I now pass to another subject. Receive as a friend a man whose faith is weak, but not for the purpose of deciding mere matters of opinion.
One man's faith allows him to eat anything, while a man of weaker faith eats nothing but vegetables.
Let not him who eats certain food look down upon him who abstains from it, nor him who abstains from it find fault with him who eats it; for God has received both of them.
Who are you that you should find fault with the servant of another? Whether he stands or falls is a matter which concerns his own master. But stand he will; for the Master can give him power to stand.
One man esteems one day more highly than another; another esteems all days alike. Let every one be thoroughly convinced in his own mind.
He who regards the day as sacred, so regards it for the Master's sake; and he who eats certain food eats it for the Master's sake, for he gives thanks to God; and he who refrains from eating it refrains for the Master's sake, and he also gives thanks to God.
For not one of us lives to himself, and not one dies to himself.
If we live, we live to the Lord: if we die, we die to the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
For this was the purpose of Christ's dying and coming to life--namely that He might be Lord both of the dead and the living.
But you, why do you find fault with your brother? Or you, why do you look down upon your brother? We shall all stand before God to be judged;
for it is written, "`As I live,' says the Lord, `to Me every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall make confession to God.'"
So we see that every one of us will give account of himself to God.
Therefore let us no longer judge one another; but, instead of that, you should come to this judgement--that we must not put a stumbling-block in our brother's path, nor anything to trip him up.
As one who lives in union with the Lord Jesus, I know and am certain that in its own nature no food is `impure'; but if people regard any food as impure, to them it is.
If your brother is pained by the food you are eating, your conduct is no longer controlled by love. Take care lest, by the food you eat, you lead to ruin a man for whom Christ died.
Therefore do not let the boon which is yours in common be exposed to reproach.
For the Kingdom of God does not consist of eating and drinking, but of right conduct, peace and joy, through the Holy Spirit;
and whoever in this way devotedly serves Christ, God takes pleasure in him, and men highly commend him.
Therefore let us aim at whatever makes for peace and mutual upbuilding of character.
Do not for food's sake be throwing down God's work. All food is pure; but a man is in the wrong if his food is a snare to others.
The right course is to forego eating meat or drinking wine or doing anything that tends to your brother's fall.
As for you and your faith, keep your faith to yourself in the presence of God. The man is to be congratulated who does not pronounce judgement on himself in what his actions sanction.
But he who has misgivings and yet eats meat is condemned already, because his conduct is not based on faith; for all conduct not based on faith is sinful.