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Living abundantly Overcoming

1 Corinthians 8:9-12 – Rituals and Rightness

Here is the revelation that is shaping my life today – I can be free and abusive.

1 Corinthians 8:9-12 NLT

[9] But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble. [10] For if others see you-with your “superior knowledge”-eating in the temple of an idol, won’t they be encouraged to violate their conscience by eating food that has been offered to an idol? [11] So because of your superior knowledge, a weak believer for whom Christ died will be destroyed. [12] And when you sin against other believers by encouraging them to do something they believe is wrong, you are sinning against Christ.

 

Observation

There is a responsibility that comes with freedom. In Jesus, I am free to do what I want and my right relationship with God remains secure, for it was not made possible through me but rather offered as a gift through Jesus to me. So what Jesus has enabled, Jesus maintains. So my right relationship is never in doubt, it never requires repair,  I never have to top it up with efforts of my own. It does not sit on the foundation of my worthiness or my performance, it sits on Jesus alone. So now I can do anything I want, that is the freedom I am given.

 

But with freedom comes responsibility. I can take my freedom and cause it to be harmful to others. If a believer holds strongly that their not eating meat, or whatever other action that they hold to that honours God, then I will join them in their honouring and not allow my freedom to cause them to stumble. The encouragement of other believers to do something they believe is wrong is not honouring God. Now it is important that people do not rely on what it is they do to honour God as their means, or any contribution, to their rightness, but challenging this does not mean they must stop their act of honouring. On the reverse side people with acts that they use to honour God must not force these on others as a means of rightness. I know in my youth and passion I did not understand this principle and used my freedom recklessly, and it was sinful. Truth and freedom must always be handled with responsibility and the heart and walk with God of the other believer must be fully honoured. Maybe if we applied this principle more fully in the church we would be able to live together in greater love and unity?

 

 


Application

I will never sit in judgement of what others do to honour God. I will never use my freedom to abuse the conscience of others believers. I will honour the great love God has for them in how I approach the application of my freedom.

 


Response

Thank you for your freedom. Thank you that my righteousness is in Jesus plus nothing. Thank you that you give me direction for living for free. Thank you that love always trumps anything. Love is your key principle for the expression of my freedom. I am so deeply blessed to have freedom and life in and through you.

 


Meditation

Meditation truth – freedom comes with responsibility.

Consider:

Are there times where your judgement of the rituals of honouring of others is harsh and condemning of them?

 

What rituals of honouring do you have in your life? Are they part of your rightness with God?


JOURNEY DEEPER
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