Weak, Strong, or Pharisee

Without an understanding and application of the differences between the weak, strong and pharisee, it will be much harder to maintain unity in a Church or small group. The distinctions are based out of Romans 14 and 15.

Weak Believer

  1. Differs from my opinion at times.
  2. Not fully convinced.
  3. Sincere but struggles with confidence.
  4. Open to receive instruction.
  5. Surprised at my use of freedom.
  6. Does not think he can teach me.
  7. Affected by my example.
  8. Could be caused to sin by my wrong use of freedom.
  9. If caused to stumble, it’s an “offense given.”

Strong Believer

  1. Differs from my opinion at times.
  2. Fully convinced and at peace with his choices
  3. Convinced and humble.
  4. Has been taught, but is open to correction.
  5. Accepts my choice and is willing to discuss why he differs.
  6. Not hurt by my example.
  7. Not caused to sin by my use of freedom.
  8. Does not stumble, there is no offense at all. 


  1. Differs from my opinion at times.
  2. Fully convinced.
  3. Convinced and proud. He is not open to correction.
  4. Judges or rejects me for my differing conviction.
  5. Seeks to make me conform to his viewpoint.
  6. Not influenced by my example.
  7. Pride will causes him to stumble.
  8. Becomes upset by my use of freedom.
  9. If he stumbles over my freedom, it’s an “offense taken.”

How should we respond to a Pharisee?

  1. Beware of becoming a Pharisee (Matt.16:12; Lk.12:1; Rom.14:3). Basically, a Pharisee is one who fails to distinguish between divine principle or command and personal application. He absolutizes the application — not just for himself, but for everyone else as well.
  2. When questioned by a Pharisee, graciously explain the reasons for your convictions (Col.4:6; II Tim.2:24-25; I Pet.3:14-16).
  3. Don’t capitulate to his pressure to conform to his absolutes (Col.2:8, 16-23), especially on matters of gospel principle (Gal.2:3-5).
  4. Pursue peace (Rom.12:18; 14:19). Your goal is to build him up. If he rejects your efforts to establish harmony, leave him alone and commit him to God (Matt.15:12-14).
  5. Admonish everyone in the church to beware of the dangers of Pharisaic behavior (Rom.15:14). Instruct and exhort the Pharisee openly before the congregation of believers. 

(adapted from Garry Friesen’s book, Decision Making and the will of God)

See also: Warning: Dangerous people

About Wisdomforlife

Just another worker in God's field.
This entry was posted in Accountability, Christian life, Church discipline, Church growth, Church Leadership, Church membership, Community, Conflict, Debatable Matters, Difficult people, Discernment, Pastors, Unity, Wisdom. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Weak, Strong, or Pharisee

  1. Sunny Rowe says:

    I loved this teaching; I have been looking for a good teaching on pharisees. Thank you. I am sharing it in “My Father’s Eyes” with full credit, and absolute ver batum. Thank you so much.

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