“Let us not therefore judge one another anymore:  but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block, or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.”
After concluding his treatise on what is NOT to be done, Paul now goes on to show what IS to be done: that is, we must take heed that we do not utterly abuse our liberty and cast down our brother who is not yet strong.  He rebukes along the way these malicious judgers of others who occupy their heads about nothing, but to find fault with their brethren's life, whereas they should rather focus their minds upon this, that they do not with disdain either cast their brethren completely down, or give them any offence.

“Let us not therefore judge one another anymore”
Literally: “Then let us no longer judge one another.”–“Let us get over the habit of criticizing one another.”

Since we are to give account of ourselves at the same tribunal; since we must be there on the same level, let us not think that we have a right here to sit in judgment on our fellow-Christians; that is, not assume the place of Christ in judging His servants, but leave that to Him to whom it belongs, and who will judge according to truth.  Therefore, let us abandon such rash conduct because it is dangerous and it is unloving.  Judgment belongs to the Lord, and He will condemn those only who should not be acquitted.

“no man put a stumbling block, or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.”
Literally:  “Not to put a stumbling-block, or an offense toward a brother.”–Better then judge this: decide this in your minds. Paul intentionally uses the word judge in a double sense; as if to say, “Instead of deciding on your brethren's conduct, decide this rather, to lay no stumbling-block before them.”  Here is a field for judging:  it is OURSELVES!  We are to judge ourselves (see I Cor. 11).  It is our duty to see that that we do ought that hinders or stumbles a brother.

           STUMBLING BLOCK:  (Grk.–sposkomma)–Literally means anything laid in a man's path, over which he may fail. A stumbling-block is anything which will grieve a brother, or which might cause a brother to fall.

         In the Scriptures, stumbling block is used commonly in a figurative sense, to denote anything which shall cause him to sin, as sin is often represented by falling. And the passage means, that we should resolve to act so as not by any means to be the occasion of leading our brethren into sin, either by our example, or by a severe and harsh judgment, provoking them to anger, or exciting jealousies, envyings, and suspicions. No better rule than this could be given to promote peace.
         Let both the converted
Jew and Gentile consider that they should labor to promote each other's spiritual interests, and NOT be a means of hindering each other in their Christian course; or of causing them to abandon the Gospel.  If every Christian, instead of judging his brethren severely, would resolve that he would live so as to promote peace, and so as not to lead others into sin, it would tend more than any other thing to advance the harmony and purity of the church of Christ.

“I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself:  but to him that esteemeth anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean

“I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus”
Literally:  “I know and am persuaded in {the}Lord Jesus.”–He knows it and stands persuaded but in the sphere of the Lord Jesus (cf. 9:1), not by mere rational processes.

          I KNOW: (Grk.–oida)—Literally:  “to seek; to comprehend.”  This word signifies absolute, positive knowledge.  This is an  admission made to the Gentile convert, who believed that it was lawful to partake of food of every kind.

Paul concedes; and says he is fully apprised of this. But though he knew this, yet he goes on to say, (v. 15) that it would be well to regard the conscientious scruples of others on the subject. It may be remarked here, that the apostle Paul had formerly quite as many scruples as any of his brethren had then. But his views had been changed.

         PERSUADED:  (Grk.–peithô)—Meaning:  “bringing about a change of mind by the influence of reason or moral considerations.”–After reasoning so long  with the two different parties on the subject of their mutual misunderstandings, without attempting to give any opinion, but merely to show them the folly and their uncharitable conduct, Paul now expresses himself fully, and tells them that nothing is unclean of itself.

           BY THE LORD JESUS: (Grk.-en Kurio Iesou)–Literally:  “in the Lord Jesus.”   This does not mean by any personal instruction received from the Lord Jesus; but by all the knowledge which he had received, by inspiration, of the nature of the Christian faith.

The Gospel of Jesus had taught him that the rites of the Mosaic economy had been abolished, and among those rites were the rules respecting clean and unclean beasts, etc. The conviction is that of a mind in communion with Christ, enlightened by His Spirit.  He has the inspiration and authority of Jesus Christ to say so; for to such an inspiration he must refer in such words as, “I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus.”

