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Leading The Way - Week of November 23

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So That No One May Stumble

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Read 1 Corinthians 8:9-13.

The Christian life is one of freedom. In fact, Paul wrote, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1). But our freedom in Christ is never a license to sin (see Romans 6:15). In our freedom, we should avoid doing anything that may cause a brother or sister in Christ to stumble.

The believers in Corinth were free to eat meat that had been offered to idols. But because some believers in the church could not eat the meat in good conscience, knowing where it had come from, it became an important issue. Paul told the more mature believers not to let their own liberty be their focus. Instead, they were to avoid the meat if it would be an offense to a weaker believer. They were to let their love for their brothers and sisters override their rights. Even though the act of eating meat was neither morally nor spiritually wrong, it became wrong when certain believers in Corinth deliberately and carelessly let it violate the weaker consciences of other believers, causing them spiritual harm.

How we exercise our freedom matters. In Christ, we are free not to sin. In Christ, we are free to love one another, humbling ourselves because we trust God to satisfy us completely whatever the sacrifice. So may we let God take charge of our freedom so that we love our brothers and sisters well, that they may not stumble on our account.

Prayer: Father, thank You for setting me free from my sin and selfishness. In this freedom, help me to live humbly before You and my brothers and sisters in Christ. May I lay aside my own preferences to lift others up according to Your will at every opportunity. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak” (1 Corinthians 8:9).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon Healthy Living in a Sick World, Part 11: LISTEN NOW

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