Romans 14:1 “Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.”
March 2, 2017
Every professing believer desires to be recognized as a strong and mature Christian. Yet, this desired persona is often exposed as fraudulent when betrayed by one’s actions in real life. While it is quite easy to talk as a mature believer, situations in life have a peculiar way of revealing the truth of one’s spirituality.
It is not knowledge alone, that is to say it is not merely what one knows intellectually, that matures one in his walk with Jesus Christ. In regards to the matter of Christian liberty and genuine spiritual maturity, the Apostle Paul declared in his letter to those in Corinth: “Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known of him” (1 Corinthians 8:1b-3).
Knowledge cannot replace God’s love! We are to mature in our knowledge of Jesus Christ, however, to do so is to mature in His love also. This very love can be demonstrated in how we receive one another in the love of God.
In Romans 14:1, Paul stated that the weaker brother is to be received by the stronger, yet not for the purpose of debate or criticism. In other words, we receive each other, in Christ, as God has received us in Christ. We are to disciple, instruct, and teach, but we are not to simply debate for the sake of winning an argument. As believers in Christ, we each have a tremendous privilege of using Christian liberty to serve one another selflessly, as Jesus Christ served. To do otherwise is to reveal a lack of spiritual maturity, not spiritual strength.
Spiritual maturity will be manifested not by what one knows, but rather by whom one loves. To love God is to love the people of God. Jesus testified of this truth to His disciples in John 13:35: “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” The testimony of our love for God is revealed by our love for the brethren. Knowledge is important, but what one knows will result in nothing more than mere vanity, unless that knowledge is exercised through godly love.