Christian Life in the Midst of False Worship

1 Corinthians 8:1–6

Posted by Dan Jarms on August 20, 2023
Christian Life in the  Midst of False Worship
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Main idea: Use love and singular devotion to God to navigate life in the midst of false worship

  1. Steer with love
    • 1 Timothy 1:5
    • 1 Corinthians 13:1-4
  2. Steer with Singular Devotion to God
    • 1 Corinthians 10:31


  • In cases of overt false worship or sinfulness
  • In cases of potential false worship and sinfulness
  • Automated Transcription
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    please stand with me for the second reading of God's word turn to First Corinthians chapter eight, we're turning a corner from singles singleness and marriage to living in a world with false worship their world was directly or overtly idolatrous with temples and niches and shrines at every corner. Ours is a secular idolatry, but an idolatry nonetheless. How are we going to handle that? Well, first Corinthians eight, nine and 10 help us I'm going to read chapter eight, and then we'll take the first six verses this morning. Now concerning food offered to idols, we know that all of us possess knowledge. This knowledge puffs up. But love builds up. If anyone imagines means knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God. Therefore as the eating of food offered to idols, we know that an idol has no real existence, and that there is no god but one. For although there may be so called gods in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords. Yet for us there is one God the Lord, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. However, not all possess this knowledge, but some, through form or association with idols eat food has really offered to an idol, and their conscience being weak is defiled. Food will not commend us to God, we are no worse off if we do not eat and no better off if we do. Take care that this write of yours not somehow become a stumbling block to the week. For if anyone sees you, who have knowledge eating in an idols temple, will he not be encouraged if his conscience is weak to eat food offered to idols, and so by your knowledge, this weak person has destroyed the brother for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience, when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat me, lest I make my brother stumble. This is the word of the Lord. Our God, we pray that you would use your Spirit to help us understand and apply this passage. Holy Spirit, we pray that you would instruct us and teach us how to live in this world. We are a temple and you dwell in us and we want to live in a world that has many competing functional saviors false gods idols, even if there aren't shrines and temples. We want to be people who have wholehearted worship to you and then know how to navigate that. So that we encourage you to call each other in the faith and continue through to the end in Christ's name. Amen. You may be seated. Have you ever been invited to an event that you know could lead to moral or spiritual compromise college students, it could be a frat party or a sorority party should you go or not? Might be an invitation to a wedding and that wedding by its existence is inherently sinful, should you go or should you not? You're invited to some some activity and and there might be some religious, false religious aspects to that. Should you go or should you not? Well, I want to travel back to ancient Greece. And I want to put you in a situation you have been invited to Uncle Christmas. It's a nice Greek name, Uncle Christmases, 75th birthday, which is pretty old for ancient Greece. The family selected a venue. It's the Temple of her face das who is the god of craftsman. It's fitting because Crispus is the head of the potters Guild, and he has been for 30 years very influential. They're going to slaughter a bowl, offer a sacrifice to a face toss and have a feast. all the shop owners in the city are going to be their Christmas, who's still very influential could secure help you secure new business contracts. Important people could see you there. You could share your faith in Christ even though you You say to yourself like Psalm 115 says, you have eyes the idols and the gods have eyes but do not see mouths that do not speak hands that do not feel feet that do not move there nothing, I can say that they're the idols or nothing. So I'm just going to say happy birthday to Uncle Christmas, make a few contacts and get that rare slice of roast beef. But is that all you're really doing? Is that all you're really doing? Situations made even more difficult because two of your new Christian friends have renounced their devotion to have faced us and all the Greek gods and were baptized into the name of the Father, Son in the Holy Spirit. If they heard that you were feasting in the temple, they might think it's okay to worship Jesus and have faced us. Remember, the Roman and Greek world? People worshipped many gods all at the same time, just depending on the season and the time. Is it okay to worship other gods and Jesus? What if as a result of you showing up at the feast, one of them thought it was okay to worship have faced us and Jesus What do you do? What do you do? One camp in Corinth said it was fine for others, fine for you to go. They know they have this knowledge, we know that there are no other gods. These people who are concerned about that they need to grow up they need to they need to arrive where we have arrived. We have a really great understanding and they need to just get over it. The other camp in Corinth was saying No, those are idols and gods and you shouldn't even get close to worshipping them. It's for realities like this, that the apostle Paul is writing these next three chapters. He turns to his next topic living as a singularly devoted follower of Christ has challenges in an idolatrous world. What you do, what do you do when the world you live in offers up false worship at every turn? What do you do? How do you live in that world? The answers over the next two weeks are going to be relevant for so many situations here. Today in Spokane, we have few if any places where there are sacrifices perhaps at the mosque at certain religious festivals, there are sacrifices, perhaps Brian Wright bowl and I were talking yesterday and he said that somebody had given him a prepackaged sandwich by a caterer who was overtly pushing their Wiccan beliefs you know how Chick fil A I'm not even sure they have it but I do know In and Out Burger, that Christian organization has verses on the bottom of their cups. Right? He grabs the sandwich and it's got pentagrams and Wiccan symbols on it you know packed with care by your local Wiccan? Because I don't think so. That's but that's pretty rare, isn't it? It's pretty rare. We live in a culture filled with false worship but it's i It's secular idolatry meaning it doesn't overtly talk about God but you know it's filled with worship. Our culture has its share of functional saviors. Functional saviors meaning those things. They're, they're who they are, what they are, what they represent, we think that they're gonna give us refuge they're gonna give us meaning they're gonna give us purpose, they're gonna give us success. And so you're well aware it's wealth status. Now gender choice has become an identity. Sometimes those things are things we pursue really hard. They're they are their own functional saviors. If I just get that I'll finally have arrived. And sometimes it's fitness and health. Other times it's power or influence or even family that make us feel significant. Of course, there's the whole escape from the heart of life, Drugs, marijuana, alcohol, and they become the escape route. So we see it in what we call with the culture calls addictions, voluntary enslavement. But it could be games gaming, hobbies, these are refuges from stress. And all of that has its own praise music In the playlists, the surround, all we do.

