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Liberty for the Glory of God
Transcript of Liberty for the Glory of God
2 Kings 5:17-19
“17 Then Naaman said, “If not, please let there be given to your servant two mule loads of earth, for from now on your servant will not offer burnt offering or sacrifice to any god but the Lord. 18 In this matter may the Lord pardon your servant: when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, leaning on my arm, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, when I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, the Lord pardon your servant in this matter.” 19 He said to him, “Go in peace.”
Expressions of our Liberty must be driven by an internal conviction that these are for God’s glory.
A Convinced Conscience vs. 5
What is the Conscience?
The conscience is an internal moral meter.
It is informed by prior instruction, personal experience, or lack of knowledge.
1 Corinthians 8:4-7
“4 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.” 5 For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, 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. 7 However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.”
The Importance of the Conscience
“15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.”
It is part of our creation
It is a tool of the Holy Spirit
“I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit”
1. Our Conscience can be damaged
2. Our Conscience can make us free or put us in bondage
1 Corinthians 8:7
"7 However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.”
“So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.”
The Conscience Must be Calibrated
1. The implications of weak and strong clearly point to a need for a strength of faith / conscience
2. We want to be ruled by Christ through the Word not by culture or experience
3. Like Peter and the Jews, a weak conscience could limit the advance of the Gospel
God's Glory in your convinced state
Freedom or Restriction for the Glory of God
There is Gratitude (vs. 6)
There is Submission (vs. 7-8)
There is Glory for Christ (vs. 9)
1 Corinthians 10:31
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” That verse is not saying, “
Are you serious enough about glorifying God in your liberty decisions to study them biblically?
Do you pursue having a biblically informed conscience or is it informed more by culture, history, and experiences?
Have you made your decisions of liberty to please others or out of a convinced conscience that this is best for you to glorify God?
Are you excited by the glory of God in the lives of other Christians because they are convinced in their conscience, even if they are different from where you land on that issue?
Are you more worried about the cancer of hypocrisy in the life and home of another Believer or honest expressions of what they believe glorifies God on a disputable matter?