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Healthy Living in a Sick World (Part 14)

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef
The Truth Network Radio
April 6, 2020 12:00 am

Healthy Living in a Sick World (Part 14)

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef

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Dr. Michael you send my friends.

I know this before many times on three student think about it this way. This is the beginning of holy week, but Sunday's coming resurrection that is coming with all the pain and suffering and agony of our Lord Jesus Christ went through so holy week. On the other side of that holy week there was a resurrection physical bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and then glorified in heaven sitting on the rim of the universe writing and ruling. Whatever you going through. However, the dog at Megan. Just remember that Sunday is coming resurrection Sunday is coming to you and to me when we get United on the clouds on our way home to heaven. Keep listening for daily special edition of leading the way between Jonathan you sent. Do not put your liberty at the front of your decision-making. Rather, consider what will glorify God. What is for my neighbor's good sound like I'm preaching do this and do that.

Don't mishear me that's not what's happening here.

The root of this is what is your motivation is questioning our motives and then it's saying you need to be discerning. Jonathan you sent this Dr. Michael you set's youngest son and he recently spent several years pastoring in Australia. Jonathan currently serves on the pastoral team in his local Atlanta church were so excited to hear from Jonathan today as he brings what short to be a challenging message from first Corinthians tackling healthy living in a sick world. By looking at Paul's words in first Corinthians chapter 10. He offers a biblical perspective on handling some gray areas in life and in our culture of relativism, you're sure to find Jonathan's biblical insights and very helpful lesson with me now as Jonathan you set against today's leading the way. The Corinthians have been saved. Body and soul, and they have been called out to be God's people in a very dark place.

We've heard about what Corinth was like and what do they do, they they fight over leadership. They doubt Paul's apostleship. They treat the Lord's supper is an opportunity to think only of self and they disqualify themselves from witnessing to the Corinthian community. I was wondering what would the slogan be for the Corinthian church, enjoying the Corinthian church. We fight with each other were stuck in sexual sin, we cannot agree on who our leader is.

We will make you feel shame for eating meat, or we will make you feel stupid for not eating meat. Come on in and sign up.

Operators are standing by. Paul says learn the lesson from the Israelites do not repeat their mistakes. Don't be a generation that dies in the desert.

Don't be a generation that is disqualified from witnessing effectively for these things were written down for you and your benefit and so Paul says in verse 14.

Therefore, therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. Don't assume that because you take the Lord's supper, or because you have been baptized that saves you. Don't assume that because you take the Lord's supper that you are now immune from idolatry. Don't assume that because you take the Lord's supper that you can now live however you like. Especially when you know it's wrong and be totally entangled in sin, for the purpose of eating the bread and drinking the cup is to share in the life, death and resurrection of Christ to be identified in him and to fellowship as one body as he talks about its one body together one bread and so if we view communion or baptism is this sort of get out of jail free card or we fail to see that the purpose of the Lord's supper in the uniting of the body of believers and putting our identity into Christ than we make ourselves vulnerable to sin. Maybe you don't think anything of communion maybe to you. It's just sort of a road process you stand in line and you take your wafer and you dip it in the wind and you eat it you going to sit down you think about lunch. I really hope that that's not the case. Or maybe leave early and you miss out on that whole opportunity because you've overscheduled yourself because you see what happens is that you miss out on the blessing that is taking place, which is that as our world gets darker and darker outside and I really don't think I have to explain that to you but as the world gets darker and darker outside. We have this great privilege of looking around and seeing people who are also saying my hope is in Christ, my faith is in Christ, he will build me up. He will supply my needs. He paid it all. He bears my sin. He lifts me up. He gives me a life and a family who loves him and me no matter what baggage I may carry. No matter what my struggle is, no matter what I have said or done in the past and I am not crazy and I am not alone and we get to encourage each other in that pushing each other back to Christ back to Christ, reminding each other to go back to Christ's that his love is sufficient that his grace is sufficient that we cannot out run the love and the grace of Christ, and we don't do it in judging one another, but in partaking of his body and his blood which was and is and will always be the way of salvation. Chuck Colson tells the story of hospital chaplain intern who was called in to visit a patient who was his status was declining and the chaplain was not supposed to suggest or even ask if this person wanted to take communion. They're not supposed to ask the patient's this question.

And yet this chaplain intern felt oppressed by the Spirit to ask this particular patient and the man when asked said no I can't. I've seen too much and I'm too far beyond forgiveness. The chaplain pause and he asked would you like to confess your sins, and he reminds him, explaining that if we claim to be without sin, the truth is not in us and we deceive ourselves that God hears our cries.

He hears our confession and he forgives and purifies and he renews and the man confessed his sin with tears in his face and then he took communion the first time he'd eaten in weeks, remembering what Christ had done for him and with that chaplain, reminding him and encouraging him of the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Not a few moments later the man was sitting up and he was already feeling better in a few days later he checks out of the hospital.