    So what we're what we're seeing here is many cases, those who are truly mature can enjoy a thing without worshipping a thing. The mature can enjoy a thing without worshiping a thing. But there are also those who have been enslaved to a thing and have worshipped the thing. And they have a very difficult time engaging with the thing, without falling back into worshiping it, they may have trusted Christ. And so every Christian when we think about this, every Christian does not want to have a fellow Christian fall back into a slavery fall back into a false worship. So the question that shows up now, for much of the rest of the book, is how do we live together in harmony? While navigating life in the midst of spoke hands, false worship? It's all around us. How do we live that way? How do we live in harmony. And so this is the subject. This is the subject of the next three chapters. We're going to start with the couple of foundational principles today, two rules, two ways to steer. Here's the big idea. We use love and singular devotion to steer our way through a world of false worship. And I like the picture of navigating, you're sitting in the car, you've got the two hands on the wheel. And these are going to be the two principles that drive us forward that start helping us apply to all of these love and singular devotion, love and worship. These are going to apply to all kinds of things the the events that you're asked to come to the things that you deal with as families, I can think of all kinds of situations that we raised our family through where different families have different concerns, in different worries about what entertainment or what movies, you watched various areas that we call conscience issues. How do we navigate these? First Corinthians is specifically devoted to idolatry and false worship, where Romans 14 and 15 is specifically devoted to the food issues that Jews would face. This one's specifically focused here, but the principles are parallel. And its love for others and God and singular devotion to God, that is going to help steer our way through it. So we're gonna look at those two principles. And we're going to talk about how to navigate those through when when it's overtly sinful are overtly idolatrous to where it's potentially sinful or potentially idolatrous. And these two principles, get us on the right track number one, steer with love steer with love. It should be no surprise to us that the apostle Paul calls us to navigate a world saturated with false worship by having both hands on the steering wheel. With love and knowledge, he writes this, his new topic now concerning food offered to idols. I don't think there has been a time where you've gone grocery shopping, worried about what's my food sacrificed to an idol. I mean, the guys who just got back from South Asia, they did actually have to deal with that. But here, it's pretty rare. But But here's that situation. Corinth, like all Roman cities had its temples and various gods. So there were there were no such thing as secular spaces. If you if you had a family member who had any kind of wealth, and they had a villa or a house, there's almost certainly a temple or a shrine to a God, you wouldn't even have a family gathering without something going on. Religiously, everything had religious connections, virtually any meal, any holiday, any celebration would have been accompanied by meat or food because it wasn't just meat. Sometimes the translations are meat sacrificed to idols, but it's just generic food, meat and others, there was, was sacrificed to a temple God. Furthermore, the routine blessings of the God that were sought would result they'd make a small sacrifice. They would bless all of the meat or all of the food and you would go to market and you can hardly buy something that wasn't blessed by one of the local idols, what do you do? What do you do? In this situation? concerning food offered to idols, I mean, they had they it was such a problem. It was such a reality in the Greek world that they had a word for food sacrifice to idols, idle Luth on we could call it idle food, like they just had a Topic now concerning idle food. So he quotes them. Anytime you see these quotes around the words, it's for emphasis or it's what the Corinthians were saying. He says, we know that all of us possess knowledge in quotes. The ESB translators think this is what something that the Corinthians would readily say. But you can tell by how Paul responds to this is that they're not saying it with humility, or for the betterment of everybody else, it was said with pride, and a sense of self righteousness or self superiority, because he says this, this knowledge puffs up. But love builds up, love builds up. That he's gonna reiterate it, he's gonna reiterate it kind of knowledge in verse four. So what's he saying here? Just Paul's not want knowledge, no knowledge as an end knowledge as a goal as something that shapes our internal identity, it makes us you know, something to ourselves or something to somebody else makes us proud. That's what he's concerned about. And the irony in the section is that the pursuit of knowledge for the goal of being super knowledgeable, has been as much of a functional Savior as sex power or drugs in all of history. But he said, in contrast, love builds up. And here for the first time, we get the ethical implications of the gospel that are going to be carried through the rest of the book and find its apex in First Corinthians 13, the love chapter. Because the reality is you can have knowledge but you don't have if you don't have love. Paul is going to talk about a clanging cymbal, a drum, just noise, Love seeks to build others up, knowledge is very often used to build ourselves up. I mean, you notice TV, and you go down to uncles, and you look at the games, there are all kinds of trivia games. We have TV shows that have run for years that are trivia games, we've had a member of our church make a bunch of money at jeopardy for being just really smart about things. But you notice how many love game shows there are? I'm not talking about Bachelor and Bachelorette, hideous spawn of Satan. So is that they are? I don't know, I might have an opinion about that. What which really aren't about love. They're about something else. See trivia, just the ability to know things it does tend to puff us up. That's important to know things. Paul's gonna say how it's important to know things. He continues if anyone imagines that he knows something. That is he feels like he's arrived at some kind of position or expertise. If anybody thinks he's an expert, expert, expert, or in the know. He does not yet know as he ought to know. And he's going to prove that in chapter 10. When going to Uncle Christmas, his birthday party and participating in the sacrifice or the food is actually when everybody else there is offering us worship and you have a hand and a don't don't think you're actually clear because you you know that that's not real god that you're not actually offering some kind of worship. Don't fool yourself how many young men, young women take a variety of their personal choices that have very tempting realities, whatever, whether it's the movies that they see or the places they go, or the parties they want to attend all that doesn't bother me, that doesn't bother me. If you think you are impervious to the temptations of the world around you, you don't know as you ought to know. You're immature. Look at this surprising turn of phrase, verse three. Here's what I'm expecting it say? I'm expecting it to finish on from anyone imagines that he knows something he does not yet know as he ought to know. So let the person reserve his knowledge with humility. That's how I would expect it to go. You should be humble about your knowledge, which is an implication. He doesn't say that. This is but if anyone loves God, he is known by God. Wait a second, that that doesn't seem what's supposed to be next.

