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Guidelines for the Gray Areas // Wednesdays // August 29, 2018 // CAPSTONE CHURCH SERMON

Preacher: Parkey Cobern

Series: Wednesdays

Passage: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
The Bible gives us such rich direction regarding life in the Spirit. It gives us direction regarding healthy relationships, healthy living, financial stability, ethical behavior, etc. We have received great liberty in our relationship with Christ. In other words, we are not bound by a list of religious “do’s and don’t’s that commend us to God. Our salvation is based on what He has done for us. We accept it by faith. Yet, to walk in the Spirit, we must be under His lordship. We are not under some type of Law of Behavior but we are under the Law of Love. There are times in our lives in which, what we should do in a specific situation is a little unclear. For instance, drinking alcoholic beverages: the Bible does not prohibit such actions but is it good for you? What about others who may observe your behavior? Although you are doing nothing wrong biblically, what should you do if they disagree?
The Bible gives us some principles for these situations. I’m calling this “Guidelines for the Gray Areas.” The first guideline you should consider in a gray area is:
  1.     PROFIT
“Everything is permissible for me—but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me—but I will not be mastered by anything.” // 1 Corinthians 6:12
Ask this question: “Is it good for me? Will it add a plus quality to my life?”
  1.     CONTROL
Refer again to 1 Corinthians 6:12 – “Will it get control of me, or will it lessen Christ’s control of me?”
  1.     OWNERSHIP
Refer to 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – “As God’s property, can I justify this activity? Is this activity befitting an ambassador of Jesus Christ?”
  1.     INFLUENCE
“Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. When you sin against your brothers 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.” // 1 Corinthians 8:9,12-13
“Could this action negatively influence any of my friends or cause them to stumble?”
  1.     TESTIMONY
“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.” // Colossians 4:5
“How will my testimony be affected if I participate in this activity?”
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” // Colossians 3:17
“When I come home from this activity, can I thank God for it with a clear conscience?”
  1.     LOVE
“Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way. As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died.” // Romans 14:13-15
As the final question, ask: “Am I willing to limit my liberties in loving consideration of another?”
Today’s Scriptures:
  •    1 Corinthians 6:12, 19-20
  •    1 Corinthians 8:9, 12-13
  •    Colossians 3:17
  •    Colossians 4:5
  •    Romans 14:13-15
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