1. Christian liberty involves:

A. Freedom from the rituals of the Mosaic law.
    Sacrifices, offerings, Sabbath, tithing. Col. 2:16
    “Let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in
      respect to a festival or a new moon or a sabbath day.”
    This includes circumcision.
1 Cor. 7:18-19; Gal. 6:15; 5:6;
    Rom. 4:6-13.

B. Freedom from the dietary code of the Mosaic law.
    1 Timothy 3:3-5, “foods which God has created to be gratefully
     shared in by those who know and believe the truth. For
     everything created by God is good and nothing to be rejected if it
     is received with grace thankfulness.”

2. The primary cause for this issue with diet, rituals and holidays is 
    the cultural standards prescribed in the Mosaic law. Related to this
    is the pseudo superiority complex that developed among the Jews.
    Basically, there was to be no social interaction between Jew and
    Gentile unless the particular Gentile had become a convert and
    was in strict compliance with all the standards of the Mosaic law.
   Acts 10:28, "
And he said to them, “You yourselves know that it is 
   forbidden for a Jewish man to associate with or visit a 
yet God has shown me that I am not to call any person unholy
   or unclean."
  (Acts 11:3; 15:1, 5; Gal. 2:11-15).

3. Summary of Christian liberty from 3 passages:
Romans 14:1-15:7; 1 Corinthians 8; 1 Corinthians 10:23-33

   A. Romans 14:1-15:7
        1. Verse 1 exhorts us to unity by receiving the weak believer,
        but not for the purpose of arguing and disputing and ridiculing
        their weaknesses.
        2. The weak believer is one who has not grown in The Faith.
        It is one who has not been taught or has not accepted good
        doctrinal instruction.
        3. In this case, the weakness is thinking that abstinence from
         eating meat is a basis for greater favor with God.
        4. The strong believer is not to despise or judge the weak believer
         or ridicule him for his weakness.
            This believer understands the doctrine of Christian liberty,
             but can still be tempted to be judgmental.

        5. The weak believer does not understand this doctrinal truth
             and therefore bases his Christian life on false issues.

        6. No believer has any business judging another believer.
            This is God’s prerogative only. However, proper discernment
            and attempts to instruct the weaker believer in the right
            attitude are proper and to be expected by the informed believer.

        7. Verses 5-9 deal with the strong believer who has personal
            preferences in life. Each believer is to be fully confident about
            his personal choices and taboos for living.
            But such choices and taboos must not be imposed upon others.

        8. One believer chooses not to eat meat and he is free to do so
            according to the law of liberty.
            Another believer chooses to eat meat and he also is free to do
            so according to the law of liberty.

        9. However, neither one is to use that choice as a basis for
          finding favor with God or for judging the other believer.

       10. So all believers can serve and please God equally regardless
         of their choices to do or not do various things in life. If a believer
         chooses to not eat meat, this does not affect his spiritual life.
         However, if he thinks that this is a requirement to please God,
         then he is deceiving himself. AND if he attempts to require the
         the same observance for all believers, then to him, that belief
         and practice is religious legalism and it is sin.

       11. Personal taboos are never the issue.
        The issue is that whether we are alive here on earth or dead
        in the presence of the Lord, we belong to Him and are
        responsible for fulfilling His purpose for our existence.

       12. Verses 10ff then pick up again with the strong vs. the weak
             believer. According to verses 4 and 10-12, we have no
             business judging another believer, because all of us are
             responsible for our own activities and will stand before
             the reward seat of Christ to receive evaluation of those
             activities. At that time, Christ will judge and reward
             according to our works – without any help from us.
           See Topic: reward seat of Christ

       13. Therefore, we should not be judging each other but be
         constantly on the alert for demonstrating love and grace
         to others.

       14. Everything that is not forbidden in the word of God is
           permitted to believers. But if a believer is weak in
           knowledge of bible truth, and thinks that something is
           forbidden, then to him it is viewed as a sinful activity.

