Part 19


In Romans 12, Paul taught a bunch of different topics related to how we are to behave as Christians. In Romans 13, he taught us how the governing authorities have been put in place by God and how we are to obey the law of the land. In Chapter 14 through the first part of chapter 15, he spends a great deal of time teaching us how to treat others regarding matters of opinion. In fact, most commentators agree that Paul is focusing on matters of opinion.


For instance, Douglas J. Moo noted that “we cannot extend the tolerance Paul demands here to all issues … We must … be careful to apply the tolerance of Romans 14:1-15:13 to issues similar to the one Paul treats here” (Truth for Today – Romans, p. 337).


This chapter has been abused by some to teach that we should accept anyone who believes in Jesus regardless of what they practice. Some seem to think that if what we are doing offends a fellow Christian that we should stop that practice regardless if it authorized or not.


There are some challenges we will face in this study because we cannot know the specifics of what prompted Paul to deal with this. While we might not know the specifics, we can know that Paul dealt with eating meat (2, 21), observing special days (5), and the drinking of wine (21). He also talks about the weaker brother and the stronger brother (1,2; 15:1). Many think this has to do with the relationship between Jews and Gentiles, which makes sense based on the overall message to Jews and Gentiles in Paul’s letter. However, what is not clear is who is the weaker brother and who is the stronger brother.


Some think the weaker brother was the Jewish Christians who might have become vegetarians because they didn’t trust the meat that was being sold in the pagan marketplace thus making the Gentile Christians the strong ones. 


However, it’s also possible that the weaker brother was the Gentiles because they know that the meat sold in the marketplace could contain animals that were sacrificed to idols (1 Cor. 8), but the Jews would not have to rely on the marketplace for their meat as they usually killed their own animals.


Regarding the idea of the stronger or weaker Christian, I like the thoughts of Mr. Roper.


There is no evidence that forces us to conclude that Paul labeled one group “strong” on all the issues mentioned and the other “weak.” He may have deliberately chosen one topic on which Jewish Christians were more likely to be “weak” (observing days) and one topic on which Gentile Christians were more likely to be “weak” (not eating meat). Such an approach would defuse thoughts of “We are stronger spiritually than you.” (If we are honest with ourselves, most of us have to admit that while we may be “strong” on some issues, it is possible that we are “weak” on others) (Truth For Today, Romans, p. 335).


Since we see Paul addressing both Jews and Gentiles in his letter, what Mr. Roper has said seems to be the best explanation to me, but I as I said, we don’t have enough information to say one way or the other emphatically. 


We also learn that the weaker brother in our text is the one that is stricter than the stronger brother who has a better understanding of the liberty we have in Jesus. 


Let’s begin with the first four verses.


Romans 14:1 Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things.  2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables.  3 Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him.  4 Who are you to judge another's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.


When Paul tells us to “Receive one who is weak in the faith” this means we are to be in full fellowship with them. As I have already pointed out, this has to do with matters of opinions and not doctrine. Paul has never taught or even hinted at the idea that we are to be in full fellowship with everyone who calls themselves Christians despite what they teach. Instead, he teaches the church to mark them and avoid them (Rom. 16:17-18).


Those who are weak in the faith are not those who have not obeyed the gospel, they are simply those who have not studied or understood the Scriptures well enough regarding a given topic. If we are faithful Christians, we are all in a state of growth. Sometimes, our experiences with various things can cause us to have a sensitive conscience about certain things. While abstaining from a particular practice is not sinful, neither is engaging in that activity. As long as the one who is weak in the faith is not trying to bind his own thoughts on others, but personally abstain from certain acts, then the stronger Christian should not only be in full fellowship with such a Christian, he should not make it his goal to give that Christian a hard time or try to force him to go against his conscience in these matters.


Now, this does not mean that we can’t teach the truth on that matter or that the weaker Christian cannot eventually have a better understanding of Scripture and change his views on the topic. Paul expounds on verse one in verses two and three. There were some Christians who understood that all things were clean to eat. As Paul taught Timothy:


1 Timothy 4:4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving;  5 for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.


However, there was also some Christians, both Jew and Gentile, who might be concerned about buying meat in the marketplace knowing that some of the meat sold may have been part of a sacrifice made to a pagan god. In order to be safe, these Christians would refrain from eating meat because they knew they would have no doubts if they just ate vegetables. Paul talks more about this in 1 Corinthians 8-10. Notice, what he said:


1 Corinthians 10:25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience' sake;  26 for "the earth is the LORD'S, and all its fullness."


