The Law of Liberty

Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. 2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. 3 Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. 4 Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.

5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 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. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written:

“As I live, says the Lord,
Every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall confess to God.”

12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way. –Romans 14:1-13.

A Christian is not to judge someone whose weakness of faith is translated by him into scruples and foibles that the Scripture does not require. Thus someone who is a vegetarian by conviction should be left to eat vegetables, and is not to be judged for that conviction. God is able to make that person stand. He or she is responsible to God.

The principle is that we live to the Lord and we die to the Lord, and thus we are accountable to God. Thus in peripheral things, like keeping extra days as holy days, or in deciding what to eat, we should not be divisive, but simply walk in our own conscience before God. ‘The day’ refers to added holy days and New Moons. If a Christian wants to keep those as additional holy days, he should be allowed to do so, though he has no mandate from the Bible to seek to impose them on others.

Jesus Christ died and rose again to be our Lord. Each of us shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ. We shall give an account of how we have lived our lives before Him. We are not to do anything that will cause a Christian brother to stumble or fall. [Adapted from The Bible Panorama.]

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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