My Responsibility for Another Christian's Worship

1 Corinthians 8:7–13

Posted by Dan Jarms on August 27, 2023
My Responsibility for Another Christian's Worship
00:00 00:00

Main idea: Take care not to lead another Christian into false worship. Background on eating meat sacrificed to idols. Matthew 18:6-7. Acts 15:28-29 (See also Acts 15:20, 21:25). Revelation 2:14 (See also Revelation 2:20). 1 Corinthians 10:18-20, 27-28. Prioritize worship, not the thing. Protect their worship, not your "rights" (8:9-13)

Main idea: Take care not to lead another Christian into false worship.

Directly idolatrous/sinful Potentially idolatrous

Background on eating meat sacrificed to idols

  • Matthew 18:6-7
  • Acts 15:28-29 (See also Acts 15:20, 21:25)
  • Revelation 2:14 (See also Revelation 2:20)
  • 1 Corinthians 10:18-20, 27-28

1. Prioritize worship, not the thing.

2. Protect their worship, not your “rights.” (8:9-13)

  • Automated Transcription
  • 0:13
    Stand with me for the reading of God's Word. We are in first Corinthians chapter eight. And we're continuing in the section about meat sacrifice to idols and violating conscience. No, you probably don't know where you can get food that's been sacrificed to idols in Spokane. However, the surprising principles that always show up in First Corinthians are very helpful for us. And that's going to prove to be true again yet today. I'm going to pick up in verse seven, with a little commentary as I read, and we'll read to verse 13. First Corinthians eight verse seven, however, not all possess this knowledge that there's only one God and one father and one Lord Jesus Christ. But some through former association with idols, eat food as 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. But take care that this rite of yours does 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 is 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 you my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble. This is the word of the Lord. Our God and Father, we thank you for sending Jesus Christ. Lord Jesus without you, we could never be restored, to fellowship with God, we could never worship properly, we would stand in our sins without the ability to approach but Jesus you died and paid for all. We have been singing and celebrating the merit that you have won on our behalf. And that is to orient our hearts to right worship. And so I pray that You would help us take ownership of our worship and others not just what I mean by singing, but our whole life lived for your glory. Help us do that. Today. I pray for our churches around our city. I pray everywhere a Bible is opened up and the words are expounded the hearers would listen and be changed. Just like we want to be here. Use your spirit in a powerful way. And I pray that You would help me be accurate and helpful. And now Lord, I pray that you had to give us attentiveness as we work through a culturally interesting passage, but powerfully significant for our time. In Your name. Amen. You may be seated. So I'm gonna start with a question that you may really not have asked all that much. We live in an individualistic culture. So here's the question what is a Christians role in guarding another Christians worship? To personalize it? What's your role in guarding another Christians worship? Maybe you've just never thought I didn't think I had anything to do with that. I mean, their worship, their worship, my worship, as my worship. And as Spoken like a pretty typical American. We're all pretty individualized. But if you're a Christian in this passage, the apostle Paul is saying that you have a role not leading another person to sin. And in particular, you have a role in not leading another person to false worship. What do I mean by worship? Because I think that's an important thing to define. Worship is the idea of giving honor, allegiance, obedience, putting hope putting trust into a God, for Christian worship, specifically in the One God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It really is beyond just the gathering and the portion we sing we often in Christian lingo, in America, we often say the worship part of the church, which we mean the singing part of the church, and then the search service and then we have the Bible part. But what the Apostle Paul is talking about a whole life oriented toward God for His glory. The big idea then for the for the moment, is this or for the section is that you you don't want to lead another person you want to take care Are to not lead another person into false worship. We're gonna need to bounce back and I'll try to be careful as I do this today to their town and our town, their town in Corinth, 2000 years ago, our town and Spokane we're gonna have to bounce back and forth. To get a picture of what this looks like. We'll try to draw this out. But as we look at Corinth, and as we have as we've gone through the book, it's a typical city in a row in the Roman empire where idolatry was the way of life for most and not just idolatry and one other God, but a multitude of God, everybody except the Christians and the Jews were syncretistic, meaning them, they blended multiple worship of multiple gods in the daily way. So birthday parties, parties, weddings, conferences, market days, townhall meetings, Senate meetings, even if the Senate even if the Emperor commanded the meeting of the Senate that he was going to address would have had some kind of worship involved and very often sacrifices. So in that sense, worship is the fabric of life, either to idols or to Christ. We might have more direct versions than you're willing to admit or think about. Drew on a scale of two lines with a spectrum in between there are things that are directly idolatrous or directly sinful. There are things that are potentially idolatrous and potentially sinful. There are some easy ones. Not that you're faced with these necessarily every day, let's say Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, participating in a worship service, not just attending, like, I wonder what Buddhists actually do. We're going to take a couple people, we're gonna go check it out and figure it out. Not to worship but just to understand that's not what Paul's talking about. He is talking about participation. So animism, LDS Latter Day Saints rituals and worship, you don't want to participate in those and that's going to be the key word participation is going to write down a word, you don't want to participate in those things that are false worship. Some that are a little more touchy in our culture in Spokane is Roman Catholic communion. And Roman Catholic communion really believes that at the priests injunction, the bread and the wine, mystically become the real body and blood of Jesus and His re sacrificed. So to participate in a mass, knowing that means you're participating in a blasphemous or idolatrous practice in the middle of a Roman Catholic service. Those are just some of the kinds of examples that you would find. Our East Asia team was in a country on a feast day of Islam in which sacrifices were offered in mosques all over the city and the meat was distributed, widespread, and it wouldn't have been all that hard to find meat sacrificed to an idol to Allah, at that at that point. So maybe in Spokane, you're not faced with a decision, you're not invited to a party in which the sacrifices made to something. However, there are things that you could be careful of, then there's the directly sinful things in our culture, endorsing the LGBTQ identity, affirming somebody who has wants that identity would be participating in it. It's another thing to care and love and bring the Gospel to and have relationship with somebody who wants that, but it's another thing to affirm it or endorse it. That'd be participating in it. And then there's the obvious like the 10, commandments, murder, adultery, coveting. You don't want to be the person leading somebody else into sin by your example, in those obvious ways. The ones that are harder, takes some thinking. They actually take thoughtfulness. And that's the whole point of the chapters. Are you going to be thoughtful about how another person worships and how your example could be a problem for them? gambling, drinking alcohol, drug use gaming, various entertainments with immorality and other things in them, movies, et cetera? Those have potential for some. So culturally, we use the word addiction. The Bible would just think of it as a voluntary enslavement.

