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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Romans 14

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 1-13

Respecting Cultural Differences Among Believers- The church at Rome was composed of both Jewish and Gentile converts. Romans 14:1 to Romans 15:13 is about the eating of meats by some Church members and abstinence by others very likely includes a reference to the cultural differences between the Roman Gentiles and Jews. The Jewish converts were still being particular about observing the Sabbath and other Jewish holidays. But for such observances the Romans had no interest. The Jews also carried many traditions of meats and other foods, which the Romans did not observe. Thus, Paul was telling each culture to respect the cultural differences of the other seeing they are doing it as unto the Lord. The Jews observed their cultural traditions as a way of worshipping the Lord. The Romans avoided such traditions as a way of expressing their liberties in Christ Jesus.

Romans 14:1Word Study on "receive" - BDAG says the Greek word "receive" ( προσλαμβάνω) (G 4355) means, "to receive or accept in one's society or home or circle of acquaintances, into Christian fellowship."

Scripture Reference- Note:

Romans 15:7, "Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God."

Romans 14:1Word Study on "doubtful disputations" - BDAG says the Greek word "doubtful disputations" ( διάκρισις) (G 1253) means, "a quarrel." BDAG says that they are to "welcome [the weak], but not for the purpose of getting into quarrels about opinions." ( διάκρισις 2)

Romans 14:3 — "for God hath received him" - Comments- If God has received a weak Christian brother into His fellowship and saving grace, even though he may be weak, how much ready should we be willing to welcome him into our fellowship ( Romans 15:7).

Romans 15:7, "Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God."

Romans 14:7Comments- Note that not even the lost man is able to live and die without affecting others.

Romans 14:8Comments- Romans 14:8 explains that our life and death serve for Christ Jesus' advantage. Verse 6 says that "to the Lord" we either regard a day or disregard it.

Romans 14:9 — "that he might be Lord birth of the dead and living" - Comments- Jesus is Lord of all things in heaven, earth and under earth ( Philippians 2:9-11). Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess Jesus as Lord to the glory of God the Father. Jesus is Lord of those spiritually dead, and these dead also will confess Him as Lord one day.

Philippians 2:9-11, "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Romans 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

Romans 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

Romans 14:11 — "As I live" - Comments- The Lord can swear by no one higher. This phrase is used in the Old Testament, "As YHWH lives."

1 Kings 17:12, "And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my Song of Solomon , that we may eat it, and die."

Hebrews 6:13, "For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,"

Romans 14:11"every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God" - Comments- Even the lost man is indebted to praise the lord. For God has created Him also.

Philippians 2:9-11, "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Romans 14:15 — "But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably" - Comments- Colossians 3:14 says that love is the bond of maturity. In other words, everything we do must be governed by love. Love is what brings together everything that we do in a manner that pleases God. Goodspeed translates Romans 14:15 to read, "For if your brother's feelings are hurt by what you eat, your life is not governed by love…"

We are to govern our lives by love in everything that we do. Kenneth Hagin teaches us that our conscience is the voice of the Holy Spirit. 224] Colossians 3:15 tells us to govern our decisions by whether or not we have a peace in our hearts. When we allow ourselves to be led by the Holy Spirit, we find that a peace in our heart indicates that a decision is within God's will and a check in our spirit indicates that something is not God's will. Thus, we allow the peace of God to be our guide. If we do this, we will be allowing love to govern our decisions ( Romans 3:14).

224] Kenneth Hagin, The Human Spirit (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1985), 26.

Colossians 3:14-15, "And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful."

Romans 14:17Comments- It is our position of righteousness that brings true peace in our hearts. This peace will allow the presence of the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with a joy unspeakable and full of glory ( 1 Peter 1:8).

1 Peter 1:8, "Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:"

We see this same order of righteousness, peace, and joy in Romans 14:17.

Romans 14:18Scripture References- We see a similar verse in Proverbs 3:3-4.

Proverbs 3:3-4, "Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man."

Romans 14:19"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace" - Scripture References- Note:

Hebrews 12:14, "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:"

James 3:18, "And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace."

Romans 14:20Comments- Eating with offence refers to those who cause others stumble while not having a pure conscience in himself about partaking of a matter.

Romans 14:21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

Romans 14:21"nor to drink wine" - Comments- The question, "Is it ok to drink alcoholic beverages or not?" was questioned then as it is today. Paul deals with this question using a Scriptural principle of not causing a brother to stumble, "who is weak in faith" in verse 1. Jesus calls them, "one of these little (or least) ones" in Luke 17:2.