    And here's what drives we've already heard love built up Love seeks to do what's best here we're now seeing to love God. And then he makes this statement and he's made he's saying to breathtaking things this is this is a statement that's a tour de force it is it is stunning and changing to how we see all of the Christian life it Christians relationship with God is based in God's choice or God's commitment to the relationship. It's like walking up to the apple tree and seeing apples, but realizing there's there's a trunk and fruit, where did those apples come from? So if anyone loves God, something's going on underneath. What is it? He's known by God? I mean, you'd expect it to say it's, it's not what you know, it's who you know, that really matters. We know God. You'd expect the what you know, it'd be a good answer. You should know God. But He says what actually really matters is that God knows you. It is God's knowledge, his knowledge of you. Now, what does that mean? This is the thing that I should have my identity that I'm known by God, what does he mean? Paul is standing on deep Old Testament roots. The Hebrew word know is often a synonym is a synonym for chosen or selected for a real personal relationship. It's, it's another word for election or choice. And in this case, choice to an intimate, personal, permanent relationship. In Genesis 1819, God says of Abraham that I, that I have known him, I chose him, I've known him before, while he was still in idolaters, an array of the counties I knew him. I was determined for a relationship and Amos Three, two, God says if Israel, you only have I known of all the families of the earth, this is God's choosing grace, his choosing knowledge. Romans 828 has a 29 has a an idea that's very similar to this in Romans 820. United States for those whom he for new and he now he's talking about eternity paths, for those whom he for knew, that means he determined in his mind beforehand to have a relationship. It wasn't that he looked at ahead and said, who's gonna choose me who's going to impress me who's gonna believe in me, I'll pick them. He said, here are a whole sea, an ocean, a world of sinners who are in rebellion, and I'm going to select out for myself some to know me and be restored to me. That's for knowledge, a predetermination for an adopted relationship. And then he says they are predestined, predestined is the idea of marking them out like sheep who are in a pen in the field, he's put the borders all around them. This is what God did from eternity past. And he says, here we have been known and that so that that choice came into being, as God sent His Son Jesus, who willingly laid down his life willingly died for our sin, was raised again. And by the power of the proclamation, the power of the Holy Spirit, we believed we had been known by God. What was the purpose in order that he Jesus might be the firstborn among many brothers? Here's why this is so powerful in the statement. Because God's electing purposes utterly humble every human you had nothing to offer the equation. Some authors like to say it this way, you had nothing to offer to all this equation except your sin. Despite what we were as sinners before, before we believed Romans five eight says while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Despite what we were as sinners before we believed and what sins we commit after we believe, he still willingly knows us and loves us. We've been reflecting on one pastor says, my wife and I, we've been married for 33 years, and this this statement really impacted us, says, you know, when you've been married long enough, and your spouse knows all of your flaws, all of your flaws, and they love you anyway. That's pretty powerful. That's, like the love of God, for His children. He knows all our flaws, all our weaknesses, and he loves us anyway. He knows us personally. That is the founding Dacian for our love to him, he who loves God is known by God, that knowing by God was the route that produces the fruit.

