Favorite Sermon Add to Playlist
Photo of Chris Buttery

Slave or Free?

Chris Buttery
Audio Only


The Bible is a book about freedom. Just look at the story of the Exodus, the year of Jubilee, and the ministry of Jesus who came to set the captives free. Without a doubt, truth is liberating. But does responsibility come with this freedom we have found in Christ, and if so, what does that look like? Is the Christian experience one of servitude or are we truly free? Find out in this important message with Pastor Chris Buttery.



  • August 22, 2015
    11:30 AM
Logo of Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 (US)

Free sharing permitted under the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 (US) license.

The ideas in this recording are those of its contributors and may not necessarily reflect the views of AudioVerse.


Video Downloads

Audio Downloads

This transcript may be automatically generated

This morning's message isn't titled slave or free and it. We continue our study in the whole truth looking at truths that seem to be contradictory or opposed to each other but in fact a married to each other twin truths that complement each other and Hans one another and that's what we're going to talk about here this morning slave or free some of you may be familiar with the man gentleman's name by the. His name is Victor Frankl that's his name. Victor Frankl he was a Holocaust survivor and he was the man who wrote the bestselling book Man's Search for Meaning how many of you have read that book Man's Search for Meaning some of you read that and which is considered to be among the top ten most influential books on the planet Earth. Well in his one thousand nine hundred forty six work. He presented an idea that was frankly fascinating and you may have heard of this idea I'm going to quote what he wrote and he's speaking about freedom freedom in this particular section of the book he writes freedom. However is not the last word freedom is only part of the story and half of the truth. Freedom is about the negative aspect of the whole phenomenon whose positive aspect is responsible ness in fact freedom is in danger of degenerating into me arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsible ness and then he goes on to say this very fascinating thing that is why I recommend that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast of the United States be supplemented by a statue of responsibility. On the West Coast and some of you may have good that recommendation floating around from time to time and that's where it actually came from in the book Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl eye Holocaust survivor he saw that freedom and responsibility worked hand in hand. I don't know that I agree with everything that he mentioned in the quote but his idea is very interesting does freedom come with responsibility. What her. If there are no parameters in life. No rules no responsibility. It seems like everybody wants response freedom without responsibility in the two thousand and thirteen song Can't stop now. The following words expressed the sentiment of many it's our party we can do what we want. It's our party we can do what we want. It's our party we can love who we want we can kiss who we want we can sing what we want red cups and sweaty bodies everywhere hands in the air like we don't care. And I think this is the point where they didn't they ran out lyrics where they said. D.. We like to party dancing with Molly on us you Molly is a notice doing whatever we want this is our house. This is our rules. We cannot stop. We won't stop and then in a popular Disney song of two thousand and fourteen we have these lyrics it's funny how some distance makes everything so small and the fears that once controlled me can't get to me at all. It's time that we see what I can do to test the limits and break through no right no wrong. No rules for me I'm free. Let it go let it go. Who likes rules anyway if you ask a non-Christian what his or her main complaint about Christianity is chances are the response would be something like I don't like all the rules than they are that church. Christianity is just about a list of do's and don'ts. I don't like other people telling me what to do. Are these indictments about the church truth is Christianity just about following a set of rules or is there more that meets the eye is the church a barrier to liberty and slaved by its desire to Maine time maintain certain societal norms or structures or is the church a bastion of freedom or liberty calling all to accept what it means to be truly free now. Symons on freedom sometimes or a I admit we past as my. Just so many here are to about religious liberty and the need to extend that God given right to others or will preach. Copious messages regarding freedom from sin and both messages on needed and they are essential but does the Gospel bring other freedoms that we don't often talk about the culture around us has a lot to say about liberty and freedom we are essentially free to do what we want to vote for whom we want to worship the God we want to choose the lifestyle we want to say we what we want and like Frank Sinatra we want to sing I did it my way and for those who don't know who Frank Sinatra is because you're a little too young. It's like fifty cents you used to say we want to do and much doing things my way of doing my own thing. Nothing has a higher professed value in our society. It seems then freedom. Now the principle of freedom is the substance behind the cultures our culture's emphasis on rights the rights movement has ever extended being extended to cover things like animal rights abortion