Luke 17:2, "It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones."

Romans 14:22 — "Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God" - Comments- There are times that we must keep our faith quiet when we believe God for things. If we tell our family or friends, they may speak to us in doubt and unbelief. We do not want them to stumble at our faith, which appears to them foolish.

Illustration- Rahab is an example of someone who kept her faith in God quiet for a season.

Joshua 2:20-21, "And if thou utter this our business, then we will be quit of thine oath which thou hast made us to swear. And she said, According unto your words, so be it. And she sent them away, and they departed: and she bound the scarlet line in the window."

Romans 14:23 — "for whatsoever is not of faith is sin" - Comments- Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God.

Hebrews 11:6, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he Isaiah , and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."

Romans 15:2Comments- Note that Paul opened a lengthy passage in Romans 13:9-10 on loving our neighbours and is still on this same topic in chapter 15.

Romans 13:9-10, "For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."

Romans 15:2Scripture References- Note similar verses about edifying our neighbour:

Romans 14:19, "Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another."

1 Corinthians 9:19, "For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more."

1 Corinthians 10:24, "Let no man seek his own, but every man another"s wealth."

1 Corinthians 10:33, "Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved."

Romans 15:3Old Testament Quotes in the New Testament - In Romans 15:3 Paul quotes from Psalm 69:9.

Psalm 69:9, "For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me."

Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

Romans 15:4Scripture References- Note similar verses that state that the Old Testament Scriptures were written for a "generation to come" ( Psalm 102:18) and for an example for New Testament believers ( 1 Corinthians 10:11, Hebrews 8:5):

Psalm 102:18, "This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD."

1 Corinthians 10:11, "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."

Hebrews 8:5, "Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith Hebrews , that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount."

Romans 15:6 — "That ye may with one mind" - Comments- This word is used in the book of Acts. It refers to having the same purpose or impulse.

"and one mouth glorify God" - Scripture References:

James 3:10, "Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be."

Romans 15:6Comments- Romans 15:6 explains the purpose of being of same mind. God is not in the presence of sin. We cannot do it without one mind due to strife, etc.

James 3:16, "For where envying and strife Isaiah , there is confusion and every evil work."

Romans 15:6Illustration- As an illustration, see Acts 2:46-47. God will be able to do great works among us in this state. How to do this? Romans 12:1-2; Romans 12:16.

Acts 2:46-47, "And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."

Romans 12:1-2, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

Romans 12:16, "Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits."

Romans 15:7"Wherefore receive ye one another" - Scripture Reference:

Romans 14:1, "Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations."

Romans 15:7 — "as Christ also received us to the glory of God" - Comments - The pronoun "us" refers to the church at Rome, especially as Gentiles. Song of Solomon , in Romans 15:9 they are to glorify God for his unspeakable grace and gift of salvation.

Scripture Reference:

Romans 14:3, "Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him."

Romans 15:8Comments - Jesus Christ was born of Jewish lineage ( Romans 15:8 a) in order to confirm the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah ( Romans 15:8 b), and to bring the Gentiles into covenant with God ( Romans 15:9 a).

Scripture References- Note supporting verses:

Matthew 15:24, "But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

Acts 3:25-26, "Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities."

Romans 15:9"And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy" - Comments - The second purpose of Jesus coming as Jew was to provide redemption to the Gentiles. The Gentiles would take note of how God grafted them into the vine and they would glorify God because of His mercy that saved them ( Romans 9:22-24).

Romans 9:22-24, "What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?"

"as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name" - Comments - In Romans 15:9 b Paul now gives the first of four testimonies from the Old Testament prophets to confirm the fact that Jesus came to grant mercy and redemption to the Gentiles. He first cites a psalm of David in Psalm 18:49, "Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name."

Romans 15:10Comments - In Romans 15:10 Paul gives the second of four testimonies from the Old Testament prophets to confirm the fact that Jesus came to grant mercy and redemption to the Gentiles. He cites Moses in Deuteronomy 32:43, "Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people."

Romans 15:11Comments - In Romans 15:11 Paul gives the third of four testimonies from the Old Testament prophets to confirm the fact that Jesus came to grant mercy and redemption to the Gentiles. He cites an additional psalm authored by someone other than David in Psalm 117:1, "O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people."

Romans 15:12Comments - In Romans 15:12 Paul gives the fourth of four testimonies from the Old Testament prophets to confirm the fact that Jesus came to grant mercy and redemption to the Gentiles. He cites the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 11:10, "And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious."

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Romans 14:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/romans-14.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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