Discerning Truth Versus Human Tradition (Part 5)
In Some Things God Says The Conscience Of Man Is The Individual Standard
Outline By: Brian A. Yeager
I. Introduction: There are many things Christians could struggle with by living in America (http://www.wordsoftruth.net/American_Traditions_Rooted_Sin.pdf). Our goal, what matters and to what degree?
A. This subject requires grave caution, for man is generally a terrible judge of right or wrong all on his own (Jeremiah 10:23).
1. Self-justification is a problem (Proverbs 16:1-3 and Galatians 6:3).
2. Self-justification is wrong (Luke 18:10-14).
B. Good men, even when they are given some liberty, still understand that their steps need to be inline with God’s will (Psalms 37:23 and Revelation 22:14).
1. Some ignorantly trust worldly wisdom (I Corinthians 3:18-19).
2. Some ignorantly listen to the erring (Matthew 15:14).
3. Others realize that, even in matters of authorized liberties, they still need to allow God’s rightly divided word to provide them with the wisdom to make the right choices (Ephesians 5:17, II Timothy 1:13, and II Peter 1:3-4).
4. Remember this caution: it is possible to sin with a clear conscience (Acts 22:4-5; Acts 24:16).
II. Body: Yes, There Are Times When The Individual Conscience Of Man Becomes The Standard (Romans 14:1-15:7).
A. God authorizes us to participate in feasts, days, eat meats, etc. (which may even have ties to idolatry) if YOUR conscience [WITH AN EXCEPTION WE WILL SOON DISCUSS] allows (I Corinthians 10:23-31).
1. Knowledge, cautiously not to puff up, liberates the spiritually minded conscience (I Corinthians 8:1-8 and Titus 1:15).
a. The spiritual mind sees things God's way (I Corinthians 2:14-15).
b. The more carnal mind sees things man’s way (Romans 8:5).
2. There is a “too far” with things like this (Galatians 4:8-11).
3. Don’t misunderstand the drinking of “wine” [which does not always mean fermented in Bible] (Proverbs 20:1, I Peter 1:13-16, and I Peter 4:1-5).
5. Never get to allowing anything, any day, any object of procession, etc. to become an idol (I John 5:21).
6. At the same time understand that God allows these days, traditions, and meals to come down to what YOU seem them as. Your spiritually prepared conscience is the guide as the Scriptures we’ve read prove.
B. Sometimes the stronger brother needs to concede to the weaker brother’s conscience (I Corinthians 8:9-13).
1. Strong brethren need to realize the work of supporting the weak (I Thessalonians 5:14).
2. In this case, please others rather than yourself (Galatians 5:13-14).
3. To be clear though, we are not authorized to compromise the truth in matters of faith or conscience for anyone at anytime (Romans 16:17, I Corinthians 1:10, II John 1:9-11, and Revelation 2:14-16).
4. Understand, for some, it is sinful beyond conscience (i.e. Romans 14:23) to participate in that which may be a liberty for others but a doctrinal error for them (Acts 15:23-29 and I Corinthians 10:14-21; cf. I Corinthians 12:2). *Point is, those Gentiles who still saw those meats as meats to idols (I Corinthians 8:7) could not eat.
C. The principle of I Corinthians 9:19-23…
1. If I were to preach in Iraq, I would have Katrina wear a veil, as do Iraqi women. It would NOT be because of I Corinthians 11:3-15 (which clearly establishes the hair is the covering).
2. If you were in Japan on September 15th, 2014 you could observe “Respect For The Aged Day”.
a. Yet, this does not allow for one to conform to sinful ways [i.e. become worldly] (Romans 12:1-3 and James 4:4).
b. Mature students of the Scriptures get the right balance (Hebrews 5:12-14).
3. There are many customs and traditions in the United States that we MAY participate in, if your conscience allows and others are not caused to stumble thereby. The individual conscience [our next lesson will discuss difference between individual, concurrent, and collective actions] is your guide.
D. Don’t call something sinful that God has called a liberty (I Timothy 4:1-5).
1. What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common (Acts 10:9-15).
2. Once you create a standard, and judge others, you’ll be judged by it (Matthew 7:1-5).
E. Taking liberties too far is wrong and cannot be allowed (Galatians 2:1-5).
1. Circumcision does not now matter to God (Galatians 5:6).
2. It can be done and be okay (Acts 16:1-3).
3. It cannot be bound (Acts 15:24).
III. Conclusion: Heed the woe (Isaiah 5:20)!
© 2014 This material may not be used for sale or other means to have financial gain. Use this as a tool for your own studies if such is helpful! Preachers are welcome to this work, but please do not use my work so that you can be lazy and not do your own studies. – Brian A. Yeager