5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.
In the first four verses, Paul addressed the subject of judging one another. In verses five through eight, he turned to how those on each side of the controversy should look at themselves. We are people under the sovereign control of the Lord.
Verse five introduces an additional divisive area. Some people believed that certain days were special in God’s eyes, but others believed that no day is special.
5 One person [the weak] esteems one day above another;
Weaker Christians consider some days to be more sacred than others. This was the second area of dispute among Christians in Rome.
another [the strong] esteems every day alike.
Stronger Christians deem each day alike. All days belong to God. Each day offers opportunities to serve Him.
Co 2: 16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths,
Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.
Whether or not one holds a given day as more sacred than another is not the issue. The crucial matter is that each believer must be convinced in his own mind. The essential principle is that a person should not violate his own conscience.
There is a clear biblical principle that abstaining from eating meat and observing certain days as holy is wrong (Ro 14:14, 22-23). Having established that legalism is wrong, we need also to take into account that a person might not be mature enough to come to grips with the principle of grace. A person with a scrupulous conscience is another matter. The exceptional issue is that a weak or immature believer must come to his own convictions about grace and the liberty it affords him.
The phrase “fully convinced in his own mind” indicates our liberty in Christ to make a decision about what we believe. Liberty, therefore, is central to making a decision on disputed things. Legalism is the opposite of liberty. Paul made no prescription about which day was for worship. This kind of choice cannot be imposed on someone who has not come to a conclusion about it. People must make their decision from the liberty of examining the doctrine for themselves.
God expects Christians to seriously examine what they believe.
A settled conviction about what one believes is high priority in God’s system of values. Our convictions are to be our own. Our decisions should not be made on how someone else believes or acts.
It is not healthy to accept in an unqualified manner what someone else believes, because then it will not become a matter of personal conviction. If we practice what we do not believe, we will undermine our conscience. It is important to come to an honest decision about what we believe.
Each believer is responsible for his view on the subject of a special day. An onus lies on him to honestly look at Scripture on this point. We cannot deny this responsibility by saying, “That has always been my view,” or, “I just grew up with that belief.”
Christians can disagree with each other on certain issues yet can at the same time be convinced of their own position. On certain issues it is not necessary to impose our conclusions on others, because an immature believer may need time to grow in grace.