       15. If such weak believer sees you do something that he thinks
        is sin AND judges you for it, YOUR activity then becomes a
        cause of that person’s sin.

       16. Obviously, this is done with YOUR knowledge of the weaker
        believer’s viewpoint. In such a case, you are not living according
        to the law of love and likewise are guilty of sin.

       17. Do not cause the weaker believer to sin by your adherence
         to the law of liberty, but failure to walk in love.
         This will be sinfulness to you and conflicts between believers
         bring criticism upon the Christian church.

       18. The real issue in the Christian life (living in the kingdom of God
       here on earth) is not dietary preferences (to eat or not to eat).
       Nor is it related to holidays (to observe or not to observe).
       It is  righteousness, peace and true happiness through the ministry
       of the Holy Spirit working in the believer’s life based on the
       content of God's word that is in the believer's soul.

       19. When we maintain our fellowship with God and walk
          according to the principle of love, we not only please God,
        but provide a witness to others of the real nature of Christianity.

       20. Therefore, the issue in our use of liberty is to pursue the
        things that make for peace; harmony and unity, and the
        edification of one another. We attempt to teach knowledge
        to the weaker believer.

       21. By our use of Christian liberty without the application of love,
       we can “destroy” the weaker believer by causing him to get out
       of fellowship with God.

       22. We have liberty to do anything that is not directly forbidden
       by the word of God, but when we do it and it causes the weak
       believer to sin, then it becomes sin for us as well.

       23. It is good (right and proper) to do NOTHING that causes
        the weak believer to sin. That weak believer who sins cannot
        technically blame you for his sin. He is personally responsible
        for his own volitional decisions. But YOU have become a source
        of temptation, and in the eyes of God, you are responsible
        for your own failure to walk according to beneficent love.

       24. Verses 22-23 emphasize the principle that the believer
        is to have absolute confidence concerning the activities
        permitted by the doctrine of Christian liberty.
        If there is doubt about what you are doing, then that doubt
        becomes sin if you do the activity.
        So if you have no confidence in what the word of God teaches
        and you think a particular activity is forbidden, then don’t do it
       "for whatever is not according to faith (or confidence) is sin."

       25. Our obligation as believers walking according to love,
         is to remove the weaknesses of the weak believer.
        This is done through  teaching that believer what the Word of God
        proclaims about our Christian liberty.

       26. We are to seek the benefit (what is spiritually best)
       for the weaker believer FIRST, and then our own spiritual benefit.
       We do this in two ways:

               a. We desist from doing the activity that offends the weaker
               b. We teach the doctrine of Christian liberty for
                   his edification.

       27. Christ is our example in this principle of walking
          according to love. When He died on the cross, He died FOR US,
        putting OUR spiritual benefit first and His own spiritual benefit last.

       28. The whole thrust of this passage is to promote unity among
        believers through the teaching and application of bible truth.
        This then promotes maximum service to God and
         glorification of Christ.

       29. The conclusion: Receive one another in the sphere of true
       Christian love – putting others before yourself.
        This is done by teaching them. The only way they can gain
        confidence concerning the freedom we have through Christian
        liberty is to teach God’s word. It is their deficiency of
        knowing bible truth that causes lack of confidence and doubts.

 B. 1 Corinthians 8

    1. Knowledge of bible truth without the application of beneficent
       love is a source of soul distortion.   
       Pride, selfishness, indifference to others.

    2. Knowledge with the application of beneficent love is the source
        of edification.

       a. The filling of the Spirit: fellowship and love produces growth.

       b. The application of love and our knowledge of bible truth
           helps others to grow.

    3. The believer who assumes to have knowledge and does not
         express beneficent love is actually deficient of truth and
         is out of fellowship with God.

    4. The believer who is in fellowship with God, walking in the Spirit,
        has the capacity to enjoy true peace and joy as the character
        of Christ is manifested in his life and he expresses beneficent love.

