Sermons

Summary: THIS SERMON LOOKS AT THE DILEMMA AND DUTY OF THE STRONG AND WEAK BELIEVERS TOWARDS ONE ANOTHER IN THE LOCAL CHURCH IN MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE.

ROM 14:1 – 12 THE DILEMMA AND DUTY OF MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE.

LAST WEEK WE SAW THAT PAUL DEVELOPED A LOVE LIFESTYLE WHICH WAS TO BE MANIFESTED IN OUR LIVES IT INVOLVED BEING AWARE OF THE NEW ATTIRE WE NOW POSSESS THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST. UNDERPINING THIS LOVE LIFESTYLE ARE THE TEN COMMANDMENTS THESE COMMANDMENTS ARE NON NEGOTIABLE (TO BREAK THEM IS WRONG) WHEN WE BREAK THEM IT EFFECTS OTHERS AROUND US,

SO WE FAIL TO LOVE OTHERS BECAUSE WE SEE THE CAUSE AND EFFECT PRINCIPLE: ADULTERY EFFECTS OTHERS, MURDER EFFECTS OTHERS, STEALING EFFECTS OTHERS, COVETING EFFECTS OTHERS AND SO ON . SO WHEN WE LOVE OTHERS WE BEGIN TO FULFIL THE LAW.

CHRISTIANS ARE NOT ANTINOMIAN, THEY DO NOT HAVE RIGHT TO BREAK THE COMMANDMENTS THEY ARE SET IN STONE - FOR THE CHRISTIAN IT IS QUITE CLEAR THEY ARE NON NEGOTIABLE, THEY ARE TO BE OBEYED AND BREAKING THEM IS WRONG. WHAT GOD COMMANDS IN HIS WORD IS TO BE OBEYED, IT’S UNIVERSALLY ACCEPTED ANYTHING THAT GOD’S WORD FORBIDS DIRECTLY OR BY CLEAR PRINCIPLE IN ITS TEACHING IS NOT TOO BRUSHED UNDER THE CARPET AND IGNORED BUT TO BE OBEYED.

THE DILEMMA. V1 DISPUTABLE MATTERS

YET THERE ARE MANY THINGS IN THE WORD OF GOD WHICH ARE NOT SPECIFICALLY FORBIDDEN, THERE ARE THINGS IN WHICH WE DO NOT GET CLEAR DIRECTIVES. SO SOME CHRISTIANS KNOWING THE LIBERTY THEY HAVE IN CHRIST DO THESE NON FORBIDDEN THINGS WITHOUT ANY PROBLEMS ... WE CAN CALL THESE CHRISTIANS ‘THE STRONG.’

• WHEN THE STRONG SEES THE WEAK THEY GENERALLY SAY “DOESN’T BE STUPID, ITS FINE!”

THEN THERE ARE OTHER CHRISTIANS WHO FEEL LESS OF THIS LIBERTY FEEL IN THEIR CONSCIENCE THAT IT WOULD BE WRONG FOR THEM TO DO SUCH THINGS SO THEY ABSTAIN , THE BIBLE CALLS THEM THE WEAK .

• WHEN THE WEAK LOOK AT THE STRONG THEY GENERALLY SAY “DON’T BE SO WORLDLY”

BUT THE POINT TO NOTE IS THAT NEITHER THE STRONG NOR THE WEAK ARE WRONG BECAUSE NONE ARE BREAKING ANY OF GODS MORAL LAWS SET OUT IN HIS WORD. IT IS IN THESE GREY AREAS OF WHERE NO CLEAR DIRECTIVE IS GIVEN WHERE MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE COME INTO PLAY FOR INSTANCE....

