Summary: Sermons shows us how to correctly evaluate whether a person is a strong or weak Christian
ARE YOU STRONG OR WEAK ?
By : Ng Wah Lok
Text : 1 Sam 16:6-7, Gal 5:22-26, Judges 16
When Samuel was sent to anoint the new king of Israel, he learned that God’s measure of a person was different than man’s.
1 Samuel 16:6-7 – When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, "Surely the LORD’s anointed stands here before the LORD." 7But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
The same is true today. God’s measure of a Christian is often different than that applied by many people.
A. Wrong way to measure the strength of a believer
1. Attendance at the services of the church.
2. Participation in church activities.
3. Leadership abilities.
At most, these are only indicators that the person may be a strong Christian but we cannot conclude conclusively just based on these external indicators.
a. Companies – ENRON, Bank Bumi – good accounts and cash flow. But the company was rotting inside and people could hide losses in their books.
b. Buildings – eg Petronas Towers – One of the Tallest Twin Towers – but remember the foundation is not seen. It is deep.
- Learn for Discovery – Extreme Engineering.
The problem with this type of “measurement” in 1-3 is that we are evaluating strength from external factors. But God evaluates strength by external factors. I Sam 16:6-7
B. Correct way to measure the strength of a believer.
Galatians 5:22-26 Gal 5:22-26 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
1. Does the person has the life of the Holy Spirit ?
- Spiritual activity inside the person – prayer life, word, worship, operate in gifts
2. Does the person have fruit of the Holy Spirit ?
- Love , joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.
- Character is more important than gifts themselves
- Fruit speak of an inner change in our lives
Young people – follow their parents to church when they are young. But if they do not encounter God when they are young, they will not be in church when they are old
Vision for young people- as big as our Sunday Service.
Meekness – strength under control . Eg Jesus and Moses was considered meek.
- Moses opened the red sea.
- Jesus at the garden of Gathsemane healed the man’s ear.
Reformation from the inside leads to
transformation on the outside.
Let us look at some examples of strength and weakness from the Bible.
1. STRONG MAN WHO BECAME WEAK : SAMSON
Strength of Samson – slays a thousand Philistines with a jaw bone
Judg 15:16 Then Samson said:"With the jawbone of a donkey, Heaps upon heaps, With the jawbone of a donkey I have slain a thousand men!"
Judges 16:1 – goes for a harlot named
Judges 16:4 – Loves a Philistine woman named Delilah
Judges 16:6 – Samson flirted around with the source of his strength
Judg 16:6 So Delilah said to Samson, "Please tell me where your great strength lies, and with what you may be bound to afflict you."
a) v7 – bind me with 7 fresh bow strings.
b) V11 – bind me with new ropes that has never been used.
c) V13 – Weave 7 locks of my head into the web of the loom
d) V17 – If I am shaven, my strength will leave me.
Samson flirts with his strength. You can notice that is his third revelation, he allowed his hair to be touched. It came closer and closer to the source of his strength. Finally at Delilah’s fourth attempt, he revealed the true source of his strength.
When God departed from Samson, all his strength was gone.
Judg 16:20 And she said, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" So he awoke from his sleep, and said, "I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!" But he did not know that the LORD had departed from him.
When we lose the life of the Holy Spirit inside us, our strength disappears.
The saving grace in Samson’s life was that God forgave him of his sin and his strength returned and he could push down a large pillar. In his death, he killed more Philistines than all of his lifetime