Harmony with All Believers-Romans 14:1-8

Romans 14:1-8 “Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. 2 One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3 The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. 5 One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. 8 If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.”

Romani 14:1-8 «Accogliete colui che è debole nella fede, ma non per sentenziare sui suoi scrupoli. 2 Uno crede di poter mangiare di tutto, mentre l’altro che è debole, mangia verdure. Colui che mangia di tutto non disprezzi colui che non mangia di tutto; e colui che non mangia di tutto non giudichi colui che mangia di tutto, perché Dio lo ha accolto. Chi sei tu che giudichi il domestico altrui? Se sta in piedi o se cade è cosa che riguarda il suo padrone; ma egli sarà tenuto in piedi, perché il Signore è potente da farlo stare in piedi.5 Uno stima un giorno più di un altro; l’altro stima tutti i giorni uguali; sia ciascuno pienamente convinto nella propria mente. 6 Chi ha riguardo al giorno, lo fa per il Signore; e chi mangia di tutto, lo fa per il Signore, poiché ringrazia Dio; e chi non mangia di tutto fa così per il Signore, e ringrazia Dio. Nessuno di noi infatti vive per se stesso, e nessuno muore per se stesso; perché, se viviamo, viviamo per il Signore, e se moriamo, moriamo per il Signore. Sia dunque che viviamo o che moriamo, siamo del Signore.”

 

Paul begins to discuss a very common problem among believers who looked down on other believers that had different opinions about matters that did not pertain to the issue of faith. Much of the reasoning behind people who cast judgment on others is based on a sense of holy superiority. The illustrations Paul gives are just a sample of the issues believers were facing in light of the church being composed of Jewish and non-Jewish Christians. The Old Testament dietary laws followed strict kosher laws while the New Testament indicated a different approach because of the work of Christ (1 Timothy 4:4).

What Paul wanted to communicate is that whatever practice someone decided to follow in regards to dietary preferences, “God has accepted him” (verse 3). Christians who spend their energy quarreling over personal issues in an attempt to win converts to their positions are not allowing the Lord to guide others.

Another contentious issue that faced New Testament believers was the idea of “sacred” days. The truth is that all days should be consecrated to the Lord; but there are occasions where spiritual events were celebrated. While the Old Testament highlighted sacred days with spiritual significance in feasts and ceremony, the New Testament influence used the message of these events to be more comprehensive than the actual day (Colossians 2:16-18).

On both of these subjects, the message of harmony in the church is of paramount importance. The first word in this section sums up the point quite clearly: “Accept”. It is an unfortunate that some churches have let their judgment of others be the center of their convictions.

Look at verse 8 and think of the implications of what really matters: “If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.” 

Pray with me: Lord, I want to live in harmony with all believers. Help me to accept others that aren’t like me and be an example to others.



Leave a Reply