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1: Him that is weak - Through needless scruples.
Receive - With all love and courtesy into Christian fellowship.
But not to doubtful disputations - About questionable points.
2: All things - All sorts of food, though forbidden by the law.
3: Despise him that eateth not - As over - scrupulous or
superstitious. Judge him that eateth - As profane, or taking
undue liberties. For God hath received him - Into the number
of his children, notwithstanding this.
5: One day above another - As new moons, and other Jewish
festivals. Let every man be fully persuaded - That a thing is
lawful, before he does it.
6: Regardeth it to the Lord - That is, out of a principle of
conscience toward God. To the Lord he doth not regard it - He also
acts from a principle of conscience. He that eateth not - Flesh.
Giveth God thanks - For his herbs.
7: None of us - Christians, in the things we do. Liveth
to himself - Is at his own disposal; doeth his own will.
10: Or why dost thou despise thy brother - Hitherto the apostle
as addressed the weak brother: now he speaks to the stronger.
11: As I live - An oath proper to him, because he only
possesseth life infinite and independent. It is Christ who is here
termed both Lord and God; as it is he to whom we live, and to whom
we die. Every tongue shall confess to God - Shall own him as their
rightful Lord; which shall then only be accomplished in its full
extent. The Lord grant we may find mercy in that day; and may it
also be imparted to those who have differed from us! yea, to those
who have censured and condemned us for things which we have done
from a desire to please him, or refused to do from a fear of
offending him.(Isa 45:23)
13: But judge this rather - Concerning ourselves. Not to lay
a stumblingblock - By moving him to do as thou doest, though against
his conscience. Or a scandal - Moving him to hate or judge thee.
14: I am assured by the Lord Jesus - Perhaps by a particular
revelation. That there is nothing - Neither flesh nor herbs.
Unclean of itself - Unlawful under the gospel.
15: If thy brother is grieved - That is, wounded, led into
sin. Destroy not him for whom Christ died - So we see, he for
whom Christ died may be destroyed. With thy meat - Do not value
thy meat more than Christ valued his life.
16: Let not then your good and lawful liberty be evil
spoken of - By being offensive to others.
17: For the kingdom of God - That is, true religion, does
not consist in external observances. But in righteousness
- The image of God stamped on the heart; the love of God and man,
accompanied with the peace that passeth all understanding,
and joy in the Holy Ghost.
18: In these - Righteousness, peace, and joy.
Men - Wise and good men.
19: Peace and edification are closely joined. Practical
divinity tends equally to peace and to edification. Controversial
divinity less directly tends to edification, although sometimes,
as they of old, we cannot build without it, (Ne 4:17).
20: The work of God - Which he builds in the soul by faith,
and in the church by concord. It is evil to that man who eateth
with offence - So as to offend another thereby.
21: Thy brother stumbleth - By imitating thee against his
conscience, contrary to righteousness. Or is offended - At what
thou doest to the loss of his peace. Or made weak - Hesitating
between imitation and abhorrence, to the loss of that joy in
the Lord which was his strength.
22: Hast thou faith - That all things are pure? Have it
to thyself before God - In circumstances like these, keep it to
thyself, and do not offend others by it. Happy is he that
condemneth not himself - By an improper use of even innocent
things! and happy he who is free from a doubting conscience! He
that has this may allow the thing, yet condemn himself for it.
23: Because it is not of faith - He does not believe it
lawful and, in all these cases, whatsoever is not of faith is
sin - Whatever a man does without a full persuasion of its
lawfulness, it is sin to him.