Skip to main content

Romans 14:2-3: One Person Believes He May Eat Anything, While The Weak Person Eats Only Vegetables


Romans 14:2–3
[2] One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. [3] Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. (ESV)

I have said that I could never live as a vegetarian. I know that there are people who are horrified at the idea of eating meat. I am slightly horrified at the idea of having a diet that does not allow meat. For me, none of this discussion has anything to do with what Paul is saying here. I am referring to personal preferences. Paul is talking about something very different.

There was a reason why there were people in the church who refused to eat meat. The meat that is being referred to here had been offered to idols before it was made available in the marketplace. Those who were "weak" in their faith could not conceive of eating meat that was sacrificed to idols. They viewed those who ate that meat as pagans. How could Christians eat that meat?

Those who were eating the meat that was sold at the marketplace believed that idols were not real. They did not feel that it mattered that people offered meat to idols because idols are dead, lifeless things. They felt that they were free in Christ Jesus to eat anything that they wanted, regardless of what someone had done to it before they bought it. How could weak people not understand that?

Paul says that the answer is not judgment, but rather love. The "strong" should love the weak instead of forcing them to eat meat. The "weak" should not view the strong heretics, but simply love them even though they disagreed. There are issues in the Church today that we should use Paul's instruction for. We should be quick to love and slow to judge.

What issue in the church would cause you to view someone who disagrees with you as weak? In what way do you need to offer love to someone you disagree with, instead of judgment?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Romans 8:18: For I Consider That The Sufferings Of This Present Time Are Not Worth Comparing

Romans 8:18
[18] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (ESV)

Perspective. What an important word. Let's be honest. We do not like the idea of suffering. We will do almost anything to avoid any kind of suffering. Some churches have gone so far as to preach against the idea of suffering, declaring it to not be a part of the true believer's life. Paul is not shy about the topic.

Paul uses the sufferings of this present time as a means to consider the greater glory that awaits us. Perspective. Paul is not in any way attempting to diminish our suffering. A view toward eternity puts our suffering in a proper understanding. Yes, our suffering is terrible. In the grand scheme of eternity it is not even worth comparison.

Maybe you are thinking that Paul does not know what he is talking about when it comes to suffering. In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul describes countless beatings, often near death, being ston…

Romans 15:14: I Myself Am Satisfied About You, My Brothers

Romans 15:14
[14] I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. (ESV)

The Apostle Paul was a strong man. His words to the churches in all of his letters are full of doctrinal truth and instruction that are not for the faint of heart. In this letter to the church at Rome he had to correct them in their understanding of how to deal with issues that could potentially divide them. Paul had never even been to Rome yet. He had not met these believers.

Paul is telling the church at Rome in this verse that the reason they were able to receive his strong words was because of their spiritual maturity. He declares that they are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. This is an incredible compliment that Paul would not offer to every church.

This concept of being filled with goodness and knowledge speaks of a group of believers who had listened to the Word of…

Romans 15:16: To Be A Minister Of Christ Jesus To The Gentiles In The Priestly Service Of The Gospel Of God

Romans 15:16
[16] to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. (ESV)

The time of the Early Church was a time of great transition. Up until Christ coming and bringing redemption to all who believer the people of faith were the Jews. If you wanted to worship God the only appropriate way was to go through a priest who would offer sacrifices on your behalf to God. All of the sacrificial system was fulfilled in Christ. Now, there was a new way to righteousness.

This time of transition was a challenge for all involved. The Jews had to move from an approach to God that involved keeping the Law. The Law was fulfilled in Christ. Now the way of salvation was a way of faith. There were some traditional aspects that were now gone. It was hard for them to move away from their traditions. It is hard for all of us to move from our traditions.

For the Gentile convert…