rights and gay rights. Yet we need to ask the question what is freedom truly what is freedom where does it come from and what is it for Coupled with this these questions is anything wrong. Any more is anything wrong. Any more. We sometimes act as if the word freedom has been coined it was coined on the the Mayflower However freedom has been a long prized possession of humanity the ancient Greeks they wrote treaties about freedoms and it was a major concern of the writers of the Holy Scriptures. Now if we're honest we know that the Bible's view on freedom does absolutely violence to many of the commonly held assumptions regarding freedom. Among other things scripture reveals that those who live for themselves striving to exercise their own. And freedom. Actually slaves. While the church is rules when understood correctly in light of God's expectations in His Word actually expressions of freedom and that we will never find true freedom. Unless we are enslaved to our right and to our proper Lord. It's important to remember that we all experience certain limitations in freedom you know when you are free. You are not really truly free you know that right. For example we are limited by our bodies. Some of the short folk in our congregation might think that being told provides copious amounts of freedom but just because we have long legs and we can reach the high shelf in the cupboards in the kitchen doesn't mean that we have for you. Sometimes from back I guess and leg problems because of our longer legs. We are not free always Freedom has certain limitations our bodies limit our natural abilities limit us our natural abilities our histories even our past choices when we think about oppressive tire radical governments dominate many people in the world some including those even in free countries are dominated by their employer by their family. By their friends by societal structures. Some are addicted by alcohol or drugs or to alcohol or drugs choosing sin provides incredible limiting power now on top of that our freedom is compromised essentially by every commitment that we make if you have your bible turn with me to Romans Chapter six sixteen and while poll is dealing with the sin question. It's a very important principle that we need to keep in mind our freedom is compromised with every commitment that we make Romans Chapter six verse sixteen Peeta pull em. And PETA both pointed out that people are essentially slaves to whatever they give themselves to notice Romans Chapter six and those sixteen. He writes Do you not know that to whom you present yourself slaves to obey you. Why to that one slaves. Whom you obey whether of sin leading to death or of a billions leading to righteousness and Peter says the same thing. Essentially in second. Peter chapter two and verse nineteen. We may commit ourselves for example to our jobs to have pleasure for example or to certain class values or even our selfish desires but then those things have a degree of control over us. Now if we choose for those who love the sports cars if we choose to drive a two seated sport car and we think that's going to provide incredible amount of freedom. Think again you can only take how many passages. One. Your sense of freedom brings restriction bring certain restrictions. If we choose to live in an environmentally sound way and probably we ought to do that. Be a good idea. We will be spending time sorting through and recycling certain used materials. Clearly there are limitations on freedom. The issue however is not whether we will be free but which Lord. We will serve. That's really the question now whether we will be free but which Lord we will serve to think that we have free might mean that we might be looking at reality blindly even as Christians who experience the new birth in Jesus Christ we are limited by the world in which we live and as was already mentioned sin severely impinges on our freedom. Remember Jesus said in John Chapter eight verse thirty four Most assuredly I say to you. Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin ego tism. If you're you go to cicle your lawyers be in-service to the need for recognition sexual impurity will always be in service to certain people or magazines or movies or the internet hampering the ability to freely relate to people of the opposite sex coveting will be in service to the things that they can never acquire and the list can go on. You see now the Apostle Paul he viewed our plight as being caught under a what someone termed a hierarchy of tyrants a must. A tyrant being sin for sin. Stablish is the other tyrants and sin brings about condemnation and judgment the Bible says For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and in Roman six twenty three. Paul said for the wages of sin is death and of course the gift of God is a turn to live through Jesus Christ our Lord in polls mind. Sin is not just the actions we perform or the thoughts that we think but it is a powerful force to be reckoned with in Romans Chapter seven verse twenty Paul wrote. Now if I do what I will not do it is no longer. I who do it but sin who dwells in me he saw sin as a force to be reckoned with. That is tyrant number one is the one that tops the law hand in hand with sin the sin with sin is the tyranny or tyrant any of cell of us of self if we give ourselves over to our natural desires but to do if we give ourselves a natural desires is to simply be overcome by the tyranny of sin. That's why Paul counted us and if Asians for twenty two that you put off concerning your former conduct the old man or the old woman which grows corrupt according to the deceitful ness of lust put off the old man and