Christian Liberty (1 Corinthians 10:14-11:1)

June 11, 2023

Series: 1 Corinthians

But it’s great to see all of you. Great to be back with you. Great to have all of you online. We had a great time in Claremont last week. And it’s cool when you get to see the church that you helped to plant. That group was once a part of Orlando, and now they’re their own church. It has over 100 members, I believe. And then the same thing with Bravard. That group was part of Scott Schultz’s family group years ago, and now they’re their own church. So it’s great to see people I haven’t seen in a while. And I saw Troy Jacobs, and he reminded me, Yes, you did our marriage 20-plus years ago. And so it’s always nice when you do somebody’s marriage and they’re still together. It’s like, Okay, you’re doing good. So it was just very encouraging. But it was a little bit challenging for us just to get there and make it happen because last Sunday morning, about three in the morning, I’m having this really vivid dream about playing basketball. And some of you have been my basketball buddies over the years. I’m looking at Tom Schartzer. We used to play a lot together back in the day.

And I’m determined. My pride in this dream was palpable. I mean, you could touch it. My pride was strong and I was determined. I was not going to let this guy score. And so I’m playing defense and I lunged after him to keep him from catching a pass. And when I lunged after him, I fell off the bed. But that’s not the worst part. I hit my head on the nightstand, and all of a sudden I got blood coming down the right side of my head. And I’m running to the bathroom with my hand like this, cupping the blood and all of this stuff. And some of my good friends in the first service and at the other said, Well, did the guy score? I’m thinking, Really? Is that all you can get from this story? How about a little love for me or busting up my head? This thing. But I found myself thinking, God must really want the Church in Clermont to hear this message. So we’re going to make it happen. I did not have the heart to tell Raul, that’s okay, bro. I banged myself. Don’t know if I’ll make it.

I made it. We got there and we made it back. And I think I looked okay. Somebody looked at my ear and they said, Well, you probably should have gotten some stitches in that thing. Anyway, I’m here. I’m here by the Grace of God. So thank you for your prayers for us. We did have a really good time once we got there. And thank you also to all of you who’ve been there for the Brians and the Browns during Georgia’s passing. I appreciate that. A lot of you have done meals. A lot of you are still scheduled to do meals. We appreciate that very much. And as he said, there is a service in South Carolina that’s coming weekend. There will be a local service, a memorial where we can really celebrate Georgia’s life here. So if you can’t get to Cousaw, and I think that’s outside of Beaufort, if you can’t get to South Carolina, then by the Grace of God, we’ll have something here as well. Anyway, well, it’s great to be back and it’s great to be looking at 1 Corinthians again. Last week, my dear brother, Keith, did a great job.

And I told Keith, I said, Keith, I haven’t heard your message, man. I got to listen to it before tomorrow. I got to make sure it’s a smooth segue from you to me and this thing. And it was a great message. And I want to remind you of some of the challenges. He put a challenge before us to take heat lest we fall. None of us is above falling. None of us will ever get to a point where we are so strong spiritually that nothing can impact us. You can fall, in 1 Corinthians 10 verse 13, he reminded us now, no temptation is going to overtake you. That isn’t common. But God will make a way of escape so you can bear it. God has made a way for us. And he challenged us also to be careful of the idols in our life. Those things that we identify more with than with God. And so today I’m going to pick up with the latter half of Chapter 10, and we’re going to look at what Paul has to say. There are a couple of things, two basic divisions. He’s going to talk about idol worship and specifically, he’s going to use the Lord’s Supper to help us with that.

And then the last part is limited to our Christian freedom. And I think that’ll be very helpful for you as well. So let’s go ahead. We’re going to read starting in 1 Corinthians 10, verse 14. Paul says this, Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. I speak to sensible people. Judge for yourselves what I say is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks, participation in the blood of Christ. And it’s not the bread that we break, participation in the body of Christ. Because there is one loaf, we who are many are one body, for we all share the one loaf. Consider the people of Israel. Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? Do I mean then that food sacrificed to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God. And I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons, too. You cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy?

Are we stronger than he? Okay, he starts here by saying you got to flee from idolatry. Now, Paul understood an idol is nothing. A false deity is nothing. He understood that very clearly. But he also knew that there were some in Corinth that perceive idols as offered to demons and that the person who would eat that food offered to demons would actually take in that idol, that demon as part of them. And so he’s dealing with that. He wants to make sure these guys understood there is no such thing as idles and there are no false deities. But your perceptions matter. And I got to deal with your perceptions. And so he just makes it clear to him. He said, God, you need to flee from idolatry. Don’t mess with it. Don’t play with it. And when you flee, we know an example of that with Joseph and Potiphar’s wife, where the Bible says he fled out of there. He didn’t wait around, he didn’t mess around, he didn’t talk to her about it and all this. And I think it’s the same way when it comes to demons and all this stuff.

