Do Not Criticize Other People
14 ·Accept into your group [L Welcome; Receive] someone who is weak in ·faith [or convictions; C on debatable issues], and do not argue about ·opinions [doubtful/debatable issues]. 2 One person believes it is right to eat all kinds of food. But another, who is weak, believes it is right to eat only vegetables [C possibly the issue of whether to keep the OT dietary laws, and/or whether to avoid food sacrificed to idols (see 1 Cor. 8—10)]. 3 The one who ·knows that it is right to eat any kind of food [L eats; v. 14; see Mark 7:18–19] must not ·reject [despise; look down on] the one who ·eats only vegetables [L does not eat]. And the person who ·eats only vegetables [L does not eat] must not ·think that the one who eats all foods is wrong [L judge the one who eats], because God has accepted that person. 4 ·You cannot [L Who are you to…?] judge another person’s servant. ·The master decides if the servant is doing well or not [L Before his own lord/master he stands or falls]. And the Lord’s servant will ·do well [stand] because the Lord ·helps him do well [L can make him stand].
5 Some ·think [decide; judge] that one day is more ·important [sacred; holy] than another, and others think that every day is the same [C the issue is whether to observe the Jewish Sabbath]. Let all be ·sure [fully convinced] ·in their own mind [according to their convictions/conscience]. 6 Those who ·think one day is more important than other days [L observe the day] are doing that for the Lord. And those who ·eat all kinds of food [L eat] are doing that for the Lord, ·and [since; for] they give thanks to God. Others who ·refuse to eat some foods [L do not eat] do that for the Lord, and they give thanks to God. 7 [L For] We do not live for ourselves, and we do not die for ourselves. 8 If we live, we are living for the Lord, and if we die, we are dying for the Lord. So living or dying, we belong to the Lord.
9 The reason Christ died and ·rose from the dead to live again [L lived] was so he would be Lord over both the dead and the living. 10 So why do you judge your brothers or sisters in Christ? And why do you ·think you are better than they are [L despise/look down on your brother or sister]? [L For] We will all stand before ·God to be judged [the judgment seat of God], 11 because it is written in the Scriptures:
“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘·Everyone [L Every knee] will bow before me;
·everyone [L every tongue] will ·say that I am [confess; acknowledge; or praise] God [Is. 45:23].’”
12 So each of us will ·have to answer [give an account of ourselves] to God.
Do Not Cause Others to Sin
13 For that reason ·we should [or let us] stop judging each other. We must make up our minds not to ·do anything that will make another Christian sin [L place a stumbling block or obstacle before a brother or sister]. 14 ·I am in the Lord Jesus, and I know [L I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus] that there is ·no food that is wrong to eat [L nothing impure/unclean/defiling in itself]. But if a person ·believes [considers; regards] something is ·wrong [impure; unclean; defiling], that thing is ·wrong [impure; unclean; defiling] for him. 15 If ·you hurt your brother’s or sister’s faith [your brother or sister is distressed/grieved] because of something you eat, you are ·not really following the way of [L no longer walking/living in] love. ·Do not destroy someone’s faith by eating food he thinks is wrong, because Christ died for him [L By your eating do not destroy that one for whom Christ died!; C so trivial a matter as food must not negate the tremendous sacrifice Christ made]. 16 Do not allow what you think is good to ·become what others say is evil [be criticized/regarded as evil; L be slandered/blasphemed]. 17 ·In the kingdom of God, eating and drinking are not important [L For the kingdom of God is not (about) eating and drinking]. The important things are ·living right with God [righteousness], peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Anyone who serves Christ by living this way is pleasing God and will be ·accepted [approved; respected] by other people.
19 So let us try to do what makes peace and ·helps [builds up; edifies] one another. 20 Do not let the eating of food ·destroy [tear down] the work of God. All foods are ·all right to eat [clean; ritually undefiled], but it is wrong to eat food that causes someone else to ·sin [stumble; fall]. 21 It is ·better [good] not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that will cause your brother or sister to ·sin [stumble; fall].
22 Your beliefs about these things should be kept secret between you and God. ·People are happy [Blessed are those] ·if they can do what they think is right without feeling guilty [L who do not condemn themselves concerning issues they have examined and approved]. 23 But those who eat something ·without being sure it is right [while doubting; with misgivings] are ·wrong [condemned] because they did not believe it was right. Anything that ·is done without believing it is right [or does not come from faith] is sin.