“Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.” (1st Cor. 8:13)
I contend that every weaker brother that Paul met, when he left them, were not as weak as when he first met them.
Expounding truth, the truths of the Scriptures is the responsibility of every born-again believer that has left the milk and moved on to strong meat, we do not leave the weaker brother as we find them. I would ask you to consider this though, can you define that weaker brother from those who profess the Lord only with their lips?
How many people have you met that question your salvation because of the length of your hair, that you must not be saved because you smoke cigarettes or enjoy a fine cigar occasionally? The clothes you wear, the occasional swear word that slips out from your mouth in the moments of great frustration or pain. How about because you eat too many eggs? Don’t laugh, at least not for long, because you have met these people.
Those who believe the finest dress and best suit are the only attire for church, and jeans with a t-shirt means you are either not saved or do not respect the Lord enough when you enter those hallowed doors. Weaker brothers or hypocrites?
“For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:” (James 2:2-3)
Did you know that C.H. Spurgeon enjoyed a cigar on occasions? What will you think if you meet him in heaven and he lights one up? Do you suppose that tobacco smoke is unhealthy to the glorified body? Have you put personal limitations on not only yourself but others when you read the last part of Psalm 16:11, “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
The pleasures that the weaker brother denies himself that are not a sin in the eyes of the Lord, but are to him only because he has not seen the truth yet, will you stop eating meat, or reveal to him in the Scriptures his misunderstanding?
Here is your answer to the previous question, you can tell who the weaker brother is and who the hypocrites are by this one truth, the weaker brother or sister will grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord when it is revealed to them, with great joy and anticipation of continuing to grow, the hypocrite, those who are only professing the Lord with their lips, will shun you.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)
The weaker brother is in some form of bondage, and that bondage is there only because of a lack of wisdom, a lack of understanding, and we are not to leave them there. That strong meat, that Spiritual discernment comes by exercising our faith, by asking the Holy Spirit to guide us in all truth. “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;” (Col. 1:9)
If you are studying to show yourself approved so that you can give an account of your faith, there are few better ways to reveal that faith than to the one who has yet to Spiritually discern the Scriptures, than to help that weaker brother or sister in Christ to see that they are in a cage of their own design. It is one of the main purposes of the man of God and allows that weaker one to glorify the Almighty to an even greater degree.
It is a yoke of bondage they can be freed from, and if the Lord has blessed you with the truth, you are responsible to reveal that truth to them.