We don’t need to make that our focus. But I think a bigger thing that I want you to get from this section, and I looked at a lot of sources as I prepared this message, people like Berkeley and MacArthur and the Bible Study Fellowship and Thistleton, all of these people. Here’s something that Berkeley says in his commentary about this. He says The sacrificial meal formed a real communion between a god and the worshiper. The person whose sacrifice was in a real sense a share with the altar. He had a mystic communion with a god. And so their perceptions were messed up. They felt like they could actually be connected with these gods and these demons. And Paul just says, get away from that. Flee that stuff. Don’t even let it be a part of your life. Don’t entertain it at all. But the bigger thing that I want you to take away from this section because we’re going to spend more time with the next section is what he says in verse 21, where he talks about the table. He said You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons, too.

You cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. The bottom line for you and me is that we are a set-apart people. God has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you’re the people of God. Once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy because we return to the shepherd and overseer of our souls. God has called us out of the darkness. And he says, God, you need to be so distinct. And that’s why the Lord’s Supper is so powerful. Because you notice he talks about one love and as one body and all this. There’s a oneness when we gather around the Lord’s table and have the Communion, and we’ll do that at the end of this message. But there’s a oneness. We should all have a feeling, man, I am connected with the cross. I am connected with the blood of Jesus. I am connected with his broken body. I am connected, along with my brothers and sisters to this one oath, to the one body. And we need to always remember that we are set apart.

We are not to be like the world around us. We’re to be set apart very differently. And so he tells them to flee idolatry. And I love the question he ends with, he said, are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? And that’s a powerful question because that’s the section we’re about to get into. And I think you’ll see how it connects together. So let’s continue reading verse 23, he says, I have the right to do anything you say, but not everything is beneficial. I have a right to do anything, but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good but the good of others. Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, for the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it. If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. But if someone says to you this has been offered in sacrifice, then do not eat it, both for the sake of the one who told you and for the sake of conscience. I am referring to the other person’s conscience, not yours.

Why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience? If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I being denounced because of something I thank God for? So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of the Lord. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks, or the Church of God, even as I try to please everyone in every way, for I am not seeking my own good, but the good of many so that they may be saved. Follow my example for the glory of God. That’s the bottom line of Christianity. That’s the bottom line, that’s what we live for. We’re all to live for the glory of God. There are two things you can do with this life. You can live for his glory or you can be a reproach to God. Live for his glory or be a reproach to him. So we’re going to explore for a few minutes, what is this idea of being a glory to God? What does that entail? What does that look like? I’m going to do it in a reverse fashion. I want to look at what it doesn’t mean to try to help us to see what it does mean.

And so what we’re going to do is we’re going to look at a couple of things in the Old Testament, one place in the Old Testament is Ezekiel 36, and then we’re going to look at a couple of places in 1 Timothy as we go on. There are two things we can do. We can either bring glory to God or we can be a reproach to God. Now, if you’re a disciple of Jesus, you’re bringing glory to God. Well, you say, well, Eddie, I don’t always do so well. I mess up spiritually. I fall, I sin. I know that so do I. But what is the Bible teaching? First John, it says, if we walk in the light as it is, he is in the light, the blood of Jesus, his son, continually cleanses you from sin. God, that’s why from day to day, I don’t walk around worried that, okay, am I saved this moment? Oh, I just messed up now. I’m not saved. I don’t walk around like that. And you may say, well, you’re out of touch. You feel just as guilty as I feel. No, he says if you walk in the light, the blood of Jesus is a continual spiritual shower.

So if you are a follower of Jesus, then you are bringing glory to God as long as you continue to walk in the light and you get up and you keep going. We’re going to mess up. And if I were to ask you, somebody messed up this week, and I’m going to do that. And you online, raise your hand too. How many of you messed up at least once this week? Okay, good. I’m not going to ask who didn’t raise their hand because I would be struggling with you. I’m not going to do that. So we can either bring glory to God or we can be a reproach. So if you’re a disciple, you bring glory to God. If you are not a disciple, you are not bringing glory to God. John 3 says that you are in a state of condemnation right now because you have not turned your heart over in belief to Jesus in obedience to his word. Until you do that, you are separated from God. You are a reproach to him. I don’t say that to be unkind. I say that to motivate you to get with somebody, study the Bible, and do what God calls you to do so that you can have that relationship with him.