“there is nothing unclean of itself”
Literally:  “That nothing by itself is common.”–Here we see Paul making his stand with the “strong” believers, as in I Cor, 8:4–“As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol {is} nothing in the world, and that {there is} none other God but one.”  Paul's liberty as to food is regulated by his life in the Lord.

          NOTHING: (Grk.–ouden)–No kind of food. The old taboos on certain ceremonial foods were no longer in force, and it is as lawful to eat one kind of healthy food as another.   God made all things for their own uses.  Nothing is unlawful under the Gospel.

        UNCLEAN:  (Grk.–koinos)—Literally: “common.”  This word was used by the Jews to denote that which was unclean, because, in their apprehension, whatever was partaken by the multitude, or all men, must be impure.

Hence the words common and impure are often used as expressing the same thing. It denotes that which was forbid-den by the laws of Moses, ceremonially impure, not of actual immorality.  This is the same word used in Acts chapter 10 with Peter’s housetop experience and also there translated as “common.”  In Mark 7:2 this word is used in the charge of the Pharisees who said the disciples ate with defiled (koinon), hands.

         OF ITSELF:  (Grk.–di’ heautou )—Is by its own nature such that it is a sin to partake of it. The legal distinction between clean and unclean animals is abolished.

“but to him that esteemeth anything to be unclean, to him {it is} unclean”
Literally:  “Except to the {one} deeming anything to be common {it is} common to that {one}.”– And yet, after having given them this decisive judgment, through respect to the tender, mistaken conscience of weak believers, he immediately adds this caviat: 

If he acts contrary to his conscience, he must also by necessity contract guilt; for he who acts in opposition to his conscience in one case may do it in another, and thus even the plain declarations of the Word of God may be set aside on things of the utmost importance, as well as the erroneous, even though well-intentioned, dictates of his conscience on matters which he makes this determination, though others who are better taught know them to be indifferent.

“him that esteemeth anything”
Literally: “The one deeming.”It is dangerous to trifle with one’s conscience, even when it is taking an erroneous stand.

1.      It should be borne with and instructed;
2.      It must be won over, not taken by storm.
3.      Its feelings should be respected because they ever refer to God, and have their foundation in his fear of Him.
He who sins against his conscience in things which everyone else knows to be indifferent, will soon do it in those things in which his salvation is most intimately concerned.
1.      It is a great blessing to have a well-informed conscience;

2.      It is a blessing to have a tender conscience; and,
3.      Even a sore conscience is infinitely better than no conscience at all.
         a.        He makes it a matter of conscience.
         b.        He regards certain meats as forbidden by God.
And while he so regards them, it would be wrong for him to partake of them. A man may be in error, but it would not be proper for him to act in violation of what he          supposes God requires.

“to him it is unclean”
Literally:  {it is} common to that {one}”–Though you may be able to eat of it without sin, he cannot do so. If a man really believe it wrong for him to eat meat, for him it is wrong, because it is wrong to violate his conscience. If one, uninstructed, considers anything unclean, to his conscience it is so. It is wrong for him to eat it.

After having given them this decisive judgment, but through respect to the tender, mistaken conscience of weak believers, he immediately adds: “But to him that esteems anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean; and because if he act contrary to his conscience, he feels that by an act he necessarily contracts guilt because he is acting in opposition to his conscience.”  We must not violate our conscience.  We may not do what we believe to be wrong because we see others do it.  We must neither judge them nor excuse ourselves.

“But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably.  Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.”

“If thy brother be grieved with thy meat”
Literally:  “And if your brother is grieved because of {your} food.”–This address is to the
Gentile convert. In the previous verse, Paul admitted that the prejudice of the Jew was not well founded. But, admitting that, still the question was how he should be treated while he had that prejudice. Paul here shows the Gentile that he ought not act so as to hurt his feelings, or to grieve him.

          GRIEVED: (Grk.–lupeitai)—i.e., hurt to the conscience, which, while not necessarily fatal, may lead to violation of conscience, and finally to fall.  (Compare I Cor. 8:9-12). If he think that you do wrong, and he is in consequence stumbled at your conduct.