    A drunkard for instance. So somebody who's a drunkard you You want to be careful not to, to drinking in front of them so that they would not go in back into drunkenness. Right. So it's, it's something that became an idol, a functional savior and in gambling, gaming, drug use can all be those kinds of things. already threw one grenade out with Roman Catholic communion, being Roman Catholic, I can say that I'll explain that a little bit. But there's also this sense of, of government and military can be an idle, government and military can be an idle Wait a second, are you one of those anti government guys, Dan? I'm just saying what the Psalms say. Some men trust in chariots. Some men trust in horses. Some men trust in princes, but we will trust in the name of the Lord our God, one of the great things that Israel did to sin against Yahweh as they put their trust in foreign governments and foreign armies. So they actually made government and an army their God. That's what they trusted. Some, some, so obsess about those things. You wonder who they really trust in. They really trust in the Lord or the trust in government or military, you can say the same for wealth and weapons. And I can't unpack all of those. But anything can be a good desire and turn to an over desire or an obsession. And you want to be careful with a person who has put aside the obsession that over desire that heart idle, you want to be careful around that person again, you the main idea is you want to take care not to cause someone to go back to false worship. The ones that some of you might have grown up just show of hands to anybody in here ever. Were you ever told that you shouldn't go bowling? Because it's worldly? Has anybody ever been told that bowling was worldly? Can nobody's ever been told to go bowling at all? There are bowlers in this room, and they're good. But yes, you know, some some guys from the Midwest are saying, oh, yeah, as kids, we were told we couldn't go bowling. Couldn't go to the movies. Because we'd make a brother stumble. We could make somebody stumble what I mean, I get it, you trip over the line and fall at the bowling alley. But but the idea was that bowling alleys bars, all sorts of places had worldly activities, people smoked there, or people drink alcohol there. And you don't want a person to smoke or drink alcohol. Because those were in fundamental circles, those were sinful. Although the Bible doesn't say anything about smoking, it does say things about alcohol. But still, the point is pretty, pretty simple. You want to be careful about what might lead somebody else. So as if you if you have kids at home, you're going to eventually have to deal with what kind of movies are we going to choose to watch or not watching? What kinds of movies do we watch with the kids friends, you're gonna have to be thoughtful about that, about what is either sinful or against conscience. And the Apostle Paul has a couple of very valuable lessons in this section. We don't want to be participants in idolatrous worship, we don't want to appear so and even more importantly, we don't want to lead somebody else into it if we feel like it's not idolatry ourselves. Let's set a little bit of background really quick on this. Because what the Apostle doing is Apostle Paul is doing as he is giving a specific application to a principle that Jesus set up in Matthew chapter 18. And Matthew 18 Verse six, Jesus says, taking some children to himself, he says, Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have grit, a great millstone fastened around his neck and be drowned into the depth of the sea, which always made me terrified as a word as a children's pastor. Like we better get it right for the kids otherwise. I guess that was before concrete shoes. But there was a seriousness and Jesus was setting a picture about someone young in the faith, a child, someone young in the faith. He goes on Woe to the world for Temptations to sin four, it is necessary that temptations come God has a divine overarching purpose. But woe to the one by whom the temptation comes. You don't want to tempt someone to sin. You don't want to. You don't want to cause damage to a person young in the faith. So that's specific application to this in Acts 1528 The New Testaments really clear that Christians are not to eat food sacrificed to idols, he says that you abstain from what has been this is x 1328 29 that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols from blood and from what has been strangled and from sexual immorality at the end of this great Jerusalem Council. They were told don't participate in certain gentile or pagan idolatrous practices. One of those was eating food sacrificed to idols. It's repeated in Acts a couple of times, and it's repeated in Revelation to Jesus who is condemning a couple of the churches and Revelation says, But I have a few things against you that you have some who hold the teaching of balem. It's like a false teaching from the Old Testament who taught bale AK the king of Moab to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel so that they might eat food sacrifice to idols and practice immorality. So food sacrifice to idols was to participate in the idolatry. That's repeated about another person who did that revelation to 20. So there were commands. This helps us set up the section in First Corinthians 10, which we'll get to after our fall Vision Series, which will kick off next week, Brian Sayers will kick that off in the park for us. They were told directly about this. And it's not that the idle food is anything but food but people really worship by offering it. So this is what the Apostle says in verse 19 1019, what do I imply then that food offered to idols is anything? Or that an idol is anything? No. Why imply that what pagans sacrifice, they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. So what they think they're offering to Zeus and Poseidon and the various Greek gods. They're actually just their demons who encourage it, who fomented who liked to sit and receive the worship of it. You don't want to participate in that. So, last week, we use the example of Uncle Christmas his birthday. You don't want to eat the food, if it's been sacrificed to an idol, just go to Uncle Christmas, a Happy Birthday uncle, but I can't eat the food. It's been sacrificed to an idol. Down in verse 27, let's well let's talk about private dinners. What about private dinners? If one of the unbelievers invites you to a dinner and you are disposed to go eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience. So in other words, if the meal is laid out, and you don't know what it is, you can eat it. Don't ask any questions, though, because as soon as you get an answer that it's been offered to idols, now you have a problem because the host, the host, has considered that food part of his worship and you can't participate with his worship. Mean food is food, but worship is something else. If you brought with you a non another Christian brother, or sister, and that brother or sister said, Hey, that was offered to an idol, you will have to say, Sorry, we can't eat that, because it's been offered to your idol. And we worship Jesus singularly. That's for the sake of the conscience of the person who is making the meal for you, even though they're an unbeliever it is to tell them I have another God to tell you about the true God, the One God JESUS. Won't that offend the non Christian? It might. But it might also be the first and best chance you've ever had to clearly walk through the gospel of the one true God. And it will also protect the brother who's with you. What does that look like in our day? Well, we'll give you some examples as we walk through this. Even though food is food, you want to make it clear to the non Christian that you worship Christ exclusively. And you want to make sure your Christian friend is not tempted to participate in a false worship.

