The Weak and the Strong 14 1Accept those whose faith is weak. Don’t judge them where you have differences of opinion. 2The faith of some people allows them to eat anything. But others eat only vegetables because their faith is weak. 3People who eat everything must not look down on those who do not. And people who don’t eat everything must not judge those who do. God has accepted them. 4Who are you to judge someone else’s servants? Whether they are faithful or not is their own master’s concern. They will be faithful, because the Lord has the power to make them faithful. 5Some people consider one day to be more holy than another. Others think all days are the same. Each person should be absolutely sure in his own mind. 6Those who think one day is special do it to honor the Lord. Those who eat meat do it to honor the Lord. They give thanks to God. Those who don’t eat meat do it to honor the Lord. They also give thanks to God. 7We don’t live for ourselves alone. And we don’t die all by ourselves. 8If we live, we live to honor the Lord. If we die, we die to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9Christ died and came back to life. He did this to become the Lord of both the dead and the living. 10Now then, who are you to judge your brother or sister? Why do you look down on them? We will all stand in God’s courtroom to be judged. 11It is written, “ ‘You can be sure that I live,’ says the Lord. ‘And you can be just as sure that every knee will bow down in front of me. Every tongue will tell the truth to God.’ ” (Isaiah 45:23) 12So we will all have to explain to God the things we have done. 13Let us stop judging one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put anything in your brother’s way that would make him trip and fall. 14I am absolutely sure that no food is “unclean” in itself. I say this as one who belongs to the Lord Jesus. But some people may consider a thing to be “unclean.” If they do, it is “unclean” for them. 15Your brothers and sisters may be upset by what you eat. If they are, you are no longer acting as though you love them. So don’t destroy them by what you eat. Christ died for them. 16Don’t let something you consider good be spoken of as if it were evil. 17God’s kingdom has nothing to do with eating or drinking. It is a matter of being right with God. It brings the peace and joy the Holy Spirit gives. 18Those who serve Christ in this way are pleasing to God. They are pleasing to people too. 19So let us do all we can to live in peace. And let us work hard to build each other up. 20Don’t destroy the work of God because of food. All food is “clean.” But it is wrong for you to eat anything that causes someone else to trip and fall. 21Don’t eat meat if it will cause your brothers and sisters to fall. Don’t drink wine or do anything else that will make them fall. 22No matter what you think about those things, keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who do not have to feel guilty for what they allow. 23But those who have doubts are guilty if they eat. Their eating is not based on faith. Everything that is not based on faith is sin.
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