BE CAREFUL - THAT WAY CAN HURT OTHERS
01 December 2013
When it comes to our Christian liberty i.e. the freedom we have in Christ, it is possible for us to exercise it in a manner that ends up hurting other believers. The potential for this is especially true amongst those of us who are mature believers, by failing to regard those whose faith is weaker than ours. In this passage, Paul reminds us that our liberties must be always have self-imposed limits whose constraints are set by our love for others.
What’s more, failure to appropriately restrain our Christian liberties can provide an ever-watching world with an opportunity to heap scorn on our faith. Foregoing our liberties is always a small price to pay for the sake of weaker believers as well as potential believers. After all, since the kingdom of God is about righteous and peace and joy, that’s what our liberties need to defer to. So that the world sees us as authentic and credible Christians; not cheap fakes.
1. Be careful –– Don't hurt fellow believers (vs 13-15)
2. Be careful –– Don't damage your witness (vs 16-18)
3. Be careful –– Don't injure your church (vs 19-23)
4. Practical tips for protecting weaker brothers from stumbling over our liberty:
- be considerate (vs 21)
- be convinced about the rightness or wrongness of our actions (vs 22a)
- be consistent (vs 22b, 23)