New International Version

Romans 14:1-23

The Weak and the Strong

1Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. 2One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. 4Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

5One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. 6Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. 8If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

10You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister14:10 The Greek word for brother or sister (adelphos) refers here to a believer, whether man or woman, as part of God’s family; also in verses 13, 15 and 21.? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11It is written:

“ ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,

‘every knee will bow before me;

every tongue will acknowledge God.’ ”14:11 Isaiah 45:23

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

13Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. 14I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. 15If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. 16Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. 17For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.

19Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.

22So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.14:23 Some manuscripts place 16:25-27 here; others after 15:33.

New International Reader’s Version

Romans 14:1-23

The Weak and the Strong

1Accept the person whose faith is weak. Don’t argue with them where you have differences of opinion. 2One person’s faith allows them to eat anything. But another person eats only vegetables because their faith is weak. 3The person who eats everything must not look down on the one who does not. And the one who doesn’t eat everything must not judge the person who does. That’s because God has accepted them. 4Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? Whether they are faithful or not is their own master’s concern. And they will be faithful, because the Lord has the power to make them faithful.

5One person considers one day to be more holy than another. Another person thinks all days are the same. Each of them should be absolutely sure in their own mind. 6Whoever thinks that one day is special does so to honor the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to honor the Lord. They give thanks to God. And whoever doesn’t eat meat does so to honor the Lord. They also give thanks to God. 7We don’t live for ourselves only. And we don’t die for ourselves only. 8If we live, we live to honor the Lord. If we die, we die to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9Christ died and came back to life. He did this to become the Lord of both the dead and the living.

10Now then, who are you to judge your brother or sister? Why do you act like you’re better than they are? We will all stand in God’s courtroom to be judged. 11It is written,

“ ‘You can be sure that I live,’ says the Lord.

‘And you can be just as sure that everyone will kneel down in front of me.

Every tongue will have to tell the truth about God.’ ” (Isaiah 45:23)

12So we will all have to explain to God the things we have done.

13Let us stop judging one another. Instead, decide not to put anything in the way of a brother or sister. Don’t put anything in their way that would make them trip and fall. 14I am absolutely sure that nothing is “unclean” in itself. The Lord Jesus has convinced me of this. But someone may consider a thing to be “unclean.” If they do, it is “unclean” for them. 15Your brother or sister may be upset by what you eat. If they are, you are no longer acting as though you love them. So don’t destroy them by what you eat. Remember that Christ died for them. 16So suppose you know something is good. Then don’t let it be spoken of as if it were evil. 17God’s kingdom is not about eating or drinking. It is about doing what is right and having peace and joy. All this comes through the Holy Spirit. 18Those who serve Christ in this way are pleasing to God. They are pleasing to people too.

19So let us do all we can to live in peace. And let us work hard to build up one another. 20Don’t destroy the work of God because of food. All food is “clean.” But it’s wrong to eat anything that might cause problems for someone else’s faith. 21Don’t eat meat if it causes your brother or sister to sin. Don’t drink wine or do anything else that will make them sin.

22Whatever you believe about these things, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the person who doesn’t feel guilty for what they do. 23But whoever has doubts about what they eat is guilty if they eat. That’s because their eating is not based on faith. Everything that is not based on faith is sin.