Do Not Judge Another
1Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions.2Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables.3Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgment on those who eat; for God has welcomed them.4Who are you to pass judgment on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand.5Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds.6Those who observe the day, observe it in honor of the Lord. Also those who eat, eat in honor of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honor of the Lord and give thanks to God.7We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves.8If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's.9For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.10Why do you pass judgment on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.11For it is written,
“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
and every tongue shall give praise to God.”12So then, each of us will be accountable to God.Do Not Make Another Stumble
13Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another.14I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean.15If your brother or sister is being injured by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. Do not let what you eat cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died.16So do not let your good be spoken of as evil.17For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.18The one who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and has human approval.19Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.20Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for you to make others fall by what you eat;21it is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that makes your brother or sister stumble.22The faith that you have, have as your own conviction before God. Blessed are those who have no reason to condemn themselves because of what they approve.23But those who have doubts are condemned if they eat, because they do not act from faith; for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.Chapter 15Please Others, Not Yourselves
1We who are strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.2Each of us must please our neighbor for the good purpose of building up the neighbor.3For Christ did not please himself; but, as it is written, “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”4For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.5May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus,6so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.The Gospel for Jews and Gentiles Alike
7Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.8For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God in order that he might confirm the promises given to the patriarchs,9and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,
“Therefore I will confess you among the Gentiles,
and sing praises to your name”;10and again he says,
“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people”;11and again,
“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,
and let all the peoples praise him”;12and again Isaiah says,
“The root of Jesse shall come,
the one who rises to rule the Gentiles;
in him the Gentiles shall hope.”13May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Paul's Reason for Writing So Boldly
14I myself feel confident about you, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another.15Nevertheless on some points I have written to you rather boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God16to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.17In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to boast of my work for God.18For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to win obedience from the Gentiles, by word and deed,19by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and as far around as Illyricum I have fully proclaimed the good news of Christ.20Thus I make it my ambition to proclaim the good news, not where Christ has already been named, so that I do not build on someone else's foundation,21but as it is written,
“Those who have never been told of him shall see,
and those who have never heard of him shall understand.”Paul's Plan to Visit Rome
22This is the reason that I have so often been hindered from coming to you.23But now, with no further place for me in these regions, I desire, as I have for many years, to come to you24when I go to Spain. For I do hope to see you on my journey and to be sent on by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a little while.25At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem in a ministry to the saints;26for Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to share their resources with the poor among the saints at Jerusalem.27They were pleased to do this, and indeed they owe it to them; for if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material things.28So, when I have completed this, and have delivered to them what has been collected, I will set out by way of you to Spain;29and I know that when I come to you, I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.30I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in earnest prayer to God on my behalf,31that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my ministry to Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints,32so that by God's will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company.33The God of peace be with all of you. Amen.
Chapter 16Personal Greetings
1I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church at Cenchreae,2so that you may welcome her in the Lord as is fitting for the saints, and help her in whatever she may require from you, for she has been a benefactor of many and of myself as well.3Greet Prisca and Aquila, who work with me in Christ Jesus,4and who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.5Greet also the church in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convert in Asia for Christ.6Greet Mary, who has worked very hard among you.7Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives who were in prison with me; they are prominent among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.8Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord.9Greet Urbanus, our co-worker in Christ, and my beloved Stachys.10Greet Apelles, who is approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the family of Aristobulus.11Greet my relative Herodion. Greet those in the Lord who belong to the family of Narcissus.12Greet those workers in the Lord, Tryphaena and Tryphosa. Greet the beloved Persis, who has worked hard in the Lord.13Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; and greet his mother—a mother to me also.14Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers and sisters who are with them.15Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.16Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.Final Instructions
17I urge you, brothers and sisters, to keep an eye on those who cause dissensions and offenses, in opposition to the teaching that you have learned; avoid them.18For such people do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the simple-minded.19For while your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, I want you to be wise in what is good and guileless in what is evil.20The God of peace will shortly crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.21Timothy, my co-worker, greets you; so do Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my relatives.22I Tertius, the writer of this letter, greet you in the Lord.23Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus, greet you.24
25Now to God who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages26but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings is made known to all the Gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith—27to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever! Amen.