Though our freedom we have in Christ makes all meat acceptable to eat, Paul wanted to make sure that the Christians who understood this didn’t despise those who choose to avoid eating meat because of their conscience. He also makes it clear that the ones who choose not to eat the meat are not to judge the ones who eat the meat because to eat meat or not to eat meat doesn’t matter as long as one doesn’t bind it either way.


There is also nothing wrong with a strong Christian avoiding eating meat in front of the weaker Christians to keep them from stumbling. Again, Paul writes:


1 Corinthians 8:9 But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak.  10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol's temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols?  11 And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?  12 But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.  13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.


Paul wanted to make sure that he was always doing his best to help others stay focused on Christ. He was so serious about doing this that he said if meat made his brother stumble, he would never eat meat again. Let’s be clear, he also stated that eating meat was not sinful. You will also notice that his statement is conditional. He said, “if food makes my brother stumble.” In other words, if the brother has gained enough knowledge to understand that eating meat is not wrong, then there is no longer a reason to abstain from eating meat. As Paul pointed out in our text, the one who abstains from eating meat is not supposed to judge the one eating meat.

DeHoff has good point on this topic.

On the other hand, there is such a thing as a brother who is not nearly so weak as he thinks, but who has been in the kingdom for years and is a crank and a fanatic. He has a tender conscience, he claims; and he tries to use it to control everybody else. His favorite passage is what Paul said about meats, which he applies to anything he wants to keep other people from doing. Of course, we shall just have to get along with this fellow as best we can!
(George W. DeHoff, Sermons on First Corinthians (Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 1947), p. 71.)

James Meadows wrote:

    "Paul's principle would not apply in the case of a contentious brother, nor would it apply to one who is weak because he has refused to study and learn better; but it would apply only in the case where a weak brother's conscience is involved.  There is a vast difference between the conscience of a weak brother and the individual who is always objecting to something." (James Meadows, Studies in 1 Corinthians, editor Dub McClish (Denton, Texas: Valid Publishing Inc., 1982), p. 350.)


When it comes to abstaining from certain practices that are not sinful in order to keep one from stumbling, we must be careful not to give up a practice just because one wants to control a congregation. We have all met Christians that have a strong opinion about certain practices, and they have no problem with restricting a congregation from doing those things they don’t like.

Some Christians will try and abuse Romans 14 and other verses, such as the one in 1 Corinthians 8, to try and force people to do things their way, but such people cannot use these verses as leverage to simply get their way because Paul is specifically referring to those who are not contentious, but struggle with eating meat or things that had to do with what they came out of. For example, the Corinthians were surrounded by pagan worship and so were the Romans. So, it makes sense that they would struggle in the beginning to know that all meat can be eaten.

Some even try to use Romans 14 to say that the stronger brother is one who knows that musical instruments can be used in worship, but the weaker brother doesn’t understand yet, so we simply refrain from using them to not wound the weaker brother. However, this is not true either as Paul is not dealing with what we do in worship in this chapter, and this is a doctrinal issue.  Paul makes it clear in Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 that we are to sing to God and not use musical instruments, which means this is not a matter of opinion.

The main idea Paul is emphasizing is that when it comes to matters of opinion, we need to be extra careful about how we treat each other so that we don’t cause strife over questionable matters.

Notice what Paul said in verse four again:

4 Who are you to judge another's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.


Regarding this verse, please notice what Roy Deaver observed:


 "Calling attention to a man's violation of God's Will is not "judging" the man in the sense here forbidden.  The idea that it is "judging" when one emphasizes the Bible teaching and how that one is out of harmony with that teaching makes sinners out of the Lord and the apostles.  This was their work.  This is the work and obligation of every Christian ... Christians are to be able to judge evil workers (Phil. 3:2).  Dealing with the disorderly, as the Bible prescribes (2 Thess. 3:6), necessarily involves determining who is disorderly.  Judging, therefore, is of two kinds: one demanded and the other forbidden.  The Lord Himself teaches: "Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24)." (Deaver, p. 541.  See also Lester Kamp, Studies in Matthew, editor Dub McClish (Denton, Texas: Valid Publishing, Inc., 1995), pp. 448-453.)


