word study]) signifies sovereign power and absolute authority. It is the one who has absolute ownership and uncontested power.

The first reason why you must not look down on the weak or judge or condemn the strong is because it is not your responsibility to change your brother in this area. You are not his master. He is not your servant. We are not responsible for one another's conduct in this area. Such responsibility is not defined in the Scriptures. This is an open area that each one has to decide before God, and, therefore, we have no responsibility to change each other and no authority to do so. He is not your servant, Paul says; the Lord chose him. The Lord, then, is the one responsible to change him. The Lord chose him without asking you or me

AND STAND HE WILL, FOR THE LORD IS ABLE TO MAKE HIM STAND: de dunatei gar o kurios stesai (AAN) auton: (Ro 14:3; 11:23; 16:25; Deuteronomy 33:27-29; Psalms 17:5; 37:17,24,28; 119:116,117; John 10:28, 29, 30; Romans 8:31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39; Hebrews 7:25; 1Peter 1:5; Jude 1:24) (Isaiah 40:29)

 In spite of your sharp criticisms of one another. NLT is a good paraphrase & brings out Paul's idea well "Who are you to condemn God's servants? They are responsible to the Lord, so let him tell them whether they are right or wrong. The Lord's power will help them do as they should."

Ray Stedman comments that...

The thing Paul brings out (V4) is that the man under consideration is being changed. He is on his way to standing. He will stand, Paul says. Stand, of course, means that he will be straightened out if he is doing wrong in this area. If it is really wrong, God will straighten him out and it is not up to you to do it. This is why I enjoy so much that little pin that Bill Gothard gives out with the letters PBPGINFWMY, i.e.,

"Please be patient, God is not finished with me yet."

We are all in the process of change. The Lord is doing it, and he will do it. He is changing us, and if we will just wait a little while we can see some of the changes. Now, if the problem is one of not understanding truth, the solution is teaching the truth more plainly. As people hear it and understand it, they will be freed from this. To try to force them into some kind of compliance with something they yet do not understand is ridiculous and futile. Therefore, be patient. If they are being exposed to truth, they will change. Let the Lord change them; it is his responsibility. Not only will he do so, but he is perfectly able to do so. God is able to do it. I like Phillips' translation here. He says, "God is well able to transform men into servants who are satisfactory." That is exactly what Paul is relying on here.  (On Trying to Change Others)

Wayne Barber

Ro 14:4 "Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and stand he will, for the Lord is able to make him stand."

The word "judge" is krino, which means to separate or to discriminate, to form or give an opinion after considering the particulars of a case. Let me give you an example. I go overseas a lot, and a lot of the people there just donít understand grace. They are so tied to the law. They are tied to so many things. I walk in and see these precious, precious people and immediately the discernment comes. But you see, I canít take the next step and make a judgment. I am there to encourage and instruct. By the grace of God they will be able to come to the light of realizing that Jesus Christ determines their eternal security with Him and that nothing they do or donít do affects that. It may affect their fellowship, but not their eternal standing with God.

You see, it is immediate that we realize we are not somebody elseís lord. He is Lord of both. Paul says, "to his own master he stands or falls." In other words, it is his master that is going to cause him to stand or determine whether he is going to fall. It is not our determination. Our determination is to love without hypocrisy. Our determination is to make sure that whatever we do builds up, encourages and instructs. We are never to take the place of lording over or judging that individual for his lack of understanding of grace.

Then Paul goes on in Ro 14:4 to say, "and stand he will, for the Lord is able to make him stand." The word "to stand" there means to be established and to confirm. Thank God for that. God will establish both men. He will establish the strong men. He will establish the weak men.

Thank God for that back when I did not understand grace. Folks, I didnít. And I tell you what, hiding behind the corner of great things that God is doing in your life is that temptation to be spiritually proud and to judge your brother because he hasnít done what you have done. There have been many, many times when God has led me to a fast that nobody knew about. Those times of fasting are those times of deep commitment. Somehow you think you are in a realm that nobody else is in, and you become spiritually proud and begin to judge others because they donít do as you do. I had that judgmental "I can tell you how to live if you will just ask me" attitude.

