In the blog this week I’ve been writing about principles of Christian liberty. On Monday I explained that not everything we have to deal with in life comes in the form of a “thou shalt” or a “thou shalt not.”
The things that the Bible says “thou shalt not” on are always wrong. The things that the Bible says, “thou shalt” are always right. In between these two poles is our liberty in Christ.
(wrong) | — LIBERTY — | (right)
On Tuesday I began writing about how to determine whether something that falls between the poles of “thou shalt” and “thou shalt not” is something that we ought to do. These are some principles that should guide our exercise of Christian liberty. I’ve put these principles in question form to make them more personal for us.
The questions we’ve seen so far are:
Would I do this if Jesus was physically with me?
Will this hinder my relationship with Jesus?
This leads us to the questions for today.
Can this control me or be addictive?
“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” 1 Corinthians 6:12 (NKJV)
While some actions may not be specifically forbidden in Scripture, we need to decide whether or not these things will are beneficial for us to take part in. Some actions that are not sinful in themselves are not appropriate because they can control our lives and lead us away from God. We should not do these actions because we do not want to become enslaved to anything. Believers are to be controlled by the Holy Spirit.
“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,” Ephesians 5:18 (ESV)
We should ask ourselves if this action will change control of our lives from the Holy Spirit to something else. Will my life be controlled by my need, desire or want for this instead of the Holy Spirit?
Can this harm my body?
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV)
Once we are saved the Holy Spirit comes to live within us. At this point our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. Since God has bought our freedom with the high price of the blood of Jesus Christ, we know belong to Him, body, soul and spirit.
This means we give up our right to do whatever we want in our bodies. We must now do things that glorify and honor God. We must also take care of God’s temple, which is our body. Therefore, before we take part in something we need to determine if this will harm our bodies. “Do I know for a fact that _______ is harmful to my body?”
Are there ways you are exercising your Christian liberty that could potentially, or already are, controlling you? Are there ways you are exercising your Christian liberty that is harming your body? If so, what do you need to do?