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Bible Commentaries

Arno Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
Romans 14

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 1-23

CHAPTER 14

1. Strong and Weak Brethren are the Lord’s Servants. (Romans 14:1-12.)

2. The True Way of Love. (Romans 14:13-23.)

Romans 14:1-12

The question concerning brethren who were weak in faith, how they are to be treated by those who are strong is now taken up. Those weak in the faith had not the complete knowledge of their position in Christ, though they knew Christ and loved Him. They did not realize that certain observances of days, or abstinences from meats and drinks, could not affect their salvation in any way. There were scruples and conscientious difficulties, as there are still among God’s people. One believeth he may eat all things, he knew his full Christian freedom--another who is weak eateth herbs. How are these two to treat each other? Were they to criticize and condemn one the other? “Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him that eateth not judge him that eateth, for God hath received him.” The weak in faith are to be received, but not to doubtful points of reasonings; these questions are not to be brought up for discussion, or worse, to make them a test of Christian fellowship. Judging a brother, or condemning him on such matters is forbidden, for inasmuch as God hath received him, he is the Lord’s servant and not ours. The rebuke is “who art thou that thou judgest another’s servant? to his own Lord he standeth or falleth.” More than that, the Lord in His gracious power shall keep him in all his weakness. He bears with him, “the Lord is able to make him stand.” Each is responsible to the Lord. Each does it as unto the Lord. No one lives to himself, and no one dies to himself, we are all the Lord’s. There is also a day coming when we all must stand before His judgment seat and then He will judge, who knows the secrets of every heart. Therefore we must not judge. Every one, as stated in all these cases, should be fully persuaded in his own mind and should not judge another, but look forward to the judgment seat of Christ.

Romans 14:13-23

But more than that there should be loving tolerance for the brother. let the harsh judgment of the brother, whom God has received be abandoned; but judge this rather, “not to put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.” There is nothing unclean in itself. Yet a brother may account something unclean, his conscience so judges, then it is unclean for him. The brother with the weak conscience must be considered. The law of love demands this. “If thy brother is grieved on account of thy food, thou walkest no longer in love; destroy not with thy food him for whom Christ died.” Therefore “it is good not to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor to do anything, whereby thy brother stumbleth or is offended, or is made weak.” “He that serves Christ in these things is acceptable and approved of men. We are to follow what makes for peace and edifies others. To the pure all things are pure; but if a person defiles his conscience, even though an unfounded scruple, to him it is unclean. Happy for him who, in boasting of his liberty by faith, does not go beyond his faith in what he does; and does not offend in what he allows himself to do; for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. If a man thinks he ought to honor a certain day, or abstain from a certain food, and then, for the sake of showing his liberty, does not do it, to him it is sin. It is not faith before God” (Synopsis).

 


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Bibliography Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Romans 14:4". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gab/romans-14.html. 1913-1922.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, October 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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