WOULD YOU CAUSE YOUR BROTHER TO FALL?
1 Timothy 4:12 - Romans 14:12 - 1 Corinthians 8:9
No believer would intentionally lead a fellow Christian away from truth and spirituality.
No Christian parent would intentionally lead their children to rebel against God and not believe the Bible is true.
No Saved wife or husband would deliberately do things to cause their lost spouse to not come to Christ.
No true believer would deliberately and intentionally plan to deny the Lord Jesus and teach others to openly sin against God.
The Christian life is one of growing and maturing and learning. The person who honestly wants to live for Christ and be a blessing to others will continually be examining and evaluating himself to see where he can improve his testimony.
Have you considered that you have a great influence on those around you?
Have you contemplated that your influence and testimony for the Lord is not governed by your sincerity or desire to see others come to Christ, but by actually how you live your life?
2. Verse 6, says he would be a good example as a young preacher if he put the folks he ministered to in remembrance of the need of faith, correct doctrine and turn from sin in their lives.
3. Paul in Verse 11, says that Timothy, as a preacher, is to "command and teach these to the church".
4. Then he says, do not let your youth or inexperience deter you from this and then he tells Timothy he is to practice what he preaches.
Be an example in to the believers in word, conduct, in love, in your spirit, in faith and in purity.
Further he said, you give much attention to reading the Bible and the doctrines (teaching) you find.
5. Verse 16, Paul is saying to Timothy, that if you do, you will greatly grow spiritually yourself and you will led others that will hear you.
Why, would God give us this instruction about the possibility of believers actually being a stumbling block to others? The answer is obvious...we can be if we are not careful.
2. The context in Romans 14 is in the eating of meat by Gentiles that had been sacrificed to idols. It was a common practice for the meat that was offered to idols in pagan temples to be sold in the public meat markets. The pagan temples ran meat markets selling the meat that had been offered in sacrifice to the idol of that temple. Therefore much of the meat available came from the butcher shops of the pagan temples.
3. Paul is saying that the meat was not tainted by being offered to a idol that did not exist, yet if it offended an fellow believer to eat meat that came from the shops of pagan idols, then it was not right for them to buy the meat, when it would destroy our testimony before our brother in the Lord.
4. The problem had two sides:
Others, understood idols were nothing and did not see that buying this meat as doing anything wrong. Paul says do not let this practice destroy the faith, (work of God) in someone else's life.
You may have the perfect right or liberty to do the thing, but if it may cause a brother spiritual harm...give up your liberty for the other's spiritual good.
In other words there are things we can do that would not be sinful within themselves, but are not expedient meaning they are not profitable. Other things do not edify which means to lift up a brother. This should be considered all that we do. We are to ask ourselves, "Does this have any value and does it help my brother or hinder him."
5. This is the problem?
If a person thought it wrong to eat the meat, and you lead him to eat it anyway you would be leading a brother to sin.
2. "Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend." (1 Corinthians 8:13)
3. This is the attitude and actions of a person who is truly living for the Lord and truly concerned about the seeing others come to Christ.
"If it offends my brother, I will not do it, even to the end of the world, I will not offend or cause someone to stumble"
4. "Abstain from ALL appearance of evil." (1 Thessalonians 5:22)
5. Self examination is the rule for believers is the Bible.
"But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup." (1 Corinthians 11:28)
"For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged." 1 Corinthians 11:31)
Why is it so important!!??
READ Titus 1:15-2:8!
Did you note that the aged men and women, are to be teachers of these good things to the younger men and women?
3. Peter makes the same plea to husbands and wives:
Are you praying for a lost love one? Are you living for the Lord?
B. It is sin to do anything apart from faith.
2. Romans 14:23 says in regard to these gray areas, "And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin."
3. Paul is saying before we act we should know that what we are doing is correct. If we are doubtful and go ahead not knowing what if it is right then that is sin because it is not of faith.
4. This is often referred to at "doubtful things." We are told by the Lord to live by the principles of the word of God. 1 Thessalonians 5:22 says we are to "Abstain from all appearance of evil." We then better be sure that all we do is considered in light of the word of God and know that what we do is correct and therefore pleasing to God.
The lady in the first illustration overcame the bad example of fellow believers and overcame this problem in her life. Later her testimony helped win her husband and daughter to the Lord. Sadly, the second lady to this day is not serving the Lord. Smoking was only one of many sins which she yielded too and in a short time left her husband. Her children all turned out bad and the last I heard one was in prison. Folks, it is important that we live for the Lord and the souls of men will be influenced by what we do whether we want them to or not.
ILLUS: When I pastored in Virginia I tried repeatedly to win the husband of one of our members to Christ. He was a nice man and we were friends. He was bitter however because he had worked years for a deacon in the church and said the man cheated him, lived the life of a hypocrite. He told me of many things sinful things the deacon did. He said it made him mad to see him all dressed up on Sunday acting like a wonderful Christian when he knew by the sinful things in his life that it was a lie. I was never able to win him to the Lord and he died after I left that church lost in his sins. You cannot blame the deacon completely, but he was a stumbling block to this man. I cannot say for sure, but maybe this man could have been saved had he not been so poorly lived before by this professing Christian.
A. READ: Hebrews 10:24-25.
1. The writer to the Hebrews says some did not attend services. READ verse 23-24.
2. Note that by our example of attending the services of our church, we:
You see we represent Christ. What a wonderful privilege we have been given to carry His name and share Him with others. Matt. 5:13, says we are the salt of the earth. But salt that is not salty is worthless, and fit only to be cast out and thrown in the dirt.
Read: 2 Peter 3:11-18. Verse 17 seeks to help us and says "Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness."
2. There maybe those here this morning who need first of all to receive Jesus Christ as their Savior?
3. There maybe those who would be honest enough to privately between you and God, ask God to help you overcome every sin in you life?
You would say to our loving God, yes, I maybe have not in the past been the example to others I need to be.....but with God's help I am determined now to live for the Lord. From this hour on I determine to fight sin with all my heart.
Would you pray with me, "Dear Lord, I claim your promise to not allow me to be tempted more than I can resist, help me to overcome that which is wrong in my life. Help me dear Lord to keep the commitment that I have just made and always be mindful of my testimony before others."