Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at sacred-texts.com
rom 14:1Him that is weak - Through needless scruples. Receive - With all love and courtesy into Christian fellowship. But not to doubtful disputations - About questionable points.
rom 14:2All things - All sorts of food, though forbidden by the law.
rom 14:3Despise him that eateth not - As over - scrupulous or superstitious. Judge him that eateth - As profane, or taking undue liberties. For God hath received him - Into the number of his children, notwithstanding this.
rom 14:5One day above another - As new moons, and other Jewish festivals. Let every man be fully persuaded - That a thing is lawful, before he does it.
rom 14:6Regardeth it to the Lord - That is, out of a principle of conscience toward God. To the Lord he doth not regard it - He also acts from a principle of conscience. He that eateth not - Flesh. Giveth God thanks - For his herbs.
rom 14:7None of us - Christians, in the things we do. Liveth to himself - Is at his own disposal; doeth his own will.
rom 14:10Or why dost thou despise thy brother - Hitherto the apostle as addressed the weak brother: now he speaks to the stronger.
rom 14:11As I live - An oath proper to him, because he only possesseth life infinite and independent. It is Christ who is here termed both Lord and God; as it is he to whom we live, and to whom we die. Every tongue shall confess to God - Shall own him as their rightful Lord; which shall then only be accomplished in its full extent. The Lord grant we may find mercy in that day; and may it also be imparted to those who have differed from us! yea, to those who have censured and condemned us for things which we have done from a desire to please him, or refused to do from a fear of offending him. Isa 45:23
rom 14:13But judge this rather - Concerning ourselves. Not to lay a stumblingblock - By moving him to do as thou doest, though against his conscience. Or a scandal - Moving him to hate or judge thee.
rom 14:14I am assured by the Lord Jesus - Perhaps by a particular revelation. That there is nothing - Neither flesh nor herbs. Unclean of itself - Unlawful under the gospel.
rom 14:15If thy brother is grieved - That is, wounded, led into sin. Destroy not him for whom Christ died - So we see, he for whom Christ died may be destroyed. With thy meat - Do not value thy meat more than Christ valued his life.
rom 14:16Let not then your good and lawful liberty be evil spoken of - By being offensive to others.
rom 14:17For the kingdom of God - That is, true religion, does not consist in external observances. But in righteousness - The image of God stamped on the heart; the love of God and man, accompanied with the peace that passeth all understanding, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
rom 14:18In these - Righteousness, peace, and joy. Men - Wise and good men.
rom 14:19Peace and edification are closely joined. Practical divinity tends equally to peace and to edification. Controversial divinity less directly tends to edification, although sometimes, as they of old, we cannot build without it, Neh 4:17.
rom 14:20The work of God - Which he builds in the soul by faith, and in the church by concord. It is evil to that man who eateth with offence - So as to offend another thereby.
rom 14:21Thy brother stumbleth - By imitating thee against his conscience, contrary to righteousness. Or is offended - At what thou doest to the loss of his peace. Or made weak - Hesitating between imitation and abhorrence, to the loss of that joy in the Lord which was his strength.
rom 14:22Hast thou faith - That all things are pure? Have it to thyself before God - In circumstances like these, keep it to thyself, and do not offend others by it. Happy is he that condemneth not himself - By an improper use of even innocent things! and happy he who is free from a doubting conscience! He that has this may allow the thing, yet condemn himself for it.
rom 14:23Because it is not of faith - He does not believe it lawful and, in all these cases, whatsoever is not of faith is sin - Whatever a man does without a full persuasion of its lawfulness, it is sin to him.