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Scripture Reading:  Galatians 6:1-5


1.  A wide range of spiritual ages in every church (babes to full grown).

2.  All have weakness at times (Matt. 26:41; 1 Cor. 10:12).

3.  Definition:  Without strength, feeble, frail, hesitating.

4.  Three basic areas of “weakness” we must understand so we can practice love toward the weak. 

5.  Then, see scriptural teaching on how to practice love toward weak.


I. WEAK IN CONSCIENCE (Scruples), 1 Cor. 8:7-9, 10-12; 9:22.

  A.  This Person is Without Full Assurance toward a Matter that is Morally Indifferent before God, Rom. 14:1-2, 5, 14, 20, 23.

    1.  This type of weakness is not a sin.

    2.  Being doubtful, timid or unsettled in conscience toward a matter of personal liberty, the weak refrains from using the liberty.

      a.  “Weak” in reference to combining knowledge & a clear conscience in the use of a liberty (i.e., meats sacrificed to idol), 1 Cor. 8:7-10.

      b.  Weak conscience, 1 Cor. 8:12.

      c.  Doubts of conscience toward morally neutral things (Rom. 14).

  B.  Practicing Love toward the Weak in Conscience.

    1.  Don’t cause them to stumble; bear with their scruples, Rom. 15:1.

      a.  By giving up your own liberty to protect the weak from sinning, 1 Cor. 8:13; 9:22; 10:23, 27-29 (Forbearance & self-restraint).

      b.  Don’t ridicule another’s conscience.

      c.  Jesus bore our sins; we must bear each others’ weaknesses.

    2.  Receive one another without disputing, Rom. 14:1, 19, 7-9.


II. THE SPIRITUALLY WEAK, 1 Cor. 11:30; 1 Ths. 5:14.

  A.  These have Fallen into Sin due to their Weakness, Gal. 6:1-2; Jas. 5:19-20.  (This type of weakness is a sin, Jas. 4:17.)

      -Negligent, disobedient ones.

  B.  Practicing Love toward Spiritually Weak: Strengthen & Restore.

    1.  Carry their burden, Gal. 6:1-2.

    2.  Teach them the way of the Lord, Heb. 12:12-13.

    3.  Be merciful, not impatient, Jude 22-23.


III. THE SPIRITUALLY IMMATURE(Not necessarily a sin, but can be.)

  A.  Described as Babies Who Need to Grow Up, Heb. 5:12-6:3.

    1.  New convert is “weak” in the sense that he has not yet had time & opportunity to grow to maturity.

      a.  Spiritual immaturity (as such) is not called “weakness” in NT.

      b.  Spiritual immaturity is not sinful in itself, 1 Pet. 2:2.

    2.  However, when a Christian will not grow, he becomes weak & unfaithful, 1 Cor. 3:1-3.

  B.  Practicing Love: Help Such Grow to Maturity, Eph. 4:15-16.



     -[Addressing the Problems that Arise With Weak Brethren]

  A.  Examine Your Heart toward the Weak Person.

    1.  Humility, 1 Cor. 8:1-3.

    2.  Love, 1 Cor. 8:1.

    3.  Gentleness with self-examination, Gal. 6:1.

  B.  Assess the Present & Long Term Need.

    1.  Is truth at stake?  Is a soul in danger of sin & death?  Acts 20:20

    2.  Is it an area of personal liberty that is morally indifferent to God?  (Rom. 14:1, 13)  If so, then Rom. 15:1-2 applies.

  C.  Support the Weak, 1 Ths. 5:14.

    1.  Forbearance, meekness, longsuffering (2 Tim. 2:24-26).

      a.  Forbearance:  “A holding back,” “moderation.”

      b.  Meekness“Gentle strength,” - cf. 1 Cor. 4:21.

      c.  Longsuffering: “Quality of self-restraint in the face of provocation which does not hastily retaliate or promptly punish.”

    2.  Use your opportunities to teach, encourage, guide, help strengthen, convert the weak; Speak up, give support!



1.  Our goal toward weak brethren is their strengthening & salvation.

2.  The church will be stronger & souls will be more secure in the love of God when we practice love toward the weak!