Summary of passage: Accept those who are new believers and fail without looking down on him or condemning him. The Lord will strengthen him. We all belong to the Lord and God knows our heart for what we do.
3) Without passing judgment.
4) Whether to eat meat or not to eat meat. Disputable is open to debate whether it is acceptable or not meaning there is no agreement. Forbidden are those things that are outlawed, meaning there is a majority agreement on what is acceptable or not.
5) God is the standard and we are to live for Him. Both the weak and the strong should be motivated to serve the Lord and give thanks for His provision.
Conclusions: Acceptance is the theme here. Mankind is messy. All of us. We are all equal. None of us is better than the other. Paul reminds us to accept each other and let God handle the rest.
End Notes: Paul warns us not to judge others whose faith is weak, usually a newer Christian or one ignorant of God’s ways. He was probably addressing Jewish Christians in Rome who were continuing to observe the hallmarks of Jewish identity, such as dietary restrictions and the keeping of the Sabbath and other special days. Their concern was not the same as that of the Judaizers of Galatia They Judaizers thought they could put God in their debt by works of righteousness and were trying to force this heretical teaching on the Galatian churches, but the “weak” Roman Christians did neither. They were wrestling with the status of the Old Testament regulations under the new covenant that Christ ushered in.
In Paul’s mind, the weak brother is the stricter one due to their legalistic attitudes and lack of love towards others.
Undoubtedly these weak ones did not see themselves as such. They probably saw the meat eaters as weak. Legalism has a way of making us think that we are strong and those who don’t keep the rules the way we do are weak.
Paul reminds us it is God’s job to judge, not ours. We must rise above these petty arguments and be united in our faith in Christ. Christians do not agree on all matters pertaining to the Christian life, nor do they need to. Fellowship should not be based on agreement.
By bringing in the aspect of observing certain days, Paul is talking more about principles than specific issues. It’s up to the conscience of the individual. But whatever we do, we must be able to do it to the Lord, not using “conscience” as an excuse for obviously sinful behavior.
From birth to death, we are connected to one another and we are to live for the Lord always.