Okay, so if we look at Ezekiel 36, this is what I want us to look at as far as seeing what it means to not bring glory to God. Now, this is that chapter where God is telling the Israelites, I’m going to bring you back. He had to discipline them because of their sin. They were led in captivity, in 586 BC, I think the Babylonians, took them in captivity. In this chapter, God is talking about, I’m going to bring you back. I’m going to restore you. And listen to what he says here in verse 19. He says, I dispersed them among the nations, and they were scattered through the countries. I judged them according to their conduct and their actions. And wherever they went among the nations, they profaned My holy name, for it was said of them, These are the Lord’s people, and yet they had to leave his land. Now, you think about it. God says I got to discipline you because of your sin. You were sinful, you were messing up, so I had to discipline you because of your sin. But what happened is wherever you went among the nations, my name was Blaspheme.

My name was profane. What is he talking about? He’s talking about the fact that they got there and these people said, I thought Israel’s God was supposed to be so great. Isn’t Israel’s God the one that performed all those miracles in Egypt and the frogs and the lice and all of those things and the gnats and all of this? And isn’t he the one who struck down all the firstborns so that they finally let him go? And isn’t he the one who parted the Red Sea and they went through on dry land? And isn’t he the one that did all these incredible things, but he couldn’t keep them there? And so he was profane because of them. But why were they in captivity? It was because of their sin. Why am I saying that to us? Guys, how we live matters. How we live truly matters. We can either bring glory to God based on how we live or we can be a reproach. And all I’m saying to you is to be in a continual mode of repentance. I have to be that way because I know you’re not perfect. Somebody say, Okay, Eddie, I’m not perfect.

I messed up this week. You just pointed that out to the whole world. All right? If I were to ask if you messed up this morning, I’d point you out to the whole world. Same thing. I mean, yesterday, and it was really interesting. Sam Powell was in town with his wife, Cynthia, and they were getting ready to go to the airport. And he said, Hey, look, can you give me a ride to the airport? I said, Absolutely, I’ll pick you up. And so we go to the airport. And on the way there, Sam’s telling me this great story of encouragement because he said, Man, this guy that I just met a couple of months ago, we studied the Bible. He just got baptized recently. I said, Sam, I said, Bro, that’s fantastic. I said, on many fronts, I said, one is fantastic because as a leader, you haven’t checked out. We’re still in the battle. Paul told the Ten Commandments, and set the believers an example. I said, Man, you’re doing it. I said so that’s one thing that is encouraging. I said, But the other thing is, man, I seem to get knuckleheads who give me bad phone numbers and won’t call back.

I said, so you’re encouraging me, man. I said this is great. Well, what happened after that was I went to Barnes & Nobel because I said, I got to get ready for this sermon on Sunday. I need a quiet place. And so I decided I’m going to get some coffee. I got to make sure I’m awake now. You probably think, Eddie, we know you only drink decaf so it doesn’t keep you awake anyway. But still having something warm is good. I mean, that helps me out. So I get my decaf. But I’m standing in line and this guy in front of me turns around and he’s friendly. He says hello and how’s your day and all of this. And my mindset was, I got to get ready for Sunday. I didn’t come here to talk to you. I didn’t come here to hang out with you. I don’t want you to come to my table because I got to have silence and I’m going to have my headphones up. In other words, what I’m saying to you is right after I had this talk with Sam Powell, God puts a man right in front of me who is reaching out to me.

And I wished I could say I did the right thing, but I didn’t. I asked God to forgive me. I really meant that sincerely. Now you may say, okay, Eddie, does that mean you got to talk to every single person you meet? Not necessarily, but when you have a talk like that with the lead evangelist of a big major church, and then you stand in front of a guy who’s reaching out to you, that was a no-brainer. Do you know what I’m saying? I felt really bad. What I’m saying to you as a Christian, as a disciple is no, you’re not perfect. You’re going to mess up. There are going to be times when someone will be tempted profane God’s name because of what they see in you. But you got to keep getting up. You got to continue to repent for the rest of your life. What does God say he’s going to do with these guys? In verse 21, He says, I had concern for my holy name, which the people of Israel profane among the nations where they had gone. Therefore, say to the Israelites, this is what the Sovereign Lord says.

