“We have a little sister and she has no breasts. What will we do for our sister in the day when she will be spoken for? If she is a wall, we will build upon her a turret of silver. And if she is a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar.” vs8-9
If we have a sister, a young and new believer, who is underdeveloped, then we will help her. We do not condemn God’s children, but we point them to Christ, as He has done for us. I’m surprised by the meekness and gentleness of the Apostles! After they learned by the Spirit, the self-serving and contention went out the window. Peter’s hardness, that mind of, “I’m better than others”, was turned into tenderness, after our Lord said, “Feed My lambs (John 21:15).” Peter was changed, as you and I are, after we see ourselves big sinners that have obtained mercy.
Someone asked, “Why are you going to Africa, sacrificing so much?” My response, “Big sinner. Big forgiveness.” The love of Christ compels us to good works, so we’re not motivated by wrath, self-gain, and pride, but we’re humbled to the dust, having obtained mercy. Our faults are exposed and healed! Rather than condemn, He graciously washes our feet, and He teaches us to wash others.
Don’t condemn the young believer for ignorance and fruitlessness. They believe sovereign grace, and they love, but they need growth. They may be caught up in themselves, prone to wander, and they may be more fleshly than should be. Remember the church at Corinth? The churches in the New Testament were young, and Corinth had fornication, pride, and false doctrine. Paul reproved them, and he gave them space to repent, as our Lord does us, when He said, “I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to repent of her fornication (Rev 2:21).” She had time because He’s patient, but continued sin is unbelief revealed, so repentance being refused turns into wrath soon to be coming. This is the way it must be. He says, “If your brother sins against you, go and rebuke him in private. If he listens to you, you have won your brother (Matt 18:15).” That’s the goal: Not making a show of his errors or responding in pride, but dealing with one another for Christ’s sake in the hope they can be won.
We’ve been proud, so we forgive others. We’ve gone the wrong way, imitated others instead of Christ, and we know how to be in bondage as true believers. He delivered us from Babylon AFTER we left Egypt because we would not listen, so He chastened us sorely, then saved us when our power was gone. Do not think that others can’t fall JUST LIKE YOU. You were not built up in a day, so patiently teach them Christ’s grace. Point them to good works and the power of the Spirit. Paul said, “This saying is trustworthy. I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed God might be careful to devote themselves to good works. These are good and profitable for everyone (Titus 3:8).” Don’t deny the gospel, but help them!