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I CORINTHIANS 8; CHRISTIAN LIBERTIES: V 1. THE PICTURE; " Knowledge puffs up but charity edifieth.

" Paul was an Apostle of Jesus Christ, through the will of God and called into His service. He was warning the Corinthians against eating meat that was given out at heathen feasts and the worship of idols. Joining in these practices could lead the Christians back in sin, and away from God. ROMANS I v2l. Because that when they knew God they glorified Him not as God neither were thankful but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. ROMANS 2 v 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds. PROVERBS I v 7 ; The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge but fools despise wisdom and instruction. How careful we must be to make our worship of God meaningful and sincere for He knows our innermost thoughts V 2 . PRIDE. " He knows nothing yet as he ought to know." Some of the church members considered that they had extra spiritual knowledge and were puffed up towards others in the church. PROVERBS 9 v 9 ; Give instructions to a wise man and he will yet be wiser, teach a just man and he increases in learning. . EPHESIANS 4 v 1-3 ; I Therefore the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called. With all lowliness, meekness and longsuffering, Forbearing one another in love. endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is no room for pride in the person or the church, we have no liberty here ,to do as we please. V 3. PRAISE ; " But if a man loves God the same is known unto Him. " The love of God, meditation upon His holy word, and seeking to obey His will, gives a person a greater understanding of the things that displease God. The Scriptures also show us what God requires of those who wish to be dedicated to His service. PSALM 18 v 1-3 ; I will love You 0 Lord my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer. My God, my strength in whom I will trust , my buckler and the horn of my salvation and my high tower. ROMANS 5 v 5; And hope makes not ashamed because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us. The church that praises God will be a progressive and caring church, blessed by God. V 4-5 ; PRACTICE ; " There is none other God but Me. " While the heathen worshipped all kinds of gods, even drawing some of the Jews into their practices, there is still only one true God who answers pray and watches over us. There is no permission from God to worship anyone or anything else on this earth. MATTHEW 22 v 37 ; Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. JOHN 14 v I ; Let not your heart be worried, you believe in God believe also in Me. Let us keep our eyes upon Jesus and follow Him, making sure that we worship the Father in sincerity and truth. V 6, THE EMINENCE; " There is but one God the Father and one Lord Jesus Christ. "We are one in Christ who brought us into the family of God, as He forgives our confessed sins and leads us into the Christian way of life. Let us give God all honour and glory and give Him His rightful place in our lives. ISAIAH 48 v I ; For Mine own Sake, even for Mine own sake, will I do it, for how should My name be polluted ? and I will not give My glory unto another. PSALM 145 v I ; I will extol You, 0 my God, my King and I will bless Your name for ever and ever. The closer we get to understanding our God the more we will worship Him and have less to do with the worldly

way of life that displeases Him. V 7 ; PARTAKERS. " And their conscience being weakened is defiled." Jews and Gentiles who had earlier worshipped heathen idols and sinned badly against God, had some difficulty in relinquishing these faults when they were converted to Christianity. Paul had to send letters of correction to the churches for God will not have His churches defiled. I CORINTHIANS 6 v 16-17 ; What, know you not that he who is joined to an harlot is one body, for two says He shall be of one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one Spirit. I TIMOTHY 4 v I ; Now the Spirit speaks expressively that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. Let us be ardent partakers of the gospel of Jesus Christ and turn our backs on satanic false doctrines. v 8. PURPOSE. " But meat commends us not to God. " Eating meat offered to idols was condemned by God. It does not make us more spiritual or give us more agape love to spread. That come from making a meal of the word of God, Ignorance leads to bondage and some apathy in our lives and draws us away from Christian practices. What goes into the mouth does not defile the body, but what comes out of the mouth can defile the person. MATTHEW 15 v 18-20 ; But those things that proceed out of the mouth come forth out of the heart and they defile the man. For out of the hearts proceeds evil thoughts, ' murders, adulteries, fornication, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things that defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands defiles not a man. May we not stray from our purpose in giving honour and glory to God and following the examples given us by Jesus, Let our lives be such that other people will want what we say we have in Christ. PARTICIPATION; Take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours becomes a stumbling block to them that are weak. We cannot go drinking in hotel bars or at parties in the belief that as Christians we are going to be drawn back into sin, A new convert may well think that it must be all right for him to do the same. We need to maintain our standards for Christ. PROVERBS I I v 3 ; The integrity of the upright shall guide them, but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them. V IO ; THE PREDICAMENT. " Shall not the conscience of him that is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols ? " There are two lifestyles and the one to follow is that which Jesus has laid down for us to follow, if we are to be His disciples. It is not enough to know the Scriptures, we need to live up to the standard required by those Scriptures. I JOHN 3 v 18 ; My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue but in deed and truth. I TIMOTHY 4 v 12 ; Let no man despise your youth but be an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in Spirit, in faith, in purity. Let us make sure that we have the truth before we pass it on to those new converts. VI 1. PERFORMANCE. " And through your knowledge shall a weak brother perish People can read us like a book, and some pages may not make pleasant reading. We make ourselves Christian examples for others to follow whether we realise it or not May our Christian way of life draw closer to Christ as each day goes. by. MATTHEW 18 v 6 ; But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck and that he were drowned in the depths of the sea. This verse gives us what Jesus thinks of a backslidden or apathetic Christian. God says that He will spue them out of His mouth unless there is some genuine repentance.

V 12 ; PENALTIES ; " And when you sin against the brethren ... you sin against Christ By causing a brother to be lost, we are sinning against Jesus Christ. JOHN 5 v 28-29 ; And shall come forth they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation ; There is a consequence for everything we do, whether good of bad, There is a penalty for transgressions against God and a blessing for something we have done that God approves. REVELATION 20 v 12-15 ; And I saw the dead, small and great stand before God, and the books were opened and another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them, and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. JOHN 14 v 1-3 ; Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God believe also in me. In My Father's house are many mansions, if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself, that where I am there you may be also. God is just, merciful, forgiving but is also able to rightly judge those who rebel against Him and worship heathen idols. V 13 ; PARTITION AND PRAISE." " If meat makes my brother to offend I will eat no flesh, ..lest I make my brother to offend. " What a statement to make. A quiet determination that we should be careful not to unwittingly lead a person away from Christ by what seems to him to be poor behaviour for a Christian. Let us come apart from the worldly things that displease God and seek to worship Him in holiness and truth. .. PSALM 37 v 4-5 ; Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way unto the Lord, trust also in Him and He will bring it to pass. PSALM 47 v 1, 6-7 ;O clap your hands all you people, shout unto God with the voice of triumph, Sing praises to God sing praises, Sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth, sing praises with understanding. How good is the God we adore, our faithful, unchangeable friend. Whose love is as great as His power And knows neither measure nor end. Tis Jesus the first and the last. Whose Spirit shall guide us safe home, We'll praise Him for all that is past and trust Him for all that's to come.