    5. There are many activities that are not specifically forbidden to
        the believer by God’s word. Down through history some of these
        things have been considered non-spiritual or sinful things by those
        who do not understand the doctrine of Christian liberty.

    6. Such believers who consider one or more of these activities to be
       spiritually “off limits” and sinful, when actually they are not,
       are said to have a weak conscience.

        a. The conscience is the element of the heart (mentality)
            that contains a person’s norms and standards that
            govern one’s manner of life.

        b. A weak conscience is one that is deficient of divine viewpoint
           which is the basis for proper norms and standards.

        c. Such a conscience contains false criteria for conducting one’s
          Christian life; false standards that are not found in the bible.

        d. The weak believer sets up a system of false taboos to which
          he holds himself & other Christians.

    7. Verse 8 indicates that these unmentioned activities have no
        significance whatever in determining one’s relationship with
        God in regard to either salvation or fellowship.

    8. The believer who knows the principle of verse 8, is to be alert
      that he does not cause a weak believer (who does not know the
      principle) to stumble (be offended, judgmental or even to engage
      in the activity himself). In either case it amounts to sin for
      the weak believer.

    9. If a weak believer sees you doing one of these false taboos and –

        a. You know he is weak in that area.
        b. You know he is watching you.

    - then it is your responsibility to –

        a. Discontinue that activity.
        b. Provide doctrinal instruction to help the weak believer.

   10. Two reasons are stated.

        a. The weak believer will be tempted to judge and thus sin.

        b. The weak believer will be tempted to do the activity and later
           feel guilty because of his weak conscience, which is also sin.

   11. When this happens we are guilty of sin because we have
      neglected our responsibility to walk in love.

   12. The principle is: If something causes my brother to sin,
     then I will not do that activity with that believer’s knowledge.
      Verse 13.

   13. The law of love supersedes my own desires, wants and activities.
         However, I personally believe that if proper instruction has been
         given and the weak believer refuses to accept it, then I am
         released from the rigidity of that law.
         In other words, I need not go out of my way to AVOID doing
         something that might offend that weak believer.
         But likewise, I will not abuse my liberty by purposely
         challenging that weak believer.

C. 1 Corinthians 10:23-33

    1. The doctrine of Christian liberty states that all things are
        permissible to the believer which are not specifically forbidden
        by the word of God.
    2. But not all things are beneficial. Not all things promote edification.
    3. One issue in applying the doctrine of liberty is to seek the benefit
        of others before your own benefit.

    4. Don’t make an issue of someone’s activity or your own,
        when that activity is a bona-fide activity, and definitely
        not an issue in spiritual matters.

    5. When dealing with an unbeliever, do not make an issue of that
        person’s activities that are not forbidden in the bible.
        And of course, when dealing with salvation,
        the only issue is faith in Christ.

    6. If the unbeliever makes an issue of some activity that his
        conscience thinks is wrong, and challenges you for it, desist
        and move the conversation back to the issue of faith in Christ.

    7. As believers, through grace, we have liberty to do many things
        that the world (and even other believers) may deem to be sinful.
        We should not allow our Christian life and Christianity in general
        to be criticized through our misuse of our liberty.

    8. Therefore, whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
        That means to seek the benefit and promotion of
        God’s plan at all times.

    9. The principle of verse 24 applies to both believers and unbelievers.
       "Let no one seek his own benefit,
        but the benefit of the other person."
        1Thes. 5:15. "But always seek after that which is good for one
        another and for all men."
        Gal. 6:10, "So while we have opportunity, let us do good to all
        men (people), and especially to those who are of the household
        of the faith."

   10. Our attitude should be as Paul’s was.
       Always seek the benefit of the other person before your own.

        a. To believers so that they can be built up and grow spiritually.

        b. To unbelievers so that the issue of salvation will remain focused
             on faith in Christ and not on any side issues. 2 Cor. 2:2

            "I determined to know nothing among you except
              Jesus Christ and Him crucified."



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