As we continue looking at the book of Romans, we’re now starting chapter 14. Here, Paul begins talking about how mature Christians should relate with those who are younger, spiritually.
Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.
This is the generation that definitely needs to hear this teaching. Especially in social media forums, we seem to love to be argumentative. People are judgmental, confrontational, and belligerent. This is because they can stay anonymous while they’re online.
The truth is that we need to portray Christ whether others know who we are or not. That’s why this teaching is so important.
So, with that in mind, the first thing I want to do is define what Paul means by a weak believer. There are a few aspects to this. The root of this Greek word means to be without strength. These are Christians whose faith is without strength.
Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead — since he was about a hundred years old — and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God…
This verse is talking about Abraham. He could look at his situation, and still trust God. He didn’t allow his faith to become weak.
This is what we usually think of by “weak faith.” It’s when we start wavering when things look bad. However, that’s only one side of the issue.
At one point the writer of the book of Hebrews talks about natural priests who have to offer sacrifices for themselves first.
He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness.
This verse tells us that the human priests have to be gentle with those who are ignorant and going astray. The words literally mean unknowing and roaming.
When someone is roaming or wavering in their faith, it’s usually obvious. However, those who are unknowing of the truth, not so much. Many times they’ll be judged and rebuked even though they don’t have the experience to know what the problem is.
We need to be careful in our treatment of those who are younger in the faith. The problem is that chronological age has no relation at all with our spiritual age.
But now that you know God — or rather are known by God — how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years!
In this verse, Paul is upset because the Galatians do know the truth – yet they’re acting as though they don’t. They were observing rules to serve and please God.
This is sometime one of the most noticeable signs of a baby Christian. They need a set of man-made rules to serve God. Please understand that this is not a bad thing.
Rules help a young believer to become consistent in their walk with Jesus. Later on, they can lay aside the rules when they learn to walk by the spirit.
Unfortunately, there are too many times when some older Christians try to push them to act mature too quickly. It actually hurts their growth, and may even push them away from the Lord.
It’s like telling a two-year-old that if he doesn’t mop the kitchen floor, then he’s no longer part of the family. It’s very detrimental to someone’s growth in the Lord.
We must learn to accept people where they are in their spiritual level.
Question: What do you believe is your spiritual maturity level?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi