Spiritual Liberty: Love It! But at Times in Love Limit It!
Paul (and Truly Mature Christians) are Firm in Their Doctrine/Morals But Flexible With Other People v1-5
Which One of These Three Types of Christians are You?
IOWs: Do You Know/Apply the Biblical Principles of Spiritual Liberty?
1: Strong Believers: do understand/enjoy their spiritual liberty and are not surprised or offended with other believers who have different convictions than they do. This believer is not arrogant about his/her knowledge of spiritual liberty but isn’t surprised when other believers who don’t totally misunderstand him/her. Moreover, they do not try to talk all other believers into embracing their personal convictions in areas of spiritual freedom.
2: Weak Believers: don’t understand their (or others) spiritual liberty. They are surprised and/or offended by other believers whose specific convictions are different than theirs. AND: rather than simply being offended, weak believers can be influenced to violate their convictions by (otherwise totally legitimate) actions of strong believers. This is why strong believers will limit the when/where/how of certain expressions of their spiritual liberty in contexts that could cause weaker believers “to stumble” that is to violate their own convictions because they saw “James or Dale or Jean do X.”
3: Legalistic Believers: don’t understand the principles of spiritual liberty. They believe almost EVERY issue is black/white. They are offended by other believers whose convictions in areas of biblical freedom are different than theirs. But in contrast to weak believers, they will NOT be tempted to violate their convictions when this happens. What they will tend to do is to slander
and question the sanctification and/or the salvation of strong believers.
Legalistic believers are proud of their self-proclaimed spiritual superiority over other believers who dare to have different convictions than they do.
Take This To Heart
Spiritual Liberty: Let’s Love It But at Times in Love Let’s Limit It!
We are to love other believers including weaker ones and legalistic ones, but strong believers should not allow themselves or their churches to be
controlled by legalistic believers.