    And therefore, if we love God, Paul will make the obvious connection. If you love God, you'll love your neighbor. You'll love your neighbor who has a weak conscience, about things that could lead them into idolatry. And so you care for him. This is the foundation of love. First Timothy one five says the aim of our charges love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Should I go to Uncle Christmases birthday party asking the question, and the first thing that you answer in response is, well, what's the rule of love? So we taught her kids over and over when we had to have those conversations, Hey, your friends are coming over? What are you guys going to do? We'd like to watch a movie. Well, are you sure that we're all on the same page with what movies we should watch? Well, but But such and such doesn't bother me. And I like this. And I don't think he bought it. Well, what about his parents? What are the parents wonder what to her about her parents? What do they want? What's the rule the rules rule of love. We would never want to do anything that lead somebody to violate their conscience. That's the rule of love.

    So Paul begins with the steering wheel, one hand love and then he moves to the second singular devotion to God. Singular devotion to God says Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that an idol has no real existence and that there is no god but one. Now Paul declares truth, real knowledge, you actually have to have more than the sentiment of love or even sacrificial love, which is what love is, it's inherently others minded. But you have to have truth that properly steers it. Even the sentiment of sacrificial love is misguided without truth, and he's gonna give His truth. And actually, he's going to correct both the weak and the strong. In this one statement. I want the weak to know who the real God is that there are no other gods. I want the strong to know for what end. God has made them. So Paul says this, he says there's no God but one and Paul is speaking like a good Jew who has made the statement he is calling back to all of his old testament roots about one God and so here's the knowledge that he wants to know there are no real gods, but the God of the Bible from Moses, and the victory of God over the gods of Egypt through the plagues to Samuel who called Israel to repentance is to stop going after empty things do nothing things meaning the Do Nothing gods from the Psalms like Psalm 115, which talks about idols being do nothing non existent to Elijah, remember the Elijah story where he's on Mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal are there and the Elijah is there and he says, Call on your God and see if he'll do something. They call on Him and He says, you know, maybe he's taking a nap, yell a little louder. Maybe he's relieving himself in the bathroom. I, he really marked there God do something. On and on. It goes, nothing, nothing, nothing. They all get tired, they all get done, he pours water on and he prays once and God sends fire down from heaven and consumes that the God of the Bible, Yahweh of the Old Testament is the God who is in the God who acts and all others are false. Now, this obviously puts Paul out of favor with the whole Roman world. And it puts us out of favor. In a world where we are supposed to acknowledge anybody's beliefs as being fully valid. Isaiah puts an exclamation point on this kind of statement makes it as clear as possible Isaiah 44 six he says, Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer the Lord of hosts, I am the first I am the last besides me, there is no God. He talks about the idols that are cast in metal or wood or carved, they're profitable for nothing. Isaiah 4410 says. So he says, there may be so called gods in heaven or on earth. Remember, it's the Greek pantheon the Roman Pantheon, and There was a god to everything and a shrine for it and every city Yes, there are many so called Gods and many so called lords. They might have the name Zeus and Olympus or Poseidon in the seas, but there are no Gods at all. For six yet for us there is one God. Paul's not saying as I've heard a Jewish Rabbi say to me once, we're not saying that there are no other gods. I mean, Jews often get pigeonholed as being monotheistic, like there are no other gods, there's just no other God for us. Christians