Strive To Not Be The Weak One
By: Brian A. Yeager
The Scriptures teach us that there will be weak members in the local body of Christ (Romans 14:1). The stronger brethren are then working to strengthen that weaker member and working not to offend them. Here are the Scriptures that prove these points: “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves… 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? But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend” (Romans 15:1 and I Corinthians 8:9-13).
I am not saying that weak brethren are not an important part of the local church. In fact, they are necessary (I Corinthians 12:22). Yet, the weak cannot stay weak (Isaiah 35:3-4). Sometimes, brethren will fall into a comfort level of being weak. They think that being weak means less will be expected of them and that everyone else will always be catering to them. This is an error in thinking. Spiritual weakness, if not resolved, leads to spiritual death (I Corinthians 11:27-32). On top of that, the spiritual weakness of one also becomes a setback for others.
As a congregation, we can only grow spiritually as far as we can grow together. We cannot leave brethren behind and press forward without them (I Corinthians 12:24-27). We are spiritually tied together (Romans 12:4-5 and Colossians 2:19). We are all running a race to finish the course of this life faithfully to receive the reward of eternal life (I Corinthians 9:24-27). If you were literally running a race and you pulled a hamstring muscle, you could not cut off your leg and just keep running. In fact, you’d pull up limping and would need medical care. Brethren, this is true of the body here in at Sunrise. If we have injuries spiritually, we are all called to a slower pace and eventually a halt in forward progress. If you are the torn hamstring, it is time to fix it.
Leaving The First Principles And Going Unto Perfection
Notice these inspired instructions: “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment… Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised there by. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed” (Hebrews 5:12-6:2 and Hebrews 12:11-13).
If you are the weaker brother or sister in Christ, you should have just understood that God expects more of you. He doesn’t want any one of us to live permanently as babes in Christ. We’re supposed to grow (Colossians 1:10, I Peter 2:1-2, and II Peter 3:18). That growth process will make you stronger, not weaker. It is God’s will that all of us become strong in Him.
God Wants Us All To Be Strong
God has always expected strength out of His people. Notice these Scriptures: “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest… And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD… Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts… Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong… Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Joshua 1:9, I Chronicles 28:20, Haggai 2:4, I Corinthians 16:13, and Ephesians 6:10).
You cannot read the Scriptures above and conclude that God is pleased if one of His children stays weak. We have to grow and be stronger. Thankfully, the Lord hasn’t expected anything of us that He has not equipped us to be or do. God has given us what we need to become strong Christians.
The Lord Has Provided Us With What We Need To Be Strong
The Scriptures teach us that the way of the Lord is strength to the upright (Proverbs 10:29). The Lord will give strength unto his people (Psalms 29:11, Isaiah 40:31, and Philippians 4:13). The first tool that God has given us for us to be strong is His word (Psalms 119:28). Brethren are another great tool God has given us to help us be strong (I Samuel 23:16, Galatians 6:2, and I Thessalonians 5:11; 14). Therefore, we all (weak and strong) should have our heads in the word of God and spend some time with one another to strengthen one another. If you are weak, it is not because God hasn’t given you what you need to be strong (II Timothy 3:16-17).
When Daniel prophesied of the kingdom of our Lord, whom we are (Colossians 1:12-13 and Hebrews 12:28-29), he prophesied of a mighty kingdom (Daniel 2:44-45). Are you making the kingdom stronger or weaker? If you find that you are weakening the kingdom, use the tools God has given you to correct that. As God said to Asa: “Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded” (II Chronicles 15:7). Then, respond to that as Asa did (II Chronicles 15:8-19).
Volume 13 – Issue 13 - December 16th, 2012