serving under the tyranny of sin is tyrant number three. Satan Satan who is relentless in his desire to hinder and to harm and to destroy Paul wrote in Acts twenty six verse eighteen to open their eyes in order to turn them from darkness or light and from the power of Satan to God that they may receive forgiveness of sins and inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in me Satan is truly a force to be reckoned with and then fourth for the fourth tyrant is death. The good news is a death has been conquered through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and yet. Death is something we must all face this side of eternity if Jesus doesn't come first in Hebrews chapter two verse fourteen Paul wrote in as much then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood. He says himself likewise shared in the same that through death he might destroy him who had power of death. That is the devil and released those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage and Seventh Day Adventists Christians as Christians we don't need to be fearful or afraid of death because death is just a sleep and we sleep a little bit and we slumber just a little bit until Jesus calls and name when he comes back again and that the tombs will be open and honest earth will open up and those who died in Jesus Christ will rise from the dusty beds we do not need to fear death but it is certainly a tyrant. It is certainly a tyrant. It is an enemy the Bible goes on to list numerous other tyrants that try to take away Al freedom from our inability to fear to even our doubts but the outcome for them all is the same Jesus Christ has overcome the tyrants and that's wonderful news. And we've got to say amen today. Jesus came why friends. Why did Jesus come. Jesus came to set the. Captives free free from the tyrants free from the tyrants of sin free from the tyrant of self free from the tyrant of Satan free from the tyrant of death. Jesus came to set the captives free the message of the gospel is that the master tyrant sin has been overthrowing through Jesus by his grace God provides freedom. Not only from the punishment of sin but also from sins Paolo I make no apology for declaring here this morning that there is a freedom in Jesus Christ from sin and you we're sitting here we're living testimonies of the fact that Jesus liberates us from C.N.N.. Want to tell you about Heather some of you know Heather she comes here. She started coming here when we conducted our meetings a couple of years ago Discover revelation embracing these truths giving up hope. Past but she wrestled with the addiction of tobacco and she was very very ill to the extent she was coughing up blood. It wasn't looking good. And as she and church Bible work at G.M. were praying and studying together. Jan challenge her and told of Jesus could set her free and so they threw away all the paraphernalia. She threw away the paraphernalia those Heather had the pride and Heather is free. Heather is free. Heather is free and head has been free for what is a hundred some days under another and I have lost count. I don't know if she's lost count. But she's been free free no desire for nicotine free and not only that when God for you. Her she took in a breath and she realized for the first time she had breathed like that in years before it be shortened breaths. Difficult breaths. But she took in a breath and she never breathed had a break like that in Yes and she walked up steps and she didn't lose her breath she got on a bike and is still riding a bike and doesn't lose her breath well depends on how fast she rides naturally but. Jesus said A free and Jesus healed her you understand that's what Jesus does I make no apology for declaring that Jesus came to set the sinner for you to set the captives free you see for her and for all of us Christ has overcome and he's conquered sin he's conquered Satan and he has conquered death with Christ. Nothing can legitimately keep us in slave keeping us from what God has intended for us to be by His grace through the working of his Holy Spirit true freedom true freedom emerges from a Freedom of the soul freedom of the spirit of freedom from wrong desires from ignorance freedom from barriers within that prohibit authentic living freedom from sin we can never be free until we have free within you read stories of those that were or gay or transgender and their incredible conversion stories. Thank God that they found freedom in Christ that enabled them to be to forgive to be forgiven and to piece their life back together again This friends is the message of the Bible. It's a book of freedom and the Gospel is the Emancipation Proclamation. I want to tell you that starting in the Old Testament the message of freedom rings true. The Exodus story is a is a story of what friends the story when God what liberated his people you see from Egyptian bondage this story becomes the pattern by which God's redemption is described throughout the rest of the Bible. You also have that in the Old Testament the Year of Jubilee You can read about that in Leviticus twenty five when every. Fifty years the fiftieth year deaths were cancelled slaves were freed land reverted to the original land owner or family owners and fields were left on planted and it's a marvelous picture of the Year of Jubilee of freedom within this recurring pattern of liberation no family was continually shackled by past failures or by deaths. When we talk about the day of the Lord the time that Jesus will return when Jesus returns. We understand the Bible teaches that this is a day of deliverance a day of freedom. You see from this world from sin and Satan and temptation free