I like what brother Deaver wrote because we can certainly make a righteous judgment based on God’s Word, but our text is specifically referring to the idea that we have no right to put ourselves in the place of God. God is our Master. He has given us His law, and on the judgment day, we will be judged by Jesus (2 Cor. 5:10). No man or woman on this earth can have the final say on whether a person will end up in heaven or hell because Jesus is the final judge. If we are living for Christ, we will indeed stand and be counted righteous in the end.


Next, Paul talks about special days:


Romans 14:5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.  6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.  7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.  8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's.  9 For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.


We all have our traditions, such as birthdays and national holidays. Some will count the day of a loved one’s death as special. Others don’t care about such things. When we think about the time of Paul, we can know that the Jews would certainly consider the Sabbath and certain festivals they had kept their entire lives as being special even though they would not be special to the Gentiles. There were certainly special days the Gentiles celebrated that the Jews would have nothing to do with.

The point Paul wants to make is that both Jew and Gentile Christians don’t need to judge one another just because one person esteems one day important while another does not. Let’s not forget, we are still talking about matters of opinion. For example, Paul is not saying that we can choose to change the assembly of the saints when we partake of the Lord’s Supper to some other day than the first day of the week because we have been given the pattern in the New Testament to do this on Sunday (Acts 20:7).


We can also see how Paul rebuked the Galatians for trying to make part of the Law of Moses binding in order to have salvation:


Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.  2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.  3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.  4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.


Paul also wrote:


Colossians 2:16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths,  17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.  18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,  19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.  20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations--  21 "Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,"  22 which all concern things which perish with the using-- according to the commandments and doctrines of men?  23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

You could image how tempting it would be for a Jew to try and bind circumcision or keeping the Sabbath, but Paul wants the Jews and Gentiles to know that they should not do this because we are in Christ, and we are under a new covenant. This is why we can celebrate national holidays including Easter and Christmas without violating the will of God. The only way we can turn any holiday into to something that it should not be is if we make into a religious holiday that is binding on others. Some tend to do this with Christmas and Easter, but these holidays can be celebrated with no religious affiliation.


As Dave Miller points out:


"While Christians will avoid using symbols that associate the holiday season with unauthorized religious activity (like angels and nativity scenes), they can feel perfectly free to observe Christmas as a festive national holiday (Rom. 14:5-6).  Decorating trees, giving gifts, and the like, are not associated with a religious observance of Christmas, as is readily apparent from the fact that thousands of non-religious, atheistic, and Jewish Americans observe the holiday season with all of the cultural trimmings (lights, trees, gifts, etc.).  They do so without assigning a "Christian" significance to the practice.  (Dave Miller, Piloting the Strait (Pulaski, Tennessee: Sain Publishing, 1996), p. 261.)


Paul once again applies this principle to those who eat meat and those who don’t. The overall idea is to be careful about creating friction over certain days or certain practices that are not sinful whether they are observed or not observed. They had problems with this back then, and people have problems with this today. Some Christians can get so wrapped up with matters of opinion that they treat these matters of opinion as if they were Scripture, which we must avoid doing.


Paul continues by talking about how God is the judge of all.


Rom. 14:10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.  11 For it is written: "As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God."  12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.


Based on verse 3, it is believed that Paul is addressing the weak brother in the first question and the strong brother in the second question. Let’s not forget that our context is about matters of opinion and not doctrine. The difference these brethren had could have been solved had they truly treated each other like family because we all tolerate certain family members and their quirks.


As Peter wrote:


1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins."


Loving our brethren will cause us to be more patient with matters of opinion. We certainly shouldn’t be judging them or despising them just because of their opinions. We just need to leave that up to the one true judge who can know the intent and thoughts of that person, which is Jesus. We will all stand before Him and be judged based on what we have done individually (John 5:22; Acts 17:30-31; 2 Cor. 5:10).


Verse 11 is a quote from Isa. 45:23. On the Day of Judgment, there will be no atheists or confusion if there is a God because everyone will bow down and confess their belief in Jesus, which means they will be proclaiming His existence and authority. It will be a sad day for many people because those compelled to confess Jesus on that day that had not confessed Him before will find their eternal home in hell.

Paul is now going to focus more on our attitudes toward our brethren in matters of opinion.


Romans 14:13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother's way.  14 I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.  15 Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died.  16 Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil;  17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  18 For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.


