Romans 14: The Powerful Loved the Weak

… why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.

No Judgment, No Contempt for the Weak

Human associations are based on conformity:  we “belong” because we conform to the interests, or the rules, or the way of thinking of our group.  The church is different — conformity is not required or expected.  Thus Paul insists we abandon judgmental attitudes and neither condemn or look down on fellow Christians whose convictions or practices differ from our own.

4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand. … 10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.

Self-sacrificial Attitude

In any community, there will be carnal believers who have not yet come to realize that things are not “unclean” in themselves.  The freedom of others to engage in “eating and drinking” practices with a clear conscience may lead such people either to judgmentalism or to follow practices that are against their own conscience.

While Paul firmly upholds the principle of freedom and teaches that we have no right to judge one another, he balances this truth with another:  “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves” (15:1).  Our goal is to build up the brother whom we love, not to flaunt our freedom or our superior knowledge.

13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. …  15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. … 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, … 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.

Live or Die

8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

Between Yourself and God

22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God…

The Keyword seems to be Love.  I feel like I am the strong one.  But, I am actually weak.  God is the one who is strong, but he made himself weak for us.  The powerful all mighty loved the weak.


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