In this passage, Paul commands Christians who have more informed consciences to accept those who have more sensitive consciences. The one who has a weak faith is the one with a more sensitive conscience, and Paul commands those who are stronger in faith to accept him. Then, Paul explains what he means: some believe that they have moral permission to eat anything, while those who are weak believe that they can only eat vegetables. Next, he commands those who are stronger in faith to refrain from looking down upon those who are weak, but he also says that those who are weak ought not to judge those who are stronger because God has accepted them. In verse 4, Paul implies that no Christian has the right to condemn another’s servant, and that those who are living in conformity to their consciences are approved by the Lord.
In verse 5, Paul gives another example of moral differences among believers: some value one day above another, and some value all days equally. Paul commands his audience that they must be convinced of what they believe. One reason for this is that each one acts in accordance with his conscience for the Lord. The reason for this is that Christians live for the Lord. That is why Christ died and rose again.
In verse 10, Paul presents rhetorical questions to his audience to rebuke those who are condemning and looking down upon their brethren in Christ. The reason that they should not do those things is that all Christians will be judged, or evaluated, by God. Paul proves this assertion with a quotation from Scripture, and concludes by saying that each Christian will give an evaluation of himself to God.
In verse 13, Paul begins to apply what he has just taught. The first application is that his audience ought not to condemn one another, but determine to abstain from putting an obstacle in one another’s way. Then, Paul explains why this ought to be the behavior of Christians: nothing is unclean in itself, but, if one believes that it is unclean, it is wrong for one to partake of it. Thus, one who eats something that causes another to sin is not acting in love. Therefore, Paul commands his audience to abstain from spiritually destroying a person for whom Christ died. As a result, Paul also commands them to not let that which is good to them to be spoken of as if it is evil. The reason for this is that the kingdom of God, or Christianity, does not consist in eating and drinking, but in righteousness, peace, and joy by the power of the Spirit. If one serves Christ in righteousness, peace, and joy, then he is acceptable to God and men.
In verse 19, Paul comes to the conclusion that Christians are those who pursue peace with others, and pursue the edification of others. Then, he repeats the command to not spiritually destroy others because of food, and then asserts that all things are clean. However, now he says that clean things become evil if they are done in the presence of those who believe they are evil. Therefore, Paul says, it is good not do anything that causes another to sin. Thus, he adds, one ought to keep his different moral conviction to himself. This one will be happy, but those who doubt that what they are doing is right are sinning because they are not doing it in faith.