Romans 14:4 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 14:4, NIV: "Who 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."

Romans 14:4, ESV: "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."

Romans 14:4, KJV: "Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand."

Romans 14:4, NASB: "Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand."

Romans 14:4, NLT: "Who are you to condemn someone else's servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord's help, they will stand and receive his approval."

Romans 14:4, CSB: "Who are you to judge another's household servant? Before his own Lord he stands or falls. And he will stand, because the Lord is able to make him stand."

What does Romans 14:4 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Two different groups of believers occupied the early church. One group freely ate everything. They were convinced that Christ had freed them from all the dietary restrictions of the law. The other group, also true believers, felt strongly that it was necessary to continue to follow at least some of those legal requirements. Paul has indicated that those who feel guilt over issues where Scripture has not given a clear restriction are "weak in faith" (Romans 14:1). In contrast, those who accept everything God made as having a good purpose would be considered those of a stronger faith.

Paul has said to both groups: Do not despise or judge those who hold the opposite opinion. Those with stricter convictions ought not judge those who are less legalistic. Those who are more comfortable ought not look down on those with different opinions. Again, Paul is saying this despite referring to the vegetables-only group as having a "weaker" faith. Based on this and other remarks made on the subject (1 Corinthians 10:23–33; 1 Timothy 4:4), it's clear that the ideal view of a believer is not legalistic or superstitious. All the same, when it comes to matters of opinion, Christians are to tolerate each other.

Now he explains why: you are not that other Christian's master. You are all servants of the same Master: Jesus. It's not the role of servants to pass judgment on each other. The master passes judgment. In this case, though, the ultimate Master, the Lord, is able to make those in both groups "to stand."

In other words, Paul insists that the Lord is not condemning those in either group about these differences of opinion. If the Lord is not doing so, why would we imagine it is our place to do so?