1-6 "Him that is
weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. 2
For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak,
eateth herbs. 3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not;
and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath
received him. 4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to
his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up:
for God is able to make him stand. 5 One man esteemeth one day above
another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully
persuaded in his own mind. 6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it
unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he
doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he
giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth
not, and giveth God thanks."
Sometimes brethren will disagree over
things that do not really effect our adherence to the faith that was
once delivered to the saints. Also, it does not effect our belief
in salvation from sin by the grace of God. It doesn't effect our
belief in a time salvation. It does not effect our belief in the
order and government and ordinances of the church. We can be agreed
on all these things and yet there will be some things that we differ
on and those things should not affect our fellowship one with
Paul says that we should receive
those who are weak in the faith. However, we should not engage them
in doubtful disputes over non-essential beliefs. Next, Paul gives
us examples of non-essential beliefs that sometimes people do not
agree on. The first example is that of what a person will accept as
acceptable natural food to eat. Under the Old Testament, certain
foods were prohibited in the diets of the children of Israel. It
was not that there was inherently anything wrong in the prohibited
foods, but rather it was to teach the children of Israel the
difference between clean and unclean things. When Peter was sent to
the house of Cornelius, the Lord showed Peter that the examples of
the animals as a part of the diet was to distinguish between clean
and unclean and that whereas the Jews had thought of the Gentiles as
being unclean, yet God had cleansed them.
Today, some people will not eat pork
or catfish because of the Old Testament teaching, thinking that
there is something naturally unclean in pork and catfish. Others of
us do not think that there is something naturally unclean in pork
and catfish and heartily partake of these tasty foods. Yet this is
not something for us to be disputing about and causing a fuss in the
Yet others believe that eating any
meat is bad for you and will eat an all vegetable diet. Again, if
someone chooses to do this, that is okay, yet this is not something
to dispute about in the church.
Sometimes people will disagree over
the practice of fasting. Some observe a fast saying that it is good
for your health and that it helps you to focus your mind on
spiritual things. Others do not agree with either premise.
However, Paul points out, "He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for
he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth
not, and giveth God thanks." The important thing is that we give
God thanks. To dispute over disagreements on the practice of
fasting only brings forth hard feelings to no practical purpose.
The third example Paul gives us is
the disagreements that people have over the observance of holy
days. Some people think of the first day of the week as being a
Sabbath day and that it replaces the old seventh day Sabbath that
was observed in the Old Testament. Others, however, in the church
think of the first day of the week as the day set aside to worship
God, but do not view it as a Sabbath. These may engage in certain
works after the worship service is over. Again, people may
personally disagree over the first day of the week, whether it is a
Sabbath day, yet they should not bring it into the church as a point
of dispute. Paul said, "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own
mind. 6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and
he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it."
In the midst of these non-essential
disagreements Paul said, "Who art thou that judgest another man's
servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be
holden up: for God is able to make him stand." For us to condemn
someone because they disagree with us over a non-essential belief,
Paul equates to judging another man's servant. Truly we are all the
Lord's servant, and the Lord is quite capable of judging the
rightness or wrongness of these actions. We stand or fall to the
Lord on these non-essential matters. We are not to judge one
another to condemnation over these matters.
"For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. 8
For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we
die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the
Lord's. 9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived,
that he might be Lord both of the dead and living."
Sometimes we may feel like we are
alone in our thoughts and feelings or circumstances, yet we are not
alone. We do not live to our self. We interact with other people
all the days of our lives. When we die, we are not alone either.
Other people feel the effects of our death. Thus, neither in life
nor in death are we truly alone. Further, we, who are children of
God and especially we who are members of the Lord's church, should
reckon ourselves to live unto the Lord and to die unto the Lord.
The Lord is there with us in our life and the Lord is with us in our
We should so reckon ourselves to live
unto the Lord and to die unto the Lord, because the Lord came down
from heaven to redeem us from our sins. In redeeming us he died for
our sins, then he arose the third day, because we are justified in
the sight of God. Thus, he is our Lord (master) whether we are
alive or whether we are dead. While our body dies, yet our soul and
spirit lives on in heaven's glory world, awaiting the resurrection
of the body. Jesus is truly Lord of both the dead and the living.
We have no other Lord like Jesus. When we die, the masters in this
life lose all authority or control over us.
It is important in life that we
recognize who is our ultimate and greater master. When we realize
this, we began to behave as one who has an ultimate master, Jesus
Christ and quit fearing what man will do to us. Also, we behave as
knowing that our brother also has an ultimate master and quit trying
to lord it over him.