Principles of Conscience
1As for the #Some Jewish believers may have struggled with abandoning all the old requirements of the Law regarding eating things considered unclean, while some Gentile believers may have been overly sensitive to anything associated with paganism, such as eating meat offered to idols.one whose faith is weak, accept him [into your fellowship], but not for [the purpose of] quarreling over his opinions. 2One man’s faith permits him to eat everything, while the weak believer eats only vegetables [to avoid eating ritually unclean meat or something previously considered unclean]. 3The one who eats [everything] is not to look down on the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat must not criticize or pass judgment on the one who eats [everything], for God has accepted him. 4Who are you to judge the servant of another? Before his own master he stands [approved] or falls [out of favor]. And he [who serves the Master—the Lord] will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
5One person regards one day as better [or more important] than another, while another regards every day [the same as any other]. Let everyone be fully convinced (assured, satisfied) in his own mind. 6He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord. He who eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; while he who abstains, abstains for the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7None of us lives for himself [for his own benefit, but for the Lord], and none of us dies for himself [but for the Lord]. 8If we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord. So then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9For Christ died and lived again for this reason, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
10But you, why do you criticize your brother? Or you again, why do you look down on your [believing] brother or regard him with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God [who alone is judge]. 11For it is written [in Scripture],
“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall give praise to God.”
12So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.
13Then let us not criticize one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block or a source of temptation in another believer’s way. 14I know and am convinced [as one] in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean [ritually defiled, and unholy] in itself; but [nonetheless] it is unclean to anyone who thinks it is unclean. 15If your brother is being hurt or offended because of food [that you insist on eating], you are no longer walking in love [toward him]. Do not let what you eat destroy and spiritually harm one for whom Christ died. 16Therefore do not let what is a good thing for you [because of your freedom to choose] be spoken of as evil [by someone else]; 17for the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking [what one likes], but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18For the one who serves Christ in this way [recognizing that food choice is secondary] is acceptable to God and is approved by men. 19So then, let us pursue [with enthusiasm] the things which make for peace and the building up of one another [things which lead to spiritual growth]. 20Do not, for the sake of food, tear down the work of God. All things indeed are [ceremonially] clean, but they are wrong for the person who eats and offends [another’s conscience in the process]. 21It is good [to do the right thing and] not eat meat or drink wine, or do anything that offends your brother and weakens him spiritually. 22The faith which you have [that gives you freedom of choice], have as your own conviction before God [just keep it between yourself and God, seeking His will]. Happy is he who has no reason to condemn himself for what he approves. 23But he who is uncertain [about eating a particular thing] is condemned if he eats, because he is not acting from faith. Whatever is not from faith is sin [whatever is done with doubt is sinful].