That is the biggest problem in the body of Christ today. People are spiritually proud of what they know and what they understand, so they take that and use their freedom under grace to become a stumbling block for somebody else. We have no right to do that. It says that He will be the one to establish them. I am so glad that God loved me when I was so arrogant. I went from ignorance to arrogance in about six weeks. When I was so arrogant, I had an answer for everything. Buddy, if you wanted to know how to live your life, just ask me and I would tell you. The word "lovingkindness" is one of my favorite words in scripture. God just loved me.

Finally through people and situations He began to bring me into an understanding of what grace really is. When you come to realize it that way, who are you going to throw a rock at? You used to be in the same boat. You see, this is what this love is all about. This is the thing that distinguishes us. Letís donít get proud of what we know or what we do or donít do. It is not that at all. My spirituality is not ever determined by what I do or donít do in the sense of that. It is in the sense of whether or not my relationships are totally wrapped up in such unconditional love that nobody can question that God is doing something in this personís life. That is the key.  (Romans 14:1-6)


Romans 14:5 One person regards one day above another, another * regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind.  (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: os men (gar) krinei (3SPAI) hemeran par hemeran, os de krinei (3SPAI) pasan hemeran: hekastos en to idio noi plerophoreistho (3SPPM).
Amplified: One man esteems one day as better than another, while another man esteems all days alike [sacred]. Let everyone be fully convinced (satisfied) in his own mind.
 (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. Each person should have a personal conviction about this matter.
 (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips:  Again, one man thinks some days of more importance than others. Another man considers them all alike. Let every one be definite in his own convictions.
 (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: For, on the one hand, there is he who judges a day above another day. On the other hand, there is he who subjects every day to a scrutiny. Let each one in his own mind be fully assured.
Young's Literal: One doth judge one day above another, and another doth judge every day alike; let each in his own mind be fully assured.

ONE MAN REGARDS (judges) ONE DAY ABOVE ANOTHER: Os men (gar) krinei (3SPAI) hemeran par hemeran: (Galatians 4:9,10; Colossians 2:16,17)


Again, one man thinks some days of more importance than others (Phillips)


In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day (NLT)


Though it was no longer required by God, the weak Jewish believer felt compelled to observe the Sabbath and other feast days associated with Judaism (Gal 4:9-10, Col 2:16, 17-notes). On the other hand, the weak Gentile might want to separate himself from the special days of festivities associated with his former paganism because of its immorality and idolatry.



Some kept the Jewish festivals and some did not.

Read this example of a "weaker" brother who regarded one day above another (and it helps one understand that a "weaker" brother is not necessarily one who is not spiritually mature):


In 1924 Eric Liddell, the "Flying Scotsman" was the fastest man in world in 100 meters. For months Eric Liddell trained with the purpose of winning the 100-meter race at the 1924 Olympics in Paris & indeed most sportswriters predicted he would win. Then Eric learned the qualifying heats were scheduled for Sunday. This posed a problem: Eric believed that he could not honor God by running on the Lord's Day. He simply said "I'm not running on a Sunday" & even said "no" to Prince of Wales, all because he regarded "one day above another".  Eric didnít make a big deal about it and shout his convictions from the rooftop so people would see how pious he was. Nevertheless his fans were stunned by his refusal. Some who had praised him now called him a fool. But Eric stood firm in his convictions and did not go against his conscience (Ro 14:6 "he who observes the day, observes it for the Lord" & 14:23 "he who doubts is condemned if he (runs on Sunday), because his (running) is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin") . Many thought it was completely in character for Eric & a lot of the athletes were quietly impressed by it. They felt that here was a man who was prepared to stand for what he thought was right, without interfering with anyone else, and without being dogmatic. That's the power of integrity. His masseur gave him the following verse just prior to his world record race. (1Samuel 2:30 "those who honor Me I will honor") As God's providence would have it a runner dropped out of the 400-meter race, scheduled on a weekday. Eric offered to fill the slot, even though this was four times as long as the race for which he had trained. When the 400 meters had concluded, not only did Eric win running away, but he did so in record time!  What Eric did was was "acceptable to God and approved by men" (Ro 14:18). And God did honor him. And men did approve of him. However Instead of basking in the glory & potential fortune that might have been his as an Olympic gold medalist, he chose to finish his education at the U. of Edinburgh. Upon graduation he left Scotland for the missionary fields of China. As he left the train station in Edinburgh, all the faculty, students & town sang "All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name" In China he was  captured by the Japanese during WWII & imprisoned with 1800 others in an area no bigger than 100 x 200 yards. In this difficult environment this man of integrity, proved to be a daily source of a righteous life lived out, bringing peace & joy, preaching, singing & ministering to his fellow prisoners, many of whom were also missionaries. He died there in 1945, shortly after his 43rd birthday, and just prior to the liberation. Although most of his fellow prisoners did not know it, Eric had been suffering headaches from what proved to be a brain tumor that caused his death. And yet despite his personal torment, this godly saint persevered to the end, proving to be a source of comfort, continuing to manifest his radiant smile literally up to the very day before he died. His biographer, Sally Magnusen, freely admitted the source of his spirituality: "He seemed to get his strength and self-discipline and his air of quiet serenity from his early-morning sessions of prayer, meditation, and Bible study. . . . somewhere in this daily discipline of faith lay the secret of the man, perhaps the secret of how he ran."


