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Who do you Listen to?

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The Judgments of: Man, Conscience and God

1 Corinthians 4:4 KJV 1900
For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.
1 cor 4.
We often listen to and care what outer say.
What does mom think of me?
What does my boss think of me?
What do my friends think of me?
What does culture think of me?
What do my neighbors think of me?
But do we ever consider what does God think?
illustration : as a teen my dad would wear Bermuda shorts with with socks at take us to the mall. I had to walk 20 ft ahead in case my friends saw me.......
Roberson said when he was in HS playing BB his dad wore the same and he would hope he would sit in the top of the stands
But, now i care more about what my dad thinks and have a close relationship with him.
The friends, culture, and society have changed but my dad will always be my dad.

Background:

Among the many problems that existed in the church at Corinth...There was the problem of division -

INTRODUCTION
INTRODUCTION
1. Among the many problems that existed in the church at Corinth...
1. Among the many problems that existed in the church at Corinth...

There was the problem of division -

a. There was the problem of division -
1 Corinthians 1:10–11 KJV 1900
Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
1cor 1.10-1

“personality cults" -

. Which involved "preacher-itis" or "personality cults" - 2. In dealing with the problem, the apostle Paul... a. Rebuked the spiritual immaturity of such division - . Revealed how one should view the role of preachers - ; . Remarked that in his own case he was more interested in what the Lord thought - . In the text for this study (), we are introduced to three different types of judgment... a. The court of judgment by men b. The court of judgment by one's conscience c. The court of judgment by Christ -- We might call these "The Three Tribunals" 4. In our federal court system, we have... a. The local federal court b. The federal district court of appeal c. The federal supreme court -- In which the judgment of one court is more final that the others [So it is with "The Three Tribunals" of our text. There is a difference between them, and we do well to see what the Scriptures say about each one. We begin with the lowest "tribunal"...] I. THE COURT OF JUDGMENT BY MEN A. PAUL'S VIEW OF THIS "TRIBUNAL"... 1. "... it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court" - 2. Note carefully that he said "a very small thing", not "nothing" 3. Paul was often concerned about what people thought in some matters a. About what his weak brother thought - . About what the lost thought - ; 4. But what people thought of him personally was " a very small thing"... a. His accomplishments b. His status as a preacher B. THE REASON FOR PAUL'S VIEW... 1. He knew how fallible the opinions of others could be a. The world loves false teachers - ; cf. . They hate those "not of the world" - . He new their criteria for judging was wrong a. They often look at the outward appearance - cf. . A problem Paul had to deal with - ,. Yet he knew what the Lord had said - cf. [While there are times we should be considerate of what others think, the final estimation needs to look to a higher court. Some would say "Let your conscience be your guide." But let's examine...] II. THE COURT OF JUDGMENT BY ONE'S CONSCIENCE A. PAUL'S VIEW OF THIS "TRIBUNAL"... 1. "In fact, I do not even judge myself." - 2. Paul is not totally discounting the need to examine oneself a. We are to examine ourselves at the Lord's Supper - . We should periodically examine our own salvation - 3. He certainly stressed the importance of a good conscience - ,; ; 4. But in the matter at hand (evaluating preachers), Paul refused to depend on this "tribunal" B. THE REASON FOR PAUL'S VIEW... 1. He knew how fallible one's conscience or self-estimation can be a. He had always served God with good conscience - . Even when he was killing Christians - cf. . When misinformed, one can have a clear conscience and still be dead wrong! 2. Paul acknowledged this possibility a. "For I know nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this;" - b. While his conscience was clear, he knew that it did not make him right [Paul knew there remained a final and infallible judgment...] III. THE COURT OF JUDGMENT BY CHRIST A. PAUL'S VIEW OF THIS "TRIBUNAL"... 1. He knew that "He who judges me is the Lord" - a. This refers to the judgment by Christ is evident from v.5 b. For Christ will judge men at His coming - 2. He viewed the Lord's judgment as superior, for He will: a. "bring to light the hidden things of darkness" (things a clear conscience might miss) b. "reveal the counsels of the heart" (things often hidden from the view of others) 3. Thus Paul viewed this "tribunal" as final, with no court of appeal! B. THE REASON FOR PAUL'S VIEW... 1. He knew the judgment of Christ was certain a. For God provided proof through the resurrection of Jesus - . And so Paul often wrote of this judgment - ; ; 2. He knew the judgment of Christ was superior a. He knew the Lord was judging even then (cf. the present tense) - ; cf. b. He knew the Lord could know the secrets of men - ; cf. CONCLUSION 1. And so we have "The Three Tribunals"... a. The court of judgment by men b. The court of judgment by one's conscience c. The court of judgment by Christ 2. To which "tribunal" are we appealing for the hope of salvation...? a. Is our hope based on what fallible men have said? b. Is our trust based on what we feel in our hearts, or what our conscience tells us? c. Or do we place our trust and hope in the words of the Lord who will judge us? - ; cf. ; I trust that we have seen there is only one "tribunal" we should look to for the final answer to such questions, and that we might truly have the attitude of Paul... "Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him." - Note: The main points of this outline are based on a sermon by Alexander Maclaren with a similar title in his Expositions Of The Holy Scriptures.
1cor 1.
1 Corinthians 1:12 KJV 1900
Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

