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Bible Commentaries
Romans 14

Concordant Commentary of the New TestamentConcordant NT Commentary

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Verses 1-23

The Conduct of the Saints

1 Fellowship among God's saints should not be based on knowledge or ignorance. God receives us even when we are feeble in faith. We should not cut from our fellowship one who does not follow all our deductions from the Scriptures. Neither should we make light of his scruples. No foods are forbidden now. Yet the undoubted wisdom of the food regulations under the law may well help us to determine what is best, without abridging our liberty to eat all things with a good conscience. We may not dictate to one another in these things. They are to be settled by the individual conscience before God.

5 The observance of days is also a matter of individual preference. It is abundantly evident that no day is above another, so far as the Scriptures are concerned. The seventh day, the sabbath, was never given to the nations. To observe it is to put ourselves under the curse of the law. The first day of the week, called Sunday, is never once referred to in the Scriptures, properly translated. The phrase should always be rendered "one of the sabbaths." In order to get "the first day of the week" it is necessary to alter one to first, to insert the word day, and change the plural sabbaths to the singular week. It is a desperate attempt to find some scriptural excuse for the prevalent observance of Sunday. There is nothing wrong in the setting aside of a day to the Lord. Custom has made Sunday the most convenient for this purpose. But let us not mar the word of God in order to uphold the practice. Neither should we ride roughshod over the religious scruples of those who look upon Sunday as a day sanctioned by God for divine worship. They have no basis for their belief, nevertheless their conscience demands consideration.

10 It is not ours to pass judgment in these matters. It is not the place of the church to fix any days and condemn those who do not observe them. Only the observance of days as a matter of law keeping is condemned. Though there may be nothing wrong in working on Sunday, it is wrong to keep it as a means of salvation. The same is true of the seventh day, or sabbath.

14 The distinctions instituted by the law between things which are to be reckoned clean and unclean have no place in the economy of grace. God has no hesitancy in associating with us, sinners of the nations. A strict Jew could not eat our food without being contaminated. Yet, before God, we are holy and the Jew is unclean! Hence no food is ceremonially unclean. It is only an uninstructed conscience which counts things common.

15 The liberty to eat anything should not be allowed to infringe on the prejudices of others. Those who have a conscience about partaking of certain foods are easily offended. We should not stand on our rights but seek rather to restrain our liberty to conform to the religious scruples of our fellow believers.

17 This is not a definition of the kingdom of God, but a statement of its bearing on this subject. The distinctive truth for the present economy was not yet known, and the saints are included in the kingdom of God in its widest aspect as denoting the sphere of God's rule.

19 These are safe tests to apply to all our intercourse with our fellow saints. Will it provoke strife? If so, let us avoid it. Will it edify? If not, let us forego it. Peace and the edification of others, rather than our own privileges should be pressed. Things which we can do with a good conscience before God, may give dire offense if done before some of His saints.

1 Knowledge puffs up. There is a prideful tendency to make a show of our liberty in Christ. But grace considers the weak rather than the strong. If there is to be peace and unity it must come from the condescension of those who are able. The weak in faith are not asked to consider the strong. Christ is the most brilliant example in this as in all else. What marvelous condescension He displayed in His dealings with His disciples, whose weakness and lack of faith was a constant source of distress to Him! If He could bridge the great gulf between Him and His disciples, surely we can bear with those whose infirmities we all share.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Romans 14". Concordant Commentary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/aek/romans-14.html. 1968.
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