    So How hard have you thought about the worship of your brothers and sisters? Do you have you thought that their worship and I don't mean just coming out on Sunday morning, you should think about that, but about their life that you have some responsibility for it. The apostle Paul says we have a loving responsibility for other believers to think carefully, especially newer believers, believers who have not fully thought out the implications of the Gospel we have we have a responsibility for their worship. So two simple principles today. First of all, prioritize the worship, not the food. And second of all, give up your rights. Give up your rights to protect somebody else's worship. Okay, number one, prioritize the worship, not the food while idle food may just be food, Paul saying idol worship is always false worship. One of the ways we like to say it is the thing really isn't the thing. It's the worship offered to the thing. That's what really counts. Verse seven, however, not all possess this knowledge. What is that knowledge? Let's just look back briefly. And it's, it's maybe important if you're visiting with us, what knowledge are we talking about? If you're here for the first time, if Christianity's new and your excellent explanation, what are we? What are we talking about? Back in verse five. It says, although there may be so called gods in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many quote unquote, gods many lords, lot of idle, idle temples around. Yet for us there is one God the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. So I want you to know, if you're, if you're a visitor here, or if you're not yet a follower of Jesus Christ, there are no other gods. The God has revealed himself in the Bible is the only God and He has revealed Himself, the persons of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. That's the one true God, God, the Father is the originator, God, the Son is the agent, God, the Spirit is the Empower there is only one who exists and one we worship. And God, the Father has sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for our sins, to restore us to God. And I would encourage you, if you haven't thought about this, well, I think there's lots of gods, I would love to have a conversation about what God says himself about other gods. For seven, comes back to not all possess this knowledge, which is a reference back to verse one. All of us possess knowledge, which was a proud knowledge, we're experts were in the No, food is food. We could do whatever we want. So it's not all possess this. But some through former association with idols eat food as really offered to an idol. Their practice up until this very day, their custom, up until this very time, has been to see yes, there is God, Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and there are these other gods and there is really worship offered to them. He's not saying that the new believers really believed that there are other gods. But they, they, they have still not worked out all the implication that worship are being offered. Paul will later say there's actually a spiritual entity going on, there's demons. So not all, are there not all are this mature to say food is food. And then here's what's key. It's key. And as we come back to our day, and their conscience, being weak is defiled. What's your conscience? What's your conscience? Your conscience? Is your your mental framework for knowing what's right and wrong. Your conscience is what you have learned is right and wrong in the world. So that when you do something wrong, your conscience is correct. That was wrong when you do something right. You know what's right. So kids, you're at home. You still your brother or your sisters cookie, and you eat it. And you know what is wrong? I didn't say you fessed up, but you just know what is wrong. Stealing the cookie is wrong. Why do you know it's wrong? It's your conscience. That's how your conscience works. It tells you whether that was wrong. Leaving the cookie alone was right. Taking it for yourself was wrong. That's your conscience. So if you feel bad after you steal, you have a guilty conscience. If you feel like I hope I don't get caught. I'm not gonna tell anybody. Your conscience is still at work. telling you is wrong. You're just now afraid of getting caught. You know, you'll be punished. Or you know, somebody will be mad. But that's the function of conscience. Where do we get our conscience from? We get our conscience from our parents. We get our conscience from our culture. We get our conscience from sometimes the Bible. That's where you should get all of your conscience from your Bible, but there are a lot of things that are right and wrong. Not all of them are informed by the Bible. So if you have a conscience that is informed by family culture or self made Vaught values. What do you do with that? The apostle Paul doesn't instruct the weak people to change their conscience. You notice that he instructs strong people to be sensitive? What if a new believer has just left worshipping a particular God, they find out that there is a feast that would serve that that food. Their conscience would be defiled, to go eat it well, what if you encourage them, it's fine, you can eat that food and you can worship that God and this god. Well, that'd be wrong, or they would deny their conscience and drift off and worship another God. When Linda and I were saved, she was saved ahead of me, but we both come from some worldly background. And when we first became Christians, there were just some things we didn't want to participate in. I did not know any pop music from 1989 to yesterday. I just we just never listened to pop music. Well, not much pop music 70s Okay. Um, but, but I almost worshipped pop music. And when I got saved, I just didn't want to go there. I felt icky for doing it. And I had this conscience and conscience issues and is it sinful to listen to country music? Nobody said. Nobody said, yes. Come on. I love country music. We realized over time where we thought we were being spiritual, we were actually the weaker brother. So in some sense, music is music. Music That is overtly or directly sinful. That's another story. But music that's music is just music, dancing, that's dancing. It's just dancing. It depends on the content. Depends what it was. We had the weaker conscience. But God didn't correct it right away at us. You know what I don't want you to violate your conscience. And here is that principle. God doesn't want you to violate your conscience. And God doesn't want you to make somebody else violate their conscience. While for them, it is still it is sin. You want to respect them. And think about it. The terms of food, this is what's really important. Verse eight, he says food will not commend us to God literally, the idea of that command is put us in God's presence at Judgment Day. And God is not going to judge anybody by the food they did or didn't eat, he is going to judge them based on their faith and their worship. So the food doesn't commend us before God. And then he then he follows it up. What do I mean we're not worse off if we do not eat it. We didn't miss out on anything. We're not better off with we do. There's no gain. Food is just food. But worship is worship. And worship is worth watching, and being careful about as you have to navigate. You want to see a summer movie. You want to download a video. You've got friends over? Here's a way to say it in contemporary way. A video will not commend us to God. We're no worse off. If we don't watch it. We're no better off if we do. It's no big deal to give it up. It's no big deal. A Judgement Day. It won't matter if you haven't seen pick your movie. It won't matter. But I didn't see such and such Gods be like and if you did, am I supposed to like give you an applause

