Understanding Christian Freedom
MANY PROBLEMS in the Body of Christ are due to people doing as they please—they forget that they are God's outposts.
But 'Christian freedom does not mean to do as we like but to do as we ought – William Barclay.
IN THE DAYS of Paul-the-Apostle, Corinth was a thriving city—and the inhabitants believed that a god founded it.
They had idols for everything—and some of the meat sacrificed to these gods ended up in their food chain.
When Paul heard these things, he knew he had to do something.
He spoke to the Corinthian Church.
You have a lot to learn.
MANY OF YOU think you know, but you have a lot to learn. (1 Cor. 8:1)
I believe that God is saying the same thing to us today.
You must never get to a point where you think that you have nothing else to learn. You can never know all of God.
God told Joshua that the Book of the Law should not depart out of his mouth. Therefore, he will meditate on it day and night.
He will observe to do as it is written therein—and in it, he will make his way prosperous and have good success. (Joshua 1:8)
God always has something new that he wants you to know.
You are different
FOR EVERY BELIEVER, there's only one God. Everything came from him. We live for him.
There's only one Lord Jesus Christ. Everything came through Him, and we live because of Him. (1 Cor. 8:6)
What God wants from you is different from what men want from you.
God desires your worship.
What does Christian freedom look like?
FROM THE OUTSET, you need to understand that some things are objectionable.
Paul told them to refrain from eating meat offered to idols so as not to wound others.
Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble. (1 Cor. 8:13)
Christian freedom does not harm others; it populates the Kingdom of God.
Personal conscience is not your guide but the scriptures
The Corinthian Church had deep disunity. They had problems with immorality.
And Paul said to them, "Everything is permissible," but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible," but not everything builds up." (1 Cor. 10:23)
Picture a skydiver deciding at 4000 feet not to wear a parachute.
He will enjoy his freedom for a short time, then the force of gravity takes over.
Can a man put fire next to his chest and not be burned? (Prov. 6:27)
Talk to an addict, and he will tell you that freedom is gone.
What Christian freedom is not
LEGALISM is not freedom. It is a set of dos and don'ts.
It can be grouped into traditions, personal preferences or convictions and personal views on 'gray' areas of life.
Every true believer can be legalistic, but we are advised to be gracious to one another. (Rom. 14:1)
Some run others out of their fellowship because they have different viewpoints.
If you have died with Christ to the world's way of doing things, why do you let others tell you how to live? It's as though you were still under the world's influence.
People will tell you, "Don't handle this! Don't taste or touch that!" All these things deal with objects that are only used up anyway.
These things look like wisdom with their self-imposed worship, false humility, and harsh treatment of the body. But they have no value for holding back the constant desires of your corrupt nature. (Col. 2:20-23)
The best way to avoid legalism is to know that Law was given through Moses; Christ gave grace and truth. (John 1:17)
Bringing it Together
YOU MAY BE knowledgeable, but you still have a lot to learn.
When you know your faith well, you'll live well within your culture.
Never forget that personal conscience is not your guide—it's the scriptures.