It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I’m going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. Did you hear that? God is saying, Yeah, I had to discipline you. I sent you in captivity. I’m bringing you back. But you know what? It’s not for your sake that I’m doing this. I’m doing this for my sake. And the point that I’m trying to help you to see is, from the Old Testament to the New, God is concerned about how the world looks at him. Do you remember when Jesus was with his disciples, what did he say? Who do men say that I am? God wanted to know what was being said about me. He’s still that way. In the Old Testament, he’s that way. There are other references I could show you. But God says, I want my name to be lifted up. He says, for my name’s sake, I’m going to do this. In verse 23, he says, I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them.

Then the nations will know that I am the Lord declares a sovereign Lord when I am proved holy through you before their eyes. In other words, big picture. I want you to see this scenario. Israel sins, and God reproves them for their sin. He disciplines their sin. When He disciplines their sin, it hurts. Their life gets miserable. When their life gets miserable, people look at them and say, What’s wrong with your great God? Your life is a mess. You’re a mess. What’s wrong with you? I thought you said God was great. I thought you said it was powerful and all this good stuff. Well, why is your life in shambles? And sometimes, truth be known, we feel that way about our life. But God says, I will deal with this, and God will take care of it. So he doesn’t want his name to be profane. And that’s why, again, he calls on us as disciples, to walk in the light, and to keep on repenting. You’ll be doing it to the day you die and be okay with that. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. So there are things in this world that the world will look at us and they’ll say, Well, wait a minute.

Why aren’t you taking a stand for this or that? I’ll throw out one, abortion. Abortion is wrong. Period. You’re taking a life. It’s wrong. Now, if you’ve been through an abortion or you’ve been in a relationship with someone you love, got an abortion, I hurt with you, I hurt for you. That’s not what my point is about. My point is, as Christians, we take a stand on issues like abortion. It’s not right. There are some things that God says I want you to take a stand. If you don’t, there are people around you to say, Where is your discipleship? Where is your holiness? Why doesn’t this bother you the way it bothers other people? It should bother you. Now, by the same token, there are things that we do that people say, You’re a Christian and you do that? I’m going to get in trouble. I’m going to forewarn you. There are times and most times, I can probably count on two hands how many times I bought a lotto ticket. Okay? and one of the big reasons, and this is just Eddie, one of the big reasons why I struggle is when I go in there, it’s hard for me to justify to this person, inviting them to church while I’m buying a lotto ticket.

I got to do one or the other. That’s just me. I put it out there. I might get in trouble for it, but it’s okay. But it’s exactly that all I’m doing is calling you think about it. Some of you have medical marijuana cards. Okay? Okay, for you to have it. Okay? If you have a card and you have it legally, that’s okay. But some of you are doing illegal drugs. That’s the thing that profanes the name of Jesus. And so you have to decide that I am going to be righteous. I’m going to repent when I need to repent, and I’m going to stop meddling. I’m going to move on. All right. Okay, let’s go to 1 Timothy. And I wanted you to see this. This is the main point I’m trying to make. Our lifestyle should not cause others to blaspheme God. That’s all I’m saying our lifestyle should not cause others to blaspheme God. You’re going to either glorify him or be a reproach. Now, 1 Timothy, here are a couple of passages in the New Testament. Same idea. Okay, the same idea is what we’re talking about. Paul says, So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes, and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander.

He’s talking about younger women who are marriageable if that’s the word, age, who need to get married. And he says, get married so that you don’t struggle with sex and a desire for that, go ahead and get married. Now, I know we talked a few weeks ago about how some have the gift of celibacy. That’s okay. And maybe you don’t have to get married. However, if you don’t, he’s telling them, look, you need to get married. Why? Because he said, we don’t want to give the enemy an opportunity for slander. We don’t want God’s name dragged through the mud based on how we live. Similar thought in 1 Timothy 6, verse 1, which says, All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered. Now he says, All who are under the yoke of slavery. And you’re thinking, Okay, we don’t have slavery today, how many of you have a boss? Okay, you’re officially under slavery. You are a slave to that person, period. Because he says jump and you say how high. In other words, he’s saying that if you’re under that yoke of slavery, then you got to consider your master worthy of full respect.

You say, Well, wait a minute, you don’t know my boss. My boss is a really bad boss, and I don’t think this person is worthy of my full respect. He said, No, consider them worthy of full respect. Why? So you’ll get a raise? No. He says, So that our teaching may not be slandered. Again, God is concerned about how we look at the world based on our behavior. And that’s why we’re talking about this. So there are two options. You glorify God or you will reproach Him. And so he says, in everything you do, we want to glorify him. Now, here’s the thing I want to do now. Segue for the last few minutes and talk about the idea of Christian freedom and how it relates to us bringing glory to God. Because you may have all sorts of stuff that you feel okay doing, but I think there’s some clear direction from Paul as to how you should look at the things that are debatable, debatable matters. And so there are four principles that Paul gives, and we’re going to hit these one at a time. So if you can’t see that, he’s going to talk about edification over gratification.