from oppression and what is true and we know this of the Old Testament is definitely true of also of the New Testament think of course about the ministry of Jesus the ministry of Jesus was a ministry of setting people free Jesus released people from the power of demons from sickness and from the burdens imposed by legal traditions. He tore down barriers that prevented Gentiles women and other outcasts from being accepted as a whole person and his offer of the kingdom invited all people into the banquet in his father's house that was the ministry of Jesus Jesus came to set the captives free. Now while other New Testament writers also speak of freedom. I want to talk a minute about the writings of Pole who is often termed the apostle of Liberty apostle of Liberty and Galatians five Verse one he said he wrote stand fast. Therefore in the Liberty by which Christ has made us free and that could be suggested as a great summary of the Gospel that Paul priest and fast in the Liberty by which Christ has made us free when you take just a glance at the a theological words that poll uses to describe salvation. It shows house fitting this summary is for example. All the terms all the terms he uses expresses freedom. Think about the word justification. It's a big theological word justification means what justification means acquittal. He talks about redemption redemption refers to freedom to all release that is obtained by the payment of all of the price such as the purchasing of the freedom of a slave. He uses the word reconciliation excludes expresses the end of hostilities. He uses the word salvation of course which itself implies rescue from danger. That's the theology of poll. Certainly we can suggest that he is the apostle of Liberty. We can only friends find freedom true freedom in Jesus and when we accept him as a lot of our lives. Only then only there we might find freedom only there are various tyrants or tyrannies broken the ancient Greeks then Greeks said that the key to freedom interesting Lee was not caring that was what they said the key to freedom for the Greeks was not caring if Jesus is a lot of allies we will be free because we will not care for the wrong things we will not care for sin. We will not care to follow the natural desires of our hearts we will not care for those things we will not care about propping up our Eagle egos or fulfilling wrong desires. When we care for Jesus concerns. We are free to be what God created us to be. So what does freedom look like in Christ. What is Freedom look like in Christ the Bible texts dealing with freedom. Sound extremely paradoxical sound a little confusing. They all contain words that seem to describe the opposite of freedom to admitting elations chapter five we look at several here together. Let's take a look at a collation chapter five and the. Placements five and verse thirteen. Paul talking about freedom also introduces words that seem to describe the opposite of freedom. So what what is Biblical Freedom what is true freedom what does it look like freedom in Christ collation chapter five in verse thirteen the apostle Paul says for you. Brethren have been called to what liberty. You've been called a liberty only do not use the liberty as an opportunity for the flesh for your kernel desires for selfish desires but through law of do wot serve one another. Hang on a second. Hang on a second. Hang on a second. We have been called the watt liberty what we call the liberty and yet we've also been called to see if we're being called to be servants slave are you slave all are you free or are you both. First Peter chapter two verse sixteen. Let's go over there couple other verses we're going to take a look at first. Peter right over there before you get to Revelation and John three John. You've got first Peter chapter two and verse sixteen notice Peter talks the same way as pulled us first. Peter two verse sixteen he says as free he let's look at verse fifteen for this is the will of God that by doing good. You may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men as. Free you and I are free you and I are free. Yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice. But as was bun servants to God slave or free or both. Let's take a little more James Chapter one. James uses the law of God to it's very interesting what he says here we are probably very familiar with these words. James Chapter one Verse twenty five. Once you notice here. James one verse twenty five. Interestingly he even refers to God's law which many people see as be. Restrictive. But the Christian views as setting a person free providing liberty he even calls the law of God The Lord liberty look at this but he who looks into the perfect lore of what liberty the perfect lore of Liberty and continues in it and is not a forgetful hear about a doer of the work. This one will be a will be blessed in what he does Paul James even refers to God's law what is perceived to be restrictive as the law of freedom the law of liberty. How can that be. How is it possible that God's law provides freedom and provides a liberty in the book education. Page two hundred ninety one I want to read this for you just a paragraph. It says this law talking about the Ten Commandments this law is the preserve of true freedom and liberty the author goes on to say she goes on to say it points out and prohibits those things that degrade and in slave and thus to the obedient it affords protection from the power of evil then she quotes the Psalmist where David wrote in some one thousand nine hundred forty five. I will walk at liberty why because I seek I preset. Liberty apart from a video. No such thing. Liberty apart from