We’re reading through I Corinthians in Bible Study on Sunday nights. Way back in the college days I studied it verse-by-verse. Now, with this whole group of brothers and sister in the faith, we are looking at it thought-by-thought and I’m loving it. There is a time and season for everything, and this is my time and season for these words again.
This morning I reread the passage we studied Sunday night. The end of chapter 10. At face value it’s talking about eating meat sacrificed to idols, something I, personally, do not come in contact with, well, ever. But there is so much more depth in this passage than just meat and idols.
Paul says, “All things are lawful, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful, but not all things build up.”
I find it interesting that whenever we’re reminded of our freedom as Believers, we are also reminded of the need for restraint. It’s true that we are not under the written law any longer, but it is also true that the Holy Spirit is now writing his law on our hearts. In other words, true freedom means that we are no longer bound by outward commands, but are instead controlled by inward restraint.
There is one principle we are given– the guiding boundary to bounce everything else off.
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
If we stop and ask ourselves (honestly), “Am I doing this for God’s glory?” We have found the answer to any, “Should I or shouldn’t I?” question.
Another truth that keeps cropping up through the book of Corinthians, is that there may be different answers to that question. What one person does to God’s glory does not necessarily have to be duplicated in the next person.
Devin, one of the guys at Bible Study, put it perfectly.
“I should not try to conform others into what I think a Christian should look like. I should desire to have them share my faith, not necessarily my convictions. After all, if we make a rule that you can never break some external thing– we will never truly know what is going on internally in a brother’s heart, and that’s the stuff that matters.”
For when we are freed from the outward restraints, we can see clearly what lies inward. And there, where truth abounds, we can all be real and be changed and allow God to transform us from the inside out.