Another Sermon Outline By Brian A. Yeager
The Overbearing Conscience Is Unscriptural And Inconsistent
A. “Brethren” seem too uncomfortable with the study of the conscience, but it is a Bible subject (John 8:1-11 and I Timothy 1:3-5).
B. A clear conscience does not always mean right actions (Acts 23:1, I Corinthians 15:9, Galatians 1:13, and I Timothy 1:15).
1. The only way to have the right conscience is to be Biblically led (Psalms 18:30, Psalms 19:7-11, Psalms 37:30-31, II Thessalonians 2:14-15, II Timothy 3:15-17, and I John 5:13).
2. Our personal “feelings” need to be curbed (Psalms 37:23, Proverbs 16:25, Proverbs 21:2, Proverbs 20:24, and Jeremiah 10:23).
a. A people who seek all things to be authorized (Colossians 3:17), remove these issues.
b. The issues we will discuss in this lesson mostly exist among those who do too much thinking outside of God’s word (I Corinthians 4:6).
c. These people often are trying to “sound faithful” and never think about their overbearing consciences (cf. II Corinthians 10:12; 18).
3. At the same time, we need to make sure our “personal matters” do not cause someone else to err (I Corinthians 8:9).
a. For the strong in Christ, this means curbing our liberties for the sake of the weaker (I Corinthians 8:12-13 and I Corinthians 10:27-33).
b. This does not give anyone a license to start creating laws or binding their weak views on others (James 4:7-12).
II. Body: The overbearing [unpleasantly or arrogantly domineering] conscience is unscriptural (Romans 14:7-13) and inconsistent, which is wrong also (Romans 2:1; cf. Luke 13:11-17).
A. One cannot create law based on the “I believe” mindset (I Timothy 4:1-4).
1. Sometimes “fitting in” is profitable (I Corinthians 9:19-23).
a. Yet, this does not mean we conform to sinful ways [i.e. become worldly] (Romans 12:1-3 and James 4:4).
b. True students get the right balance (Hebrews 5:12-14).
2. Until we KNOW FOR SURE, we should never say or do something (Romans 14:23).
B. Examples of when matters of truth vs. error are wrongfully called matters of conscience (Acts 10:15).
1. Artificial coverings wherein the hair is the covering (I Corinthians 11:3-15) and anything else taught from that text becomes sinful (Proverbs 30:5-6).
2. Institutionalism, for the individual and the local church are fully capable of doing God’s instructions (I John 3:7 and I Timothy 3:15).
3. The social gospel (John 6:26-27, Romans 14:17, and I Corinthians 11:22; 34).
4. Anything that demands a B, C, & V answer (Psalms 119:172).
5. As a rule, it is only a matter of one’s conscience if it is a matter that you have a liberty to do or not to do (I Corinthians 8:8).
C. Some examples of an overbearing conscience (Mark 7:1-9), wherein you may or may not do something and you try to force others to YOUR conclusion.
1. Some bind the reading of non-inspired literature (Acts 17:28).
2. Some bind not eating at restaurants that serve alcohol (John 2:1-11).
a. Caution here, Jesus was where alcohol was present but did not partake (Proverbs 20:1, Proverbs 21:17, Isaiah 5:11, Isaiah 5:22, Hosea 4:11, Luke 21:33-34, I Thessalonians 5:7-8, and I Peter 4:1-5; cf. Hebrews 4:14-16).
b. There was drinking where He was present, but that was not the purpose of the event (I Peter 4:11-17).
c. We cannot escape the world (I Corinthians 5:9-10).
3. Some bind the non-observation of non-religious secular customs and days (Romans 14:5-6).
a. We must be cautious when using Romans 14, for the exact situations of Jewish converts to Christ and the now unauthorized practices that once were law situation does not parallel exist today (Colossians 2:14-17).
b. When observing a “day” crosses the line of secular custom into something “religious”, we then have a problem (Galatians 4:9-10).
4. Some bind not purchasing products from companies that may support homosexuality, etc. (I Corinthians 10:25).
5. Some bind that it is sinful to participate in any secular avenues of “clean” entertainment (Matthew 11:16-19). *Notice that John rightfully chose not to partake in social events, wherein Jesus rightfully chose to do so. Both were right!
a. We must be cautious in understanding this is not a license to fill our eyes and minds with smut (Psalms 101:3, Matthew 26:41, and Romans 13:14).
b. Balance is an issue of maturity, if you are immature abstain from anything questionable (again; Romans 14:23).
6. Some would bind things like home schooling children wherein the only real question is are you teaching them right (Proverbs 22:6 and Ephesians 6:4).
D. Some examples of an inconsistent, overbearing conscience (Matthew 7:1-5).
1. Not eating at Applebee’s because they serve liquor, but buying gas and groceries where liquor, tobacco, etc. is sold.
2. Condemning someone for observing a secular day in a non-religious manner, but that person has a birthday party, graduation, etc.
3. Condemning someone for purchasing a product from a company that supports homosexual agendas claiming you’re supporting their false charities, but that person buys products from worldly people.
4. Condemning someone for owning/watching a television, but then reading a newspaper and surfing the Internet.
5. Condemning someone for sending their child to a public school, but then planning what college their child will attend, allowing them to surf the net, allowing any material outside of the Bible to be used in education, etc…
6. “I’m a Christian, I don’t drink coffee”, but then eating chocolate, drinking tea, soda, etc.
7. Question of application, are these individuals willing to withdraw from those who don’t follow THEIR RULES (I Timothy 6:1-5)?
III. Conclusion: Lessons such as these are difficult to preach for concern that some might be seeking a license to sin and we do not want to enable them (Jeremiah 23:14). The applications though are necessary and thus must be preached!
A. I cannot pass on my personal judgment to others (Galatians 2:1-5).
B. I must make sure I am passing the test of consistency if I am going to try and teach or correct in any manner (Isaiah 5:20).
© 2009 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