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Summary: Food sacrificed to idols - PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: gcurley@gcurley.info

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SERMON OUTLINE:

• Love verses knowledge (vs 1-3).

• Proposals and people (vs 4-8)

• Make a point, or make a difference? (vs 9-13)

SERMON BODY:

ill:

• YouTube News Clip:

• This past week Germany celebrated 25 years since fall of the Berlin Wall

• http://youtu.be/3toiPAt--t8

Ill:

• The Berlin Wall was a barrier that existed from 1961 through 1989.

• It was constructed by the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany);

• On 13th August 1961.

• The wall completely cut off (by land);

• West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin.

• The barrier included guard towers placed along large concrete walls,

• Which bounded a wide area (later known as the “death strip”)?

• The Eastern Bloc claimed that the wall was erected to protect its population;

• But in reality all it did was in-prison them.

• On the 9th November 1989 something incredible happened.

• Political unrest lead to unimagined changes;

• The wall was breeched and bit by bit torn down.

• This past week celebrations have taken place in Berlin;

• To mark the 25th anniversary of the most significant event in recent German history:

• The Fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989.

• At last the people could experience freedom of speech,

• Freedom of the press, and freedom of religion

• TRANSITION: However, some of the first "freedoms";

• Also included indulgence in prostitution, drug abuse and organized crime.

• For many people their freedom from one oppressive system;

• Gave rise to bondage in another.

• TRANSITION:

• Some Christians think freedom allows them to believe or act exactly as they please.

• But all they end up doing is swapping one type of bondage for another.

Ill:

• Someone has described Christian freedom to be;

• Like a kite attached to a string.

• If you cut the string the kite will crash to the ground;

• Or flow aimlessly to who knows where.

• With the string attached the kite has the freedom to soar in the air;

• To be guided and helped and to even perform acrobatic tricks.

• The string does not hinder the kite but actually allows the kite to be truly free!

• TRANSITION:

• Some Christians think freedom allows them to believe or act exactly as they please.

• They are ‘free in Christ’ to do whatever they like!

• But they are like a kite whose string has been cut.

• Christian freedom is doing what is right out of love not out of REGULATION.

• The freedom we read about in these New Testament letters;

• Is the freedom to live a life that is pleasing to God.

• Christian freedom is not living how I want;

• Rather it is living how CHRIST wants.

• Or as 1 Corinthians chapter 10 verse 31 puts it:

• “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

So in chapters 8 to 10 of this letter;

• The apostle Paul gives principles and guidelines;

• To help Christians make personal decisions regarding the ‘grey’ areas of life.

• There are many areas of behaviour mentioned in the Bible that are very ‘black & white’;

• i.e. the Bible explicitly condemns: adultery, murder, theft, lying and so on.

• These areas are very clear, very ‘black & white’.

• But the Bible does not address every area of behaviour;

• For every Christian there are situations that arise;

• Where we are not clearly told in the Bible if something is right or wrong;

• What we often call them the ‘grey’ areas;

• Because we must be guided by our conscience and common sense;

• If something is permissible or not. If something is beneficial or harmful.

Ill:

• Two of the most famous preachers in nineteenth-century England;

• Were Charles Haddon Spurgeon and Joseph Parker.

• They were close friends who sometimes held evangelistic meetings together.

• But they also had disagreements.

• On one occasion, Spurgeon learned that Parker had attended the theatre in London.

• Spurgeon confronted his friend and said,

• ''A truly spiritual Christian knows that it's worldly to attend the theatre."

• Parker chuckled.

• "Tell me, Charles-what's that hanging out of your mouth?"

• Spurgeon puffed on his cigar.

• "Surely, you don't suggest there's anything wrong with having a smoke?"

• Parker said,

• "Many Christians would say that a truly spiritual Christian should know that it's worldly to go around smoking like a chimney!"

Now both men eventually agreed that:

• There was not a word in the Bible against either;

• The attending a show at the theatre or smoking a cigar;

• And that they would have to tolerate each other's Christian liberty;

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