Eric Liddell presented a compelling model for how we should live, calling himself and others to an honest life & to self-sacrifice:


"Let us put ourselves before ourselves & look at ourselves. The bravest moment of a person's life is the moment when he looks at himself objectively without wincing, without complaining, [However] self-examination that does not result in action is dangerous. What am I going to do about what I see? The action called for is surrender -- of ourselves to God."


ANOTHER REGARDS EVERY DAY ALIKE: os de krinei (3SPAI) pasan hemeran:


The strong brother was unaffected by days. They were all a gift from God to him. Nowhere in the NT are Christians ever told to keep the Sabbath or the Lord's Day (Sunday). And yet at the same time we recognize the principle of one day in seven, one day of rest after six days of work.


LET EACH MAN BE FULLY CONVINCED IN HIS OWN MIND: hekastos en to idio noi plerophoreistho (3SPPM): (Ro 14:14,23; 1Corinthians 8:7,11) (Isaiah 40:29) (1John 3:19, 20, 21)


Fully convinced (4135)(plerophoreo from pleres = full + phero = to bear or bring) means literally to carry fully and so to bring to fullness or to bring to a full measure. All of the meanings in the NT are figurative and can be divided into either (1) to fulfill, accomplish or achieve, carry out fully or (2) to  be fully convinced, to be wholly certain or to be persuaded as in the present verse. The primary idea is, being filled with a thought or conviction.


Each person should have a personal conviction about this matter. Each Christian must follow the dictates of his own conscience in matters not specifically commanded or prohibited in Scripture. Since conscience is a God-given mechanism to warn, and responds to the highest standard of moral law in the mind (Ro 2:14, 15-notes), it is not sensible to train yourself to ignore it. Rather, respond to its compunctions and as you mature, by learning more, your mind will not alert it to those things which are not essential.
It should however be clear that such a principle applies only to matters that are morally neutral -- the externals but not the eternals. When it comes to fundamental eternal doctrines of the Christian faith, there is no room for individual opinions. But in the area where things are neither right nor wrong in themselves, and Scripture is silent, there is room for differing views. They should not be allowed to become tests of fellowship, which far too often is the case in practice. Paul then is saying in essence "I know you are sometimes going to choose differently from each other, but by all means be confident in what you choose. Be settled in your conviction & don't be flipping back and forth." There is a reverse truth implicit here also, which is: If the Lord convicts you that something is wrong in your life, you had better not do it, even if other Christians are doing it!      

Lord (
2962) (kurios is found 10 times Romans 14 and 38x altogether in
Romans) in classical Greek, was used of gods, and the inscriptions applied to different gods (Hermes, Zeus, etc.) or also of the head of the family, who is lord of wife and children. In the present context kurios describes the One Who has absolute ownership and uncontrolled power.


No Christian has the right to "play God" in another Christianís life. We can pray, advise, and even admonish, but we cannot take the place of God. What is it that makes a dish of food "holy" or a day "holy"? It is the fact that we relate it to the Lord. The person who treats a special day as "holy" does so "unto the Lord." The person who treats every day as sacred, does so "unto the Lord."


