Did you know 90% of the choices you make involve areas where Scripture says surprisingly little?
Scripture forbids all clear-cut sins such as lying, cheating, stealing, murdering, or committing adultery. The Bible also clearly calls us to pursue Christ and grow in our faith. None of us seriously questions whether we should read the Bible, pray, or tell others about Christ. Scripture is unambiguous about those things.
We must consider the issues dealing with Christian freedom—things that fall between what God prohibits and what He commands. Underpinning this is that we should be focused on the reality that it is not by following the rules that we are saved as we read in John 8:36 - "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed".
One extreme is the church in Corinth who boasted about their freedom in Christ. Paul quotes them as saying they could act as they pleased and cautions them about this: “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12 (ESV) and in chapter 10:23 “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.
We have a freedom and liberty in Christ, we are not saved by the rules or ruled by rules – we are ruled by love and saved by grace! However the Corinthian Church takes a truth to such an extreme that it becomes a lie.
It’s no good if we go to the other extreme to the church in Corinth and make lots of rules and try to control each other. Every time we make a rule to measure others we are judging them. We can teach what the scripture says, point people towards the reality of the law of love but we must remember that we are all sinners saved by grace and need to treat each other accordingly. The error of becoming legalistic is no better than the Corinthian error!
We forget to ask “why?” and make do with asking “why not?”
Paul enunciates principles by which you can look at anything and judge whether or not it is the right choice to make. This is one of the exercises of a spiritual person. He gives us 5 tests – he wants us to not just know the liberty of Christ but to make positive choices based on our love of God and desire for His glory.
1. Is it helpful/beneficial? (1 Corinthians 6:12)
2. Will it rule me? Because we have an appetite or desire for something does not make it right. (1 Corinthians 6:12)
3. Will it teach me/build me up? (1 Corinthians 10:23)
4. Will it help with evangelism? (1 Corinthians 10:31-33)
5. Is it to God’s glory? (1 Corinthians 10:31)