    how freeing that is then over these issues of conscience. We're happily we happily give up. Conscience issues. If we think at all that we might lead someone back to sin and Roman Catholic practice that's I grew up Roman Catholic. And they teach that that bread and wine mystically become the real body and blood of Jesus re sacrificed every mass. One of our neighbors across the street from us died And I was asked to help officiate the funeral at a Catholic Church. The it was the grandma, and she really wasn't a devout Catholic. But the kids were Catholic and they needed a place to to have the funeral. I agreed. But I said, I can't take the I can't take communion. And my family is not going to take communion. Okay, great. So we went through, I did my part, I spoke the eulogy there, the mask continued on, everybody went up to the priests, and they took their elements, and our family just sat there. And you know what the rest of the Catholics there thought about us. They're Protestants. That's what they thought it was no big deal. As a kid all the time, we'd go up for communion. And there'd be people who didn't get up for communion for a variety of reasons. It was no big deal. Well, they're just not Catholic, but they're here today. But it would have sent a very clear sign if I hadn't gotten up and taking communion, it would have sent a very clear sign if I would have participated in that. You'll have to navigate what that means. Maybe you never knew that you've been taking, you've had this family member and you go to Mass with them and you take it thinking it's like we think it is now it's not you gotta hope I better talk to Dan again, what do I do?

