Should a Christian? (Session 31)
Purpose: The purpose of this session is to give you principles that will help you make biblical decisions concerning situations which are not clearly defined in the Word of God.
1. You will understand that the Bible does not speak directly of every sin known today.
2. You will learn the principles taught in the Scriptures so that you can be helped to not sin.
3. You will be able to practice obedience to Christ more effectively.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set out for him he endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
1. Prayer and sharing
2. Discuss topics considered in this session.
3. Discuss the questions.
4. Read prepared testimony from last session.
5. Review memory work.
This is an extension of the last session “The Importance of My Personal Life” and should be used in relationship with consideration of “doubtful things” I face in my behavior.
The following are certain criteria that can be applied to situations that are somewhat ambiguous in terms of my behavior and the exercise of my liberty. It is not healthy psychologically to be bound by an overly strict conscience. Nor is it healthy spiritually to have a conscience that is seared and insensitive to sin. Liberty in Christ is a glorious freedom. The following tests can aid our effective exercise of liberty.
1. Can a Christian (_______) without sinning? Galatians 5:13. This is the most important of all my considerations. Is exercising my freedom in a certain area something that may cause me to sin?
2. Is there an “appearance of evil” in the situation, 1 Thessalonians 5:22?
3. Is it “of faith,” Romans 14:23?
4. Is it consistent with being “for the glory of God,” 1 Peter 4:11?
5. Does it cause a “weaker brother” to fall flat on his face, 1 Corinthians 8:13, Romans 14:3?
6. Might it possibly lead me to sinning, James 1:15?
7. Does it hinder me in my race as a Christian — is it an encumbrance (weight), Hebrews 12:1-3?
8. Does it do harm to my body which is the temple of the Holy Spirit,
1 Corinthians 3:17?
9. Is it in harmony with self-denial, Luke 9:23?
10. Does this activity consistently keep me from fellowship with the Body of Christ, Hebrews 10:25?
11. Would this behavior cause me to be ashamed before Him when He returns, 1 John 2:28?
12. Is it something that will create indebtedness? Romans 13:8?
13. Does it violate my conscience, Romans 14:22?
The following verses contain a study of principles from Scripture that are related to our conduct in the world. It is designed to assist a life of obedience to Jesus Christ. Some behaviors are not clearly “right or wrong.” Nevertheless they can get me into difficulty and become “weights” in my life. Analyze each of these verses and see if you can find a biblical principle that governs choices of behavior that become more pleasing to the Father.
1. Galatians 5:13
What kinds of things might be considered “indulging in the sinful nature”?
2. 1 Thessalonians 5:22
What are some things you have been confronted with that appear to be evil?
3. Romans 14:23
What does this mean in a practical sense to you?
What problems come when we allow conscience to be our guide?
4. 1 Peter 4:11
We might say that if something does not __________________ God, it is not something for us to be involved with.
5. 1 Corinthians 8:13; Romans 14:3
What kind of a brother would stumble and fall into sin when he sees me exercise liberty? See Romans 14:1
What are some behaviors in your own life that you have felt might cause a “weaker brother” to stumble?
Remember what “stumble” means. It comes from the word that means “to fall flat on your face and not get up. This will be addressed again in the next session —“Three Laws for Effective Living.”
6. James 1:15
This simply means that anything that leads to ____________should be avoided.
7. 1 Corinthians 3:17
What temple is spoken of here?
See if you can name some behavior that might be involved with this principle.
8. Hebrews 12:1
What race is referred to in this context?
What kinds of things are “weights?”
9. Luke 9:23
According to this verse, what should characterize the life of a Christian disciple?
10. Hebrews 10:25
This is a principle that really is interesting and important in this day of pleasure and hedonism.
11. 1 John 2:28
This teaches me that ___________________________________ is a purifying hope.
12. Romans 14:22
What would condemn us?
How can we deal with a condemning heart? Romans 14:22-23
13. Romans 13:8
This deals with a very practical side of my life. It relates to .
What does “letting no debts be outstanding” mean?
Summarize the verses in this study and how each has spoken to you. What changes should I make in my behavior after doing this material?
Questions for Review and Discussion
1. In what ways do these biblical principles perfect our obedience and walk with God?
2. What is involved in the “appearance of evil”?
3. What are common “weights” in my life?
4. List a number of situations in your own life and experience where these principles might be helpful to you.
5. What areas of your life are most needful of attention?
6. React to the following statement. “When in doubt, don’t do it!”
What are your feelings after doing this session’s material and contemplating this subject?
8. What are some of the danger areas you sense in your own life after looking at these principles?
9. Who is a “weaker brother”?
10. What are some of the things that can cause us to defile the temple of the Holy Spirit?—our bodies?
Summary and Key Concepts
This is a session dealing with principles for behavior as a Christian that are not clearly spoken about in the Scriptures. Rather than finding direct statements, we have sought to find biblical principles that teach by inference how we should be in the world today.
One need not feel that simply because the Scripture doesn’t mention specific contemporary sins that there are no problems with my participating in them. Nor am I to feel that simply because something I am involved with in my life holds me back but is not mentioned specifically as sin... that I should have no concern about it.
It is important to learn these principles as they will perfect my walk in obedience. They do not demolish my liberty in Christ, but rather enable me to walk in obedience more effectively. They are principles that will be appropriate for all time.
Related Topics: Discipleship