In dealing with the problem, the apostle Paul... was more interested in what the Lord thought -

was more interested in what the
b. Revealed how one should view the role of preachers - ;
1 Corinthians 4:3–5 KJV 1900
But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
4:1-2
1cor
c. Remarked that in his own case he was more interested in what the
Lord thought -
different types of judgment...
a. The court of judgment by men
b. The court of judgment by one's conscience
c. The court of judgment by Christ
-- We might call these "The Three Tribunals"
4. In our federal court system, we have...
a. The local federal court
b. The federal district court of appeal
c. The federal supreme court
-- In which the judgment of one court is more final that the others
[So it is with "The Three Tribunals" of our text. There is a difference
between them, and we do well to see what the Scriptures say about each
one. We begin with the lowest "tribunal"...]

I. What Do Men Say?

... it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or
1 Corinthians 4:3 KJV 1900
But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.
1. "... it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or
Note carefully that he said "a very small thing", not "nothing"
by a human court" -
Note carefully that he said "a very small thing", not "nothing"
Paul was often concerned about what people thought in some matters
matters
About what his weak brother thought -
1 Corinthians 8:13 KJV 1900
Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.
1 Cor
Illustration - people are watching
Children
family
friends
b. About what the lost thought
About what the lost thought
1 Corinthians 10:31–33 KJV 1900
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.
1 cor 10.31

But what people thought of him personally was " a very small thing"...

4. But what people thought of him personally was " a very small

thing"...

b. His status as a preacher
THE REASON FOR PAUL'S VIEW...

He knew how fallible the opinions of others could be

The world loves false teachers - ; cf.

They hate those "not of the world" -

He new their criteria for judging was wrong

They often look at the outward appearance - cf.

c. Yet he knew what the Lord had said - cf.
[While there are times we should be considerate of what others think,
the final estimation needs to look to a higher court. Some would say
"Let your conscience be your guide." But let's examine...]

II. What Does My Conscience Say?

1 Corinthians 4:3 KJV 1900
But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.
1cor 4.
I do not even judge myself." -
1. "In fact, I do not even judge myself." -
Paul is not totally discounting the need to examine oneself
We are to examine ourselves at the Lord's Supper - :
28-31
We should periodically examine our own salvation -

