We have been looking at how we are to respond, as Christians, to respond to the world and the new tolerance.
Two lies that are told with new tolerance.
Lie #1. New tolerant people is a better person most of the time, and an intolerant person is a bad person.
It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God…
Sanctified means that God is shaping you to be right in obedience, actions, and attitudes. Sanctification is a outward expression of our justification by God. Paul is saying there is a right way to live. This is something that the world says is a bad thing.
And that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. But god did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who give you his Holy Spirit.
We are not called to live like the world. We are to live in holiness, and stand firm in what God has made right. But the world will say that those who stand with God as intolerant.
Lie #2. Just because something is wrong to me, does not mean it is wrong for you.
This is a standing of moral relevance. There is no absolute truth. But as Christians, we stand to have a absolute moral truth. But the world’s new tolerance is limited by their relative moral structure because it clashes with absolute moral structures. They say that there is no absolute truth, when that statement is an absolute statement.
Many times, the world and even some Christians use a line from Jesus “judge not lest you be judged.” () It is a classic rebuke from them that points to a standing of moral relevance. It is not judgmental to uphold a moral absolute. Jesus tells us in the same chapter to watch out for wolves and false prophets. But if we are not to judge, how do we know? Jesus tells us that we will know the righteous and the unrighteous by the fruit they bear. () Not being “judgmental” but showing discernment by knowing and living by God’s principles.
How do we respond?
- Be courageous. Stand firm.
- Stay calm. We are to be secure in our stance, and respond in gentleness and kindness.
- Know our principles. We are not against people, but we stand for principles of righteousness.
- Dismantle the “judgement call”.
- Be careful of the chapter/verse reference. We are in a time where the Bible is not important to the world. We can give biblical truth without having to quote the chapter/verse.
- Encouragement. We are not to tear people down, but speak into lives to turn them to Jesus.
- Smile. We are confident that God provides.
3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; (ESV)
6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. (ESV)
7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. (ESV)
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. (ESV)