Summary: This sermon deals with what happens when our Christian Liberty leads another person into temptation.

Should I Help My Brother Or My Sister

GNLCC 5/20/2001 2 Sam. 11:1-5 1 Corin. 8:1-13

Suppose you had invited someone over to your home. Let’s suppose there was a skunk outside and something scared it so that it gave off it’s scent. The smell begins to enter the home. You immediately reach up for your favorite air freshner and start to spray the room. Your guests begins coughing and can barely breathe. You recognize the person is having an allergic reaction, what would you do?

A. Keep spraying the house until the skunk sent is all gone. B. Stop spraying the house with the freshner and help your friend whatever way can get to the hospital. C. Look at friend and wonder why he or she does not have enough faith to overcome the air freshner. Or D. Let your friend know you are sorry the air freshner offends them, but you have a right to spray your house to make it smell good.

Most of us would not have to struggle with the issue of whether or not we should help our brother or sister in this situation. We recognize the danger our lack of action would be putting them in as far as their physical health is concerned. Even though we intended no harm, the result of our actions could prove fatal if we continued to do what we were doing, or did nothing to help their situation.

In our New Testament reading, the word of God was dealing with the same kind of thing but on a spiritual level. In the city of Corinth, there were a lot of animals being sacrificed to various idols. Well they did not have refrigerators back then, so once they sacrificed these animals they had to sell the left over meat before it began to spoil. Sometimes you could get some great prices on this meat d depending on how much there was at the market.

There were some Christians who believed meat that was sacrificed to idols had been offered to the devil, and that to eat that meat, would be like joining in the sacrifice. They felt the meat was full of evil since it had been used in false religious worship. There were other Christians who believed, that idols were not real anyways. Simply sacrificing an animal to them did not make them any more real. They thought the reduced price on the meat was a sheer blessing from God to help them with their grocery bills.

Christians who had been saved out of backgrounds where they had worshipped idols and been involved with sacrifices, may have had the most difficult time trying to eat this meat. It reminded them too much of their former lifestyle. Some of them when they ate the meat started to feel condemned. They remembered how they use to eat at the idols tables and then go off into wild parties and sexual activity all as part of their worship. Eating the meat led them back to what they had previously done before following Christ. They left the faith altogether. That is why some believers insisted, that meat should be avoided at all cost.

The word of God provides us with a principle here because the eating of meat itself is not a sin. It is a matter of preference. It is not basic to one’s salvation. Paul says for those who feel it is wrong to eat the meat, they should not eat it. To do so would violate their consciences. They would be going against something they have vowed not to do.

On the other hand, for those who feel it is okay to eat the meat, it is fine for them to eat the meat. However, if they are with someone who has a problem eating the meat, they need to be super sensitive to the non-eater. If they go out to eat and the person says, this meat has been sacrificed to idols, then neither of them is to eat the meat. Even though the meat eater has a right to eat it, he or she should be willing to pay more to avoid the meat sacrificed to an idol out of love for the other person.

But if a person who does not eat meat sacrificed to idols, goes to an event where he or she knows others will be eating the meat, that person is not to go in judging the meat eaters or expecting them to put away the meat because he or she is present. The person should simply avoid the situation.

The word of God tell us, the most important thing is not whether or not my rights are being violated, but am I being a stumbling block for someone else through my behavior. When we cause someone else to stumble, it’s the same as sinning against Christ. Paul takes things a step further when he says, “therefore if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.” The call of Christian is to help other Christians make it to the finish line with Jesus Christ. In our purpose statement, our first line is, “our purpose is to bring people into a right relationship with God.”

Now the church should be a place where we come to worship the Lord, to encourage other believers, and to be equipped for the ministry of Jesus Christ. But everywhere there is an opportunity for good, Satan can work in there and twist it into a sowing field for temptation. None of us are exempt from it. You know, when the Apostle Peter thought he was offering Jesus words of encouragement to build Him up, Jesus let him know, that Satan was speaking right through him.

Let’s look at some ways in which Satan uses us without us even being aware of it. The temperature outside is beginning to rise as we approach summer. The good news is that the heating bills have come down. The bad news is that people forget to put their clothes back on. Some feel, they should not leave anything to the imagination as to what their bodies look like.

Sexual temptation drops right in front of you whether you are expecting it or not. In our Men Who Excel class, we as men commit ourselves about this time of year to the “one look club.” We recognize we cannot control what we see when we turn a corner, or walk out of a building. We cannot control and avoid that first look. But we can control how long that first look lasts, and whether or not we take a second look just to make sure we saw what we thought we saw.

