Summary: God’s remedy for toward weak members in the body and weakness in the individual.
When We Are Weak We Are Strong
I Cor. 12:22, 23 & II Cor. 12:9, 10
INTRO.: Optometrists have always told me my right eye is considerably weaker than my left. It wouldn’t be so bad, except my right eye, they say, is my "dominant" eye. I don’t understand but maybe it has something to do with being right handed. Doctors have shown me when I read or look off in the distance, most of the work is being done by my weak eye because I favor it.
At first, it seems foolish to favor the weak side, but it’s the natural thing to do in the human body. If an arm is broken or ailing, we tend to pamper it. We may put it in a cast and sling. We use it very carefully and gently.
It’s also true in athletics. Who does the coach spend the most time and effort with, the strong players who execute plays perfectly or those who are a little weaker?
There’s a passage of Scripture, I Cor. 12, that compares the Church, the body of Christ to the human body. It speaks of favoring the weak Christians.
I. Let’s look at I Cor. 12:22-24, which involves ministry, a very important function of the Church.
A. I Cor. 12 speaks of the unity of the Body of Christ, the Church:
1. We were all baptized by one spirit into one body. We have entered the body by virtue of obeying His commands.
2. We all have His Spirit within us: We all drank of the same Spirit.
3. Wherever we are, whoever we are, we are part of the same Body.
4. Not because we occupy the same building or have our names on the same roll, but because we all share salvation in Christ.
B. The essential nature of each part:
1. Just as the human body needs many different parts, so does Christ’s body.
2. Each part has its function to perform. 15-17
3. This is all according to God’s arrangement. 18
4. None of us should see our self as nonessential or look down on anyone else.
5. If a member is missing or not functioning, the Body is crippled.
C. The care of the weak parts. I Cor. 12:22-24
1. Not all members of the Body are doing their job. We need to assist them in growing.
2. This is part of the work of ministry.
3. Rom. 14:1 - "Accept him whose faith is weak."
4. Rom. 15:1 - "We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak"
5. I Thess. 5:14 " help the weak"
D. The goal of it all: 25-27
1. No divisions: Equal concern for one another. 25
2. Consolation in suffering, rejoicing in one another’s accomplishments.
II. II Cor. 12 takes the matter of weakness to a personal level:
A. Paul’s thorn in the flesh: 7-10
1. We don’t know what it was, but it apparently was thought to be a handicap by Paul.
2. He found his weakness became strength because it made him depend on God.
3. He later wrote he could do all things through Him Who strengthened him.
B. There are many Biblical examples, such as the heros listed in Hebrews 11:32.
1. Consider the story of Gideon in Judges 6.
2. He appears as a frightened weakling. Ju. 6:11
3. He has no power of his own. V. 15
4. When he raised an army, the Lord whittled it down so Gideon was once again weak & outnumbered.
5. But God turned his weakness into strength and gave him a victory.