- First in order to be expedient it must be lawful. We must be absolutely certain God has not specified anything through command, example, or necessary inference that would forbid it. All specified commands are closed to human wisdom. It can never be expedient unless it is first lawful! Remember Cain, Nadab and Abihu and King Saul.
- Second, there must be no qualms, reservations, or issues of conscience. If we feel any prickling of guilt while engaging or believing something, then to that degree it is not expedient and therefore not lawful for us.
- Third, we must assess those in the church and in the world to be certain it will not harm them or damage our influence. Could it lead others into sin by violating their conscience? Will it cause someone to fall away or create turmoil in the church? Only after we are confident that none of these things are involved can we see it as expedient.
Are there any applications of these principles today? Do we go through similar difficulties as those Jews and Gentiles in the first century? Obviously there are similar rules and laws that bind our consciences before we learn the truth. The 7th day Adventist comes to the truth having the same issues with meat and days as the Jews. The Catholic comes to the truth and must leave behind their days and their customs. The Jehovah’s Witness comes into the church believing it is wrong to celebrate birthdays, and refuse to salute the flag or sing the national anthem. Should their feelings be taken into consideration? Should we invite a new convert from the 7th day Adventist church to a meal with ham or bacon? Should we put a tree in our home and decorate it during the holidays and then invite a newly converted Catholic into our home? Should we invite a newly converted Jehovah’s Witness to a birthday party without first asking him about his convictions? Obviously the same principles that guided early Christians in their transitions must be used today.