    Look at the left side of that page, the direct idolatry, you don't want to participate in anything that is false worship. On the right side, and that's more case by case you want to think through enslaving sins, that might still have power in someone's life and you don't want to make it harder for your Christian or brother or sister to sin. Principle number two, this is the selflessness principle, protect their worship, not your rights. You want to protect their worship, not your rights. You may think you have the freedom to do certain things, someone else's worship is more important than your freedom. This is running opposite. In the in the Driscoll era, he was trying Mark Driscoll and Seattle was trying to justify every possible thing that was generally worldly, saying that it was fine to do for the sake of evangelism. And so the sermons out of this passage would have been preached to anybody who had a conscience issue about something, you need to get over it so that we can evangelize so that we can go to the bars and we can tie a few on and we can get a little drunk or we can cuss like the world that was often used that way in the early 2000s. That's just the opposite of what's actually being said here. It's just the opposite. If you have a quote unquote Christian freedom you give it up for love for someone else's worship first nine, but take care that this right of yours and he's using that ironically, does not somehow become a stumbling block to the week given the obvious commands, to not eat meat sacrificed to idols that writes ironic, but the stumbling blocks critical stumbling blocks an idea rooted in the Old Testament and a stumbling block was the idea of making someone sin or worship an idol and it would send them to their ruin it's not the idea of oh boy caught my foot on that it's like crashed to the ground destruction

