Freedom and How to Handle it – 1 Corinthians chapter 10 – J Stewart Gillespie

 

Just added, a new message preached by Dr J Stewart Gillespie, from 1 Corinthians chapter 10 verse 23:

 

1 Corinthians chp 10 vs 23 – Freedom and How to Handle it – J Stewart Gillespie – 18082015.mp3

 

Outlines notes available from this message:

 

In verses 16 to 23 we thought of survival tools in a Christless City

Not:

  1. Isolation – Hide
  2. Assimilation / compromise
  3. Legislation – rules (Gal 3:1ff; 4:9ff)

but:

  1. Spirit led and fed sanctification

Survival skills which would have prevented the tragedy of the Galatians :

Gal 3:1 “O foolish Galatians who hath bewitched you?

Gal 5:7 “Ye did run well who did hinder you?”

Survival skills in a Christ less city:

  1. Fellowship

    Seeking fellowship with the Lord and with His people

    We dwelt on the dangers that lurked, overtly and perhaps more commonly covertly.

    The World may be absent of Christ but it is not neutral on Christ

    We saw Satan active in all sorts of unexpected / hidden places:

  • Against Peter; “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:(Luk 22:31) – inspiring the Damsel to point out Peter?
  • In Judas Iscariot; “Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.”(Luk 22:3)
  • In the persecution of Rev 2:13
  • Behind the King of Tyre (Ezek 28:12)
  • Behind the King of Persia (Dan 10:11-14)
  • Behind the King of Babylon (Isa 14:4ff)
  • In every day trials and temptations (1Peter 5:8)
  • In personal opposition to the gospel (John 8:44)
  • Behind human political systems and Kingdoms (Matt 4:8ff)
  1. Feeding

We thought previously of the manna from heaven and the water from the rock

  1. Fear of God (10:22)

Aristadas de Sous Mendes – issued > 20,000 Portuguese visas to refugees in the Bordeaux in 1940; better to stand with God against men, than with men against God.

  1. Freedom

It would have been easy for Paul in a sense to back away from Freedom and to see that well:

  • There are some places Christians can’t go
  • There are some jobs Christians can’t do
  • There are some activities Christians can’t participate in

Paul doesn’t take the:

  • ‘can’t do’
  • ‘can’t go’
  • ‘can’t participate’
  • ‘thou shalt not’

approach

Paul doesn’t deal with the issues of Christian liberty by denying it and issuing a rule book instead

Even where liberty is being abused the apostle does not deny liberty

The Corinthians remain in possession of the, ‘freedom to be foolish’

How do we decide what to do?

So many opportunities in the Christian life, so many possibilities and so easy to fritter away our lives:

‘busy doing nothing, working the whole day through, trying to find lots of things not to do!’

How do we decide how to use our liberty?

 

Do we really need to wait on a specific word from the Lord every time we cross the road?

The Lord has regenerated us as sons of God, He does not remote control us as robots!

  • Which way now?
  • Which way now?
  • Which way now?

1 Corinthians chapter 10 approaches this issue of freedom and guidance in the decisions we make by asking 4 key questions in the exercise of freedom:

  1. Does it build me up? (v23)
  2. Does it bless others? (v24)
  3. Does it bring Glory to God (v31)?
  4. Does it bring others to Gods Glory? (v33)

 

  1. Does it build me up? (v23)

all things are lawful” – Christian behaviour is not founded on the principle of law

Restricting Christian behaviour cannot be done on the basis of law

This is not to say that Christian behaviour is not constrained by other considerations; “the love of Christ constraineth us” (2 Co 5:14), but not by law!

That Christian behaviour is not constrained by law is not to say that Christian behaviour is not constrained!

expediency‘ : sumpheo: ‘sun’ – together and ‘pheo’ – to bring – to bring it together

edification‘ : oikodomeo: to build, construct

  • bring it together
  • build it up

 

You might think, well that is all very well, Christian behaviour not dictated by law, but surely in reality there are rules, surely it makes sense, surely its easier if there is a kind of agreed code of conduct:

  • places you don’t go
  • things you don’t do
  • jobs you can’t do

Lets just stick to some basic laws!

The greatest building projects in the Word of God have been accomplished, not by law but by Grace:

  • The law did not build the tabernacle – many details given in the law and yet many details absent! What does a cherubim look like? How were the colours arranged in the curtain; blue, purple, scarlet and fine twinned linen? What were the dimensions of the lampstand? Consider Exodus 25:31-40 – the lampstand – notice anything important missng? How big was it? I mean how can you build it if you don’t know how big it is? Illust: Not that long ago, needed a new back door, had some work men out, first thing they wanted to know – what size was it? No point in saying, well all I need is a back door! The cynic, skeptic and unbelieving mind would rejoice in this, there is plenty for us all to rejoice in, in the Word of God! Here is a tabernacle they could never build because the basic detail ain’t in the rule book! The tabernacle wasn’t built purely according to the rule book. Let me show you how the tabernacle was built. For this Bezaleel must be filled with the Spirit of God (Exodus 31:2)
  • The law did not build Davids Kingdom – The Spirit did (1 Sam 16:13; Ps 51:11)
  • The law didn’t build Zerubabels temple – The Spirit did (Zech 4:6)
  • The law did not build Christs church – The Spirit did (Acts 1:5, 7-8; 2:1-4, 38, 41, 47)