Christian Universe ™
From Weak To Strong
February 10, 2013
The weak cannot choose to remain weak in the Lord, but must exercise themselves to godliness in order to grow into the stature of the body of the son of God. The strong have an obligation to encourage the weak to learn and grow. Christ does not want, nor does He deserve, a weak and sickly body composed of ignorant and selfish individuals who are more comfortable staying in spiritual infancy.
From Weak To Strong
by Bernie Parsons
Presented to Load church of Christ on 02-10-2013
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 02-17-2013
Last time, we spoke of the obligation of strong members of the body of Christ toward the weak. I showed how that the strong should not hide behind the excuse of being weak in order to get their way. I also spoke of the necessity of the weak growing, gaining strength, and maturing spiritually.
Some are weak in Christ because they have recently been added to the body. Newly born again believers are weak, just as any infant is weak. These need a weak food at the beginning.
1 Peter 2:2 "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious."
When I was a child, the older children were expected to help take care of the younger among us. We older in the family of God have an obligation to help feed the young, starting with the milk.
Sometimes, people fail to grow and need to continue with milk, but that is not good. More solid food is needed to provide more nutrition for grown, and so it is with spiritual development.
1 Corinthians 3:1 "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able."
The apostle Paul chided the Corinthian church for not being able to eat the solid food. Those who do not grow in the Lord are fleshly and not spiritual.
Hebrews 5:11 "Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
12 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.
13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
14 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."
There comes a time where members of the body of Christ must grow and be capable of teaching others about Christ and His death for the sins of the world. Our development results from exercising our senses as we learn to differentiate between good and evil. That knowledge must be of good and evil as God views it, and not as we might determine.
1 Peter 3:15 "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:"
If we do not understand whom we follow, or the way in which we walk, how can we rightly tell others about it? Or, will we do as some, and say, “I don’t know -- go ask my preacher!”
2 Peter 3:17 "Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen."
As we study and learn of Christ, we grow in knowledge and God’s grace.
The stronger and more spiritually mature among us must nurture the younger and weaker.
Ephesians 6:4 "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
Even as parents nurture their children in the teachings of the Lord, and admonish them when they make mistakes, the mature in the body of Christ must do the same for the immature.
Romans 15:14 "And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another."
Colossians 1:28 "Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:"
2 Timothy 2:24 "And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;"
In this way, knowledge is gained and with that comes growth.
Ephesians 4:11 "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."
When we love each other, we want to see each other grow in the Lord, because with our own personal growth comes the growth of the entire body.
After learning of the Lord and following His basic teachings, we can help each other grow by attending to the other things.
Luke 6:36 "Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."
Romans 12:10 "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;"
1 Peter 3:8 "Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:"
Mercy, deciding not to judge, forgiving, sharing, showing kindness and affection, brotherly love, valuing others above ourselves, compassion, love, pity, and being courteous are some of things that we must learn to round our spiritual lives, to bring us to spiritual maturity.
We have our hands full looking after our own development and that of our brothers and sisters. But, if we will all work together, we will grow ourselves, each other, and the body of Christ!