    that person who has a sensitive conscience for if anyone sees you who have knowledge back to that knowledge that pops up from verse one eating and an idols temple and he's not just talking about you know, whatever was served at the buffet line. This word for eating is laying down on your left side at a long table eating with the right I mean, it's a long drawn out affair. If anyone sees you doing this enjoying the revelry the food will he not be encouraged if his conscience is weak to eat food offered to idols and it's it's the same word that was builds up before you're gonna build somebody up into idolatry, you're going to tell them it's okay to worship this false God and Jesus

    at best, it might make him guilty. So He has to confess into God and he has to talk to you like, This is wrong. Why are we doing this? Or he could drift back into syncretism worshipping another God, verse 11. So by your knowledge, this weak person is destroyed. And this is not he sinned, and now he has to confess to God, this is a denial of the faith. This is a judgment before God on Judgment Day, and so by your knowledge, this weak person is destroyed the brother for whom Christ died. Not just talking about they now need to confess because they broke their conscience. He's talking about leading him into false worship, and then they turn away from the true and living God. Which makes the discerning reader go, Wait a second, Paul, I thought, you taught things like nothing can separate us from the love of God. So how could my actions cause someone else to have eternal destruction? I thought the Bible taught that once a person believes and is genuinely saved, that they're eternally secure in Christ, but this makes it seem like I have the ability to ruin their faith. What's the saying? I'm glad you asked. First Corinthians one, verse eight, Paul says to the church to the Corinthians, that they would be preserved until Christ returns. Paul says here, that you have the power by bad example, to lead someone down a road where they would destroy their faith. So how do we answer these kinds of questions? Well, let's, let's answer it by experience first, which is what Paul is doing, and then by theology Second, by experience, first, I'll give you my experience first. When we started faith Bible Church and I was just a member of the church long before I was a pastor here, I knew this person who was single, young single, then became pastor, I knew this person for 20 years, and the person turned 40, single, bitter toward God, that he was still single. And he wandered from the faith so he can marry a non Christian and finally get married. As far as I know, the person hasn't turned back. number of years I listened to and read a pastor who faithfully taught God's word. And then walked away from the faith 15 years. I remember Linda and I, when we went to Masters, we had a couple that was part of the wedding party 10 years into our marriage, this couple had denied the Trinity joined the cult, and as far as we know, is still with the cult today. So 10 years, we knew these people, 15 years, we knew this pastor, 20 years, I knew this, this member and for all of those years, by their fruit, by their prayer, by their Bible study, by their involvement in ministry, I would have thought this was a brother. But they turned away. And I bet if you've been a believer long enough, you know, that kind of experience. Paul is saying something really sobering. You don't want to be the cause of that kind of thing. You don't want to be the cause of it by your thoughtless example. You don't want to be the issue that sparked the drift and unbelief. Let's answer this theologically. It is true. The Bible leaves us with attention. And John 1027 28, one of the most comforting verses in, in Jesus teaching. Jesus says My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow Me and it's a continuous, they follow me and they keep following me. I give them eternal life, which isn't eternal, unless you could keep it forever. It's not maybe life. It's not temporary life. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand. There's security but Jesus also says in Matthew 2413, but the one who endures who endures to the end will be saved. And by implication, Jesus is very clear, the one who does not endure to the end will not be saved. So how do we answer that? The truly saved and secure will bear the fruit of perseverance, very critical doctrine of the Bible called the perseverance of the saints. When Jesus calls and saves by His Spirit, He gives the spirit in such a way that makes a person keep believing all the way to the end of their life. doesn't mean there's not difficulties in sin, we sing a song to help us remember to confess sin on a day by day basis. And the apostle John and First John one, first on to 19 gives us the answer. They went out from us, but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would have continued with us but they went out that it might become plain that they are they all are not of us. So we go back to Jesus words, and Matthew 18. Seven, it is necessary that temptations come but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes, you don't want to be the guy. You don't want to be the gal whose freedom proved to be the stumbling block to a false brother. You don't want to be that person. And since we live in a world where we don't know 100%, who true brothers our two sisters are Paul wants to anchor our ethics in the Gospel. Notice this, Jesus died for your sins, and for your brothers and sister sins, the brother for whom Christ died, not just died to forgive their sins, but died to bring them reconciliation to God as their God, the one that they worship and adore and love and obey and give their allegiance to the basis of my forgiveness and reconciliation to worship the one true and living God as the same as my brother's forgiveness and reconciliation to worship the one true God. Do you consider your salvation a precious gift? Is it a precious gift to you, given to you by grace alone, is it then it should be precious because the same thing is given to a brother or sister in Christ, and of Christ died for my brother and sister, that brother or sister is precious to me?

