Posts Tagged ‘conscience’


Under Gods Command                                                                                                

1 Corinthians 10:28-33 But if anyone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the man who told you and for conscience’ sake-the other man’s conscience, I mean, not yours. For why should my freedom be judged by another’s conscience? If I take part in the meal with thankfulness why am I denounced because of something I thank God for? So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God-even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

Why should we be limited by another person’s conscience? Simply because we are to do all things for God’s glory, even our eating and drinking. Nothing we do should cause another believer to stumble. We do what is best for others, so that they might be saved. We should also be sensitive to the meaning of our actions to new Christians who are sorting out how to renounce sinful ways from the past and live for Christ. However, Christians should not make a career out of being the offended people with oversensitive consciences.

Believers must not project their standards onto others. Many believers who have been Christians for years are still oversensitive and judgmental of others. Instead of being the offended weaker brothers and sisters, they are no more than offended “Pharisees.”

Christian leaders and teachers should carefully teach about the freedom Christians have in matters not expressly forbidden by Scripture. New or weak Christians should not remain in a weak or sensitive state but should grow into maturity and discernment lest they prove to be an unnecessary burden on others’ freedom in Christ.

 Lets Bring it Home: God’s love must so permeate our motives that all we do will be for his glory. Keep this as a guiding principle by asking, “Is this action glorifying God?” or “How can I honor God through this action?”

 

 


Under Gods Command

1 Corinthians 8:4-9 So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), yet for us there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

     But not everyone knows this. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat such food they think of it as having been sacrificed to an idol, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled, But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do. 

Paul addressed these words to believers who weren’t bothered by eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols. Although idols were phony, and the pagan ritual of sacrificing to them was meaningless, eating such meat offended Christians with more sensitive consciences. Paul said, therefore, that if a weaker or less mature believer misunderstood their actions they should, out of consideration, avoid eating meat offered to idols.

8:10-13For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, won’t he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against your bothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall. 

Christian freedom does not mean that anything goes. It means that our salvation is not determined by good deeds or legalistic rules, but by the free gift of God (Ephesians 2:8,9). Christian freedom, then, is inseparably tied to Christian responsibility. New believers are often very sensitive to what is right or wrong, what they should or shouldn’t do. Some actions may be perfectly all right for us to do, but many harm a Christian brother or sister who is still young in the faith and learning what the Christian life is all about.

Lets Bring it Home: We must be careful not to offend a sensitive or younger Christian or, by our example, to cause him or her to sin. When we love others, our freedom should be less important to us than strengthening the faith of a brother or sister in Christ.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 18:20 From the fruit of his mouth a man’s stomach is filled: with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied. 

Do you want to be happy and successful? You can be! Here is wisdom to find fulfillment and peace in life: learn to talk better (Pr 18:21). The proverb has many figures of speech, but the lesson is simple. If you will improve your speaking, you will be blessed in many ways by God, by others, and even by your own soul (Pr 14:14). Grasp this wisdom!

Your belly here is your heart, soul, spirit, and conscience (Pr 13:25; 18:8; 20:27,30). They are fulfilled and satisfied, when you speak well (Pr 15:23). The fruit of your mouth is gracious and wise words, which is the good trait of speaking correctly (Pr 16:13; 22:11; 24:26; 25:11). You can give yourself pleasure by noble speech. Kind and good words help listeners for sure, but they also bring rewards to the speaker (Pr 12:14; 13:2).

The increase of your lips in this proverb is the improvement that you make to your speech by learning the rules of wisdom for the tongue and lips (Pr 15:28; 16:23). Solomon had much to say on this subject, and you can increase the sweetness and value of your speech by ruling your words for the glory of God and profit of man. This increase, like the fruit in the first clause, will bring blessing, honor, and riches into your life.

How many times have you later said to yourself, “Why did I say that?” If you have a conscience (all good men have strong consciences), then you have grieved for foolish or hurtful words you let escape from your mouth. It is this frustrating pain in life that you can eliminate by learning gracious speech. Solomon knew the chance of sin increased with much speaking, so he recommended fewer words (Pr 10:19; 17:27-28; Eccl 5:1-3). This saying is wise: If you cannot say anything kind and helpful, then say nothing at all.

How many times have others said, “Why did she say that?” Have you left others bleeding from the piercing of the sword in your mouth (Pr 12:18)? Your tongue is for the health and wealth of others, but you often leave them angered, grieving, or confused. Sometimes they tell you about it; most of the time they just suffer in silence. When you find out the pain and damage you have caused, it is a burden on your soul. It is your wisdom and honor to learn words that encourage and instruct others (Pr 10:20-21; 16:24).

God gave you a tongue for more than swallowing food. He named it your glory (Ps 30:12; 108:1). By proper use it can glorify God. You can be a tree of life to others by helpful and encouraging speech (Pr 15:4; Eph 4:29). The person who graciously teaches truth and wisdom to others is rare and precious (Neh 8:12; Luke 24:32; Acts 8:26-35). You can become this person by learning the book of Proverbs (Pr 1:1-4; 22:17-21).

Is it easy to change your speech habits? It is easier to train a cobra to sip milk from a bowl and purr on your lap (Jas 3:1-12). But God gave you Proverbs. Guard your speech. Cut your words in half. Think before you speak. Rule your spirit. Love graciousness. Make every word helpful and kind. Despise harshness. Hate talebearing. Purify your thoughts. Reject foolish indiscretions. Work harder at listening. Build others up.

Does your conscience grieve you when you speak foolishly? It should! It does, if you are a good man with an active conscience. But what will you feel in the Day of Judgment, when you must give an account for every idle word to the Lord of glory (Matt 12:34-37)? No wonder Isaiah cried out in grief about his unclean speech in God’s presence (Is 6:1-7). You can have rejoicing in yourself, regardless of what others think, by good speech (Gal 6:4). You can be satisfied and filled by wise and virtuous speech. God bless your efforts.