The nurses were so amazed at this happening that they called the local newspaper and said you have to come and tell the story so the newspapers came in. They wrote the story of these two men and they put it in the life section of the newspaper. How fitting that in verses 23 to chapter 11 verse one, Paul summarizes what he's been saying really since chapter 8 in this little section. What do we do when were navigating those gray areas of life when it's not clear cut black-and-white and pull on the section doesn't address the issue on the basis of what an individual should or shouldn't do.

Rather, he focuses the issue on what is best for the neighbor and what will bring glory to God.

So he writes all things are lawful, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful, but not all things build up we heard this before in chapter 6 when Paul tells the Corinthians to flee sexual idolatry, sexual immorality. Now, this could have been something that Paul said this, all things are lawful, this could have been a phrase that Paul has a given than being abused by the Corinthians am not sure may have just been popular in the culture at the time but you see there's a group of Corinthians that take that phrase and they make their banner. Some of them wanted to waive that banner of libertine is him and as long as they were baptized as long as they took the Lord's supper then all things were lawful and it is an abuse of a good thing Paul is saying you have been given liberty in Christ.

You can eat meat that was sacrificed to an idol because an idol is nothing.

Verse 19. You can do the things that you have the freedom in Christ to do gas but don't abuse this freedom. Do not become a slave to freedom which sounds like an oxymoron right can you be a slave to freedom.

I give you an example, a group of friends of mine a while back were going out together.

There are Christians and non-Christians in this group and one of the non-Christian friends had struggled with alcoholism in his past.

And so when were ordering drinks and meal and that sort of thing. Pretty much everyone was refraining from ordering alcohol for the sake of this particular person, but one of the Christian friends knew that he had the freedom to order alcohol and so he did. But not only did he just do that. He wanted to rub his freedom in Christ license in everybody's face. What does that do for his testimony. How does that help the non-Christian who struggling with something. He looks at the Christian and thinks do you even care what you think of me.

Then in verse 25. Paul says eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience for the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof. This is to the person who is not that example I just gave him where units are the libertine, rub your license in their face. Know this is to the person who uses legalism as a weapon but do not understand the liberty that they have in Christ and therefore put people under the yoke of legalism and bind people's consciences. That's why Paul quotes Psalm 24 the earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof, it's all his the meat they were eating the things they were drinking. It's all been given from the Lord and we have people like that in churches today to don't we. It's like the story of the pastor who found all the roads were blocked on the way to church on a Sunday morning and so he saw a frozen lake, and so he put his ice skates on any skates across the lake to get to church and when the elders found out that he had done this, they were distraught.

So after the service. I sit down with the pastor and they say you I skated across the lake any civil yeah it's the only way I could get here.

Finally, one of the elders said did you enjoy it. The pastor said no. I said okay fine with me. I understand this is a difficult issue because it feels like there's a no man's land. If I can't do that I can't do that. Where do I go.

There are those who run with liberty into unhelpful non-building up things and use their liberty as license and there are those who bind themselves and others in legalism. So what does Paul say to counter all of this, there has to be an outright verse 24.

Let no one seek his own good with the good of his neighbor. The legalist sought their own good, and ignored the way their approach bound the conscience of their neighbor, the libertine, one sought their own good and ignore the way their approach scandalized the conscience of their neighbor and the word to both his stop seeking your own good. Seek the good of your neighbor. Now that is probably not a popular message in churches is it stop seeking your own good. Seek the good of your neighbor, thereby giving glory to God.

Remember the Lord's supper example that we looked at earlier you come to the table with believers who have different struggles and different doubts and different fears do not think only of yourself. That's why in chapter 11 Paul says of the Lord supper of the Communion. Anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body eats and drinks judgment on himself the body, meaning look around you consider the body of Christ that is here with us. The brothers and sisters that he has intentionally put you in communion with. So what is your approach to God and neighbor and neighbor being those who have not yet put their trust in Christ.

How do we respond to the outside world. What we think brings glory to God. Some of us think the way we bring glory to God is by rejecting completely wholesale the outside world. What does this look like. We spent our time with our Christian friends and we spend our time at church we spent our time at Bible study and if a work colleague invites us to an event or party or something. We turn them down because we view the world through this lens we are called to be set apart. Yes, we are holy and so we need to stay separate and other and not interact with the non-Christian world.

What is the result of that, the result of that is that you have no one to share with you. However, the message of life and hope and salvation and you have no one to give it to. We have removed our voice and our witness from those around us pulses if one of the unbelievers invites you to dinner your disposed you desire to go first one go go to eat whatever is set before you, without raising any question on the ground of conscience go be with them. Don't worry about what food is put before you. If you're 21 years and older, and you don't struggle with alcoholism and nobody in this group seems to struggle with alcoholism be free. It's okay. I don't drink to excess.

