Romans chapter 14 is titled Do Not Pass Judgment on One Another.
This chapter expresses a picture of the members of the church that was growing. We see all of it through the book of Acts if you want to check that out. We can determine from this one little verse that not all members of the church then were giants of the faith, some were weak in faith. But they were not to be excluded from being recieved into the church. This means that people didnt have to have it all together to be in fellowship with the church. Paul is implying that there then is a difference between someone who is weak in faith and someone who is rebellious. (2 Thess. 3:6)
There are a few ways that one might be weak in the faith – just for our information:
- They are young in their faith and are trying to wrap their heads around the teaching of Jesus.
- They may have some faulty ideas about truth. Legalism might be hindering them.
- They may have had lack of robust teaching and are malnourished in the Word.
- They may lack excersize and need to be exhortated to become disciplined in different areas of their walk with the Lord.
No matter what way they are weak. The church is to receive them….
But not to quarrel over opinions!
As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. 2 One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. 3 Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. 4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.Romans 14:1-4
Paul then gives us this example of eating vegetables. In that day some Christians didnt eat meats because they had been used in pagan sacrifice or they weren’t kosher meaning these meats were not allowed per Jewish dietary laws. Perhaps some came out of paganism into Christianity, another came out of the Jewish faith into Christianity, and still others came out of something else into Christianity. Some saw nothing wrong with eating meats and some did and it was an issue amongst the members of this early church. We can understand this because we too have our own issues that we believe differently about. Paul is getting after this attitude that is brewing where we look down on someone else because they believe differently than we do. There is this sense that the “other” is a weaker Christian. Yet, we forget that when ever we judge eachother in our differences of opinion, (notice I didnt say doctrine) we inadvertantly have made ourselves the weaker brother or sister because we are operating in a place that lacks love for one another.
Paul is pointing out then not to judge eachother in this way because we pass judgment on the one is welcomed by God. They are God’s servant and it is not our place to pass judgment on them for things that are matters of opinion. You did not make them a part of God’s family, He did! In our recent history (think 2020 – elections, covid, lockdowns, etc.) there has been alot of this kind of judgement happening among the saints of the church that we see here that scripture is clearly opposed too.
It’s easy when we live our lives in an aggressive “I’m right” kind of way to quickly end up in arguments over things that are a matter of opinion. God is asking us to rise above these smaller and more trivial things that we’ve made out to be big things and choose to love one other simply because He chose us.
God accepted us, therefore, we extend acceptance to eachother. Ultimately who is right or wrong is not the point. The truth is God will sort us out! He will humble us to or cause us to stand in His truth. It is not our responsibility to make people change. God will deal with your brothers and sisters in Christ and He will also deal with you.
Thanks for Listening,