14:1 Him 1 that is weak in the faith a receive ye, [but] not
to b doubtful disputations.
(1) Now he shows how we ought to behave ourselves toward our
brethren in matters and things indifferent, who offend in
the use of them not from malice or damnable superstition,
but for lack of knowledge of the benefit of Christ. And
thus he teaches that they are to be instructed gently and
patiently, and so that we apply ourselves to their
ignorance in such matters according to the rule of charity.
(a) Do not for a matter or thing which is indifferent, and
such a thing as you may do or not do, shun his company,
but take him to you.
(b) To make him by your doubtful and uncertain disputations
go away in more doubt than he came, or return back with
a troubled conscience.
14:22 For one c believeth that he may eat all things:
another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
(2) He propounds for an example the difference of meats, which
some thought was necessarily to be observed as a thing
prescribed by the law (not knowing that it was taken away)
whereas on the other hand those who had profited in the
knowledge of the gospel knew well that this position of the
law as the schoolmaster was abolished.
(c) Knows by faith.
14:33 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not;
and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for
4 God hath received him.
(3) In such a matter, says the apostle, let neither those who
know their liberty proudly despise their weak brother,
neither let the unlearned wickedly or perversely condemn
that which they do not understand.
(4) The first reason: because both he that eats and he that
does not eat is nonetheless the member of Christ, neither
he who does not eat can justly be condemned, neither he who
eats be justly condemned: now the first proposition is
declared in the sixth verse which follows (Ro 14:6).
14:45 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his
own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden
up: for God is able to make him stand.
(5) Another reason which depends upon the former: why the
novice and more unlearned ought not to be condemned by the
more experienced, as men without hope of salvation:
because, says the apostle, he that is ignorant today, may
be endued tomorrow with further knowledge, so that he may
also stand sure: therefore it belongs to God, and not to
man, to pronounce the sentence of condemnation.
14:56 One man esteemeth one day above another: another
esteemeth every day [alike]. 7 Let d every man be fully
persuaded in his own mind.
(6) Another example of the difference of days according to the
(7) He sets against this contempt, and hasty or rash judgments,
a continual desire to profit, that the strong may be
certainly persuaded of their liberty, of what manner and
sort it is, and how they ought to use it: and again the
weak may profit daily, in order that they do not abuse the
gift of God, or please themselves in their infirmity.
(d) That he may say in his conscience that he knows and is
persuaded by Jesus Christ, that nothing is unclean of
itself: and this persuasion must be grounded upon the
word of God.
14:68 He that e regardeth the day, regardeth [it] unto the
Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the f Lord he
doth not regard [it]. He that g eateth, eateth to the
Lord, 9 for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth h
not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.
(8) A reason taken from the nature of indifferent things, which
a man may do with good conscience, and omit: for seeing
that the difference of days and meats was appointed by God,
how could those who as yet did not understand the
abrogation of the law, and yet otherwise acknowledge Christ
as their Saviour, with good conscience neglect that which
they knew was commanded by God? And on the other hand,
those who knew the benefit of Christ in this behalf, did
with good conscience neither observe days nor meats:
therefore, says the apostle in verse ten, "Let not the
strong condemn the weak for these things, seeing that the
weak brethren are brethren nonetheless." (Ro 14:10)
Now if any man would apply this doctrine to our times and
ages, let him know that the apostle speaks of indifferent
things, and that those who thought them not to be
indifferent, had a basis in the law, and were deceived by
simple ignorance, and not from malice (for to such the
apostle does not yield, no not for a moment) nor
superstition, but by a religious fear of God.
(e) Precisely observes.
(f) God will judge whether he does well or not: and
therefore you should rather strive about this, how
every one of you will be considered by God, than to
think upon other men's doings.
(g) He that makes no difference between meats.
(9) So the apostle shows that he speaks of the faithful, both
strong and weak: but what if we have to deal with the
unfaithful? Then we must take heed of two things, as also
is declared in the epistle to the Corinthians. The first
is that we do not consider their superstition as something
indifferent, as they did who sat down to eat meat in idol's
temples: the second is that then also when the matter is
indifferent (as to buy a thing offered to idols, in the
butcher's store, and to eat it at home or at a private
meal) we do not wound the conscience of our weak brother.
(h) He that does not touch meats which he considers to be
unclean by the law.
