Do Not Judge Your Brother
1 IF A MAN IS WEAK in his faith you must accept him vithout attempting to settle doubtful points. 2 For instance, one man will have faith enough to eat all kinds of food, while a weaker man eats only vegetables. 3 The man who eats must not hold in contempt the man who does not, and he who does not eat must not pass udgement on the one who does; for God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to pass judgement on someone else's servant? Whether he stands or falls is his own Master's business; and stand he will, because his Master has power to enable him to stand.
5 Again, this man regards one day more highly than another, while that man regards all days alike. On such a point everyone should have reached conviction in his own mind. 6 He who respects the day has the Lord in mind in doing so, and he who eats meat has the Lord in mind when he eats, since he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains has the Lord in mind no less, since he too gives thanks to God.
7 For no one of us lives, and equally no one of us dies, for himself alone. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. Whether therefore we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 This is why Christ died and came to life again, to establish his lordship over dead and living. 10 You, sir, why do you pass judgement on your brother? And you, sir, why do you hold your brother in contempt? We shall all stand before God's tribunal. 11 [ Is.49.18, Is.45.23. ] For Scripture says, 'As I live, says the Lord, to me every knee shall bow and every tongue acknowledge God.' 12 So, you see, each of us will have to answer for himself.
Do Not Make Your Brother Stumble
13 Let us therefore cease judging one another, but rather make this simple judgement: that no obstacle or stumbling-block be placed in a brother's way. 14 I am absolutely convinced, as a Christian, that nothing is impure in itself; only, if a man considers a particular thing impure, then to him it is impure. 15 If your brother is outraged by what you eat, then your conduct is no longer guided by love. Do not by your eating bring disaster to a man for whom Christ died! 16 What for you is a good thing must not become an occasion for slanderous talk; 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but justice, peace, and joy, inspired by is the Holy Spirit. 18 He who thus shows himself a servant of Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men.
19 Let us then pursue the things that make for peace and build up the common life. 20 Do not ruin the work of God for the sake of food. Everything is pure in itself, but anything is bad for the man who by his eating causes another to fall. 21 It is a fine thing to abstain from eating meat or drinking wine, or doing anything which causes your brother's downfall. 22 If you have a clear conviction, apply it to yourself in the sight of God. Happy is the man who can make his decision with a clear conscience! 23 But a man who has doubts is guilty if he eats, because his action does not arise from his conviction, and anything which does not arise from conviction is sin.
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