Let’s consider what Mr. Roper wrote about these verses:


In the first twelve verses of Romans 14, Paul addressed both “weak” and “strong” Christians. In the remainder of the chapter, he directed his remarks to the “strong”. He wanted the “strong” brother to take a second look at the “weak” brother. Instead, of seeing the “weak” brother as an opponent, Paul wanted the “strong” brother to see him as an opportunity-an opportunity to help one “for whom Christ died” (Truth for Today Commentary – Romans p. 351).


Could you image if we looked at each other as people for whom Christ died? When we couple that with how Jesus taught that what we do to our brother or sister in Christ is as if we are doing it to Christ, that should be humbling to us. We should think about this the next time we view a fellow Christians as an opponent because of their opinion instead of thinking of how we might help that Christian grow through encouragement.


The fact that Paul said, “let us not judge one another anymore” indicates that these Christians he was writing were continuing to make such judgment calls on matters of indifference. As we go through this chapter, you can probably understand where people get the idea of not judging them, and they are correct regarding matters of opinion. However, we can make righteous judgments (Jn. 7:24; 1 Cor. 5:12). If we are not allowed to make judgments based on the Word of God, they the church could not exercise church discipline, but we are taught to make these kinds of judgments (2 Thess. 3:6).


Instead of making these petty judgments, Paul wants them to focus on what they can do to keep a fellow Christian from falling. Just because the stronger brother understand that he can eat all meat doesn’t mean that he should flaunt his liberty in front of the weaker brother because it could cause him to stumble by either violating his conscience by him eating the meat or by him falling away because he can’t bring himself to be around such arrogant Christians.  


Paul makes it crystal clear in verse 14 that no meat is unclean. Consider what Mr. Kemp wrote about this:


"I know" means that Paul knew from the facts that had been presented on this matter.  Howard Winters suggests that his knowledge could have been obtained from three sources: "(1) The teaching of Christ (Matt. 15:10-20; Mk. 7:14-23); (2) Peter had been shown it by a miracle (Acts 10:9-16); and (3) the law, which contained the restrictions, had been abolished (Matt. 5:17-18; Eph. 2:13-16; Col. 2:14-16)."<24>   Besides these, he was "persuaded by the Lord Jesus" which means that the Lord had revealed this information to him (Denton Lectureship on Romans).


There is no denying that all meat can be eaten (1 Tim. 4:4; Acts 10:12-14), which also shows that the Law of Moses was no longer binding with it food restrictions (Col. 2:14).  However, if  Christians think it is wrong for them to eat all meat, then to them it is wrong. Anything that violates your conscience is a sin to you even if God’s Word says it is not which has to do with our mindset. If you go against your conscience even though what are doing is not sinful in the eyes of God, when you do it, it’s as if you are saying that it doesn’t matter if you do that which is wrong. Once you are willing to violate your conscience on matters that are not actual sinful, you can develop this same attitude against other things that are sinful. So, we need to be careful with how we deal with our consciences because once you sear it over with a hot iron on one matter, it will be easy for you sear it over on other matters.

As Christians, we must continue to grow in the knowledge and the grace of our Lord and train our consciences with the Word. It’s the only way we can change our consciences on matters of indifference and embrace the liberality we have in Christ. A well-trained conscience will help us with our Christian walk in the light and will help us distinguish between what is the will of God from matters of opinion.


Notice what Paul says again:


15 Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died.  16 Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil;  17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  18 For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.


Paul continues to teach that love for your brother will keep you from eating meat in front of the weak brother so that you don’t destroy him because of your food. As a side note, this teaches against the once saved always saved because the weak brother has the possibility of being destroyed.


The focus of the kingdom is not what you eat or drink, the focus is on righteousness, peace, and joy, which are elements that the Holy Spirit represents. When we take on these elements as we serve Christ, we will have the approval of God and our fellow Christians despite their hang-ups on certain matters of indifference.


In the last part of our chapter, Paul emphasizes how we are to accept one another in peace.


Romans 14:19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.  20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense.  21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.  22 Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.  23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.


Paul wants them and us to make it our goal pursue those things that cause peace instead of division. We are to edify and build each other up instead of tearing each other down over matters of indifference. There have certainly been times when strong opinionated Christians have run off other Christians and even nonChristians searching for the truth because they focused on strife instead of peace. We must not allow matters of indifference to destroy the work of God.

