THE JUDGE: Romans 14:1-12

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ROMANS 14:1-12 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. 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. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11 for it is written,

“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
    and every tongue shall confess to God.”

12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.


1. According to verse 1, how are those who are not weak in the faith supposed to treat those who are weak in the faith? According to verse 2, what characterizes a “weak” person in this context? What is the cultural background concerning what Paul is writing about—eating and not eating meat?


2. Read verse 3. What is “the one who eats” forbidden from doing to “the one who abstains”? On the other hand, what is “the one who abstains” forbidden from doing to “the one who eats”? What is Paul’s anchoring reason, at the end of verse 3?

3. Read verse 4. Is Paul saying that if a fellow Christian is guilty of sin that we should mind our own business? How do Matthew 18:15-20 and 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 help clarify? How does the word “opinions” in verse 1 help us understand what Paul is talking about?

4. Remembering that Paul is talking about “opinions” as opposed to a command from the LORD, what is he getting at in verses 5-6?

5. Read verse 7. How does this communicate how the Christian should view their life? What do you need changed in your mind, in your heart, in your every day life, or in your goals that will lead you to be better aligned with this reality?

6. Read verse 8. What is our only hope in life and in death? Since Christians belong to Jesus and He is providentially working in all things (Romans 8:28) why do we ever get anxious? According to verse 9, what is the purpose for which Jesus died? What does Paul mean by “Lord both of the dead and of the living”?

7. Read verses 10-12. What Old Testament passage does he quote in verse 11? What is Paul getting at and how does it relate to verse 1?


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