Summary: A Christian must not do things that will make a weaker Christian stumble into sin or fall.
A. AN ANALYSIS OF THE PROBLEM
1. It’s becoming acceptable to call some Christians legalists, because the critic disagrees with their issues of separation from the world.
2. It becomes easy to do some questionable practices because they are seen on television, movies, or seen in the lives of others, who call themselves evangelical.
3. It becomes difficult to hold on to convictions when traditional Christian institutions begin to allow alcoholic drinking, dancing, public gambling, smoking, etc.
4. It’s hard to hang on to separatist convictions when they are not mentioned from the pulpit.
5. Some evangelicals doubt their convictions when they hear of known church leaders who are caught in certain sins.
B. WHAT WE KNOW FOR SURE
1. God condemns certain outward sins in scriptures.
c. Cursing with God’s name
e. Lusting after a woman
h. Disobedience to parents
2. God condemns certain inward attitudes that lead to outward sins. “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:19-21).
3. Because of change in culture, some things previously called sin are not acceptable.
a. Sleeves and leggings in swimming suits.
b. Cosmetic makeup on women.
c. Rock music with a beat.
d. Sports on Sunday.
4. We must carefully avoid the inward principles of sin to avoid their outward actions.
a. Dancing that lead to lust vs. tap dancing for kids.
b. Movies: X-rated vs. G-rated.
c. Rough sports vs. harmful sports.
d. Sarcastic or lewd humor vs. borderline humor.
e. Suggestive clothing vs. modest clothing.
f. Cool “in” language vs. offensive words.
Be not the first by which the new is tried,
Be not the last by which the old is laid aside.
5. Don’t look at the law, but your inner motivations. One man said, “I can sin if I want to!” Another answered, “The difference is God. I can do anything I want, but since Christ lives in my heart, I don’t want to.”
C. WHAT SHOULDN’T A CHRISTIAN DO?
1. A Christian must do what God directs affirmative.
a. Sin of omission is not as great a hard headed disobedience.
b. Sin of ignorance must honestly be unknown to you. “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).
2. A Christian must not do what God forbids.
a. Don’t live close to the edge, but in the center of God’s will.
b. God’s commandments are not to take away “fun” but to protect you physically, socially, emotionally and spiritually.
3. A Christian must obey his/her conscience.
a. If it’s wrong, it’s wrong.
b. If it’s doubtful, its dirty. “If a man eats . . . with an uneasy conscience, he is wrong to do so” (Rom. 14:23, Phillips).
c. Wrong. “Let your conscience be your guide” “Having their conscience seared with a hot iron” (1 Tim. 4:2). Some will tell you that “wrong” is “right” and that “truth” is “error.”
4. A Christian must not harbor impure thoughts. “Whoso looks on a woman . . . has committed adultery in his heart” (Matt. 5:28).
5. A Christian must not defile his/her body.
a. Your attitude toward your body is a reflection of your spiritual life.
b. Sexually pure. “Avoid sexual looseness like the plague. Every other sin is done outside the body, but this is an offence against the body . . . your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who lives in you” (1 Cor. 6:18-19, Phillips).
6. A Christian must not link himself to those whose decisions will make him sin. “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (2 Cor. 6:14).
a. Involves marriage, business, clubs, etc.
b. Involves friendship where they pull you into sin. We must have unsaved friends, but be a strong Christian witness to them.
7. A Christian must not do things that will make a weaker Christian stumble into sin or fall. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen. 4:9).
a. Your obligation. “Take heed less your liberty . . . becomes a stumbling block to . . . the weak” (1 Cor. 8:9).
b. It may not be sin to you, but if it hurts others, it’s sin.
8. A Christian must avoid places/situations that tempt him.
a. Pray daily and live. “Lead me not into temptation.
b. Know your weaknesses. “Flee these things, follow after righteousness” (1 Tim. 6:11).
9. A Christian must follow Christ and let Him be an example.