Useful Bible Studies > Romans Commentary > chapter 14

Arguments about the foods that Christians should eat

Romans 14:2

It is interesting to compare the situation in the church at Rome with the situation at Corinth. In both churches, there were arguments about the foods that Christians should eat. The result was that, in both places, some Christians claimed to be superior to the other Christians.

Both churches included among their members some Jews (people from Israel), and some people from other nations. God had given rules to the Jews about the meats that they could eat (Leviticus chapter 11; Leviticus 17:10-14). The Bibleís rules for people who are not Jews are much simpler (Genesis 9:1-4; Acts 15:29).

In the church at Corinth, some Christians would not accept any of these rules. They believed that they had a right to eat any kind of food whatever. So, they acted very boldly. They even entered the houses of false gods, to eat the meat that people had offered to those gods. Paul had to warn those Christians that they must not do this. Their behaviour was spoiling the relationship that weaker Christians had with God (1 Corinthians chapter 8).

In the church at Rome, however, those Christians who obeyed Godís rules were acting too boldly. As in Galatia, they were trying to persuade the Christians to accept all the rules that God had given to the Jews (Galatians 5:1-12). They were talking as if Christís death had no purpose. Christ did not die so that all people could become Jews. He died so that people from every nation can have a right relationship with God (1:16).

Their relationship with God does not depend on food (14:17), but on faith: belief and trust in God (4:1-8).

Next part: Right attitudes when Christians disagree (Romans 14:3)


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