“Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.” (Romans 14:13)
The topic of Christian liberty and charity occupies that remaining verses of this section. The tense of the first command conveys the idea of cessation of an act already in progress, “Let us therefore no longer be judging one another.” The tense of the second command conveys the idea of commencement, “But this rather start judging.” Man's pride motivates him to sit in the judgment seat of God, and determine, based upon his own understanding and desires, who is, and who is not spiritual. The Holy Ghost commands the cessation of all such carnal behavior. Rather than condemn a brother for infringing upon perceived “rights” and liberties, it is high time that each man become more concerned about the spiritual welfare of his neighbor; even if that welfare involves the sacrifice of legitimate liberty. The text now makes it quite clear that each believer is ultimately exhorted to the higher calling of charity.
The word stumblingblock conveys the meaning of something which is causing a spiritual hindrance in a brother's life. The word translated an occasion to fall conveys the idea of that which has led him directly into sin. It is the word from which the English word scandal is derived. If the stronger brother is not careful, his liberty to eat meat offered to an idol could very easily lead a weaker brother into sin. The weaker brother, following the stronger brother's example, may partake of meat which he believes to be offensive, but he has chosen to disregard God in his thinking and eat it anyway. Even though the meat is morally harmless, that brother has been led into sin because he eats in rebellion against God, and not for God's glory. Even though the meat itself cannot make a man morally impure, the weaker brother has sinned because he has gone against God in his thinking, all because the stronger brother cared more about his liberty than a man's soul. This is what Paul meant when he said, “But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; and through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died (I Corinthians 8:9-11)?”