This verse is part of a larger passage in the book of Romans, where the apostle Paul is discussing how Christians should relate to one another in matters of personal opinion and conscience. In this context, the verse is urging believers to prioritize the pursuit of peace and building up one another over their individual preferences and opinions.
Romans 14 is a chapter in the book of Romans that addresses the issue of Christian liberty and how believers should relate to one another when they hold differing opinions about matters of personal conscience. Paul acknowledges that Christians have different convictions about things like food, drink, and special days, but he urges them to refrain from judging or despising one another based on these differences.
Instead, Paul calls on believers to make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification. This means that they should strive to build up one another in faith and love, rather than causing division and conflict. Christians should seek to understand and respect one another's convictions, even if they do not share them, and should avoid actions that would cause their brothers and sisters in Christ to stumble or be offended.
Overall, Romans 14:19 emphasizes the importance of unity, love, and mutual respect among believers, even when they hold different opinions about non-essential matters of faith. It calls on Christians to prioritize the common good and to seek the well-being of one another, rather than insisting on their own way or causing unnecessary strife within the body of Christ.
To fully understand the meaning of Romans 14:19, it's important to consider the context in which it was written. In the preceding verses, Paul is addressing the issue of how Christians should handle their differences over non-essential matters, such as eating or abstaining from certain foods or observing certain holy days.
In this context, Paul urges Christians to avoid passing judgment on one another and to refrain from causing their brothers and sisters in Christ to stumble or be offended by their actions. Instead, he calls on them to make every effort to pursue peace and to build up one another in faith.
The term "mutual edification" in this verse refers to the process of building up one another's faith and encouraging each other to grow in Christlikeness. This involves not only refraining from actions that could cause offense or harm to others but actively seeking to encourage and support one another in our spiritual journeys.
In essence, Romans 14:19 is a call for Christians to prioritize love, unity, and mutual respect in all of their interactions with one another. It reminds us that our individual preferences and opinions should never be allowed to divide us or cause us to stumble in our walk with Christ. Instead, we should seek to build one another up in faith, always striving to do what leads to peace and the common good of the body of Christ.
Romans 14:19. Let us follow after things which make for peace, and things by which we may build one another up.