In our Old Testament reading, we found David outside walking on the roof of the palace. Now Jerusalem was filled with hills and mountains. Houses were built in such a way that the richer and the more important you were, the higher up the mountain you lived. Those who were higher up, could look down into the homes of those who were below. You can tell that the moment you see the buildings. So when David started walking around on the roof top, what was his motive in going up on the roof? Was it to talk to the Lord? Was it to sing praises? Was it to just see what he might get to see if he looked down the mountain.

Down the hillside was a home belonging to Uriah and Bathsheba. Uriah had been gone for quite some time off to war. It seems he and Bathsheba did not have a very good marriage anyways. Bathsheba was a gorgeous woman. She decided to take a very late night bath. What was her motive when she left the curtains open as she began her bath? Did she simply want to feel breeze coming through the windows? Was she hoping someone higher up on the hill might express an interest in her? Was she thinking she was only innocently flirting with some stranger whose eyes might glance upon her in the night?

Well here you are with two believers in the Lord. Both of them know God and are serving God. Neither one of them had started the day saying, “I think I’ll commit adultery today, get pregnant, and turn into a murderer.” But it happened. When David was walking the roof and either accidentally or intentionally saw Bathsheba, he kept looking too long. When Bathsheba heard the king was interested in her, she was ready to say goodbye to her sorry marriage. It was a decision that both of them regretted. They each became Satan’s agent in the downfall of each other. It’s one thing to be an unintentional agent of Satan, but many times we know that we are hurting someone else’s walk with the Lord.

Now there is not an ugly person in this church. God has endowed some of you with things that go beyond beauty. But just because He has endowed us, does not mean we are to try to display it all at church. Most Christians who fall into sexual sin, did not do it at the bar, but at morning worship. Just like people in the world, take off their clothes in the summer, so do people in the church. Women, there are very few men who do not struggle with sexual temptation. From about age 8 to 98, sex is a high level thought in most men’s minds. I’m not saying they act on the thoughts, I just want you to know it’s there. Men, there are some women who struggle with sexual temptation as well.

It does not help to be in worship to have people with tight pants tight blouses, tight shirts or short dresses. If you’re going to lift your hands in praise to God, you need to have checked it out at home to make sure when you lift your hands in praise, somebody else is not behind you hoping you reach a little bit higher. If we can tell exactly what kind of underwear you are wearing, from looking at you walk, your clothing is too tight. If you’re doing a song, and your outfit is clinging to your body, you can be singing at the top of your lungs about Jesus, but somebody else is not hearing about Jesus because your body is talking too loud, “saying look at me.”

There is nothing wrong with looking good. There is nothing wrong with coming to church looking good. I think Christians should always try to look good. But there is a difference between looking good for Christ, and looking good to arouse temptation.

We are quick to say, “what I wear is my business, and it’s not my fault that these people have dirty minds.” It’s not that people have dirty minds. The temptation to lust is a strong natural desire. For some of us, it is a far greater problem than for others. Remember the opening illustration with the person in your home with the air freshener that caused them to start choking. Well the situation is the same, except now we are talking about spiritual death.

We are also quick to say, “the Lord is not looking at what I have on, he’s only interested in the heart.” What’s our real motive for saying that? What’s our real motive for how we dress? Is it simply convenience? It is it to look appealing? Is it to turn some heads when we walk? Is it to see what kind of temptation we can be? Far too many affairs begin in the church.

Far too many of us become sexually involved with others, because of how good they were looking in church. There is a difference between looking good, and looking suggestive. All of us should come looking good, but none of us have the right to come looking suggestively if we know Christ. We are responsible for dressing appropriately in church. As Christians we are responsible for dressing appropriately outside of church as well.

A millstone was a very large heavy flat stone turned by a donkey to grind up grain. Jesus talked about it when he spoke of the danger of being a stumbling block to someone else. He said, “if our actions cause someone else to sin and turn away from following Him, it would be better for us to have a large millstone tied around our neck and be thrown into the sea.” Just to make sure we got the point, Jesus said it in Matther, Mark, and Luke. We should be willing to help our brothers and sisters in their spiritual walk. If you know some outfit you wear is a stumbling block because of how tight and revealing it is, then wear it all you want to at home when you’re by yourself or with your spouse. That way no one can question your motives.

Remember the word of God in which Paul said, “I’ll never eat meat again if I know I’m causing someone to stumble.” Well let us say, “I don’t care how much it cost, I will not wear this outfit again if it causes someone to stumble.” That’s part of Christianity that many of us do not want to allow into our hearts. But my friends, keep in mind, Satan wants to use us. Does it matter to you, that you may have been a tool which led somebody back out the church? Look good and look beautiful, but do it to the glory of Jesus Christ.

