Watson on the Weakness of Our Faith
Hello, this is Pastor Don of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to The Kingdom Perspective.
Sometimes we can struggle to have patience with the weakness we see in others. This impatience speaks not to our superiority but to our sin. God is patient with the weak.
Worse, sometimes we can struggle to have patience with weakness in ourselves. We are disappointed with the weakness of our own faith. Again, this speaks more to our sin than it does to our faith. In our sinful pride, we judge and condemn ourselves.
The good news is that God’s grace is no match for our sinful pride. God can more readily save the sinner than the one who thinks he is righteous; he can more readily save the weak than the one who thinks himself strong. The weak reach out their hand for help. That is the hand of faith. The one who thinks he is strong never reaches out his hand for divine help. His hand is too strong to need God’s grace. He has no faith because he’s convinced he needs no grace.
The great Puritan preacher Thomas Watson put it this way:
“The weakest believer is a member of Christ as well as the strongest; and the weakest member of the body [of Christ] shall not perish. Christ will cut off rotten members, but not weak members. Therefore, Christian, be not discouraged. God, who would have us receive them that are weak in faith, will not himself refuse [us]. Rom 14: 1.”
~Thomas Watson (1620-1686), Cambridge (Emmanuel College) graduate and Puritan pastor in his work The Ten Commandments
My friend, God is tender and gentle with the weakness of your faith. It is not the strength of your faith that saves you but the strength of Christ. Your faith may be small. Your Savior is big.
Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.
As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions…. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand…
Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written,
“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
and every tongue shall confess to God.”
So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.
Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother…. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.
~ Romans 14:1,4,10-13,19 (ESV)