Liberty or License?

Right = Wrong? Wrong = Right?

We’ve opened the proverbial “can of worms.” Yet we believe it’s a really important “can” that must be opened and understood in light of the Gospel. Are you ready to dig in?

Our culture is filled with a multiplicity of messages about morality and ethics. Throughout social media, TV, movies, and music, it’s easy to hear all sorts of propaganda about recreational drug use, alcohol, sexual experimentation, and of course, how we MUST watch the next season of [you name it]. But what does God have to say to His people about these moral and ethical issues?

 

Here at North Park Baptist Church, where I serve as lead pastor, we’re wrapping up 5-part study (a Sunday evening series, aside from tomorrow’s morning message) that is geared toward answering questions like:

  • “Can a person who knows and loves Jesus Christ drink alcohol with a clear conscience?”
  • “Why do some Christians have different standards about what TV shows or movies they watch? Is that okay?”
  • “Are there “gray areas” of personal conviction or is everything clear-cut, black and white?”
  • “I understand that we can’t add anything to the Gospel of Christ to be saved, but what about after you’re already saved? Aren’t we required to do some things?”

 

Our series on these important questions dove-tails with the following proposed amendment to our church constitution, relating to “Position Clarifications,” on which we plan to vote tomorrow evening (4/26/2015):

Christian Liberty and Ethics: We believe humankind was created with the primary purpose of glorifying God and enjoying Him forever, through demonstrating love for Him in worshipful obedience and showing His love for others by serving on the mission of Christ’s Gospel (Matt. 5:43-48; 22:37-40; 28:19-20; John 1:18; 20:21; Eph. 1:5-6, 12, 14). In light of our purpose, we believe the deliberate misuse or abuse of food, drugs, and alcohol (e.g. gluttony, intoxication, etc.) violates the Holy Spirit’s indwelling of a believer in Jesus Christ and is contrary to God’s will for His people (Prov. 20:1; 23:20-21, 29-35; 31:4-6; Rom. 13:14; 1 Cor. 3:16-17; 10:31; Gal. 5:16-26; Eph. 5:15-21). We recognize the personal liberty of conscience enjoyed by followers of Christ to develop personal standards under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:1-23; 1 Cor. 6:12). Yet we also teach that our love for the brethren reminds us to take care with our liberty regarding areas where no clear scriptural command is present (Rom. 15:1-2; 1 Cor. 8:1-9:27; 10:23-33).

 

This amendment is also in conjunction with additional position statements pertaining to the sanctity of human life, as well as marriage and sexuality. Go here to access messages and materials pertaining to the topic of marriage and sexuality: http://www.graceexposed.org/2014/11/17/love-in-design/

Listen to the full audio messages below by simply clicking on the play button below or by subscribing to our iTunes podcast. These messages were originally delivered at North Park Baptist Church of Grand Rapids, MI,
Part 1 – Pastor John Nixon: “Grace Both Ways” (Gal. 5:1-13)  on Sunday evening, March 22nd, 2015.

Part 2 – Pastor Michael Breznau: “Intoxication: Good and Bad?” (1 Cor. 8:1-13; 10:23-33; Eph. 5:15-21), Sunday evening, March 29th, 2015.

Part 3 – Pastor Michael Breznau: “Greed, Gluttony, and the Gospel of God” (1 Tim. 4:3-5; 6:6-19, and selected passages), Sunday evening, April 12th, 2015.

Part 4 – Q & A – Panel Discussion with Michael Breznau, John Nixon, and Keith DeBoer (audio not listed), April 19th, 2015.

Part 5 – Pastor Michael Breznau “Freight-Train Flesh and Sticks on the Tracks” (Col. 2:16-3:5), Sunday morning, April 26th, 2015.

Author: Michael Breznau

:: Who I AM: Husband | Father | Pastor | Speaker | Author | Singer | :: I am a redeemed follower of Jesus, and I'm passionate about inspiring others to follow Him with radical faith. | :: What I DO: I love and pursue knowing the Triune God. I am crazy-in-love with my amazing wife and children. I serve as Staff Pastor and Missions rep for LifeChange Action. Prior to my current role, I had the privilege of serving as the Lead Pastor of North Park Baptist Church in Grand Rapids, MI, and Pastor of Youth and Christian Education at Evangel Baptist Church in Taylor, MI. | :: The Wallpaper: God gave me the opportunity to be trained for ministry at Dallas Theological Seminary, where I completed the Master of Theology program (Th.M in Pastoral Ministries; magna cum laude). I also hold a B.A. in Ministry and Music from North Tennessee Bible Institute & Seminary.

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