What does Romans 14:6 mean?
ESV: 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.
NIV: Whoever 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.
NASB: The one who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and the one who eats, does so with regard to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and the one who does not eat, it is for the Lord that he does not eat, and he gives thanks to God.
CSB: Whoever observes the day, observes it for the honor of the Lord. Whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; and whoever does not eat, it is for the Lord that he does not eat it, and he gives thanks to God.
NLT: Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God.
KJV: He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.
NKJV: He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.
Verse Commentary:
Should Christians who have been saved by God's grace through faith in Christ and have been freed from the requirements of the law continue to observe special days as commanded in the law? Paul has been clear in his other letters that nobody should continue to observe these days if they are doing so in the hopes of earning their salvation (Galatians 4:10). That would mean that they were not fully relying on Christ's righteousness and death for their sin to save them.

He also wrote to the Christians in Colossae that they shouldn't allow anyone to shame them into following special requirements about food and drink or about observing festivals, new moons, or Sabbath days (Colossians 2:16). To do so is to give more authority to a religious leader than to Christ Himself.

Having said that, Paul allows in this verse that Christians might continue to observe these days with right motives. They may do so in honor of the Lord, not out of fear of dishonoring Him and losing His approval. In the same way, any Christian may eat or abstain from eating to honor the Lord and give thanks to God. The same is true of other personal choices to abstain from things the Bible does not explicitly condemn. Restraint for the sake of honoring God is not the same as the "weak in faith" belief that such things are, themselves, actually sinful.

Paul's point seems to be that Christians must not follow any practices of the law, or any religious tradition, for the purpose of earning acceptance with God. That would be a rejection of God's free gift of grace and acceptance through faith in Christ. However, someone who is fully trusting in Christ may choose to engage in that same religious practice, simply because they believe it to be honoring to God.

In other words, those truly trusting Christ alone are free to participate or not participate in these disputed activities as long as they do so with thanksgiving and to honor the Lord.
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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