want to sidestep that sometimes too. That's not what he's saying. He's saying, There is no other God for us who are believers, we are committed to that truth. There is one God that's been attested from Genesis to Jesus. So then, he capitalizes on that definitive Old Testament statement from Deuteronomy six four, Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the Lord is one. Every morning a Jew, every day a Jew would recite hero Israel, the LORD our God is, Lord our God the Lord is One You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul with all your might. And so what Paul does here is give the second theological tour de force that shapes creeds, into the present age confessions down to the present age. He says, we have one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, the from and the force, you should underline who is the singular God, we worship we call, we worship God, the Father. And that title that the head of the Trinity, the first person of the Trinity, that father declares who God is, and especially to you, when you think of God, you should think first of him as father. The father who's sovereign, the father, who's loving the father, who's full of wrath, the father who's protective, because he is the source of all things. He is the one who cares for all his children. He is the one who has affection for all those who's he's redeemed through His Son. As a caring father, the Psalmist writes that, that every human every living thing looks to God for their foods. Psalm 145 15 says, You give their food and due season the psalmist is praising God. And to the sinful and wondering Jesus displays God the Father, as the waiting father looking for a repentant son in the story of or the parable of the two lost sons. The one who goes away and squanders his wealth on prostitutes, and the botched living, finds himself desolate and alone and says, I'll go back to my father and the father was waiting and sees him a long way. As often the father runs to him, the son who is sinful and wandering, runs, and the father runs to him and embraces him and restores him. As to the adopted children, the children of his redemption through His own Son, Jesus, these are the ones he knows by name, he steps further, he says, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, here is the week, there is a general sense that every human is a child of God. But there is a special sense a redemptive sense and eternal sense, where through Jesus Christ in Christ's work, we are now adopted into his family, and we have the fatherly care. He is the one that knows everything we need before we asked Jesus tells us in Luke 11, he knows just what you need, he's the one you can run to. This is also the Father who gives every spiritual blessings in the heavens which we will enjoy one day at Christ's return or our home going to him. He is the father who knows everything. He is the father in Hebrews 12 Four who gives loving discipline to his children, so that we may turn away from sin and share His holiness. From whom are all things and for whom we exist? Notice that he gives us the why the great purpose, what's God's purpose? We were made for His glory, for whom we all exist. Here's the special goal, the supreme goal to give him glory. This is the reason we're created. This is the reason we're redeemed to say it another way we exist for him, not him for us. We exist for him. He does not exist for us as if we're the end. It's the definitive difference between false worship and true worship. True worship recognizes that we are not the main point of anything but that God is the main point of everything. I was resist the statement. It's not about you. And sometimes that that's like, oh yeah, I've been super selfish and all of a sudden realizing it's not about me. But garden, God wouldn't be a father. Unless he had less he didn't have children in some senses about you. But you're still not the main point. His glory, and His will is the main point. A friend? Is that why you're living? To make him the main point? Here's the guiding principle principle one, one hand on the steering wheel love principle to worship. So I have to deal with an idolatrous world. Should I go to an event? Should I live in a world? Should I go to Target? And I hear targets a horrible place to go? Like all kinds of people boycott a target. Great.