He’s going to talk about others over himself. He’s going to talk about liberty over legalism and condescension over condemnation. And those are a great summary of how to do it. I got it from some study with John MacArthur stuff. But edification over gratification. 1 Timothy 10 verse 23, says, I have the right to do anything you say, but not everything is beneficial. I have the right to do anything, but not everything is constructive. Paul says I have a right to do anything. I can do whatever, but there are limits to what you and I can do. You have to ask yourself, is this constructive? Is this edifying? Is it going to build me up? Is it going to build someone else up? And guys, I hope you’re seeing that as a Christian, you are not an island. What you do affects me. And you say, Well, I’m in the privacy of my home, I don’t care what you do affects me. You should be thinking about how your life impacts your brothers and sisters in the Church. And so you have to look for what edifies rather than what gratifies you. You have to ask yourself, is this going to edify?

Is it going to edify me or anyone else? So edification over gratification. The second one is others over self. Others over self. 1 Corinthians 10, verse 24, No one should seek their own good but the good of others. Philippians 2, talks about how we look to the interests of others over our own. This is the law of love. God expects you to consider others better than yourself. So the scenario is you look at yourself, Okay, I want to do this. You say, Okay, is this going to build me up? Okay, yes, I can check that box. Is it going to build up my brother? He’s got a weak conscience. He’s going to struggle. Well, God says, Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Put him before yourself. You put yourself last. When it comes down to a choice, you’ve got to choose. If it’s going to offend me or offend him, I won’t do what’s going to offend him. We’re family. If you’re contemplating becoming part of this family, don’t think you’re going to come in and be an island. Ain’t going to work. You won’t help the body that way. So you have to have edification before gratification.

You have to learn to put others before yourself. And then the third thing is liberty over legalism. Now, this one gets a little more challenging because he says in 1 Corinthians 10 verse 25, Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience. Now, this is a tough area because if we took the time to write down everything that you’re offended by, whether it’s in the church, in the worship service, or with me, you may well, Eddie, I think you’re overdressed. I don’t like your suit. That offends me. Well, the singing was good, but I think we needed a guitar and I think instead of a Cajon, we needed drums. And I heard Amy’s beautiful voice. You could say, Amy should have been up there too, because her voice is really beautiful. And you could say, Well, I don’t like the fact that the carport is messed up. Why is it taking so long to get the carport fixed? I don’t like the fact that the men don’t all wear suits to church because when I grew up, you weren’t dressed for church if you didn’t have on a suit. And I remember thinking, I can’t go to church.

I was a college kid. I didn’t have a suit. So what do you do? But we could go down the list, and before long, we couldn’t even have church because somebody would be offended by everything. And so what does Paul say? He says, to eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience. How do you deal with this? How do you find the balance? Don’t go around asking people. I don’t need to go to Kyla and say, Kyla, I want you to tell me everything that offends you. And Kyla says You got a day? We’ll just start writing them all down. I mean, yeah, if you want trouble, go to people and just ask them what’s offensive about you. And he says, In the meat market, you don’t go to the guy selling you the meat and say, Okay, where did this come from? Did this come from the temple down the street? He said, No, that came from Farmer Joe who got it from Farmer Bill. Well, where’s Farmer Joe? I want to talk to him. And where’s Farmer Bill? I want to know where this meat came from. And he goes on to say, And if somebody invites you over to their home, just go there and eat.

Don’t get there and ask them where it came from. Don’t worry about that. And you think, Okay, isn’t that being deceptive? No, that’s being smart. And then the next section, and let me just hit this about condescension over condemnation. In verse 28, we’re going to look at a couple of more thoughts there. He said, But if someone says to you this has been offered in sacrifice, then do not eat it, both for the sake of the one who told you and for the sake of conscience. I’m referring to the other person’s conscience, not yours, for why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience? So let’s go back to dinner at our friend’s house. You’ve been invited to have dinner and you’re getting ready to eat. And there’s another brother there. And that brother looks at you and says, You know what? This food has been sacrificed to idols. And you’re thinking, why are you telling me that now? I’m hungry. And this steak looks awesome. Why are you telling me this now? And he said, Bro, are you really that offended by this? Well, Bro, the Bible says that we can’t eat food offered to idols.