Another way in which we allow ourselves to be used by Satan is through our words. Do we have an obligation to help our brothers and sisters with our speech? In the book of Proverbs, there is a verse which says there are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him. The last one is a person who stirs up dissension among brothers and sisters.

God had told the children of Israel, He would deliver them out of Egypt and lead them into the land of Canaan. Well God delivered them out of Egypt with over 10 different miracles. He split the Red Sea and destroyed the powerful Egyptian army. When He led the people right to the entrance of the promise land, there were 10 guys who told the people, “we can’t do it.” No way can we go into the land of Canaan. I’m not going to have nothing to do with it. We’d be completely wiped out, and our children would be killed. It would have been better for us to stay in Egypt.” Now before these 10 people started talking about what could not be done, people were determined to move forward in God. But after they finished getting this dissension going, nearly a million people decided they should choose a new leader and go back to Egypt.

Now none of those 10 believed they were being used by Satan. They honestly thought they were looking out for the people’s best interest. But in reality it was their own fear that kept them from considering that with God, all things are possible. They became a stumbling block to an entire nation of people. We all need to examine ourselves when we choose to speak negatively about a situation. You see we can say something, and think nothing else of it. But the people we say it too, may not be as strong as we are and it begins to lead to all kinds of doubts in their minds. They begin thinking, “well if this is a problem there , who knows how many other problems there are that I do not know about. They begin to doubt the pastors, the church, and ultimately their walk with the Lord.

There are some things we need to simply take to the Lord in prayer and keep them to ourselves. Let us examine our motives and ask, why am I saying what I’m saying. Is it because I really am seeking to build up the body of Christ, or is it simply because I am either afraid or do not want to move in a certain direction. Going back to Paul’s view, of saying “I will not eat any meat if it causes my brother or sister to stumble”, we should be just as willing to declare, “I will not stir up any dissension by speaking negatively if it causes my brothers and sisters to stumble.” Again we are called to help our brothers and sisters in their walk with the Lord. Remember again, that Jesus said, “It is better for us to have a large millstone tied around our neck and be thrown into the sea, than to cause someone else to stumble.”

It is very difficult for us to accept our roles as stumbling blocks in other people’s lives. We want to say everybody should be responsible for themselves. That is true. God will not hold us responsible for the decisions that others make. God will hold us responsible for our actions, which were stumbling blocks to others, because we were no longer walking in love. Love not only means helping you to meet your physical needs, it means helping you spiritually in your walk with Christ.

We’ve spoken frequently of how God owns all that we have. That means God owns our wardrobe. God owns our mouths. Should not those areas be surrendered to His will for the good of the body of Christ. Now some of us will hear this message and think, “that’s not for me. I’m going to wear what I want to wear and I’m going to say what I want to say.” That will be your choice, but know that it’s a selfish one. It cost Jesus his life to save each one of us. When we choose to be a stumbling block to someone else, the Bible says we are sinning against Christ.

Others of us will hear this message and think, “maybe I should take a second look before I grab that out fit or before I say these words.” Maybe I do need to look for other ways in which I could potentially cause someone to stumble. I do have an obligation to help my brothers and sisters. Love would not have it any other way. Saints it pays for us all to walk around with a spirit of humility. Today we may be helping someone else avoid a temptation, tomorrow somebody else may be helping us in a completely different area. God wants us to help each other.

