Tuesday, April 19, 2016

P1 Answers to life's most difficult questions found in Sunday School - Questions on Christian Liberty

1 Peter 3:15 “But Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who as you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and respect.”

What a blessing it is to pastor a church where one can find answers to some of life’s toughest questions in Sunday School! I begin today’s post with this affirmation because of the value that is found when Sunday School is operating as it ought in the local church. 

In our church we recently had a combined Sunday School hour. In the largest room of the church, there were several round tables set up for the purpose of hosting 6 discussion groups handling several very difficult questions. Each teacher had been assigned the question the previous week and was instructed to research the answers and then lead whoever would be at their table in a “round-table” discussion. At the end of the prescribed time, each table would pick a representative to give a three-minute summary of the group’s answers to the group at large. The exercise was extremely interesting to watch. The answers given even more rewarding.

Sunday school is the local church’s most effective way to mature and mobilize Christians to share Jesus' love with others. Today’s post and the next couple of blogs will summarize the answers given at the combined Sunday School event described in the opening paragraph. We are calling these series of posts: "Answers to life's difficult questions found in Sunday School."

May the reader use 1 Peter 3:15 as a launching point in approaching these next few posts. We as Christians ought to be prepared and equipped to give an answer to those who ask us about why we believe what we believe and why we do what we do. I hope readers find these posts to be encouraging, informative and motivated to, if for nothing else, get further involved in their Sunday School ministry in their local church.

Defining the impact of Christian Liberty on believer’s life

This first question is one with which all Christians grapple. The Sunday School teacher who handled this issue did a great job in summarizing the answers. 

How do we define Christian liberty? In short, when the stability of our Christian brother is at stake, we need to determine when to restrain versus when to practice. The principle for decision making in such circumstances in 1 Corinthians 10:23 was included in the discussion: “All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify.” So with Christian liberty, the issue at hand has to do with areas of conscience and how what we do or don’t do in the realm of everyday practices that some Christians would deem sinful and which others deem as permissible.

How we influence fellow believers in their Christian walk ought to have precedent over what may very well be otherwise legitimate freedom or right to practice a given behavior. The particular discussion group handling this question cited Galatians 5:1 “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” 

The reminder from these verses was that on the one hand, standing in God’s grace gives me liberty and power to live the godly life and to desire what is lawful and God-honoring apart from man-made legalistic restrictions. The other-side or guardrail to avoid are the excesses in liberty. Christian liberty is lived out in relationship with other Christians, and thus as we grow, we learn with one another what constitutes preferences versus what involves uncompromising convictions.

Tomorrow we will consider another answer to life's most difficult questions that was found in Sunday School.

No comments:

Post a Comment