responsibility doesn't exist. The law of God was designed to preserve true freedom and true liberty you see pointing out and prohibiting those things which truly in slave and those who obey the law of God It affords protection from the power of evil evil talk about liberty talk about freedom question for you if you placed your sheep and you lived in an area where there are coyote's or perhaps even wolves and you place your sheep and your You're a shepherd just pretend you're a shepherd and you place them in a in a sheep pen in a sheep fold and you're putting him in there ARE YOU. Restricting their liberties or you are providing freedom for them. Why why would you say that because I like to roam they like to be out in the fields or you know that but you also know there are coyotes there are there ravenous wolves out there that like to have their sink their failings into those sheep you see. And so their protection around those sheep injuring the night hours is to protect them and to provide liberty liberty for for living and God's law acts as the same why you see those guardrails you see going up there. The Sierras those guardrails they are not to prevent you from having them to prevent. Prevent you from having a enjoyable driving experience those guardrails on the way up to the sea Sierra Mountains are there to preserve and protect your life and allow you to get to your destination safely. If if it so happens that you have a flat tire and you run into the guardrail. You are protected and prevented from going off the edge and boy if you look down there. It's a long way down those guardrails are not there for your misery. They're there for your protection God's glory is there for us so that we might be preserved alive to serve Jesus you say liberty liberty these words that Paul uses Peter uses James uses it seems I paradox freedom and yet we are servants freedom and yet we are born servants we have to serve freedom and the law that restrictive law is also known as the liberty of Liberty. The key for understanding these paradoxes of Christian Freedom is the recognition that we are not merely freed as Christians from various tyrants that are set out to destroy us. We are freed for obedience and service for God that helps us understand this apparent paradox. We are not free merely from the various tyrants of the set out to destroy us. We are freed for obedience and service for God ten with NATO officials for twenty eight. This is saying clearly over here in the practical practical illustration that poll gives us. If Asians have to for. Verse twenty eight. Notice what he says Let him who stole steal no longer but rather let him do was labor working with his hands. What is good that he may have something to give him who has a need the person who did wrong to satisfy his own desire has been changed being converted and is now working to satisfy the needs of somebody else freed for obedience freed for service you see in other words we are free. We are freed to love and we are free to live as God intended when the Bible writers talk about certain things that the follower of God should not do they are not setting down their own form of legalism they're describing what it means to love for Christ to love for God A person cannot be committing sexual sins greed anger malice and be free from Christ impossible you see they are still in slave to their sins. Instead a Christian must exhibit compassion and humility and justice and patience and forgiveness and especially love to live for Christ is to be truly free to be freed by Christ is to be free to love. According to his word. That's what it means to be free in Jesus Christ but frankly frankly freedom can be a dangerous thing and easily abused. That's why Paul and Peter and James wrote what they did but it nonetheless. But it is nonetheless the fruit of the gospel as someone said freedom is as safe a position. Freedom is a safe position only where there is self control to balance it still the Apostle Paul he needed to spend much of his time helping churches grapple with a new freedom in Jesus Christ while the specific concerns may have chain. In two thousand years the underlying issues poll address just as relevant for us here today in the twenty first century. On take you over the first Corinthians Chapter eight and in First Corinthians Chapter eight verse verses. Postscript the eight through ten in his first letter to the Corinthian believers poll takes the time to answer questions related to the practice of freedom. What it means to be free in Christ. You are truly free you are free person and he does so specifically in chapters eight through ten of First Corinthians. His first letter to the to the Corinthians the question here was Can Christians eat food that has been sacrificed to idols. That was the question that was being asked because most of the food in the markets would have been sacrificed and offered to idleness. Now a few years earlier at the Jerusalem Council and you can read about that in Acts Chapter fifteen a few years early in the Jerusalem Council when it convened they convened to address certain restrictions Jewish converts to Christianity had placed on Gentile converts to Christianity. Namely circumcision at the conclusion of the council. It was agreed that all converts refrain from things offered to idols. Among other things now in Corinth. There were men who were resisting the restriction that the church had placed on them claiming that they had the right to eat what they chose. So while on one hand pole forbade participation in idolatrous practices. He did that on the other hand however he allowed these individuals freedom for allowed freedom for people to buy and to eat food without warring whether it was or had been offered to idols before the aged since as he said as mature Christians I knew that. Look at verse eight First Corinthians Chapter eight and verse four notice. Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols. We know that an adult has nothing in the world and that there is no other God but one. It's just a piece of metal is nothing Paul says it's OK it's alright if you choose to eat it. You're not violating your conscience if it was not a problem for you. You see he said. And so but he goes on to say but however if a person's conscience was offended. Especially someone who is weak. In the faith maybe a new convert maybe not to someone who is weaker in the faith and tempted by idolatry then Christians should abstain from eating things offered to idols he goes on to say that in verses nine to eleven but beware lest someone or somehow or other this liberty of yours become a what stumbling block to those to those what is a say a lost my place. To those. Why are you hang on a second where I am I first Corinthians Chapter eight verses nine through eleven there I am. Yes Thank you. Beware less this somehow this little of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak for if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in and I Lost Temple will not the conscience of Him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things of a dials and because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish for whom Christ has died. Don't do it don't do it. It may not be a problem for you. It's essentially a non-issue but but if it offends causes offense to a weak a brother in so much that he feels compelled. Against his conscience don't do it don't do it don't do it in his presence don't do it when he's around don't talk about doing it in his presence or her presence don't do it now from poles treatment of a similar issue found in Romans fourteen we're just going to kind of break this down a bit go over there with me to Romans fourteen three principles emerge that help US government that should have. As govern the personal freedoms that we as Christians experience in Christ because there are we need governing we need instant struction we need to walk as Jesus walked Romans Chapter fourteen and and it's actually Romans fourteen verse one through Romans fifteen verse six we're not going to read the whole whole chapter here. But before we before we look at some of the worst as in this chapter. Let's reform in your eyes ourself with this particular these particular verses the weak believers in verse one look at what it says they receive one who is weak in the faith receive them. Don't push them back but receive them but not to disputes over what doubtful things and so the weak believers are to be welcomed into fellowship. But not for the purpose of getting into controversies with them. The stronger brethren in the church are not to pass judgment on the reservations of those who are or have a weaker faith. You see or a far more sensitive conscience what it comes to certain things. So the question is Who are the weak which is doing a quick review the we Christians are those who are so eager to be saved that they will do whatever they can. What they believe is required of them to achieve salvation. They'll do whatever it takes. But in the immaturity of their experience they attempt to make their salvation. Thanks attempt to make this of ation more certain by observing certain rules and regulations that are not actually binding on them or any other Christian. However they regard them as absolutely essential for salvation and they get confused and distressed when they see other Christians especially those with more experience who don't share their same concerns and hesitations that's the weaker. Brethren. But we are those we can the faith pole statements in Romans Chapter fourteen you may be familiar have unfortunately been used to put down vegetarians remove restrictions on clean and unclean animals and it's a treaty to abolish the Sabbath. However this chapter doesn't deal with any. Of those issues don't do with any of those issues instead they relate very closely with poles council to the Corinthian believers that he gave a year before writing this letter to the Christians in Rome namely food offered to idols as well as offerings and as well as the keeping of certain feast days which the Jewish converts to Christianity had a very hard time giving up for the gentiles it wasn't a problem. It was a steeped in their culture wasn't something that they did you see. And so they were weak on both sides. They were weak on both sides you see Romans in Romans fourteen. Paul urges that the stronger Christian give sympathetic consideration to the problems of their weaker friends. So what are the three principles that emerge from this chapter to help us govern the personal freedoms that we experience in Christ. So as to not cause disunity and division amongst the brethren. So we go to the first one. I'm going to put up on the screen for you. Each person. This is principle number one each person should determine the validity of an action for him or her self. There is no pope. There are no scholars. There are no friends who you can or should think for you notice in Romans Chapter fourteen verse five those where Paul says one person esteems one day above another another is things every day alike is talking about feast days. Let each be watt fully convinced or convicted in his or her own mind. So here it is if we are to be judged for what we do and we will be we should be assured in our own minds of the particular thing of a particular thing before we act on it. Our conscience is educated by the Word of God is what we are to be obedient to we had to be convinced and our own minds now an emphasis on the necessity of individual decision. However should be. Fuse with individual lives of all our decisions take place in the context of a community of faith which we will get to in just a moment in the end however the individual you and I are responsible for making sound biblical decisions for the life God has given for us to live. It's up to you each person should determine the validity of an action by him or for him or herself. Number two number two. No one should reject another believer for I different practice Romans Chapter fourteen verse three notice. Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats for God has what received Him Look at verse ten jump out of verse ten. But why do you judge your brother or why do you show contempt for your brother for we shall all stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ. Now the US sumption here is the assumption underlying the prince this particular principle these principles is that the area of disagreement is over non essentials not talking about the law of God not talking about salvation here we're talking about non essentials and that both persons are acting for the Lord if they're doing it for the Lord than they are to be received. Don't judge them don't give a hard time receive them because God has received them. Now if sin or if era were the issue then the discipline of the church would be in order. All we would expect the kind of face to face confrontation. Confrontation that Paul had with Peta over Peter's behavior with the Gentile believers when the Jews came down and saw Peter eating with the Gentiles. But in the areas of non essentials nothing should be done to break the relationship between believers or folk. You have a very sensitive conscience and believe that you shouldn't have a television in your home you should not have a T.V. in your home and there are others who say it's OK because I have control of that T.V. and I only watch programs that edify and educate my family that shouldn't be a point of contention in God's church one should look down on another because of their particular practice and I'm not suggesting that the one without the T.V. is the weaker brother even. Now suggesting that the weaker brother may be the one with the T.V. they have a hard problem with the T.V. and they need help and encouragement you see a non essential might be I.E. whole grain bread you eat white bread. Now granted whole grain bread is healthier for you but we're not going to create division and a great divide in the church because someone chooses to be white bread. You see if you. The lady like to wear heels. Don't give the other one who doesn't like to wear heels a hard time and those who don't like to wear heels. Don't give those who are wearing heels a hard time. These are not essential. You see. And we could talk about eco friendly cars vs regular cars on the list can go on these are nonessentials non essentials you say. Christians don't have to agree on everything that I just say that Christians do not have to agree on everything when it comes to non essentials to non essentials in fact they are expected you and I expected not to agree on everything. The key ingredient for all of us however is that our actions are done for the Lord and that we are faithful to His truth. His explicit Will you see given this motive and the conformity to Christ character non essential differences in practice should never be the basis for rejection that's number two number three we should deny our personal freedom and liberty rather than cause offense. So if eating white bread in the presence of. Someone who's very convicted about whole grain bread is going to cause an offense. Guess what I'm going to do I'm going to eat whole grain bread. I eat whole grain bread I don't see why bread anyway but I'm going to whole grain bread. You see what I'm talking about not essentials put away put away those those those opinions and to the right since you have so that you do not cause offense to your brother so that you do not cause offense to your sister Romans fourteen thirteen. Let's take a look at what Paul goes on to say therefore let us not judge one another anymore but rather resolve this not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother's way. Let's continue reading. I know and I'm convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself but to him who considers anything to be unclean to him. It is unclean. Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food. You are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil for the Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit for he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God in approved by men. Therefore let us do wot pursued pursue the things which make for peace and the things which out which one may edify another At first glance friends. This seems to contradict our freedom instead however it is the recognition that faith working through love is actually be a pyramid of our freedom. Remember crush freedom in Christ is freedom for service to others. You see there are times when we will have to sacrifice our freedom our rights but there are also times when we will have to defend our freedom and the freedom of others. We are not at the work at the mercy of the weak apologies. We are not we have to show however concern and sensitivity to them so that they are not offended or excluded from the. Immunity to keep in mind that those referred to as the weaker person implies that they should be taught and you can read that