Limiting Your freedom For Christ’s Sake

Paul is our example of a Surrendered Servant, empowered by God’s Spirit to do whatever it takes to help propagate the Gospel and seriously training for the task!

Our unity is around Christ, our worship is for Christ only and our freedom is constrained for Christ’s sake…

1st Corinthians 10:19-33

What am I trying to say? Am I saying that food offered to idols has some significance, or that idols are real gods? No, not at all. I am saying that these sacrifices are offered to demons, not to God. And I don’t want you to participate with demons.

  • Jesus said in Matthew 12:30: “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”
  • If something does not glorify God it is against God
  • We give demonic forces power when we participate in ‘worship’ of them

You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons, too. You cannot eat at the Lord’s Table and at the table of demons, too.

  • Mixing other worship w/ the worship of Christ it is no longer worship of Christ
  • There is NO spiritual neutrality

What? Do we dare to rouse the Lord’s jealousy? Do you think we are stronger than he is?

  • God will execute HIS justice
  • We act like we think we are stronger than he is.

You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.

  • The confusion between freedom TO obey and freedom TO disobey
  • The exercise of your freedom to the detriment of others is not of Christ
  • The way of Christ is to place our freedom under HIS control (surrendered life)
  • The Way of Christ is to put other’s first

So you may eat any meat that is sold in the marketplace without raising questions of conscience. For “the earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” (Psalm 24:1)

  • Sacrificing to demons has no direct effect unless you knowing participate
  • God is sovereign over all

If someone who isn’t a believer asks you home for dinner, accept the invitation if you want to. Eat whatever is offered to you without raising questions of conscience.

  • We have to intentionally get out of our ‘Christian Bubble’
  • Take a shot, accept the invitation, just be ready to stand for what you believe
  • This is how we are in the World but not of it
  • We must prepare for dealing with the offer to participate in worship of demons

At the end of chapter 9, Paul equates discipleship with ‘Training’ / ‘Preparing’

(But suppose someone tells you, “This meat was offered to an idol.” Don’t eat it, out of consideration for the conscience of the one who told you. It might not be a matter of conscience for you, but it is for the other person.)

  • Once you know about it you should abstain to ‘not cause a brother to stumble’
  • Romans 12:19-21: Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.

For why should my freedom be limited by what someone else thinks? If I can thank God for the food and enjoy it, why should I be condemned for eating it?

  • 1st question: Why? For Christ Sake!
  • 2nd question: If there is no one else who will be hurt, totally!

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

  • Are we willing to seek God’s glory whether we have full freedom or constrain it?
  • We are called to be mindful of other, following the example of Christ

Don’t give offense to Jews or Gentiles or the church of God. I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved.

  • Become more self aware so that you don’t offend anyone if you can help it
  • Thinking about others more than yourself…our Savior did it to show us how
  • Philippians 2:3-5: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus

Application Questions:

How does participation in ‘Un-Godly Things’ influence your relationship with Christ?

Does willing participation in demonic activities exclude you from Biblical salvation?

How might it be possible for something to be ‘Spiritually Neutral’?

What specific things to you think should constrain your freedom in Christ?

How much of your daily focus is on your needs verses the good of others?

What influences you and enables you to actually do things for the glory of Christ?