            This Greek word has a close connection with “destroy.”  This shows that its meaning falls short of actually “be destroyed,” but  is stronger than merely to be, “made to feel pain.”  This is a hurt of conscience, which, while not necessarily fatal, may lead to violation or hardening of conscience, and finally to fall.
            “Be grieved” does not necessarily imply that the weak one is induced to eat against his conscience, but it may express the uneasiness or distress with which the weak believer sees the strong believer pursue a line of conduct which the conscience of the weak one does no approve.

“with thy meat”
Literally:, “for the sake of meat”  or “because of food”–Meaning
food in general; that is, because you eat that which he regards as common (unclean).

If his feelings are hurt because you eat food that he thinks it is sinful to eat, it would be charitable for you to abstain from it for his sake. This address is to the Gentile convert. In the previous verse, Paul admitted that the prejudice of the Jew was not well founded. But, admitting that, still the question exists as to how he should be treated while he had that prejudice. Paul here shows the Gentile that he ought not so to act as necessarily to wound his feelings, or to grieve him.  If he think that you do wrong, and he is in consequence stumbled at your conduct.

“now walkest thou not charitably.”
Literally:  “You no longer walk according to love.”–If you continue to eat it. Love to him requires you to abstain from it.  It is better to tolerate another’s prejudice than to advocate one’s beliefs at the expense of a breach of agape.

            WALKEST: (Grk.–peripateô)–“To walk,” in Scriptures often denotes to act, or to do a thing, (Mark 7:5; Acts 21:21; Rom. 6:4; 8:1,4). Here it means, that if the Gentile convert persevered in the use of such food, notwithstanding the conscientious scruples of the Jew, he violated the law of love.

CHARITABLY: (Grk.-kata agapen)—Literally: “according to love” or, “according to charity.”

           Love works no ill to its neighbor; but by your eating some particular kind of meat, on which neither your life nor well-being depends, you work ill to him by grieving and distressing his mind; and therefore you break the Law of God in reference to him, while pretending that your Christian liberty raises you above his scruples.
           That is, he would violate that law which required him to sacrifice his own comfort to promote the happiness of his brother, (I Cor. 13:5; 10:24, 28-29;  Phil. 2:4, 21).  If Christ was willing to die for that weak brother, certainly we ought to be willing to refrain from eating something or doing something that would hurt him in his Christian walk.

“destroy not him with thy meat”
Literally:  “Do not by your food destroy that one.”   By doing that which tends to ruin him or make him miserable. Christ endured the agonies of the cross to make him blessed; you, as a friend of Christ, redeemed with His
blood, ought to be able to deny yourself for the same end.

DESTROY: (Grk.–apollumi)—Literally: “to destroy utterly.”  The idea is not extinction, but ruin, loss, not of being but of well-being.”

            The word destroy here properly denotes ruin or destruction, and is applied to the ruin or corruption of various things in the N.T.  It literally  refers to the ruin of the soul in hell. There is no word in the N.T. that more forcibly implies eternal ruin than the Greek verb (apolluô), from which is derived that most significant name of the Devil,   “apollyon” , the DESTROYER, the great universal murderer of souls.
           His grief, and the effect upon him of seeing you do what he regards as sinful, may be to destroy him. It is kinder to give up the meat than to risk his destruction. By doing that which tends to ruin him or make him miserable.

           THY MEAT: (Grk.–bromati sou)–Literally:  “your food.”–This puts the uncharitable conduct of the person in question for whom Christ died in the strongest light, because it supposes that the weak brother may be so stumbled as to fall and perish finally.

To injure a man in his circumstances is bad; to injure him in his person is worse; to injure him in his reputation is still worse; and to injure his soul is worst of all.  No wickedness, no malice, can go farther than to injure and destroy the soul: thy uncharitable conduct may proceed thus far; therefore thou art highly criminal before God.

“for whom Christ died”–The worth of even the poorest and weakest brother cannot be more emphatically expressed than by the words, “for whom Christ died.”

From this verse we learn that a man for whom Christ died may perish, or have his soul destroyed; and destroyed with such a destruction as implies perdition.  Christ died in his stead; do not destroy his soul.  The sacrificial death is as strongly expressed as it can be,  The same sentiment is expressed with equal sharpness in I Cor. 8:11. Whatever tends to make anyone violate his conscience tends to the destruction of his soul; and he who helps, whether wittingly or no, to bring about the one is guilty of aiding to accomplish the other.