Are You the Weaker Brother?

Justin Johnson

The Bible says there is such a thing as being weak in the faith. This kind of weakness has nothing to do with physical strength, intelligence, financial status, or self-confidence.

Weakness in the faith concerns a lack of knowledge of God’s will, discernment, spiritual understanding, or conviction.

So, how do you know if you are weak in the faith?

Let’s take a quick strength test. Warning: this is only a test saved people should do. This much weight placed on a dead man will surely crush him (1 Cor 2:14).

If you want to know if you are saved go here first.

The Strength of Faith Test

These questions address common areas of weakness in the faith going back to Paul’s ministry.

  1. Do you think God could be wrong?
  2. Do you think the gospel of your salvation can be found in Matthew, John, Hebrews, or Acts 2?
  3. Do you think you are closer to God when you go to church, or that your pastor is anointed, chosen, or closer to God than others in the church?
  4. Do you think the law can help you live a Christian life now that you are saved?
  5. Do you think there are some mistakes, mistranslations, or missing words in every Bible?
  6. Do you think grace doctrine gives a license to sin, allows sin, promotes sin, or justifies sin and selfish living?
  7. Do you think days like the Sabbath, Sunday, or certain holidays have spiritual significance, and that keeping them pleases God?
  8. Do you think the church fulfills now or in the future any prophecies, covenants, or promises given to Israel?
  9. Do you think we should set aside or be silent about doctrinal differences to gain more people in the church?
  10. Do you think God speaks to you through circumstances, visions, dreams, angels, or that the number of questions in this test may have a spiritual meaning?
  11. Do you think a firm stand for truth works against Biblical unity, love, and peace?
  12. Do you think weaker brothers should be able to hold leadership positions in the church?

How Did You Do?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you may need to be strengthened in your understanding of Truth, right division, life in the Spirit, Bible preservation, your position in Christ, the gospel of grace, or evangelism.

Perhaps you answered correctly, because you know the truth, but do not feel fully persuaded/convicted in your own mind (Rom 14:5). This means you still have room to grow.

I would have failed this strength test when I first was saved. There are still places where I continue to grow. Saints in the church helped strengthen me in Christ through preaching God’s words rightly divided with the right heart.

All the right answers to these questions come from a simple strength of faith in God being true, the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and his word rightly divided. These are necessary tools needed for a workman to be equipped.

All new Christians are weak in the faith. Unfortunately, many remain weak in the faith because churches minister spiritual pablum, entertainment, and emotional spiritualized drivel.

How to Grow

The church is where growth in the faith should happen: a spiritual gym that equips and strengthens saints to be unashamed workmen for the Lord. If your pastor or church fails the test above, then it may be time to test the exits.

Are you the weaker brother?

God’s way for you to be strengthened is in the church by the word with stronger brothers who can bear your infirmities while you learn to lift heavier doctrinal weights (Rom 14:1; Rom 15:1).

If you do not have a church, do it by the word with stronger brothers. If you do not know anyone strong in the faith, do it by the word rightly divided (2 Tim 3:16; 1 Thess 2:13).

It is not a sin to be weak. There are plenty of brothers and sisters weak in the faith. It is a sin to be strong and not help the weak. God’s will is for the weak to be made strong in the Lord (Eph 6:10; 1 Tim 2:4; Col 1:11; 2 Tim 3:17).

“But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:” – Ephesians 4:15

Learn more about the weaker brother principle in our lesson here, or in our verse by verse through Romans 14 or 1 Corinthians 8.

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Published: December 12, 2015
Last Modified: August 31, 2018
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