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Questions of Conscience - Part 2

Romans 14:13-15:7, Andrew Love, January 21, 2018


Sermon Notes:

Introduction

  • A continuation from last week
  • Looking at an area of doubtful/debateful things
    • Grey areas
    • Issues that can divide Christians
  • Secondary issues of Christian practice
    • Speaking of the strong and weak Christian
  • Not central matters of doctrine - examples
    • By comparison - fairly minor issues
    • Examples
    • Not just to do with preference - areas where the Bible does not give all the details
      • Guiding principles - e.g. Modesty in dressing
    • Not to be debating about the debatable things but to concentrate on the central things
  • Paul is burdened by unity
    • 14:19 – Let us pursue peace and edify each other
    • 15:5 – Let us be like minded like Jesus Christ
    • 15:6 – To have one mind
  • In issues of difference we must accept our brothers position
    • Example of marriage
  • Last week looking at v1-12 – Three ways to act:
    • Receive
    • Guard your own attitude
    • Be fully convinced
  • Three reason why:
    • Christ has received Him
    • He is doing it for the Lord
    • Christ is our brothers judge
  • This week: 14:13 - 15:1
    • Previously speaking of the weak:
      • Paul is a Jewish Christian
      • Paul is a strong Christian
    • Majoring upon the strong
  • Overview:
    • What is a stumbling block?
    • Why should we not do this?
    • How ought we to act?

What is a stumbling block?

  • When you become another's conscience
    • When you make another follow your practice instead of relying on the word of God
    • You may bring spiritual ruin to him
  • You are offending him
    • You are doing something innocent before God but knowing it is bringing offense into his life
      • It is not for a minority to hold the church to ransom
      • Example from Brazil
      • Example of Timothy and Titus
    • Example of alcohol, eating a meal out on Sunday
  • Paul is convinced by the Lord that there is nothing unclean
    • However, if anyone considers anything unclean, it is unclean
    • Do not force your views on them

Why should we not do this?

  • 14:15b, 14:20b, 14:23
  • Three negative reasons:
    • 14:15b – It might lead a brother to spiritual ruin
      • If a believer begins to violate his conscience he is on a slippery slope
      • He should not follow other Christians
      • Personal example
    • 14:20 – We do not want to destroy the church of God
      • We must allow others freedom to hold their position under the Lord
      • We do not want to harden people to disagreement and separation
      • Sometimes it would be wiser to be silent
      • We do not want to destroy the church of God
    • 14:16 – we may be maligned and our position might be though of as evil
  • Three positive reasons:
    • 14:17 – The Kingdom of God is far greater than any secondary issues
      • It is not about external matters 
      • Example of Baptism
    • This pleases God
      • 15:2
    • Love builds up

How ought we to act?

  • 14:21 - Make a resolution and decision not to do anything spiritually offensive or cause a brother to stumble
    • Examples
    • Consider the other person
    • Follow the word of God
    • Refrain from anything that gives the appearance of evil
    • Not to flaunt our position
    • Give people time - stand in your own faith (14:22)
    • Be selfless

Closing Remarks


About Andrew Love: Pastor at Tabor Church


Sermon Passage:
Other sermons:
Earlier: Same day: Later:
« Questions of Conscience - Part 1 My eyes have seen the King Salvation by Grace »

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