Friday, February 18, 2005

Christian Liberty

As Christians, what are our freedoms? What defines our freedom? Are all things truly permissable?

1 Corinthians 6:12
"All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything."

This idea tugs at the first:

1 Corinthians 8:9
"But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak."

The line seems to be that if our liberty causes another to stumble (read: "sin"), then we are sinning (outside the will of God).

How does this manifest itself in Christlike behavior? If we have no problem with one or two beers, should we only abstain when a brother who struggles with alcoholism is present? Or is there a more obedient (less sinful) way? Is it black and white or are there gray areas?

With Paul, sometimes things seem b/w and sometimes there's greyscale. Many of his teachings can seem quixotic. Example: On one hand, we should hold fast to the convictions that we have. On the other hand, we are told to imitate Paul, who was 'all things to all people' so that he could save some. 1 Corinthians 9:22

I believe that the Truth will make us Free. John 8:31-32 But freedom is defined by God, and not ourselves.

I believe that this all points to the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus. If we strive to live by a set of rules, we stink of legalism. If we strive to please our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ out of the motivation of love, then we're getting the picture.

What are your thoughts?

Note: Please back up your opinions with scripture - Thanks!