    What's your motive? Is it for the glory of God? Is that why you want to shop at Target? Is there just clothes? Man, they're just clothes. It's just groceries? And that might work. But what about somebody else? Who is really concerned? Like? Sometimes, I don't tell you if I go to Target. Because I'm concerned if you're really bothered by target, that I don't lead you down a road. That would be bad for you. Do you really go to Target Dan? Yes, I really go to Target. It's really close to my house. We have all kinds of things to think through. But if what's driving you is love for your neighbor, your fellow believer and worship of God, you're going to ask yourself, hey, we have a challenging event to think through. We've just been invited to such and such. We are participating in this world we have potentially products that are produced by people who want to undermine God's will in the world. How do we handle that? Well, we need to handle it with love, and we need to handle it with a desire to worship God. Now Paul doesn't finish with that. He completes that summary statement that's in the Gospel, and it's doctrine he says about Christ. He talks about Christ. He says, we have one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. So this language, one God, and one Lord is echoing that Deuteronomy six hero Israel, the LORD our God, God, the Lord has one. God is the Father, the Lord is Jesus Christ. And the New Testament writers understood it whenever they wrote the word Lord, whenever they wrote the word, Lord, they were thinking Yahweh. They were thinking Yahweh, we have one Yahweh Jesus, the writers of the Creed, I've been going through Philip Kerry's have finished Philip Kerry's book, the Nicene Creed, which gives an exposition of that talks about that great controversy that the early church had to deal with. Jesus is Yahweh of the Old Testament, and all things are through him. In other words, he's the agent God's here. The father is the originator. Jesus is the agent, through whom are all things Jesus was the agent or the builder God, the architect, Jesus, the builder is making all of creation but the all things also includes all redeemed things. Through whom are all things and through whom we exist. It is through Jesus sacrificial death through Jesus coming to earth. The Nicene Creed opens, we believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and all things visible and invisible, and in one Lord Jesus Christ. It goes on to say, who became human, for us and for our salvation through whom we exist, to give God glory, to be restored to God. This Lord Jesus, Jesus, the one who has come to save His people from their sins, the Christ the promise King, that King who is God and man has come. He suffered. He was buried on the third day he rose again, and Paul makes it crystal clear Jesus said this in John 17, three, this is eternal life, that they My disciples know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. So there is some knowledge and some facts that are interesting. Pod spots giving some some interesting facts. But these are not just interesting facts. I mean, it might be interesting to answer the question, what is the speed of an unladen? Swallow? Well, African or European? I don't know. If you remember the Monty Python clip? Oh, I'm a Christian. I didn't watch that. He wasn't a Christian. Well watch that. There are some facts that are interesting. But there are some facts and truths, some truths that habit, absolute demand on the entirety of your life. These truths have a demand on the entirety of your life. You push them off, you ignore them, or you reject them to your peril and to your everlasting destruction. And when you say you agree with them, you don't agree with them, like, oh, yeah, this is a good book, I liked what was in it. If this is true, He is your Lord. He is your God, You're a strange and you need to call out to Him for mercy. And he has provided one way for you to be restored and that's through Jesus Christ and now to him as your allegiance that's what baptism is about a person declaring their allegiance is about the new shape of their life. This has an absolute demand on a person's life. And God the Father has sent His son because he loves us, because He loves his people and he has called them from eternity past. So if that's you, you owe him your allegiance and you owe your fellow man your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, love and respect and thoughtfulness.