“SHOULD A CHRISTIAN DRINK?” “SHOULD WE GO INTO PUBS” “ SHOULD WE WATCH TV ON A SUNDAY” “ SHOULD WE DRESS AS THE WORLD DRESSES” “SHOULD WE PLAY SPORT ON A SUNDAY” “SHOULD WE GO SHOPPING ON A SUNDAY” “SHOULD WE USE CONTEMPORY WORSHIP” SHOULD WE RAISE OUR HANDS AND BE EXUBERANT IN WORSHIP OR STAND FORMALLY IN WORSHIP”

THE STRONG BELIEVER WILL SAY “THERE IS NOTHING EVIL IN THESE THINGS” SO WE CAN ENJOY THEM AND THEIR CONSCIENCE IS CLEAR. THE WEAK BELIEVER WILL FEEL A SENSE OF FAILURE AND CONVICTION IN THEIR CONSCIENCE IF CARRIED OUT SO THEY AVOID THOSE ACTIVITIES AS A MATTER OF CONSCIENCE. –

IN ALL MATTERS OF PERSONAL CONSCIENCE WE MUST NOT IMPOSE OUR PREFERENCES WHETHER YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A STRONG OR WEAK BELIEVER UPON YOUR BROTHER OR SISTER DON’T MAKE NON ESSENTIALS INTO FUNDAMENTALS OF THE FAITH OR YOUR COULD MISS YOUR REAL PURPOSE.

IT IS SAID THAT WHEN THE BRITISH AND FRENCH WERE FIGHTING IN CANADA IN THE 1750S, ADMIRAL PHIPPS, COMMANDER OF THE BRITISH FLEET, WAS TOLD TO ANCHOR OUTSIDE QUEBEC. HE WAS GIVEN ORDERS TO WAIT FOR THE BRITISH LAND FORCES TO ARRIVE, AND THEN SUPPORT THEM WHEN THEY ATTACKED THE CITY. PHIPPS’ NAVY ARRIVED EARLY.

AS THE ADMIRAL WAITED, HE BECAME ANNOYED BY THE STATUES OF THE SAINTS THAT ADORNED THE TOWERS OF A NEARBY CATHEDRAL, SO HE COMMANDED HIS MEN TO SHOOT AT THEM WITH THE SHIPS’ CANNONS. NO ONE KNOWS HOW MANY ROUNDS WERE FIRED OR HOW MANY STATUES WERE KNOCKED OUT, BUT WHEN THE LAND FORCES ARRIVED AND THE SIGNAL WAS GIVEN TO ATTACK, THE ADMIRAL WAS OF NO HELP. HE HAD USED UP ALL HIS AMMUNITION SHOOTING AT THE “SAINTS.” OUR DAILY BREAD, OCTOBER 6

THE DILEMMA IN ROME V2: THE MATTER OF FOOD V5: THE SACRED DAYS

IN ROME THE DISPUTABLE MATTERS WERE BETWEEN THE CONVERTED JEWS WHO CAME FROM A RICH JEWISH HERITAGE AND THE GENTILE BELIEVERS WHO FOR MANY CAME FROM A PAGAN BACKGROUND. IT APPEARS THE JEWISH BELIEVERS ARE DESCRIBED AS THE WEAKER , THEY CANNOT ACCEPT EATING MEATS WHICH WERE OFFERED IN IDOL WORSHIP AND THEN LATER OFFERED IN THE MARKET FOR SALE, THEY BELIEVED THEY WOULD BE DEFILED BY IT SO OUT OF A MATTER OF CONSCIENCE THEY ABSTAIN. UNLIKE THE GENTILES WHO HAD ‘NO WORRIES’ ABOUT IT. SO YOU CAN WELL IMAGINE SOME SHARP DEBATES TAKING PLACE.

SECONDLY IT INVOLVED CERTAIN DAYS OF WORSHIP AND FESTIVALS THE JEWS COULD NOT SHAKE OFF SO EASILY THEIR SABBATH DAY OF A SATURDAY. SINCE THE RESURRECTION TOOK PLACE ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK ALL CHRISTIANS WORSHIPPED ON THE SUNDAY AND GENTILE BELIEVERS HAD NO OTHER SACRED DAYS YET THE JEWISH BELIEVERS FOUND IT DIFFICULT TO GIVE UP THE OTHER SACRED DAYS SATURDAY SABBATH – THE PASSOVER FESTIVAL - OTHER FESTIVALS.

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