How would you describe a strong Christian? If you were to make a list of what characterizes a mature Christian, what would you put on that list? At Theocast, we are convinced that many would not answer these questions the way the apostles would have. As we look to the New Testament, what does it say about those who are strong in the church?
Semper Reformanda: The guys discuss parachurch ministries and how they have often contributed to the confusion about what characterizes a strong Christian. Then, we talk more about the necessity of ordinary faithfulness in loving the weak in the church.
Giveaway: “Spurgeon’s Sorrows” by Zack Eswine
FREE EBOOK: theocast.org/primer
1 Thessalonians 5:14
SUPPORT Theocast: https://theocast.org/give/
Jon Moffitt: Hi, this is Jon. Let me ask you this one question: what is a strong Christian? Is it one who is disciplined? Is it one who has read a thousand books on Christianity? How would you describe a strong Christian according to the Bible? That’s what Justin and I are going to talk about today on Theocast. We might have a little bit of a twist to the question. We’re going to look at it from Romans 15. We hope you enjoy. Stay tuned.
What are the marks of a strong Christian? Often, things that can cripple us and drag us down are things like depression and the dark night of the soul. This conversation is birthed out of a conversation we had at a men’s Bible study and a sermon that I preached recently. We’ll put the sermon in the notes as well.
The conversation we want to have today are the marks of a strong Christian and those marks, if we were to do a survey, it would probably have been fun to do and see what people would have come up with. I’ll throw a couple out, Justin. I’ll let you throw a couple out. Ones that we’ve heard that normally, when we think of someone who is strong, this is someone who for 20 years has been faithfully on their knees for 30 minutes in the morning, an hour in the word, and really just hasn’t missed unless they’ve been sick. The mark of a dedicated, faithful, disciplined Christian—that right there is a strong Christian.
Justin Perdue: For me, whenever I’ve heard people talk about being a strong Christian, the first word that pops into my mind is discipline. It’s a person who is disciplined in their life—and that may be with respect to prayer, Bible reading, but it could be any number of things. It’s a regimented, ordered kind of life. I think a lot of times we think of Christians as being strong when they don’t struggle with particular kinds of sins—the more taboo, public, obvious kinds of sins—they don’t deal with those in the same way that others do, and so therefore they’re strong.
Jon Moffitt: One of the guys described it as there are no extremes—you don’t see an extreme high, you don’t see an extreme low, they’re just steady. Steady Eddie, the guy with the gray hair who just always is: he’s always there and he’s always faithful. That’s the strong Christian. Some of these things are true.
Justin Perdue: Some of these things are good. To be really clear, we’re not saying that discipline, steadiness, and not struggling with certain kinds of obvious sins are bad—all of those things are good.
I’ll just go ahead and say this, Jon, that if you were to take a survey of the top five things that should characterize a Christian, I am relatively confident that most of us would not answer that and would not fill that out the way the apostles would have. As we’re getting to the number one thing that should mark us, it’s pretty obvious in the New Testament and it’s not what we would put first.
Jon Moffitt: No, it is not.
We’re going to look at several passages, but we’