1Welcome those who are weak in faith, but do not argue with them about their personal opinions. 2Some people's faith allows them to eat anything, but the person who is weak in the faith eats only vegetables. 3Those who will eat anything are not to despise those who don't; while those who eat only vegetables are not to pass judgement on those who will eat anything; for God has accepted them. 4Who are you to judge someone else's servants? It is their own Master who will decide whether they succeed or fail. And they will succeed, because the Lord is able to make them succeed.
5Some people think that a certain day is more important than other days, while others think that all days are the same. We should each firmly make up our own minds. 6Those who think highly of a certain day do so in honour of the Lord; those who will eat anything do so in honour of the Lord, because they give thanks to God for the food. Those who refuse to eat certain things do so in honour of the Lord, and they give thanks to God. 7None of us lives for himself only, none of us dies for himself only. 8If we live, it is for the Lord that we live, and if we die, it is for the Lord that we die. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9For Christ died and rose to life in order to be the Lord of the living and of the dead. 10You then, who eat only vegetables — why do you pass judgement on others? And you who eat anything — why do you despise other believers? All of us will stand before God to be judged by him. 11For the scripture says:
“As surely as I am the living God, says the Lord,
everyone will kneel before me,
and everyone will confess that I am God.”
12Every one of us, then, will have to give an account of ourselves to God.
Do not Make One Another Fall
13So then, let us stop judging one another. Instead, you should decide never to do anything that would make another stumble or fall into sin. 14My union with the Lord Jesus makes me certain that no food is of itself ritually unclean; but if a person believes that some food is unclean, then it becomes unclean for that person. 15If you hurt your brother or sister because of something you eat, then you are no longer acting from love. Do not let the food that you eat ruin the person for whom Christ died! 16Do not let what you regard as good get a bad name. 17For God's Kingdom is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of the righteousness, peace, and joy which the Holy Spirit gives. 18And when people serve Christ in this way, they please God and are approved by others.
19So then, we must always aim at those things that bring peace and that help to strengthen one another. 20Do not, because of food, destroy what God has done. All foods may be eaten, but it is wrong to eat anything that will cause someone else to fall into sin. 21The right thing to do is to keep from eating meat, drinking wine, or doing anything else that will make your brother or sister fall. 22Keep what you believe about this matter, then, between yourself and God. Happy are those who do not feel guilty when they do something they judge is right! 23But if they have doubts about what they eat, God condemns them when they eat it, because their action is not based on faith. And anything that is not based on faith is sin.
1We who are strong in the faith ought to help the weak to carry their burdens. We should not please ourselves. 2Instead, we should all please our brothers and sisters for their own good, in order to build them up in the faith. 3For Christ did not please himself. Instead, as the scripture says, “The insults which are hurled at you have fallen on me.” 4Everything written in the Scriptures was written to teach us, in order that we might have hope through the patience and encouragement which the Scriptures give us. 5And may God, the source of patience and encouragement, enable you to have the same point of view among yourselves by following the example of Christ Jesus, 6so that all of you together may praise with one voice the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Good News for the Gentiles
7Accept one another, then, for the glory of God, as Christ has accepted you. 8For I tell you that Christ's life of service was on behalf of the Jews, to show that God is faithful, to make his promises to their ancestors come true, 9and to enable even the Gentiles to praise God for his mercy. As the scripture says:
“And so I will praise you among the Gentiles;
I will sing praises to you.”
10Again it says,
“Rejoice, Gentiles, with God's people!”
“Praise the Lord, all Gentiles;
praise him, all peoples!”
12And again, Isaiah says,
“A descendant of Jesse will appear;
he will come to rule the Gentiles,
and they will put their hope in him.”
13May God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace by means of your faith in him, so that your hope will continue to grow by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Paul's Reason for Writing so Boldly
14My brothers and sisters, I myself feel sure that you are full of goodness, that you have all knowledge, and that you are able to teach one another. 15But in this letter I have been quite bold about certain subjects of which I have reminded you. I have been bold because of the privilege God has given me 16of being a servant of Christ Jesus to work for the Gentiles. I serve like a priest in preaching the Good News from God, in order that the Gentiles may be an offering acceptable to God, dedicated to him by the Holy Spirit. 17In union with Christ Jesus, then, I can be proud of my service for God. 18I will be bold and speak only about what Christ has done through me to lead the Gentiles to obey God. He has done this by means of words and deeds, 19by the power of miracles and wonders, and by the power of the Spirit of God. And so, in travelling all the way from Jerusalem to Illyricum, I have proclaimed fully the Good News about Christ. 20My ambition has always been to proclaim the Good News in places where Christ has not been heard of, so as not to build on a foundation laid by someone else. 21As the scripture says:
“Those who were not told about him will see,
and those who have not heard will understand.”