The Christian who eats meat gives thanks to the Lord, and the Christian who abstains from meat abstains "unto the Lord." To be "fully persuadedóor assuredóin his own mind" (Ro 14:5) means: Let every man see to it that he is really doing what he does for the Lordís sake, and not merely on the basis of some prejudice or whim. Some standards and practices in our local churches are traditional but not necessarily scriptural. Some of us can remember when dedicated Christians opposed Christian radio "because Satan was the prince of the power of the air!" Some people even make Bible translations a test of orthodoxy. The church is divided and weakened because Christians will not allow Jesus Christ to be Lord." (Wiersbe)


G Campbell Morgan writes the following note on this verse...


This is a far-reaching word. Its application in Paul's argument was to such very disputable matters as the observing of days, and the eating of foods. It is really passing strange how these and similarly unimportant matters have been, and continue to be, reasons for much bitterness between the children of God. Two matters are contained in this instructionófirst, that of a man's personal duty; and second, that of his attitude toward all other men. The first is explicit; the second is implicit. The personal duty is that a man be fully assured in his own mind. That means first, that he is to have an opinion. He has no right to be guided in these things by the opinions or habits of others. That way lies the paralysing of the powers of personality, and therefore weakness. It may be that coming to full assurance will demand time and thought, and in the process he may be helped by conferring with others; but at last he must find his own stand. This being so, it follows that he will recognize the right and obligation of every other man to the same process. Therefore no man can have any right whatever to impose upon any other man his own convictions. All this is important and reasonable, because one man may be helped by the observance of a day, while another is not; one may find strength in abstinence from certain forms of food, and another weakness. (Morgan, G. C. Life Applications from Every Chapter of the Bible)


Wayne Barber

Ro 14:5 Here he shifts from food to days. It is the same thing, isnít it? You had better get this straight in your theology. A lot of people who love God believe that you have to meet on a certain day. That is exactly what Paul was dealing with. Paul was dealing with the Jewish mind-set there. The Jews felt the Sabbath was the day to be revered and set aside. That is the last day of the week. Sunday is the first day of the week. Not only was the Sabbath a particular day but it also was in regard to other periods that were reserved. The word "Sabbath" doesnít just mean the Sabbath as we think about it. There were several Sabbaths they would honor. They would fight to keep this day very special.

The Apostle Paul was the greatest preacher of grace in the New Testament. I think he learned it certainly not from the apostles, but he learned it in that desert when the Holy Spirit of God took him for three years and taught him what grace was because as soon as he came out, he went immediately to Simon Peter and told him, "Man, you are not living under grace. You wonít even eat with the Gentiles and other like that when the Jewish higher ups are around. You have got to get out from under that mind-set."

Paul knew and understood grace. He says in Colossians 2:16, 17

Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath dayóthings which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. (Col 2:16, 17-note)

Here is Paul, who wrote that, telling them in Rome not to ever treat with scorn somebody who doesnít understand that, who still hangs on to a day. Others treat every day the same. You see, when you understand grace, you realize that the Sabbath is a shadow. The shadow means that it is a day of rest, but we donít have a day of rest. Every day is a day of rest for the believer when he rests himself in the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is our rest. The reason we worship Him on Sunday is because that is the day He resurrected. The Psalmist said,

"This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it." (Ps 118:24-note)

He referred in the context specifically to resurrection Sunday. That is why we do it. It is a day of beginnings, the newness of what God has done.

But what about a brother who loves Jesus just as much as you do but still sees the Sabbath as the day that he wants to worship God? Does that mean I become his lord or his judge? I pray that God may help me to instruct him. I pray that God may help him to find the understand where he is wrong, but I donít scorn him and look down on him and demean him because God will establish that brother. I am not his lord. Jesus is his Lord. God is the revealer of all truth.

You see, the mature believer understands that he is free on any day. Every day is the same as far as loving and praising and celebrating the Lord Jesus. But Paul drives his point home. It is why you do what you do that God is looking at. Look at what he says in Ro 14:5

Let each man be fully convinced in his own mind.

The word "fully convinced" is the word that means to be fully persuaded. It comes from two words, pleres, which means full and phoreo, which means to cover. So the two words together mean to cover fully to the point that you are motivated, you are fully persuaded.