What does Paul say you got to do? He says, Do not eat both for the sake of the one who told you and for the sake of conscience. The loving thing to do in that moment, you may say, Well, wait a minute. This non-disciple invited me over. I’m trying to reach them and win them for Christ. And if I turn down their food and they’ve taken all this time to prepare, isn’t that going to hurt our witness? No, it won’t. He says You shouldn’t eat if your brother is struggling with it. That’s the loving thing to do. You say, Well, how do we deal with the host? Well, I think the host will see you’re a part of God so much, and your relationship with a God means so much that you would sacrifice this incredible meal because it offends your brother. And you get to say yes. And you know what? Whatever expense you went to prepare this meal, if you’re out anything, I will help you. Do you know what I’m saying? The rule of love should guarantee the moment and so you do what’s right. So I hope you’re getting the point of what I’m saying here.

God says, don’t do anything that’s going to offend you. Don’t do anything that’s going to offend a brother. And don’t do anything to offend a non-disciple. But if there’s a choice between offending your brother and a non-disciple, offend him. Don’t offend your brother. Love your brother. So we give up our rights rather than condemn what we do. We do what pleases God first. So why does God give us all these principles? I think because he wants us to do 1 Corinthians 10 verse 31, and that is to bring glory to God. He says I want you to know what’s right. And let’s close with 1 Corinthians 10 Verse 32. Paul gives a very practical word. Here’s the end. He says, Do not cause anyone to stumble. Notice that, don’t cause anyone. I’m talking about the brother, talking about the unbelieving friend. He says, Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks, or the Church of God. Even as I try to please everyone in every way, for I am not seeking my own good, but the good of many so that they may be saved. Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.

So Paul said, Don’t offend anybody. Make that terrain. Don’t be offensive to anybody. I mean, our message is offensive. So we know some people are going to be offended just because you tell them the truth. After all, what happened to John the Baptist when he talked to Herod? Got his head cut off. And sometimes as disciples, we can think, Well, if you do the right thing, it shouldn’t be bad. It should work out for you. No, not always. Joseph did all the right stuff. Where did he get him? He landed in prison and he stayed there unjustly for a long time. I’m not saying to you that because you do what’s right, it’s going to work out perfectly all the time. But Paul says I’d go to great lengths not to be offensive. Why? Because I want to save people. I want to see as many as possible get right with God. He points to himself, our example is vital. People need to see. Sometimes people come to church and they’re just checking you out. And that’s why sometimes it may be better to wait on getting the message out until they’ve had a chance to see your life.

Because sometimes we just hit people hard like, yeah, you ought to come to church. And sometimes that works. Don’t hear me wrong there. Some of you are here because somebody did just that. There are people that I was able to reach knocking on a stranger’s door and they came to church and got baptized. So it does work sometimes. But a lot of time people want to see your life. They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. They don’t care what your words sound like if your life doesn’t match up. It says they watch your life and doctrine closely. We have to do that. So your example is vital. And here’s our living water challenge. Just looking at the Apostle Paul. The Apostle Paul had integrity in life and thought, word, and deed. And that’s why he could tell them, Follow my example, imitate me, be like me. I want you to think about your example and how this would impact your outreach to others. Just give that some thought and pray about that. We’re here to glorify God. Big picture, I hope you’ve heard that. We are here to glorify God.

We’re here to make sure God’s word is not profane, that God’s name is not profane. We don’t want to be someone that offends other people needlessly. We want to do whatever we can to help people get right with God, whether it’s in the workplace, in our neighborhoods, or in our classrooms. Our goal is to help people get right with God, whether it’s in the workplace, in our neighborhoods, or in our classrooms. Our goal is to help people get right with God. people know God. And that’s what God wants for us. Jesus tried his best to help all men to come to a relationship with him. He did so much that he lost his life in the process. And that’s why we do Communion every week. And one thing they did was when they took Communion, you notice it talks about the one loaf, the one body, they took it as one. And so every single person here, every time you take communion, you ought to make it up in your mind that I am going to be so close to the cross. Some of you remember the Psalm from way back. Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they laid him in the tomb? Guys, we were there. You were there. Whether you’re a disciple or not, you were there. And so when we take communion, really connect with it. Think about the cross. Think about Jesus in the garden. Think about His suffering. Think about him praying. The Bible says, with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death. Think about that Jesus as you remember his broken body and it shed blood for you. Let’s pray together.

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