Diversity of Convictions About Food
(1) Accept believers who are weak in their faith, without arguing over personal opinions (nonessential, disputable matters). (2) For one believer’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another believer who is weak in faith eats only vegetables (herbs). (3) The believer who eats everything must not despise those who do not, and the believer who does not eat everything must not judge those who do, because God has accepted them.
(4) Who are you to judge the servant of another person? It is before their own master that servants stand or fall. And they will stand secure, because the Lord has the power to make them stand.
Diversity of Convictions About Special Days
(5) One believer considers a day more holy than another day, while another believer considers each day the same. Every believer should be fully convinced in their own mind. (6) Whoever observes one day as more holy than another does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God; and whoever does not eat meat does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.
We Live and Die for the Lord
(7) For none of us live for ourselves alone, and none of us die for ourselves alone. (8) If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So then, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. (9) This is why Christ died and returned to life, so that he might be the Lord of both the living and the dead.
(10) Therefore, if this is true, then why do you judge your fellow believers? Or why do you despise them? For, in the end, we will all stand before God’s judgment seat of justice, (11) as it is written in Isaiah 45:23, “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me, and every tongue will acknowledge God.’ ”
The Kingdom of God is Righteousness, Peace, and Joy
(12) So then, every believer will give an account of their life to God. (13) Therefore let us all stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make the decision not to put any stumbling block or hindering obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.
(14) For I (Paul, a Jewish believer) know and am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that there is no food that is religiously unclean. But if another believer regards some foods as religiously unclean, then for that believer it is unclean. (15) For if your brother or sister is troubled because of what you eat, then you are not acting in love. Do not destroy the faith of others by what you eat, because Jesus Christ died for them. (16) Therefore, do not let what you believe is good be spoken of as evil. (17) For the kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. (18) Whoever serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives respect from other people.
(19) Therefore, let us make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification (upbuilding). (20) Do not destroy God’s work over what food you eat or do not eat. All food is religiously clean, but it is wrong for a believer to eat anything that causes another believer to stumble in their faith. (21) It is better not to eat meat or drink alcohol or do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to stumble in their faith. (22) So whatever you think about these issues it is good for you to keep it between yourself and God. You are blessed if you do not condemn yourself for what you think is right. (23) But whoever has doubts (does what they think is wrong) is guilty if they eat, because their eating does not come from faith; and everything we do that does not come from faith is sin.