Summary: Elijah had it right. He defined compromise for us in a biblical fashion – to be divided in opinion, and action. To compromise on belief is to compromise on relationship. This morning I would like to address four causes of personal compromise. Then ton
WHAT CAUSES A PERSON TO COMPROMISE?
1 Kings 18:21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.
INTRODUCTION: Elijah had it right. He defined compromise for us in a biblical fashion – to be divided in opinion, and action. To compromise on belief is to compromise on relationship. This morning I would like to address four causes of personal compromise. Then tonight the effect that compromise has on our lives.
THE FIRST CAUSE OF PERSONAL COMPROMISE – THE FEAR OF MEN
Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.
Here in this passage of Scripture the fear of men is put in aposition to trusting in God. Hence fitting the pattern of Elijah concerning which we will follow.
Fear of men leads me to distrust God.
I distrust God’s Power
I distrust God’s Providence
I distrust God’s Grace
I distrust God’s Goodness
Fear of men puts me in a self-protective mode
I become afraid of losing favor
I become afraid of losing friendship
I become afraid of losing appreciation
I become afraid of gaining their wrath
Fear of men catches the best of us.
THE SECOND CAUSE OF PERSONAL COMPROMISE – SPIRITUAL WEAKNESS
1 Cor. 3:1-3 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 3For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
Spiritual weakness is spiritual immaturity
We do not know Christ as we should
We are not focused on Christ
Our length and depth are out of line
There are two words used for carnal in the passage. The first word means to be “made of” the world. The second word means to be “characterized by” the world. There is a problem when we have “known the Lord” (length) for a time and have not “grown in the Lord” (depth). Shallow depth indicates that we are dominated and living at the level of the flesh.
Spiritual weakness is nourishment immaturity
Not living on what God teaches – what God says we need
Living on what we can handle – what we say we want
Spiritual weakness is Division
Envy leads to jealousy, and that leads to division
Division leads to strife and arguing
Division results in living like men – struggle to get the most for the least
Division gets us following men
The believer was never meant to live like man. The believer in Christ was always meant to live above the world and draw men to Christ!
Spiritual weakness – living in the flesh
1. The flesh has no good thing about it; it is opposed to doing good.
Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
2. The man who is in the flesh is under the influence of the flesh and cannot please God.
Romans 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
3. The man who has the spirit of Christ is removed from being in and under the influence of the flesh. Such a man is said to be a transformed man, a new man—even a new creation.
Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
4. The transformed man, however, can walk after the flesh—at least for a season. Such a man is said to be a carnal believer.
Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
Romans 8:4-7 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.