Sunday, April 27, 2008

Notes on Romans--Part Forty Six

Here is my translation of Romans 14--
Accept other follower of our King who are weak in their trust in him, and don't argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For example, one person believes it's all right to eat anything but another believer with a tender conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don't and those who don't eat certain foods must not look down on those who do, for God has accepted them. I mean, who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with our King's help, they will stand and receive his approval. In the same way, some think one day is more special to God than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. Those who worship our King on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor our King, since they give thanks to God before eating and those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please our King and give thanks to God, for we don't live for ourselves or die for ourselves; if we live, it's to honor the King and if we die, it's to for our King as well. So whether we live or die, we belong to him. The King died and rose again for this very purpose—to rule both of the living and of the dead. So why do you condemn another follower of Jesus? Why do you look down on another one of his servants?
Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For the Bible states:
"'As surely as I live,' says the King
,'every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will confess and give praise to God.'"
Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. So let's stop barking each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall. I know and am convinced on the authority of King Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat but if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong and if another follower is bothered by what you eat then you are not acting in love if you eat it.
Don't let your eating ruin someone for whom our King died then you will not be criticized for doing something you believe is good. For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of ethics and peace and happiness in the Holy Spirit. If you serve the King with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. So then, let's try to get along with one another in the church and try to build each other up. Don't rip apart the work of God over what you eat. Remember, all foods are acceptable, but it is wrong to eat something if it makes another person uncomfortable. It is better not to eat meat or drink beer or do anything else if it might cause another believer to stumble.
You may believe there's nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who don't feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right. But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are rebelling against God Himself if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.