    He gives us further explanation verse 12. Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding that's a strong word for striking causing to damage wounding their conscience, when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Here's a powerful and sobering set of truths. causing someone else to sin by following your example is a sin against them and a sin against Christ. How do you think about your role in another person's worship? Paul was so earnest about this in verse 13. He says, Therefore, if I if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat literally. I will not eat meat forever. He uses the eternity word. Lest I make my brother stumble is Paul Are you never gonna eat meat? It's hyperbole. But if he knows someone has a weak conscience, he is never going to eat it. Because my brother's worship is way important more important than having a piece of steak sacrificed to an idol. To way more important, never. This principle helps on the right side of the spectrum. If you have new believers as friends, or people who came out of various enslaving patterns, like drunkenness, or gambling or drug abuse or the like, you should probably choose other things to do with them than those things.

    If you're at a public event with them and knew their past, you would gladly give up the right to enjoy any of those things.

    I'm not talking about you having a bunch of friends over and you're gonna play Monopoly. But you know that Jared over here or Jimmy or John, let's pick their names. Always gets angry at Monopoly. Like whenever we play, he cheats. He gets mad if he loses. I mean, that's just no fun to play with. You're not responsible for somebody immaturity. But if somebody is enslaved to monopoly there's a sight word for you. But fortnight or some other game could be their thing. And it's ruined their marriage, it's ruined a bunch of things. They're like, you know, we're gonna have a bunch of friends over and we're gonna go play bocce ball outside. Thank you careful, you're careful. One of the things I thank God for is in my family, even among my adult children, I see them all living out that principle of love. freedoms are no big deal. It's no big deal to not do one of those things is no big deal. Food is just food. I'm not missing anything, really. For the sake of somebody who might be weak in the faith, where we'll be happy to give it up. To say it positively because Jesus died for the sins of all Christians, they are precious to him and their worship is precious to Him. Therefore their worship is precious to me. And I'll be careful with it. Let's pray. Father, thank You for these powerful words here is very much different from korins culture than ours, but also a lot the same. And I pray that You would give us a renewed sense of thoughtfulness and responsibility with people around us. And I pray that when we have the conversations as families, as couples, as singles with roommates, as we have these conversations, I pray that You would help us be quick to defer our rights and quick to love and care for other people in that by that make Christianity a testimony to the unbelieving world that we would care that much for the people around us who are yours. It's in Christ's name we pray, 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.

View Resources by Dan Jarms
Resource Tags
More From This Series