The Apostle Paul wrote, "We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves" (Romans 15:1). He thus plainly accepts the fact that there will be infirm persons among the believing members of the spiritual community we call the local church. He tells us to bear them, or bear with them in their weakness.
Now who are the infirm persons in the church" How can we identify them" Not how can we find them, for they are sure to be easiest of all persons to find. Their very infirmities make them conspicuous. The infirm brother is the one who has painful conscientious scruples about foods (Romans 14:1-2); or he has deep convictions about certain holy days (Romans 14:5-6); or his grasp of gospel truth is weak, and he is forced to support himself by various crutches which he may have found in some religious attic. To him these scruples are sacred; consequently, he is likely to try to force them upon everyone else, and in doing so he is pretty sure to make very much of a nuisance of himself. That is where the "strong" Christian gets opportunity to give his patience a workout. He dare not dismiss the overheated brother; he must bear with him in love, knowing that he too is of the company of the redeemed.
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Are You Feeling the Wind" 'God hath called you to Christ's side,' wrote the saintly Rutherford, 'and the wind is now in Christ's face in this land; and seeing ye are with Him, ye cannot expect the leeside or the sunny side of the brae.' With that beautiful feeling for words that characterized Samuel Rutherford's most casual utterance he here crystallizes for us one of the great radical facts of the Christian life. The wind is in Christ's face, and because we go with Him we too shall have the wind in our face. We should not expect less. The yearning for the sunny side of the brae is natural enough, and for such sensitive creatures as we are it is, I suppose, quite excusable. No one enjoys walking into a cold wind. Yet the Church has had to march with the wind in her face through the long centuries.
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