Summary: A message on allowing our conscience to guide our actions.
CONSCIENCE, A TRUE GUIDE?
INTRO: Paul now returns, after a brief illustration from his own life, to the main subject of this entire section of scripture. The subject of eating meat of fered as a sacrifice to idols. Paul refers to the ceremony of the Lord’s Supper to show that a person cannot sit at the Lord’s table, and then sit at the table of idol worshippers as well.
Paul says, we must not judge our actions by the standard of what is lawful, but we must also decide whether it is profitable and edifying or not.
I. HE CAUTIONS US AGAINST ABUSING OUR LIBERTY IN
A. Things which will not edify, and are expedient (helpful), may
1. Examples are:
a. Sexual immorality.
2. The pagans had the idea that their god was present at the meal
and was present in the meat.
3. By eating the meat, a bond developed between the partaker of
the meat and their pagan God.
B. We must be concerned with our brother’s welfare.
1. We must be careful not to hinder them in finding Christ, or liv
ing a christian life.
2. Those who allow themselves to do things not plainly sinful will
be led into greater temptation.
a. Movies for example. From PG rating, to PG-13, to R, to X.
b. Game called "Chicken" played with a car.
3. Sometimes I think we see how near we can come to sin without
II. WHAT WAS SOLD IN THE MARKET THEY COULD EAT
A. The priest’s sacrifice was often sold in the market.
1. It wasn’t necessary to ask the butcher if this was sacrificial
2. Everything belongs to God.
B. Though it is sinful to use food in an idolatrous manner—it is
not sin—after such uses-to use it in a holy manner.
ILLUS: D. L. Moody taking a $20 gift from a bootlegger.
1. 1 Timothy 4:4-5.
2. Titus 1:153.
There is a book in publication called Cooking with Insects, about
how to use bugs in food dishes.
III. IF INVITED BY SOMEONE TO A BANQUET GO AND
EAT WITHOUT QUESTION.
A. We have a civil responsibility.
B. If someone says it is offered to idols—don’t eat. Your weaker
brother’s conscience will cause him to sin if he follows your
example of eating the meat.
C. Though Christians should be careful to know and understand
their duty—we should not by needless inquiries cause ourselves
IV. WE SHOULD REFRAIN WHERE IT WILL GIVE OF
A. Another man’s conscience is no measure for our comfort.
1. What he thinks unlawful is not necessarily unlawful for us.
2. As long as I give thanks to God for what I have and do.
B. But Christians should not use their liberty to hurt others or
hurt their influence upon others.
CONC: Your freedom is expressed, not lost, when you forgo what is permissible in order not to hurt an immature Christian.