Strong or Weak pt 2

The real teaching of weaker vs stronger is surprisingly simple, I think.  The weaker person is the one who believes that his spiritual security or progress is affected by the outside world—the things he touches, sees, eats, hears, etc.  As long as the world can affect his spiritual life, he is at risk.  He must be very careful all the time.  The strong person, on the other hand, is the one who knows that he is absolutely secure in the love of God; that nothing earned him his salvation and nothing can take it away or damage it. 

When the weaker person accidently drinks alcohol that has been mixed into a punch, he becomes afraid and angry.  The same thing happens when he flips a television channel and sees something he believes is wrong.  He worries that what he sees will defile him and he suffers.  When the strong person experiences these things he can simply move on in freedom and peace.  He knows that these things cannot touch him spiritually. 

There are still consequences, of course.  When either of these people drink too much alcohol and become drunk, for example, they can suffer or inflict physical harm.  But, even then, the strong believer knows of God’s continual forgiveness and continues his walk.  The weak believer suffers shame and guilt.  This is not freedom to sin, as some would accuse, but freedom from sin’s effects in the spiritual realm.  In the physical/temporal realm, sin continues to have serious effects.

9 Comments

Filed under Freedom, grace, Legalism, Uncategorized

9 responses to “Strong or Weak pt 2

  1. Jayna Stein

    “When the strong person experiences these things he can simply move on in freedom and peace. He knows that these things cannot touch him spiritually.”
    I love this – I’ve never been able to put this concept into words before. However, the big debate is, do we need to apologize to God when we blow it?? Some say it is putting Christ on the cross again, some say it is necessary to clear your conscience…what say you?

    • Actually, because I think of God as a real person with whom I have a real relationship, I have no problem apologizing to Him. However, it is not asking for forgiveness as though I don’t already have it. It is simply acknowledging that He was right and I was wrong.
      My wife loves me and I am secure in her love. If I fail to do something she wants me to do, I am not worried that she will stop loving me. However, I want to communicate that I understand what I did wrong. That reminds me that she is someone I care about and value and my actions failed to be consistent with that.
      Most of the time, when we ask for forgiveness, we just want the person to stop being angry with us. If we can get them to say that they forgive, then we are free. In other words, it is for us – a selfish need. An apology, in my opinion, is something different. It says to the other person that I understand what I did to hurt him and, because I value him, I regret hurting him.
      Now, neither of these is a perfect analogy. I don’t hurt God when I sin, nor do I disappoint Him. But it seems important for me to admit (confess) where I have done something wrong. Again, not in order to obtain forgiveness, but to remember that He is wiser than I.
      This neither puts Christ on the cross again nor is necessary to clear my conscience. It is simply part of a real relationship.
      How’s that?

      • Jayna Stein

        Yes, I couldn’t have put it better myself. We tend to muddle things and make them so much harder than they need to be, don’t we. I’m learning more and more how simple walking in Christ is – I let go, He does the work. I trust – He fulfills His plan. I empty myself – He fills me and loves through me. I have never been more content in my life. It’s truly a glorious thing!!

  2. Kay

    Hi Dave: This is another right-on string. I am right now walking with several (over 100) TEAparty folks facing the obvious decline in our society. Immediately upon hearing folks talk in meetings, you know who is weak, who is strong. Then, I approach them as I can. They for the most part are angry, under-funded in spirit, seeing from their lack instead of walking in who they are in Christ, if Christian.Good exercise to show our Lord’s strength.
    David, upon hearing Israel was being threatened, came running. His brothers were terrified; he was a little teen who had wrestled with wild animals for the lives of his sheep. Brothers tried to hold him back while their enemies taunted. He obeyed God even if he would have been slaughtered. I see him strong in his weakness, not a hero, but a true believer. IF he had believed his ears, eyes and family, this story would have ended quite differently.

    Could be “We are weak, but He is strong” is a not so subtle reminder

  3. graceandgiggles

    nothing earned him his salvation and nothing can take it away or damage it………..

    Dave, this is my problem – not that I believe my behavior, actions or attitude can take away or damage my salvation; It’s that I have this notion that my behavior, actions and attitude is what pleases the Lord. Saved or not, I must please Him and that is all surrounding me and what I do. How does our secured salvation differ from our pleasing Him. Does that make sense? I can just hear the devil on my shoulder saying, “Yes, your salvation is secured, but you must do this and don’t do that or it will displease the Lord. And you don’t want to do that now, do you?”

    • Cecelia K

      Yes, I would appreciate some clarification on those distinctions, as well.

      • New Creature

        I find John 14:21 helpful: Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father and I too will love him and show myself to him.

        This verse does NOT say if we obey God will love us. It says God loves anyone who loves Christ.

        God cannot love us more than He already does and His love for us is not dependent on our performance. But something happens when we obey. Its like a fog lifts and we can see Him more clearly. God has every right to tell us how to live because He is our creator, but the reality is that He does not benefit from our obedience; we do.

      • Cecilia K

        Thank you, New Creature. I appreciate your response, and the last paragraph makes sense, and I see in the previous one that it says God loves whoever loves Christ, BUT… it also says whoever obeys Christ’s commands loves Him. Ergo, if we prove our love for Christ through our obedience, then doesn’t that effectually mean that God loves those who obey His commands?

  4. New Creature

    Our obedience is our grateful response to His love. It is not proving our love. Once we realize what He has done for us and what He has rescued us from, we will want to do whatever He says is the best way to live.
    He does love whoever obeys His commands…because He loved us first, not BECAUSE we obey His commands. Our obedience is a natural outflow of our love for Him.

    Your can also think of it this way: the wind cause the leaves to move. The leaves moving does not cause the wind. In the same way, His love for us causes us to obey, our obedience does not cause God to love us.

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