English and six verse one. The problem of course both in Paul's day in our own is that the identification of the weak a person as the one with whom we disagree. Paul essentially concludes his discussion in Romans fifteen verses one through seven by calling us to imitate Christ who chose to edify others rather than himself. And again all these principles assume that we are dealing with non essential matters non essential issues those subjects that are not central to the faith of the believer but determining which matters are essential and which matters are non-essential in itself is an area which you and I can agree and disagree on too would be safe to say that some wars have been fought over what some have considered. Have fought have not fought were nonessentials truly no doubt when Peter refraining from eating with the Gentiles because Jews showed up he did not seem self sacrificing the person. The principle of gospel of the Gospel However poll thought and it was an essential of the Gospel and essential of the Gospel was at stake and he let Peter know it. Some might say you let Peter have it into finding what is essential. We should be placing out emphasis where the Bible does where the Bible does where does the Bible places its emphasis Jesus says you search the scriptures for in them. You think you have eternal life but they are they. Which testify of me the Scriptures focus on Jesus Christ the Scriptures focus on the life. The death his income nation the life the death. The resurrection of Jesus the Bible focuses on the high priest the ministry of Jesus Christ in the heavenly sanctuary the Scriptures talk about the resurrection of of the just and the unjust and Jesus soon and imminent return these us. You see to the believer because that's where the Bible places its emphasis the Bible places its emphasis on obedience to the law of God the Ten Commandment Deca law the new covenant promises that the Spirit of God will write the law in our hearts and in our minds we have a place to emphasis where the Bible places its emphasis the Bible also places a spin for says on the three Angels' messages of Revelation Chapter fourteen the everlasting gospel. That's to go to every nation kindred tongue and people saying with a loud voice Fear God give glory to Him for the hour of his judgment is come and worship Him who made the heavens the earth and all that in them is you see this is the message that we had to focus on that we had to we had to be concerned about the Bible focuses on that message we focus on that message as well. Second angel's message Babylon is fallen is fallen the third angels message do not worship the beast its image will receive its mock or you receive of the wrath of God That's how we determine what is essential by placing our emphasis where the Bible places its emphasis and just out of just for interest where the source says there in the first message Give glory to GOD poll says we have to give glory to God in everything that we eat and everything that we drink and everything that we do this affects our entire lifestyle that is essential that is essential. So where God says do not eat this thing right here. It's unclean. Then we say alright Lord. You know what's best for me. Don't put that alcohol and you'll in your mouth then we say our Lord. If that's what you want then I don't put that in my mouth. I'm not going to touch that stuff you say we don't do those things instead we look at the Word of God we study its principles we see in the Garden of Eden that it would be better that we go back to the Adenike diet you see. But we're not going to hang that over someone's head of beat them up because they're not a vegetarian. You see keeping essentials. First it's the only way to. Place the emphasis in the right place when we place our emphasis where the Bible places it crucial task for us as a church for God's people is to clearly distinguish clearly distinguish as clearly as possible between the Gospel and that which is not somebody highlighted the paradox this paradox of paradoxical freedom this way a Christian is a perfectly free Lord of all subject to none. However a Christian is a perfectly Judah full servant of all servant to all Paul wrote in first Corinthians nine nineteen I'm closing now this is it. Paul wrote in first Corinthians nine nineteen for though I am free from all men. I have made myself a servant to all and why did he do that that he might win more that he might win more poll was willing to labor for others when polled gave his life to Jesus Christ met him there on the road to Damascus his life was forever changed and he was truly free. He experience a liberty in the law but that liberty led him to becoming a slave a servant to others. Why in order to the win them to the Jesus that he had come to know you say Paul was willing to labor for others as a slave does without reward. To advance their welfare like a slave wishing to please his master or become or because he is forced to do so. He was willing to comply with the habits the customs and opinions of others as far as possible without compromising principle and he did this for the sole purpose of winning people to Jesus Christ he did this for the sole purpose of winning people to the Kingdom of Heaven he was prepared to be of no account. If by so doing some might be one to the Lord. You are free. In the Lord is a not just Simon Bishan to be a slave to men as Paul was you are free in Jesus. Now you know willing to be a slave that you might win so Christ this media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse. If you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W.W.W.. Audio verse or.


Embed Code

Short URL