Paul's Plan to Visit Rome
22And so I have been prevented many times from coming to you. 23But now that I have finished my work in these regions and since I have been wanting for so many years to come to see you, 24I hope to do so now. I would like to see you on my way to Spain, and be helped by you to go there, after I have enjoyed visiting you for a while. 25Just now, however, I am going to Jerusalem in the service of God's people there. 26For the churches in Macedonia and Achaia have freely decided to give an offering to help the poor among God's people in Jerusalem. 27That decision was their own; but, as a matter of fact, they have an obligation to help them. Since the Jews shared their spiritual blessings with the Gentiles, the Gentiles ought to use their material blessings to help the Jews. 28When I have finished this task and have handed over to them all the money that has been raised for them, I shall leave for Spain and visit you on my way there. 29When I come to you, I know that I shall come with a full measure of the blessing of Christ.
30I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love that the Spirit gives: join me in praying fervently to God for me. 31Pray that I may be kept safe from the unbelievers in Judea and that my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to God's people there. 32And so I will come to you full of joy, if it is God's will, and enjoy a refreshing visit to you. 33May God, our source of peace, be with all of you. Amen.
1I recommend to you our sister Phoebe, who serves the church at Cenchreae. 2Receive her in the Lord's name, as God's people should, and give her any help she may need from you; for she herself has been a good friend to many people and also to me.
3I send greetings to Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow-workers in the service of Christ Jesus; 4they risked their lives for me. I am grateful to them — not only I, but all the Gentile churches as well. 5Greetings also to the church that meets in their house.
Greetings to my dear friend Epaenetus, who was the first in the province of Asia to believe in Christ. 6Greetings to Mary, who has worked so hard for you. 7Greetings also to Andronicus and Junia, fellow-Jews who were in prison with me; they are well known among the apostles, and they became Christians before I did.
8My greetings to Ampliatus, my dear friend in the fellowship of the Lord. 9Greetings also to Urbanus, our fellow-worker in Christ's service, and to Stachys, my dear friend. 10Greetings to Apelles, whose loyalty to Christ has been proved. Greetings to those who belong to the family of Aristobulus. 11Greetings to Herodion, a fellow-Jew, and to the Christians in the family of Narcissus.
12My greetings to Tryphaena and Tryphosa, who work in the Lord's service, and to my dear friend Persis, who has done so much work for the Lord. 13I send greetings to Rufus, that outstanding worker in the Lord's service, and to his mother, who has always treated me like a son. 14My greetings to Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and all the other Christian brothers and sisters with them. 15Greetings to Philologus and Julia, to Nereus and his sister, to Olympas and to all of God's people who are with them.
16Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send you their greetings.
17I urge you, my brothers and sisters: watch out for those who cause divisions and upset people's faith and go against the teaching which you have received. Keep away from them! 18For those who do such things are not serving Christ our Lord, but their own appetites. By their fine words and flattering speech they deceive innocent people. 19Everyone has heard of your loyalty to the gospel, and for this reason I am happy about you. I want you to be wise about what is good, but innocent in what is evil. 20And God, our source of peace, will soon crush Satan under your feet.
The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
21Timothy, my fellow-worker, sends you his greetings; and so do Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, fellow-Jews.
22I, Tertius, the writer of this letter, send you Christian greetings.
23My host Gaius, in whose house the church meets, sends you his greetings; Erastus, the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus send you their greetings.
Concluding Prayer of Praise
25Let us give glory to God! He is able to make you stand firm in your faith, according to the Good News I preach about Jesus Christ and according to the revelation of the secret truth which was hidden for long ages in the past. 26Now, however, that truth has been brought out into the open through the writings of the prophets; and by the command of the eternal God it is made known to all nations, so that all may believe and obey.
27To the only God, who alone is all-wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever! Amen.