There is no doubt whatsoever in his own mind. The word for "mind" is nous. There are different words for "mind," and this word has to do with oneís understanding which leads him to deep convictions in his life. Let each man do whatever he is doing. Now there are some people on both sides who will do it for the wrong motive, and they are already out of the picture. That is not what he is talking about. But a person who is sincere and at that point in his life is doing it because he thinks this is what will please the Lord, then let him do it out of that motive. One sees it one way, and one may see it another way. But let them do it from their own conviction. It is the motive of the heart that God looks at.

Now, before I go any further, let me draw a line and say he is not referring to anything that is wrong doctrine or anything that is intentionally deceptive. He is talking about a personís walk with God and his sincerity and purity of his heart. He may not understand grace because of the trappings of what he came out of, because of other peopleís influence in his life. He may have it all wrong, but if in his heart he really believes this is what God wants, you just leave him alone. Instruct him if you can, encourage him if you can, but donít demean him because God will bring him out of that. He will come to understand it. If it is not from your encouragement, if not from your instruction, if it is not somehow from you, your love will keep him intact and not become a stumbling block to him while God is able to bring him into an understanding and revelation of what he needs.  (Romans 14:1-6)


Romans 14:6 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.  (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: o phronon (PAPMSN) ten hemeran kurio phronei (3SPAI): kai o esthion (PAPMSN) kurio esthiei (3SPAI) eucharistei (3SPAI) gar to theo: kai o me esthion (PAPMSN) kurio ouk esthiei (3SPAI) kai eucharistei (3SPAI) to theo
Amplified: He who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. He also who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; while he who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.
 (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: Those who have a special day for worshiping the Lord are trying to honor him. Those who eat all kinds of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who won't eat everything also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God.
 (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: If a man specially observes one particular day, he does so "to God". The man who eats, eats "to God", for he thanks God for the food. The man who fasts also does it "to God", for he thanks God for the benefits of fasting.
 (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: The one who has formed a judgment regarding the day, with reference to the Lord he judges it. And the one who eats, with reference to the Lord he eats, for he gives thanks to God.
Young's Literal: He who is regarding the day, to the Lord he doth regard it, and he who is not regarding the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He who is eating, to the Lord he doth eat, for he doth give thanks to God; and he who is not eating, to the Lord he doth not eat, and doth give thanks to God.

HE WHO OBSERVES THE DAY, OBSERVES IT FOR THE LORD: o phronon (PAPMSN) ten hemeran kurio phronei (3SPAI): (Galatians 4:10)


"He who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord." (Amplified)


"Those who have a special day for worshiping the Lord are trying to honor him." (NLT)


Those who have a special day for worshiping the Lord are trying to honor him. Do everything you do for the honor of Christ and a heart full of thanksgiving to Him (Col 3:23, 24-note). Note Paul's repeated emphasis on "for the Lord" (4x in Ro 14:4, 5,6, 7, 8) in this area of why one does or does not do a "non-essential". 


Paul gave us similar principle that should be our guide in this area of externals in (1Cor 10:31)


"Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."


Their is no difference in motivation between the two groups (strong & weak)  -- both conduct themselves in the way they are led to do by their conscience so that they might please their Master , the Lord Jesus.


AND HE WHO EATS, DOES SO FOR THE LORD FOR HE GIVES THANKS TO GOD: kai o esthion (PAPMSN) kurio esthiei (3SPAI) eucharistei (3SPAI) gar to theo: (Isaiah 58:5; Zechariah 7:5,6)


When people eat all kinds of foods, they honor the Lord as they eat, since they give thanks to God. The evidence that both the ďweakĒ and the ďstrongĒ have right hearts is that they both give ďthanksĒ to God. That is, both do what they do with the intention of serving the Lord.


In Exodus Moses instructed Israel regarding the feast of unleavened bread...


 'Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance. (Exodus 12:14)


And similarly in regard to the Passover that...


It is a night to be observed for the LORD for having brought them out from the land of Egypt; this night is for the LORD, to be observed by all the sons of Israel throughout their generations. (Exodus 12:42)


And in regard to the Sabbath...


And Moses said, "Eat it today, for today is a sabbath to the LORD; today you will not find it in the field. (Ex 16:25)


Ray Stedman comments that...