14:710 For none of us liveth to i himself, and no man dieth
(10) We must not rest, he says, in the meat itself, but in the
use of the meat, so that he is justly to be reprehended
that lives in such a way that he does not cast his eyes
upon God, for both our life and our death is dedicated to
him, and for this cause Christ has properly died, and not
simply that we might eat this meat or that.
(i) Has respect to himself only, which the Hebrews say in
this manner, "Do well to his own soul."
14:1011 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou
set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before
the judgment seat of Christ.
(11) The conclusion: we must leave to God his right, and
therefore in matters which are either good or evil
according to the conscience of the individual, the strong
must not despise their weak brethren, much less condemn
them. But this consequent cannot be taken of equal force
in the contrary, that is, that the weak should not judge
the strong, because the weak do not know that those who do
not observe a day and eat, observe it not to the Lord, and
eat to the Lord, as the strong men know that the weak who
observe a day and do not eat, observe the day to the Lord,
and eat not to the Lord.
14:11 For it is written, [As] I k live, saith the Lord, every
knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall l confess
(k) This is a form of an oath, proper to God alone, for he
and none but he lives, and has his being of himself.
(l) Will acknowledge be to be from God.
14:1312 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but
judge m this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or
an occasion to fall in [his] brother's way.
(12) After he has concluded what is not to be done, he shows
what is to be done: that is, we must take heed that we do
not utterly abuse our liberty and cast down our brother
who is not yet strong.
(m) He rebukes along the way these malicious judgers of
others who occupy their heads about nothing, but to
find fault with their brethren's life, whereas they
should rather focus their minds upon this, that they
do not with disdainfulness either cast their brethren
completely down, or give them any offence.
14:1413 I know, and am persuaded by the n Lord Jesus, that
[there is] nothing unclean of o itself: but to him that
esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him [it is] unclean.
(13) The preventing of an objection: it is true that the right
of the law to be schoolmaster is taken away by the benefit
of Christ, to those who know it, but yet nonetheless we
have to consider in the use of this liberty what is
expedient, that we may have regard to our weak brother,
seeing that our liberty is not lost in doing this.
(n) By the Spirit of the Lord Jesus, or by the Lord Jesus,
who broke down the wall at his coming.
(o) By nature.
14:15 But if thy brother be grieved with [thy] meat, now walkest
thou not charitably. 14 Destroy not him with thy meat,
for whom 15 Christ died.
(14) It is the part of a cruel mind to make more account of
meat than of our brother's salvation. Which thing those
do who eat with the intent of giving offence to any
brother, and so give him occasion to turn back from the
(15) Another argument: we must follow Christ's example: and
Christ was so far from destroying the weak with meat that
he gave his life for them.
14:1616 Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
(16) Another argument: because by this means evil is spoken of
the liberty of the gospel, as though it opens the way to
attempt anything whatever, and gives us boldness to do all
14:1717 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but
righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
(17) A general reason, and the foundation of the entire
argument: the kingdom of heaven consists not in these
outward things, but in the study of righteousness, and
peace, and comfort of the Holy Spirit.
14:18 For he that in p these things serveth Christ [is]
acceptable to God, and approved of men.
(p) He that lives peaceably, and does righteously, through
the Holy Spirit.
14:1918 Let us therefore follow after the things which make
for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
(18) A general conclusion: the use of this liberty, indeed, and
our whole life, ought to be concerned with the edifying of
one another, insomuch that we consider that thing
unlawful, by reason of the offence of our brother, which
is of itself pure and lawful.
14:2219 Hast thou q faith? have [it] to thyself before God.
Happy [is] he that condemneth not himself in that thing
which he r alloweth.
(19) He gives a double warning in these matters: one, which
pertains to the strong, that he who has obtained a sure
knowledge of this liberty, keep that treasure to the end
that he may use it wisely and profitably, as has been
said: the second, which respects the weak, that they do
nothing rashly by other men's example with a wavering
conscience, for it cannot be done without sin if we are
not persuaded by the word of God that he likes and
(q) He showed before in (Ro 14:14) what he means by
faith, that is, for a man to be certain and without
doubt in matters and things indifferent.
14:23 And he that s doubteth is damned if he eat, because [he
eateth] not of faith: for whatsoever [is] not of faith is