Accept into your group someone who is weak in faith, and do not argue about opinions.
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.
The one who knows that it is right to eat any kind of food must not reject the one who eats only vegetables. And the person who eats only vegetables must not think that the one who eats all foods is wrong, because God has accepted that person.
You cannot judge another person's servant. The master decides if the servant is doing well or not. And the Lord's servant will do well because the Lord helps him do well.
Some think that one day is more important than another, and others think that every day is the same. Let all be sure in their own mind.
Those who think one day is more important than other days are doing that for the Lord. And those who eat all kinds of food are doing that for the Lord, and they give thanks to God. Others who refuse to eat some foods do that for the Lord, and they give thanks to God.
We do not live or die for ourselves.
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.
The reason Christ died and rose from the dead to live again was so he would be Lord over both the dead and the living.
So why do you judge your brothers or sisters in Christ? And why do you think you are better than they are? We will all stand before God to be judged,
because it is written in the Scriptures: " 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'Everyone will bow before me; everyone will say that I am God.'"
So each of us will have to answer to God.
For that reason we should stop judging each other. We must make up our minds not to do anything that will make another Christian sin.
I am in the Lord Jesus, and I know that there is no food that is wrong to eat. But if a person believes something is wrong, that thing is wrong for him.
If you hurt your brother's or sister's faith because of something you eat, you are not really following the way of love. Do not destroy someone's faith by eating food he thinks is wrong, because Christ died for him.
Do not allow what you think is good to become what others say is evil.
In the kingdom of God, eating and drinking are not important. The important things are living right with God, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Anyone who serves Christ by living this way is pleasing God and will be accepted by other people.
So let us try to do what makes peace and helps one another.
Do not let the eating of food destroy the work of God. All foods are all right to eat, but it is wrong to eat food that causes someone else to sin.
It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that will cause your brother or sister to sin.
Your beliefs about these things should be kept secret between you and God. People are happy if they can do what they think is right without feeling guilty.
But those who eat something without being sure it is right are wrong because they did not believe it was right. Anything that is done without believing it is right is a sin.
We who are strong in faith should help the weak with their weak- nesses, and not please only ourselves.
Let each of us please our neighbors for their good, to help them be stronger in faith.
Even Christ did not live to please himself. It was as the Scriptures said: "When people insult you, it hurts me."
Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us. The Scriptures give us patience and encouragement so that we can have hope.
Patience and encouragement come from God. And I pray that God will help you all agree with each other the way Christ Jesus wants.
Then you will all be joined together, and you will give glory to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Christ accepted you, so you should accept each other, which will bring glory to God.
I tell you that Christ became a servant of the Jews to show that God's promises to the Jewish ancestors are true.
And he also did this so that those who are not Jews could give glory to God for the mercy he gives to them. It is written in the Scriptures: "So I will praise you among the non-Jewish people. I will sing praises to your name."
The Scripture also says, "Be happy, you who are not Jews, together with his people."
Again the Scripture says, "All you who are not Jews, praise the Lord. All you people, sing praises to him."
And Isaiah says, "A new king will come from the family of Jesse. He will come to rule over the non-Jewish people, and they will have hope because of him."
I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much joy and peace while you trust in him. Then your hope will overflow by the power of the Holy Spirit.
My brothers and sisters, I am sure that you are full of goodness. I know that you have all the knowledge you need and that you are able to teach each other.
But I have written to you very openly about some things I wanted you to remember. I did this because God gave me this special gift:
to be a minister of Christ Jesus to those who are not Jews. I served God by teaching his Good News, so that the non-Jewish people could be an offering that God would accept -- an offering made holy by the Holy Spirit.
So I am proud of what I have done for God in Christ Jesus.
I will not talk about anything except what Christ has done through me in leading those who are not Jews to obey God. They have obeyed God because of what I have said and done,
because of the power of miracles and the great things they saw, and because of the power of the Holy Spirit. I preached the Good News from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, and so I have finished that part of my work.
I always want to preach the Good News in places where people have never heard of Christ, because I do not want to build on the work someone else has already started.
But it is written in the Scriptures: "Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard about him will understand."
This is the reason I was stopped many times from coming to you.
Now I have finished my work here. Since for many years I have wanted to come to you,
I hope to visit you on my way to Spain. After I enjoy being with you for a while, I hope you can help me on my trip.
Now I am going to Jerusalem to help God's people.
The believers in Macedonia and Southern Greece were happy to give their money to help the poor among God's people at Jerusalem.
They were happy to do this, and really they owe it to them. These who are not Jews have shared in the Jews' spiritual blessings, so they should use their material possessions to help the Jews.
After I am sure the poor in Jerusalem get the money that has been given for them, I will leave for Spain and stop and visit you.
I know that when I come to you I will bring Christ's full blessing.
Brothers and sisters, I beg you to help me in my work by praying to God for me. Do this because of our Lord Jesus and the love that the Holy Spirit gives us.
Pray that I will be saved from the nonbelievers in Judea and that this help I bring to Jerusalem will please God's people there.
Then, if God wants me to, I will come to you with joy, and together you and I will have a time of rest.
The God who gives peace be with you all. Amen.
I recommend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a helpern in the church in Cenchrea.
I ask you to accept her in the Lord in the way God's people should. Help her with anything she needs, because she has helped me and many other people also.
Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila, who work together with me in Christ Jesus
and who risked their own lives to save my life. I am thankful to them, and all the non-Jewish churches are thankful as well.
Also, greet for me the church that meets at their house. Greetings to my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first person in the country of Asia to follow Christ.
Greetings to Mary, who worked very hard for you.
Greetings to Andronicus and Junia, my relatives, who were in prison with me. They are very important apostles. They were believers in Christ before I was.
Greetings to Ampliatus, my dear friend in the Lord.
Greetings to Urbanus, a worker together with me for Christ. And greetings to my dear friend Stachys.
Greetings to Apelles, who was tested and proved that he truly loves Christ. Greetings to all those who are in the family of Aristobulus.
Greetings to Herodion, my fellow citizen. Greetings to all those in the family of Narcissus who belong to the Lord.
Greetings to Tryphena and Tryphosa, women who work very hard for the Lord. Greetings to my dear friend Persis, who also has worked very hard for the Lord.
Greetings to Rufus, who is a special person in the Lord, and to his mother, who has been like a mother to me also.
Greetings to Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and all the brothers who are with them.
Greetings to Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and to all God's people with them.
Greet each other with a holy kiss. All of Christ's churches send greetings to you.
Brothers and sisters, I ask you to look out for those who cause people to be against each other and who upset other people's faith. They are against the true teaching you learned, so stay away from them.
Such people are not serving our Lord Christ but are only doing what pleases themselves. They use fancy talk and fine words to fool the minds of those who do not know about evil.
All the believers have heard that you obey, so I am very happy because of you. But I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil.
The God who brings peace will soon defeat Satan and give you power over him. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
Timothy, a worker together with me, sends greetings, as well as Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my relatives.
I am Tertius, and I am writing his letter from Paul. I send greetings to you in the Lord.
Gaius is letting me and the whole church here use his home. He also sends greetings to you, as do Erastus, the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus.
Glory to God who can make you strong in faith by the Good News that I tell people and by the message about Jesus Christ. The message about Christ is the secret that was hidden for long ages past but is now made known.
It has been made clear through the writings of the prophets. And by the command of the eternal God it is made known to all nations that they might believe and obey.
To the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.