Bible Q & A
(Romans 14:5-6) Does it matter which day of the week we keep Holy?
people assume that Romans 14:5-6 says it makes no difference to
God which day we keep holy. But notice that verse 5 only says
“one MAN esteemeth one day above another.” This is talking
about what certain MEN thought, not what God says!
We are not to be
judged by what men think, but by the Word of God! John
12:48 reads, “The word that I have spoken, the same shall
judge him in the last day.” Jesus is not going to judge you
by what any man believes but by the words He spoke!
is not sanctioning nor condemning any particular periods of
time, but warning the saints not to judge one another
(Romans 14:4) and cause strife over differing opinions about
things they did not yet understand clearly. He tells them
in verse 5, “Let every man be fully persuaded in his own
mind.” Does this give license to believe whatever a person
desires? Absolutely not! God commands, “Lean not unto thine own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). How are you going
to be fully assured in your own mind until you know what God says in
His Word? “The holy scriptures . . are able to
make you wise to salvation,” wrote Paul (II Tim. 3:15).
saints at Rome were weak in the faith, not having acquired
perfect knowledge. Paul says, “For I long to see you, that
I may impart to you some spiritual gift, to the end that you
may be established” (Rom. 1:11). Paul told them not to sit
in judgment of one another. God would judge them after
setting them aright through more perfect knowledge.
the meantime Paul reminded them that “He that regardeth the
day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not
the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it” (verse 6). This
did not give them liberty to do as they pleased. They were
to obey what God revealed. It would be sin if they
disobeyed after the knowledge of the truth had come. For to him that knows to
do good and doesn’t do
it, it is a sin (James 4:17,
exactly which days was Paul referring to in the first place?
Let’s read these verses in Romans 14 in their context.
Notice in verse 1: Paul admonished the saints at Rome to
receive the “weak in the faith” and not sit in judgment of
them. Some of those recently converted, being still weak in
the faith, refused to eat meats and subsisted mainly on
reason is explained in I Corinthians 8. Most meat that
could be bought had been offered to idols. Some Gentiles
who had been converted and had given up idolatry still had
superstitious beliefs in their minds, thinking that an idol
was something real. Therefore, some with conscience of the
idol ate “it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their
conscience being weak is defiled. But meat commendeth us
not to God; for neither, if we eat, are we better; neither,
if we eat not, are we worse” (I Cor. 8:7-8).
why did Paul break into his dissertation – about eating meat
or refraining from eating it – and mention “days”?
answer in the Moffat translation of this passage: “Then
again, this man rates one day above another, while that man
rates all days alike. Well, everyone must be convinced in
his mink; the man who values a particular day does so to the
Lord. The eater eats to the Lord, since he thanks
God for his good; the non-eater abstains to the Lord,
and he too thanks God” (Romans 14:5-6).
Not only were
there weak converts who were afraid of eating meat offered
to idols, but there were others also who customarily
abstained from particular foods – they practiced a semi-fast
or abstained from foods on certain days. Others regarded
all days alike as far as eating is concerned.
The whole matter
involved abstention on particular days. The question was:
“To eat or not to eat!” It was merely a question of the days
upon which many voluntarily abstained from certain foods.
Paul was not referring to God’s Holy Days. There is nothing
here referring to the Sabbath.
Jesus said that
our fasting should be done before God, and not to be seen or
known of men unnecessarily (Matthew 6:16). But Jews and
Gentiles both practiced semi-fasts on particular days of
each week or month. The Jews customarily fasted “twice in
the wee” (Luke 18:12). They also fasted during certain
months (Zech. 7:4-&). The Jews were divided on the matter.
The Gentiles also were divided over when to abstain from
certain foods. See Hastings Encyclopedia
of Religion and Ethics.
God’s sight it does not matter when one abstains or fasts –
but it does matter that we do it with a right heart. Paul
was going to Rome to straighten out the brethren on when and
how to abstain, but for the moment he wanted them to live at
peace with one another.