If a believer sincerely thinks that partaking of something would be dishonoring to God, if his conscience — even in weakness or immaturity — is convinced that something is unclean or profane before God, then it is indeed unclean, and for him to partake of it is sin. You see, faith is trusting in the sufficiency of God, being content with all that He is for you and has for you. When you act against your own spirit-directed conscience, you are valuing something more than God. That is why being a stumbling block is such a serious sin.
In these verses of Romans 14, we are told to be fully convinced of our own convictions, realizing that Christians can go to God’s Word seeking to love Him and glorify Him in obedience, and be personally led by God in secondary matters to do opposite things to the glory of God (vs 6). It is then important to understand the right foundations for Christian convictions, as well as the greater truths of Christ’s Lordship that help us to submit our convictions and priorities to His higher purposes.
Consider Jesus! Imagine that each of us is like a compass, and we are making our way through a world filled with competing magnets. There are all sorts of things vying for our focus, making the needle of our lives spin this way and then that way. These beguiling forces would lead us astray to rocks of destruction where we would make shipwreck of our souls. But Jesus saves us. He is our true north, and so as it says in verse 1, we are to consider Him — we are to fix our eyes on Christ!
The human heart cannot ignore Jesus Christ. God presents himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ and that presentation demands a response from every individual. Simply mention the name of Jesus in a group setting and it will arouse a response from all, even if that response remains unspoken. Some scorn Jesus, some love Jesus, others are fond of the benefits that come from being near Jesus and the people who love Jesus but deep-down they prefer their independence from Jesus. In the opening verses of the twelfth chapter of John’s gospel we find an intimate setting in which we are shown a contrast in responses to Jesus. Among them we find in Mary the heart the beats for and worships Jesus without reservation.
After Jesus defies all of nature, by raising His friend Lazareth from the dead, some believed in Him and some saw it as a threat to their regime. In this text, John gives us a detailed account of the reasons that even Jesus’ greatest miracle in Scripture, is not enough evidence to soften the heart of those which God has hardened. In fact, this miracle, led them in a plot to kill him.
Jesus is about to perform His last great miracle in the Gospel of John, the resurrection of Lazarus. In these first sixteen verses, Christ is expounding on the purpose for the death of Lazarus, and how His disciples can have genuine joy and hope in the midst of deep pain and suffering. All things, including the death of Lazarus, are working for the good of Jesus’s people, and for His glory as the Son of God.
In the midst of being stoned, Christ appeals to the mind. Christ has just proclaimed that He and the Father are One. He is declaring His deity to the Jews. In return, the Jews believe Him to be a blasphemer.
The day to day demands and struggles of life can often deprive us of a clear perspective of the big picture. What is really going on in the world? What is God up to? We learn from John 10 that there is a bigger story than our day-to-day lives taking place whether we notice or not. Jesus is at work gathering the sheep of His Father’s flock into the fold. Moment by moment, day by day, year by year the Good Shepherd is tenderly, patiently but effectively calling out to his sheep, delivering them out of darkness and into the light. He has laid down his life from the sheep and has pledged to guard and protect them. His sheep can rest in the peace of knowing they are secure with the fold of the Good Shepherd.
This sermon is the Deacon Ordination sermon for Eric Bertolotti, Brandon Granger, Randy Mallard, and Jason Pratt. As we consider the office of Deacon, we look to Christ as the perfect example of how to serve. Following His example, we willingly take up the lowliest of positions in order to see Him glorified in the church. As Deacons serve with this heart, practical needs are met, and the ministry of the Word and prayer continues unimpeded.
This sermon is the second of four sermons exploring the role of the public means of grace in the renewal of the Christian mind. This doctrinal sermon addresses the nature and place of the ordinances in Christian worship, focusing mostly upon the ordinances of communion. Communion is a means of grace as God uses the partaking of the elements to remind us of and nourish us with the truths of Christ’s sacrifice, the blessings of our salvation, and the hope set before us.