We need to keep in mind that Paul is specifically talking about food in these verses. He is not saying that all things are pure, but that eating meat is pure, but it would be evil for a weak brother to violate his conscience and eat meat or for a strong brother to flaunt his liberality by eating meat in front of the weak brother. The main thought is that meat or drink is not something worthy to offend a weak brother over.


Some will try and say that verse 21 is saying the drinking intoxicating wine is ok if you are not around a weak brother, but that is reading too much into the text. Though we are not given the specifics of what Paul was referring to, we can surmise from the context that he is referring to wine that was used as part of an offering to idols as well. Perhaps he is saying that he would be willing to fast if necessary from food and drink to keep a brother from stumbling. Regarding this topic notice what Robert Taylor said:


"Proponents of the acceptability of so-called social or moderate imbibing of alcoholic beverages (in reality nothing is more anti-social and moderation may only be used properly to refer to what is right in and of itself and drinking to ANY degree, is wrong per se) like to OVERPARK at this verse.  They smugly and sneeringly contend that social drinking is simply an indifferent matter and is neither right nor wrong as long as other people are not harmed by their practices.  However, alcoholic beverages do not fit matters of indifference.  They are wrong per se -- in large amounts, in controlled amounts, in minute amounts ...  Passages in the New Testament, other than Rom. 14:21, which prohibit alcoholic consumption as a beverage, are 1 Thess. 5:22; 1 Peter 2:11; 4:3, 4.  Some might be quick to say, "But Peter said, `excess of wine' and social drinking is not excess!"  Peter also said, "excess of riot."  Would moderate rioting be all right?  Would just a little rioting be all right? Would moderate rioting be acceptable to society?  Brother J. D. Tant, colorful preacher of the past, was once asked if he thought it all right to drink a little.  He answered that he thought such was all right.  But he was quick to say that he thought a little adultery, a little lying, a little murdering, a little stealing, etc., would be all right also.  He reduced the matter to total absurdity.  He knew a little drinking was wrong."


 "Meats and wine are obviously in the same category here.  Meats are indifferent; wine is indifferent.  But the wine could not be a matter of indifference if alcoholic in content.  Therefore it must be unfermented wine about which the apostle made allusion here -- not the hard stuff that turns men into monsters and women into harlots" (Taylor, p. 258).


 Roy C. Deaver adds this:


"I do not accept the view (and I do reject the view) that the word "wine" in this passage refers to intoxicants, and that Paul therefore classes the drinking of intoxicants within the realm of indifference.  The word "wine" here is used with the word "meats" (flesh) and must refer to something which stands before God as meat stands.  I cannot accept the notion that inspiration would categorize intoxicants with meats.  Further, the word "wine" ([@oinos]) does not necessarily mean intoxicant.  It may refer to the juice freshly squeezed from the grapes.  It may refer to the juice of the grape while it is still in the grape.  This is the word used in John 2, and I do not believe for a moment that the Lord made something intoxicating.  Even if it could be proved (but it cannot be) that in Paul's day and in that culture the drinking of intoxicating wine was a matter of "indifference," it would not follow that such would be the case in our day. Millions of broken homes, destitute children, murders on highways, cases of loss of influence for good, and countless other tragedies all declare that the drinking of intoxicants is not a matter of indifference.  A Christian will have nothing to do with drinking intoxicants.  Cf. 1 Pet. 2:11" (Deaver, Romans, pp. 116-117).


I think these two writers show that Paul is not in any way authorizing intoxicating wine.


Notice our last few verses again:


22 Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.  23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.


I like how the CEB translates verse 22:


Romans 14:22 Keep the belief that you have to yourself-- it's between you and God.


In other words, if you know something is right, you can certainly practice it, but sometimes you must keep it between you and God so that you don’t cause others to stumble. You should never condemn yourself when you do those things allowed by God’s Word. Of course, Paul is talking about eating meat or drinking wine in this context.

However, the Christian who doubts a practice is right and does it anyways is condemned. It is sin to them. Therefore, whatever is done that is not from faith is sin. One more time, I want to remind you that we are still talking about matters of indifference here and not doctrine. So, Paul is in no way giving a Christian the license to do whatever he feels is right. If one is doing something forbidden in Scripture, it is sin even if the person strongly believes it is not.


In conclusion, I hope this chapter has taught us how we need to be careful of how we treat each and that matters of indifference are not worthy to argue over or to cause people to stumble. So, let’s do our best to treat each other as we would treat Christ.