Paul was exhorting believers to be sensitive to others by the leading of the Spirit. The strong in faith are to take the weak under their tutelage through God’s grace and mercy, in tenderness, and not dispute with them over questionable convictions and practices.
In 1 Corinthians 1-3, 8, 9, Paul explained, “Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. But the man who loves God is known by God… Food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do. Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.”
Christ gave man the right to make choices, but this freedom does not permit or require him to exercise liberty selfishly. Christians are commanded to love one another as Christ has loved them. Paul realized a great danger in unrestrained Christian liberty: by disputing, one can cause a weaker brother to sin. In 1 Corinthians 9:22, he wrote, “To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.”
Paul went on to say, “So we make it our goal to please Him… For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:9, 10)
Jesus came to Earth and was crucified in weakness because He limited His power for one purpose only: to represent His Father. He died for the weak, the ungodly, the sinner, and “no one else”. That includes all of humanity.
Many people of faith are inclined to be bitter because they walk by conscience. One of the greatest lessons a Christian can learn is to let the Holy Spirit lead. Only as a person walks in the light of the Lord’s grace, mercy, and love, does bitterness and contention become impossible.
Choate Baptist Church welcomes you to join them for Sunday School at 9:45 a.m., Sunday Morning Worship at 11 a.m., and Sunday Evening Worship at 7 p.m. They also meet for prayer on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Brother Odom’s message can be heard on KAML 990 AM and KCAF 92.1 FM each Sunday morning at 8:30.