Peter exercised his Christian Liberty But when it became a stumbling
block to others Paul stepped in. In this lesson we shall see we have liberty
as Christians but there are times when we or others must question that liberty
1. Believers are free
It is the right of the believer to practice anything that is not sin
b. It is the right of the believer to serve God without human restraint
5:1 says it is for freedom that Christ has set us free
c. The believer’s
authority for faith and conduct is the Bible
d. Our life as believers
is to revolve around serving Christ in thought and actions
e. Our slavery to sin has
been broken by Christ and as such we owe Him our obedience.
f. Though we are free to
do what we want as long as it is not sin we should be careful to
do what is good and pleasing to the Lord and is a benefit to others. Christian liberty is
not a cover up for evil.
of a time when you have said well I am a able to do this or that because of my Christian liberty but when it comes right down
to you know it was wrong to do?
To sum up the idea of Christian Liberty look to 1 Peter 2:16 which “Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as
a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.”
Believers will find that they are certain issues that are not clearly defined in the Bible
Due to this differences may arise due to such areas as difference in opinion, ethnic
background, race, age, and any number of other factors
When this happens believers should come to their convictions through a careful study of the scriptures knowing that one day
you will need to give account to God for what you are doing.
c. In Colossians 3:16 it says to “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish
one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God”
This verse talks about how we are to teach with wisdom. This means when
there are differences over certain issues we should not look down on a fellow believer or criticize them but try understand
where those believers’ views are coming from
d. Also in love we should limit our actions for
the sake of building up rather than harming
our fellow believers.
What does this means? It means if something we are doing is against another
believer’s beliefs we should honor that and not continue to do it even we in our own heart do not see anything
wrong with it.
Think of an example where this may occur. Ans. Rock Music
3. A consistent teaching of the Scriptures will prepare the church for a clear concise
and peaceful resolution to any concerns that arise in the church.
a. This means anyone involved with leadership in the church must not create
any burdensome rules that hinder a believer’s walk with the Lord and should also communicate the biblical basis for
4. Secular notions of freedom imply unlimited exercise of desires
Christian liberty on the other hand means that we submit to divinely established authorities and look after the needs of others,
Obedience to God and God’s appointed overseers does not limit freedom but is an active exercise of it.
c. As believers we must take great care to discern what rightful directives
of authority under God are and what are improper attempts to curtail our Christian liberty is.
Remember that every believer has the right
to question and get a biblical answer to what they are being asked to do. Galatians 2:3-4 which says “Yet
not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek. This matter arose because some
false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves.” In this verse Paul questions the idea of Titus being circumcised simply because some
false brothers have said that it needed to be done in order to be considered a Christian.
Paul knew that circumcision was not a requirement for salvation so he questioned the idea.
This is not to say you are to completely ignore
what you are told to do but just to make sure that it is scriptural and will not hinder your walk with the Lord. Can you think of anything you were ever asked to that you felt was not scriptural, did you or do you not
5 Christian liberty may be set aside for the sake of others or for the
exercise of ones own spiritual discipline. Can you think of a time when you give
up your Christian liberty for the sake of fellow believer? 1Corinthians
8:9-13 gives us one example “Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block
to the weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol's temple, won't he be
emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge.
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”
Now take the time to think of some of your own.
As you can see we do have liberty as a Christian Liberty even our founding
fathers knew this: that is why the Declaration of Independence has these words “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all
men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life,
Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”. Where we have to be careful is with the idea that our rights are ultimate and
supercede another believer’s rights they don’t. If we are a stumbling
block to a fellow Christian because of something we are doing we need to give up our Christian Liberty in order not to impede
their walk with the Lord.