He certainly stressed the importance of a good conscience - ,, ,

1 Timothy 1:5 KJV 1900
Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
1 Timothy 1:5 KJV 1900
Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
1 Timothy 1:19 KJV 1900
Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:
1 Timothy 3:9 KJV 1900
Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
1 tim 3.
1 Timothy 4:2 KJV 1900
Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
1 tim
4. But in the matter at hand (evaluating preachers), Paul refused
to depend on this "tribunal"
THE REASON FOR PAUL'S VIEW...
God has given each of us a conscience. The conscience is a capacity within each of us that assesses our actions. It’s an internal judge of our standards, but it doesn’t set the standards. It simply evaluates them.
Romans 2:15 KJV 1900
Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
romans 2.
Romans 2:14–15 KJV 1900
For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
Our conscience either accuses us or excuses us of sin. But it isn’t an infallible guide to truth. (Neither is your heart.) God never meant it to be. Here’s why:
Our conscience either accuses us or excuses us of sin.
Our conscience either accuses us or excuses us of sin. But it isn’t an infallible guide to truth. (Neither is your heart.) God never meant it to be. Here’s why:
But it isn’t an infallible guide to truth. (Neither is your heart.) God never meant it to be. Here’s why:
Our consciences can be clear and good (; ; , ; ; ; ).
Our consciences can also be guilty, corrupt, and weak (; , , ; ; ).
When misinformed, one can have a clear conscience and still be dead wrong!
a. He had always served God with good conscience -
Acts 23:1 KJV 1900
And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.
Even when he was killing Christians - cf.
b. Even when he was killing Christians - cf.
Acts 26:9–11 KJV 1900
I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.
acts 26.9-
When misinformed, one can have a clear conscience and still be dead wrong!
be dead wrong!
Paul acknowledged this possibility
1 Corinthians 4:4 KJV 1900
For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.
While his conscience was clear, he knew that it did not make him right
by this;" -
Romans 2:15 KJV 1900
Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
Our consciences can’t be our guide to truth. Only God’s Word is.
b. While his conscience was clear, he knew that it did not make
him right
Our conscience, like all of us, has been contaminated by sin. It is why Paul in says he doesn't trust his own clear conscience.
When we are brought to life (spiritually speaking) by the grace of God, we are told that the "old self" (; , ; ) has been put to death with Christ, but not necessarily "the flesh." There is a difference because "the flesh" continues to wage war in us versus what God desires. The conscience is something we have nurtured for years before being remade and renewed by the Spirit of God, which means there will be many times God's Spirit and our conscience are at war (not all times, but some times).
A good way to tell the difference many times between conscience and Holy Spirit is that the Spirit of God will NEVER contradict the WORD of God. Over time the Spirit of God will also renew and reshape our conscience as we WASH it in the word of God. This is why sometimes I believe people are torn in a decision because God's Spirit in us is pulling one way and our conscience the other.

III. What Does God Say?

1 Corinthians 4:4 KJV 1900
For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.
1 cor
This refers to the judgment by Christ is evident from v.5
a. This refers to the judgment by Christ is evident from v.5
For Christ will judge men at His coming -
For Christ will judge men at His coming -
2 Corinthians 5:10 KJV 1900
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
He viewed the Lord's judgment as superior, for He will:
He viewed the Lord's judgment as superior, for He will:
"bring to light the hidden things of darkness" (things a
clear conscience might miss)
"reveal the counsels of the heart" (things often hidden from
the view of others)
Thus Paul viewed this "tribunal" as final, with no court of
appeal!
The judgement of men
The judgement of the conscience
The judgement of God
Which has the final say?
1 Corinthians 4:4 KJV 1900
For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.
1 cor 4.
1. He knew the judgment of Christ was certain
a. For God provided proof through the resurrection of Jesus
Yes - I want to be right with my brother
-
Yes - I want a clear conscience
b. And so Paul often wrote of this judgment - ; Co
But most importantly I care what God thinks!
5:10;
2. He knew the judgment of Christ was superior
2 Corinthians 5:9 KJV 1900
Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
a. He knew the Lord was judging even then (cf. the present
What do I want you to know?
Do you care what God thinks?
tense) - ; cf.
b. He knew the Lord could know the secrets of men - ;
cf.
CONCLUSION
1. And so we have "The Three Tribunals"...
a. The court of judgment by men
b. The court of judgment by one's conscience
c. The court of judgment by Christ
2. To which "tribunal" are we appealing for the hope of salvation...?
a. Is our hope based on what fallible men have said?
b. Is our trust based on what we feel in our hearts, or what our
conscience tells us?
c. Or do we place our trust and hope in the words of the Lord who
will judge us? - ; cf. ;
I trust that we have seen there is only one "tribunal" we should look to
for the final answer to such questions, and that we might truly have the
attitude of Paul...
"Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be
well pleasing to Him." -
Note: The main points of this outline are based on a sermon by
Alexander Maclaren with a similar title in his Expositions Of The Holy
Scriptures.
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