Romans 14; Romans 15; Romans 16

1 Welcome the person who is weak in faith—but not in order to argue about differences of opinion. 2 One person believes in eating everything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. 3 Those who eat must not look down on the ones who don't, and the ones who don't eat must not judge the ones who do, because God has accepted them. 4 Who are you to judge someone else's servants? They stand or fall before their own Lord (and they will stand, because the Lord has the power to make them stand). 5 One person considers some days to be more sacred than others, while another person considers all days to be the same. Each person must have their own convictions. 6 Someone who thinks that a day is sacred, thinks that way for the Lord. Those who eat, eat for the Lord, because they thank God. And those who don't eat, don't eat for the Lord, and they thank the Lord too. 7 We don't live for ourselves and we don't die for ourselves. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to God. 9 This is why Christ died and lived: so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 But why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you look down on your brother or sister? We all will stand in front of the judgment seat of God. 11 Because it is written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to me, and every tongue will give praise to God. 12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. 13 So stop judging each other. Instead, this is what you should decide: never put a stumbling block or obstacle in the way of your brother or sister. 14 I know and I'm convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is wrong to eat in itself. But if someone thinks something is wrong to eat, it becomes wrong for that person. 15 If your brother or sister is upset by your food, you are no longer walking in love. Don't let your food destroy someone for whom Christ died. 16 And don't let something you consider to be good be criticized as wrong. 17 God's kingdom isn't about eating food and drinking but about righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever serves Christ this way pleases God and gets human approval. 19 So let's strive for the things that bring peace and the things that build each other up. 20 Don't destroy what God has done because of food. All food is acceptable, but it's a bad thing if it trips someone else. 21 It's a good thing not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything that trips your brother or sister. 22 Keep the belief that you have to yourself—it's between you and God. People are blessed who don't convict themselves by the things they approve. 23 But those who have doubts are convicted if they go ahead and eat, because they aren't acting on the basis of faith. Everything that isn't based on faith is sin.
1 We who are powerful need to be patient with the weakness of those who don't have power, and not please ourselves. 2 Each of us should please our neighbors for their good in order to build them up. 3 Christ didn't please himself, but, as it is written, The insults of those who insulted you fell on me. 4 Whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction so that we could have hope through endurance and through the encouragement of the scriptures. 5 May the God of endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude toward each other, similar to Christ Jesus' attitude. 6 That way you can glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ together with one voice. 7 So welcome each other, in the same way that Christ also welcomed you, for God's glory. 8 I'm saying that Christ became a servant of those who are circumcised for the sake of God's truth, in order to confirm the promises given to the ancestors, 9 and so that the Gentiles could glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, Because of this I will confess you among the Gentiles, and I will sing praises to your name. 10 And again, it says, Rejoice, Gentiles, with his people. 11 And again, Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and all the people should sing his praises. 12 And again, Isaiah says, There will be a root of Jesse, who will also rise to rule the Gentiles. The Gentiles will place their hope in him. 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in faith so that you overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 14 My brothers and sisters, I myself am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and are able to teach each other. 15 But I've written to you in a sort of daring way, partly to remind you of what you already know. I'm writing to you in this way because of the grace that was given to me by God. 16 It helps me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. I'm working as a priest of God's gospel so that the offering of the Gentiles can be acceptable and made holy by the Holy Spirit. 17 So in Christ Jesus I brag about things that have to do with God. 18 I don't dare speak about anything except what Christ has done through me to bring about the obedience of the Gentiles. He did it by what I've said and what I've done, 19 by the power of signs and wonders, and by the power of God's Spirit. So I've completed the circuit of preaching Christ's gospel from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum. 20 In this way, I have a goal to preach the gospel where they haven't heard of Christ yet, so that I won't be building on someone else's foundation. 21 Instead, as it's written, Those who hadn't been told about him will see, and those who hadn't heard will understand. 22 That's why I've been stopped so many times from coming to see you. 23 But now, since I don't have any place to work in these regions anymore, and since I've wanted to come to see you for many years, 24 I'll visit you when I go to Spain. I hope to see you while I'm passing through. And I hope you will send me on my way there, after I have first been reenergized by some time in your company. 25 But now I'm going to Jerusalem, to serve God's people. 26 Macedonia and Achaia have been happy to make a contribution for the poor among God's people in Jerusalem. 27 They were happy to do this, and they are actually in debt to God's people in Jerusalem. If the Gentiles got a share of the Jewish people's spiritual resources, they ought to minister to them with material resources. 28 So then after I have finished this job and have safely delivered the final amount of the Gentiles' offering to them, I will leave for Spain, visiting you on the way. 29 And I know that when I come to you I will come with the fullest blessing of Christ. 30 Brothers and sisters, I urge you, through our Lord Jesus Christ and through the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggles in your prayers to God for me. 31 Pray that I will be rescued from the people in Judea who don't believe. Also, pray that my service for Jerusalem will be acceptable to God's people there 32 so that I can come to you with joy by God's will and be reenergized with your company. 33 May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
1 I'm introducing our sister Phoebe to you, who is a servant of the church in Cenchreae. 2 Welcome her in the Lord in a way that is worthy of God's people, and give her whatever she needs from you, because she herself has been a sponsor of many people, myself included. 3 Say hello to Prisca and Aquila, my coworkers in Christ Jesus, 4 who risked their own necks for my life. I'm not the only one who thanks God for them, but all the churches of the Gentiles do the same. 5 Also say hello to the church that meets in their house. Say hello to Epaenetus, my dear friend, who was the first convert in Asia for Christ. 6 Say hello to Mary, who has worked very hard for you. 7 Say hello to Andronicus and Junia, my relatives and my fellow prisoners. They are prominent among the apostles, and they were in Christ before me. 8 Say hello to Ampliatus, my dear friend in the Lord. 9 Say hello to Urbanus, our coworker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys. 10 Say hello to Apelles, who is tried and true in Christ. Say hello to the members of the household of Aristobulus. 11 Say hello to my relative Herodion. Say hello to the members of the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord. 12 Say hello to Tryphaena and Tryphosa, who are workers for the Lord. Say hello to my dear friend Persis, who has worked hard in the Lord. 13 Say hello to Rufus, who is an outstanding believer, along with his mother and mine. 14 Say hello to Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers and sisters who are with them. 15 Say hello to Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them. 16 Say hello to each other with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ say hello to you. 17 Brothers and sisters, I urge you to watch out for people who create divisions and problems against the teaching that you learned. Keep away from them. 18 People like that aren't serving the Lord. They are serving their own feelings. They deceive the hearts of innocent people with smooth talk and flattery. 19 The news of your obedience has reached everybody, so I'm happy for you. But I want you to be wise about what's good, and innocent about what's evil. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. 21 Timothy my coworker says hello to you, and Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my relatives. 22 I'm Tertius, and I'm writing this letter to you in the Lord—hello! 23 Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole church, says hello to you. Erastus the city treasurer says hello to you, along with our brother Quartus. 25 May the glory be to God who can strengthen you with my good news and the message that I preach about Jesus Christ. He can strengthen you with the announcement of the secret that was kept quiet for a long time. 26 Now that secret is revealed through what the prophets wrote. It is made known to the Gentiles in order to lead to their faithful obedience based on the command of the eternal God. 27 May the glory be to God, who alone is wise! May the glory be to him through Jesus Christ forever! Amen.
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