God sees both of these men and both of these viewpoints as honoring him. The one who thinks Sunday is a special day that ought to be kept different from all other days is doing so as unto the Lord, therefore honor that, respect that viewpoint. The one who says, "No. When we are in Christ, days do not mean anything. They are not set aside for any special purpose. Therefore, I feel every day is alike, and I want to honor the Lord on every day." Okay, do not feel upset at that. He is doing so out of a deep conviction of his heart. The one who drinks beer gives thanks to God for the refreshment of it and the taste of it, and it is perfectly proper that he does so. The one who says, "No. I cannot drink beer. I only drink coffee," gives thanks for the coffee. The coffee may do as much physical harm as the beer, but, in either case, it is not a moral question. It is a question of what the heart is doing in the eyes of God. Sometimes we are too harsh with one another in these areas.


AND HE WHO EATS NOT, FOR THE LORD HE DOES NOT EAT, AND GIVES THANKS TO GOD:  kai o me esthion (PAPMSN) kurio ouk esthiei (3SPAI) kai eucharistei (3SPAI) to theo: (Matthew 14:19; 15:36; John 6:28; 1Corinthians 10:30,31; 1Timothy 4:3, 4, 5)

Vegetarians also honor the Lord when they eat, and they, too, give thanks to God. To count every moment absolutely devoted to God, and therefore holy in the highest sense, is the very essence of the new life in Christ

J Vernon McGee quips that...

"It is not what is on the table, but what is in the heart that is noted by God. It is the heart attitude that conditions Christian conduct." (Thru the Bible Commentary)

Paulís indisputable point here is: people with opposing viewpoints on non-essentials can both be perfectly right with God. We need to take this to heart.

Two of the most famous Christians in the Victorian Era in England were Charles Spurgeon and Joseph Parker, both mighty preachers of the gospel. Early in their ministries they fellowshipped and even exchanged pulpits. Then they had a disagreement, and the reports got into the newspapers. Spurgeon accused Parker of being unspiritual because he attended the theater. Interestingly enough, Spurgeon smoked cigars, a practice many believers would condemn. In fact, on one occasion someone asked Spurgeon about his cigars, and he said he did not smoke to excess. When asked what he meant by excess, he waggishly answered,

ďNo more than two at a time.Ē

Who was right? Perhaps neither, perhaps both! Better yet would be to realize that the two could disagree and both be in the will of God. (see another anecdotal story about Spurgeon under the note for Ro14:22).

Wayne Barber

Ro 14:6 - I want you to know the greater responsibility to celebrate Christ moment-by-moment, day-by-day, falls upon the more mature believer. The context is clear. Those of us who may understand grace and have come further along than others in our own congregation and in our own city have the greatest responsibility in this.

Listen to what some great mature believers have said over the years. Ignatius, who was martyred for the faith in 115 A.D., said,

Those who were concerned with old things have come to newness of confidence, no longer keeping Sabbaths but living according to the Lordís Day on whom our life as risen again through Him depends.

Justin Martyr, who was martyred about 168 A.D., said,

How can we keep the Sabbath who rest from sin all the days of the week.

Yet, even with that maturity, Paul says that we are not to use our freedom under grace to become a stumbling block to a weaker brother.

In 1Corinthians 8 Paul says,

But take care lest this liberty of yours somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idolís temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. And thus, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. (1Cor 8:9, 10, 11, 12)

You know, this gets into several very, very complicated areas, doesnít it? You know there are balancing principles. Whatever you do, you do not cause your brother to stumble. I have people coming to me all the time and say, "Do you think it is alright in scripture to drink wine?" I think sometimes people listen to me say something, but they donít hear it. They just canít wait for an opportunity to ask me that question after it is over with. "Is there a verse in scripture that says you canít drink wine?" No, there really isnít. It just says donít get drunk with it.

But there is another principle in Romans 14, and I want to tell you something straight out, friend. If you are using your freedom under grace to cause a brother to stumble, you had better get that stuff out of your house because you are sinning against God. I say that on the authority of Romans 14. That is not an opinion coming from this preacher.

Donít we live in a day of the weaker and stronger brother? I am telling you, they are on every corner. And what God is saying is, "Donít you dare use your freedom under grace to become a stumbling block to someone else."  (Romans 14:1-6)

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Last Updated July, 2013