    This is what shapes how we think. There's two scenarios we need to think through. I have them in the list, but they really are sides. They're they're poles, cases of overt idolatry or sinfulness. If the event or activity you're asked to participate in is overly overtly idolatrous or sinful, you're going to have to stay clear, even if you think you can remain unstained by them. Because you have the potential of stumbling. You don't know as you ought to know if you don't think you have some sort of danger. Or you're going to lead somebody else into compromise. They're overtly by their existence, sinful. There are cases that have potential false worship and potential certain sinfulness and that's love and God's glory that helps you start thinking through those decisions.

    Are there things that could lead somebody down the road to sin?

    And there's a host of things while you know that money is money, music is music. A drink is a drink, dancing can be wholesome. Power can be used for God's glory power can be used for self glory would you take in front of a friend who has had an addiction to gambling, enslavement to gambling ruined his family's life and his life, and tell him about the bet you made with your friend on the next Seahawks game. You might be more sensitive than that. This is how it's going to shape us who God is and what his glory has demands for us, demands us to care much about God's glory and the care of our brothers and sisters. Let's pray. Father, we thank you for this very powerful word. And we thank you that you are good and gracious to give it to us and we have a lot of navigating to do. There are more questions and thoughts that we can answer in a Sunday morning. And so this sets us up well, but I read these words, the words the very same words that the Nicene and apostles Creed's were read from and my heart is compelled, our hearts are compelled. We want to give you the worship and praise and honor and obedience that you are do and we want to genuinely and sincerely care for anybody in any spiritual state and not by our actions or example, lead them to sin. So help us do that in Christ's name. Amen.


Dan Jarms

Dr. Dan Jarms is teaching pastor and team leader at Faith Bible Church in Spokane Washington, as well as associate dean at TMS Spokane. He has been married for over 30 years to Linda, and has three adult children. He earned his B.A. in English at the Master’s College, B.Ed. at Eastern Washington University, M.Div and D.Min in Expository Preaching at The Master’s Seminary. His other interests include NCAA basketball, gardening, brick oven cooking.

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