We know what the Scripture says about that but be free. Don't tell these people are all going to go to hell because there drinking alcohol that is not helpful in all the teetotalers giggle, listen, do not lose your opportunity to share Christ with your neighbor, which will be good for them to hear the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ and glorifies God. On the other end of the spectrum is the person who desires to go to their neighbor. No matter the cost. There is so much of a desire to identify with your neighbor that you lose your saltiness. You lose your lights you identify at the expense of the gospel and you don't look separate and other as we have been called to be. And so you have no message to bring your neighbor pulses, but if someone says to you, this has been offered in sacrifice, then do not eat it for the sake of the one who informed you and for the sake of conscience.

I do not mean your conscience but I am talking about his conscience. This person is more concerned with their own liberty, then the good of their neighbor do not put your liberty at the forefront of your decision-making. Rather, consider what will glorify God. What is for my neighbors. Good. I don't want to sound like I'm preaching do this and do that.

Don't do that.

That's don't mishear me that's not what's happening here.

The root of this is what is your motivation. This is questioning our motives and then it's saying you need to be discerning to have a discerning spirit and I can't answer all these nitty-gritty questions for you in the gray areas. You have to be sitting under the authority of the word of God and seeking what Christ has for you and then you will come to clarity and how to respond to your neighbor and you will know what glorifies God.

Now, for the sake of completing the illustration. Some of us live a dualistic compartmental life illustrated here where we act one way with our Christian friends and on Sunday and then the rest of the week it outside of church react a completely different way.

What does this do this gives you no audience and no message you become a hypocrite because you cannot be in two worlds. Here's what the balanced life looks like pulses so whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God. Just as I try to please everyone and everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many that they may be saved. Be imitators of me as I am of Christ.

We don't hide from opportunities and have an us versus them mentality.

Instead, we have a mentality that says we have been saved. We have been transformed. We have been recipients of grace we now have freedom in Christ. But I will not be a prisoner to the freedom because I have a Lord who gave up his freedoms for his enemies for me and I will not be self-centered and I will not be focused, self focused, because I imitate Christ who gave up his rights. Paul gave up his rights because Christ gave up his rights, so I give up my rights so that more and more and more and more and more may hear, and may know, I don't look to the interest of self but to the interest of others that they may be saved, not so that I compact myself on the back and say look at how loving I was, look at all the things I gave up for people, but I do it because of what Christ did for me. He left perfect unity with the father and took on flesh, and he shared the good news with anyone who would listen, and even those who wouldn't, he forfeited what was rightfully his. To accomplish his father's will. He gave his life up for people who were at enmity with him so that they might be saved.

He made a way possible.

Where there was no other way and he has given new hearts and new understanding and a hope and a future and a community of fellow believers who seek to encourage and urge one another on to run the race, remembering that there are many who do not yet know the truth. After the resurrection, and after the disciples had seen Christ in the upper room they go out fishing and Jesus meets them on the beach after they've been out all night fishing in probably wondering what's going to happen next. Is this real is this what what's gonna happen for us. Where do we fit in with this and Jesus pulls Peter aside Peter who had denied Christ three times and three times he asked Peter. Peter do you love me Peter do you love me Peter do you love me and three times, Peter says yes Lord yes Lord you know that I love you. Jesus says if you love me feed my sheep. Why is it because Jesus forgot he had to leave and there were sheep that needed to be fed. Somebody needed to go and get the mail.

He forgot about the may also need to take the garbage out.

No, Jesus, sheep, or his people showing Peter Peter if you love me then love my people a new commandment I give you love one another as I have loved you.

It's new because Christ's love was different than any other person who had come before him. It gave more and accomplish more and if our identity is in him that we can love with that love, not from ourselves trying to gin this love up out of our own flesh, but it's a love because we know he first loved us and we know the grace that he's given us and we know the forgiveness that he's offered to us and so were not like Jonah, who hardens his heart doesn't want the good news to go to the people but were like the Samaritan woman was forced to go out in the heat of the day and draw her water and when Jesus tells her I can offer you living water. I am the Messiah and its calm. She goes right back to the people who have cast her out of society and brings them the good news out of his life not out of her love.

Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. Whatever you do to all the glory of God, for that is what you were created for. Glorify God and enjoy him forever. This is leading the way with Dr. Michael you sent on the radio, television, and all around the world through multiple media platforms learn ways to listen and today heard from the guest teacher Jonathan UNICEF who serves his church as a pastor for intergenerational ministries that allows Jonathan to file a call and a passion to reach into the lives of people with the life of Christ as they navigate the challenging seasons of life. Recently, Jonathan began a podcast are leading the way it touches on some of the more pressing issues of our culture and the podcast is called candid conversations with Jonathan UNICEF and it he provides biblical insights on these issues. I opening God's word and introducing you to strong people not afraid to engage in tough conversations. Learn more about this challenging podcast and ways to connect on a deeper level with leading the way.

When you visit you can also call and speak to a ministry representative. If you like the number is 866-626-4356. That's 866-626-4356 I time is gone for the day accept this invitation to join Dr. UNICEF next time when he passionately claims compromising for

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