What does Romans 14:1 mean?
ESV: As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.
NIV: Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.
NASB: Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not to have quarrels over opinions.
CSB: Accept anyone who is weak in faith, but don’t argue about disputed matters.
NLT: Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong.
KJV: Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.
NKJV: Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things.
Verse Commentary:
In Romans 14, Paul draws attention to the tension created between Christians because of conflicting ideas. Not every issue in our lives is given an explicit boundary in the Bible. This leads to differences of opinion about how we should use our freedom in Christ.

Here's the scenario: Paul has made it clear that Christians have died to the law of Moses and have been released from our obligation to it (Romans 7:4–6). That doesn't mean it's acceptable for Christians to participate in sin. In the last verses of Romans 13, Paul was very clear that we must cast off works of darkness like drunkenness, immorality, and jealousy (Romans 13:13). When the Bible is clear—and on the truly important issues, Scripture is very clear—then there is no reasonable room for doubt or disagreement.

However, what about things that are not clearly sin? Is it okay for Christians to eat meat? What about meat that has been offered to idols? What about observing Jewish holidays and Sabbaths? Is that right or wrong for Christians? In the modern context, this applies to issues which are also not clearly spelled out in Scripture, such as consuming alcohol (Romans 14:21) or watching movies, or listening to certain types of music.

Paul's answer to these questions is surprising. First, he refers to those who think of certain foods or items as inherently sinful as being weak in faith. He does not mean that these people are not Christians. They have faith in Christ. Nor does he mean they are spiritually immature, in general. The "weakness" referred to is specifically in this one particular area, or for that question alone. Paul means these believers do not yet fully trust that God has set them free from observing the law or religious rule following. They struggle to accept that everything God created is good (1 Timothy 4:4), and can be used for a good purpose.

Instead of condemning these people, though, Paul speaks abruptly to those of stronger faith in the grace of God. He commands them to welcome those with weaker faith into the full life and community of the church. More, he tells them not to welcome them with an ulterior motive of convincing them they are wrong.
Verse Context:
Romans 14:1–12 describes how Christians with opposing views on matters of freedom and sin should treat each other. First, strong-faith Christians who understand that all things are clean for those in Christ should welcome and not try to change weaker-faith Christians who believe some things, like eating certain meats, to be sinful. Each should act on their convictions and honor the Lord in doing so. Neither should judge the other, for the real day of judgment is coming when we will all stand before Christ and give an account of our lives.
Chapter Summary:
In Romans 14, Paul tackles the question of how Christians with different convictions about disputable matters should treat each other in the church. Strong-faith Christians who feel free to eat and drink what was formerly forbidden under the law of Moses should not flaunt their freedoms in front of weaker-faith Christians who are not convinced it is right to participate in those things. Neither group should judge the other. Those strong in their faith should rather yield than lead those weaker in faith to violate their conscience, which is a sin.
Chapter Context:
Paul turns from the black-and-white instructions about light and darkness in Romans 13 to the issue of disputable matters with the potential to divide the church. Paul instructs those who feel free to participate in activities formally forbidden under the law not to flaunt their freedom in front of those who, by conscience, still believe those actions to be wrong. Those strong-faith Christians should be willing to set aside their freedom to keep from leading their weaker brothers and sisters into sin by violating their convictions. Paul addresses this topic with additional comments in 1 Corinthians chapter 10.
Book Summary:
The book of Romans is the New Testament's longest, most structured, and most detailed description of Christian theology. Paul lays out the core of the gospel message: salvation by grace alone through faith alone. His intent is to explain the good news of Jesus Christ in accurate and clear terms. As part of this effort, Paul addresses the conflicts between law and grace, between Jews and Gentiles, and between sin and righteousness. As is common in his writing, Paul closes out his letter with a series of practical applications.
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