5. Paul’s Vow To Never Eat Meat Again If….

6. Does It Matter If You Are The Tool

7. Look Good—But To The Glory Of Christ.

L. Satan I Eager To Use Us Through Our Words

1. Proverbs-7 Things God Hates—Stirs Dissension

2. God’s Promises To His People, Egypt, Miracles

3. 10 Guys Afraid And Said We Can’t Do It

4. Stole The Vision & The Lives Of Millions

5. Honestly Believed They Were Right

6. A Stumbling Block To An Entire Nation

M. Before We Speak Negatively---Stumbling Block?

1. Be Careful To Whom We Speak—Not Strong

2. What Other Problems Do I Not Know About

3. Begin To Doubt, Pastors, Church, Christ

4. Some Things Belong In Prayer

5. We Want People To Question—Not Doom

6. What Is Our Motive For Our Negative Report

7. Am I Afraid, Or Unwilling To Move Ahead

8. Paul’s Stand On Meat—Our Stand On Words

9. Helping Each Other Or In Need Of Millstone

N. Difficult To Accept Our Roles As Stumbling..

1. I’m Not Responsible—They Are

2. God Will Examine Us Both –Walk In Love

3. Love Takes Spiritual Responsibility

4. If God Own All—Wardrobe, Words Then

O. Two Responses Available

1. Not For Me, I’ll Wear And I’ll Say,

2. I’ll Examine, I’ll Help Who I Can

3. I Do Have An Obligation

4. Tomorrow I May Need The Help

Sermon Outline Pastor Rick 5-20-2001

GNLCC Should I Help My Brother Or My Sister

2 Samuel 11:1-5 1 Corinthians 8:1-13

A. When Hospitality Destroyed By A Smell

1. The Invitation, The Skunk, The Air Freshener

2. A Severe Reaction Threatening Death

3. A .Keep Spraying B. Get Help C. Question Faith

D. Apologize But State Your Rights

4. Not A Struggle For Most—Lack Of Action

5. Harm Not Intended, But Death Possible

B. The City Of Corinth In First Century

1. Filled With Idols & Animal Sacrifice

2. Lack Of Refrigeration & Cheap Meat

3. Some Christians Refused To Purchase The Meat

a. Contaminated By Evil By It’s Use

4. Some Christians Saw A Financial Blessing

a. Idols Did Not Exist

C. Christians Coming From Idolatry Backgrounds

1. Meat Stumbling Block, Bad Memories

2. Reliving Events, Wild Parties, Immorality

3. Left Christ—Went Back—Avoid All Costs

D. Principle In The Word Of God

1. Eating Meat Itself Not Sin—Preference

2. Not Basic To Salvation- But Wrong For some

3. Do Not Violate Conscience

4. Okay For Others To Eat

5. When Two Are Together On Different Sides

6. The One Defers To The Other

7. Non Eater Goes To Eater Event

E. Word Of God—Get The Issue Right

1. Not My Rights---But Am I A Stumbling Block

2. Cause To Stumble—Sin Against Christ

1 Cor. 8:13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.

3. Call Of Christ—To Help To The Finish Line

4. Our Purpose Is To Bring People Into A

F. God Wants The Church To Be A Safe Place

1. To Worship, Encourage, Equip For The Work

2. Satan Seeks To Turn Good Into Temptation

3. Apostle Peter & Jesus Proves Our Potential

4. Satan Can Use Any Of Us- Aware Or Not

H. There Is Good News And Bad News With Summer

1. Heat Comes Down/ Clothes Come Off

2. Leaving To Imagination Is Not An Option

3. Men Who Excel—The One Look Control

4. Little Control At First—Full Control After First

I. Old Testament With David Walking On The Roof

1. Houses Built In Jerusalem On Hills 7 Mountains

2. Richer, More Influential—Up Top—See Below

3. David’s Motive For Walking –Prayer, Praises,


4. The Home Of Uriah And Bathsheba Down Hill

5. Shaky Marriage, Absent Soldier, Beautiful Lady

6. Bathsheba’s Motive For Bathing With Open

Curtains—Breeze, Signal, Flirting

7. Two Believers, Serving God—Coming Disaster

8. Neither Said, “Today I Will Go Out And….

9. But It Happened—Accidental Or Intentional

10. Looked To Long, Said Yes To Quick

11. Led To Many Years Of Regret

J. God Filled This Church With Good Looking People

1. Being Endowed, Does Not Mean God On Display

2. Christians Fall Not At The Bar But At Church

3. Following The World By Getting Undressed

4. Sexual Temptation Is Real Both Ways

5. Tight Pants, Blouses, Shirts, Short Dresses

H. Come Dressed To Praise God & Lead Others.

1. Lift Your Hands In Praise But ……

2. If We Know Your Underwear—It’s Too Tight

3. The Greatest Singer Can Sing About Jesus, But

Be Drowned Out ‘By The Outfit Singing

4. Usher Without The Same Person Following You

I. Never Wrong To Come Looking Good

1. Looking Good For Christ—To Arouse Feelings

2. I Can’t Help Those Dirty Minds!

3. Not Dirty Minds—Temptation To Lust

4. Remember Air Freshener—Spiritual Death

J. But The Lord Is Not Looking At What I Have On,

1. What Is Our Motive For Saying—Dressing

2. Convenience, Appealing, Turn Some Heads

3. Many Affairs Sexual Activity Begin In Church

4. Looking Good Vs Looking Suggestive

5. Responsibility In Church/ Out of Church

K. Jesus Tells About A Millstone

1. Better To Be Throw With A Stone In The Sea

2. 3 Times Matthew Mark Luke

3. The Call To Help Each Other

4. Wear It In Private—No Motives Question