The Christian Liberty of the Flexing Christian
December 12, 2021 Speaker: Series: 1 Corinthians
Passage: 1 Corinthians 9:1–23
Problem #6: (1 Cor. 8-11:1) Some Corinthian Christians are eating food offered to idols in a way that stumble their weaker brothers and sisters in Christ (chapter 8), or (chapter 10) in a way that is a fellowship with demons
- Do not make your brother or sister stumble, because Christ died for them. Be willing to give up your rights for the sake of the gospel. Loving one’s brothers and sisters is more important than enjoying one’s rights (chapter 8)
- Paul gave up his rights for the sake of the gospel (chapter 9)
Big Picture: Within the realm of a rightly calibrated conscience, there is room for faithfulness and flexibility to adapt to the beliefs and practices of the culture of those who do not know Christ, in order to reach them for Jesus. Christian liberty for Paul is not “I am free to do whatever I want to do.” Rather, it is “I am free to flex for the sake of the gospel.”
- Paul has to flex because he does not belong to any of these categories anymore.
- Paul has to flex because he wants to win people in all of these categories.
- Paul has to flex because he wants to participate in the gospel.
- Christian, give up your rights if that will advance the gospel among unbelievers.
- Christian, calibrate your conscience so that you can strategically accommodate others for the sake of the gospel.
*This sermon owes a debt to Naselli and Crowley’s “Conscience: What It Is, How To Train It, and Loving Those Who Differ”; and Carson’s “That By All Means I Might Win Some”
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