The Meaning of Romans 14:22 Explained

Romans 14:22

KJV: Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.

YLT: Thou hast faith! to thyself have it before God; happy is he who is not judging himself in what he doth approve,

Darby: Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Blessed is he who does not judge himself in what he allows.

ASV: The faith which thou hast, have thou to thyself before God. Happy is he that judgeth not himself in that which he approveth.

What does Romans 14:22 Mean?

Verse Meaning

Paul evidently wrote this verse with the strong in view primarily (cf. Romans 14:23). He did not want his readers to force their convictions ("faith") about amoral practices on others. The strong believer can be happy in his private enjoyment of amoral practices because he knows that he is neither violating the will of God nor the conscience of a weak brother.

Context Summary

Romans 14:13-23 - Yielding Rights For Others' Sake
We must be careful of one another's faith. Unkind criticism or ridicule, or the strong pressure of our arguments and reasons may impede the divine life in weaker natures by leading them to act in defiance of their own conscientious convictions. We must not flaunt our greater liberty or urge men to act against their conscience. We may, of course, temperately and lovingly explain why we are not held by minute scruples. We may show, as Paul did repeatedly, that Christ has called us to liberty; but we must not attempt the regulation of one another's conduct from without. The sanctuary of the soul must be left un-invaded. The Spirit alone may speak His oracles in the shrine.
Leave each disciple to his own Master, each plant to the Gardener, each child to the divine Fatherhood. In many things you may grant yourself a wider liberty than others allow themselves; but it must be used wisely, and you must refuse to avail yourself of it whenever those around you may be positively imperiled. We need not mind the censorious criticism of the Pharisee, but like the Good Shepherd with His flock, we must accommodate our pace to that of the lambs, Isaiah 40:11. [source]

Chapter Summary: Romans 14

1  Men may not condemn one another for disputable matters;
13  but must take heed that they give no offense in them;
15  which the apostle proves unlawful by many reasons

Greek Commentary for Romans 14:22

Have thou to thyself before God [συκατα σεαυτον εχε ενωπιον του τεου]
Very emphatic position of συ — su at the beginning of the sentence, “Thou there.” The old MSS. put ην — hēn (relative “which”) after πιστιν — pistin and before εχεις — echeis This principle applies to both the “strong” and the “weak.” He is within his rights to act “according to thyself,” but it must be “before God” and with due regard to the rights of the other brethren. [source]
In that which he approveth [εν οι δοκιμαζει]
This beatitude cuts both ways. After testing and then approving (Romans 1:28; Romans 2:18) one takes his stand which very act may condemn himself by what he says or does. “It is a rare felicity to have a conscience untroubled by scruples” (Denney). [source]
Hast thou faith [σὺ πίστιν ἔχεις]
The best texts insert ἣν which“The faith which thou hast have thou to thyself,” etc. So Rev. [source]
Condemneth not himself [κρίνων]
Rev., better, judgeth. Who, in settled conviction of the rightness of his action, subjects himself to no self-judgment after it. [source]
Alloweth [δοκιμάζει]
Rev., approveth. See on 1 Peter 1:7. “Christian practice ought to be out of the sphere of morbid introspection.” [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Romans 14:22

Romans 7:15 I allow not [οὐ γινώσκω]
Allow is used by A.V. in the earlier English sense of approve. Compare Luke 11:48; Romans 14:22; 1 Thessalonians 2:4. Shakespeare: “Thou shalt hold the opinion of Pythagoras as I will allow of thy wits” (“Twelfth Night,” iv., 2). But the meaning of γινώσκω is not approve, but recognize, come to know, perceive. Hence Rev., I know not. Paul says: “What I carry out I do not recognize in its true nature, as a slave who ignorantly performs his master's behest without knowing its tendency or result.” [source]
Hebrews 2:18 In that [εν ωι]
Literally, “In which” (= εν τουτωι εν ωι — en toutōi en hōi in that in which), a causal idea, though in Romans 14:22 εν ωι — en hōi means “wherein.” Hath suffered Second perfect active indicative of πασχω — paschō permanent part of Christ‘s experience. Being tempted First aorist passive participle of πειραζω — peirazō The temptation to escape the shame of the Cross was early and repeatedly presented to Christ, by Satan in the wilderness (Matthew 4:8-11), by Peter in the spirit of Satan (Matthew 16:22.), in Gethsemane (Matthew 26:39), and caused intense suffering to Jesus (Luke 22:44; Hebrews 5:8). He is able This word strikes the heart of it all. Christ‘s power to help is due not merely to his deity as God‘s Son, but also to his humanity without which he could not sympathize with us (Hebrews 4:15). To succour First aorist active infinitive of the old compound verb βοητεω — boētheō Them that are tempted Dative plural of the articular participle (present passive) of πειραζω — peirazō These Jewish Christians were daily tempted to give up Christ, to apostatize from Christianity. Jesus understands himself (αυτος — autos) their predicament and is able to help them to be faithful. [source]
James 2:17 In itself [κατ εαυτην]
In and of itself (according to itself), inwardly and outwardly dead Same idiom in Acts 28:16; Romans 14:22. It is a dead faith. [source]

What do the individual words in Romans 14:22 mean?

You [the] faith that have to yourself keep before - God Blessed [is] the [one] not judging himself in what he approves
Σὺ πίστιν ἣν ἔχεις κατὰ σεαυτὸν ἔχε ἐνώπιον τοῦ Θεοῦ μακάριος μὴ κρίνων ἑαυτὸν ἐν δοκιμάζει

πίστιν  [the]  faith 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: πίστις  
Sense: conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it.
ἣν  that 
Parse: Personal / Relative Pronoun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: ὅς 
Sense: who, which, what, that.
σεαυτὸν  yourself 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Accusative Masculine 2nd Person Singular
Root: σεαυτοῦ  
Sense: thyself, thee.
ἔχε  keep 
Parse: Verb, Present Imperative Active, 2nd Person Singular
Root: ἔχω  
Sense: to have, i.e. to hold.
ἐνώπιον  before 
Parse: Preposition
Root: ἐνώπιον  
Sense: in the presence of, before.
τοῦ  - 
Parse: Article, Genitive Masculine Singular
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
Θεοῦ  God 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root: θεός  
Sense: a god or goddess, a general name of deities or divinities.
μακάριος  Blessed  [is] 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: μακάριος  
Sense: blessed, happy.
  the  [one] 
Parse: Article, Nominative Masculine Singular
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
κρίνων  judging 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: κρίνω  
Sense: to separate, put asunder, to pick out, select, choose.
ἑαυτὸν  himself 
Parse: Reflexive Pronoun, Accusative Masculine 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἑαυτοῦ  
Sense: himself, herself, itself, themselves.
δοκιμάζει  he  approves 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: δοκιμάζω 
Sense: to test, examine, prove, scrutinise (to see whether a thing is genuine or not), as metals.