Abuse, Of Christian Freedom
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For sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under law but under grace.
Let us also therefore, having so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, laying aside every weight, and sin which so easily entangles us, run with endurance the race that lies before us, looking stedfastly on Jesus the leader and completer of faith: who, in view of the joy lying before him, endured the cross, having despised the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
If any one see his brother sinning a sin not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life, for those that do not sin unto death. There is a sin to death: I do not say of that that he should make a request. Every unrighteousness is sin; and there is a sin not to death. We know that every one begotten of God does not sin, but he that has been begotten of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.
What then shall we say? Should we continue in sin that grace may abound? Far be the thought. We who have died to sin, how shall we still live in it?
But if our unrighteousness commend God's righteousness, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who inflicts wrath? I speak according to man. Far be the thought: since how shall God judge the world? For if the truth of God, in my lie, has more abounded to his glory, why yet am I also judged as a sinner?read more.
and not, according as we are injuriously charged, and according as some affirm that we say, Let us practise evil things, that good ones may come? whose judgment is just.
Now if in seeking to be justified in Christ we also have been found sinners, then is Christ minister of sin? Far be the thought. For if the things I have thrown down, these I build again, I constitute myself a transgressor. For I, through law, have died to law, that I may live to God.read more.
I am crucified with Christ, and no longer live, I, but Christ lives in me; but in that I now live in flesh, I live by faith, the faith of the Son of God, who has loved me and given himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness is by law, then Christ has died for nothing.
But see lest anywise this your right to eat itself be a stumbling-block to the weak. For if any one see thee, who hast knowledge, sitting at table in an idol-house, shall not his conscience, he being weak, be emboldened to eat the things sacrificed to the idol? and the weak one, the brother for whose sake Christ died, will perish through thy knowledge.read more.
Now, thus sinning against the brethren, and wounding their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.
For ye have been called to liberty, brethren; only do not turn liberty into an opportunity to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
as free, and not as having liberty as a cloak of malice, but as God's bondmen.
It is universally reported that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not even among the nations, so that one should have his father's wife. And ye are puffed up, and ye have not rather mourned, in order that he that has done this deed might be taken away out of the midst of you.
All things are lawful to me, but all things do not profit; all things are lawful to me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats; but God will bring to nothing both it and them: but the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God has both raised up the Lord, and will raise us up from among the dead by his power.read more.
Do ye not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then, taking the members of the Christ, make them members of a harlot? Far be the thought. Do ye not know that he that is joined to the harlot is one body? for the two, he says, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin which a man may practise is without the body, but he that commits fornication sins against his own body. Do ye not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have of God; and ye are not your own? for ye have been bought with a price: glorify now then God in your body.
But I have against thee that thou permittest the woman Jezebel, she who calls herself prophetess, and she teaches and leads astray my servants to commit fornication and eat of idol sacrifices. And I gave her time that she should repent, and she will not repent of her fornication. Behold, I cast her into a bed, and those that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works,
But a certain man, Ananias by name, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, and put aside for himself part of the price, his wife also being privy to it; and having brought a certain part, laid it at the feet of the apostles.
When ye come therefore together into one place, it is not to eat the Lord's supper. For each one in eating takes his own supper before others, and one is hungry and another drinks to excess. Have ye not then houses for eating and drinking? or do ye despise the assembly of God, and put to shame them who have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you? In this point I do not praise.
Let us also therefore, having so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, laying aside every weight, and sin which so easily entangles us, run with endurance the race that lies before us,
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Let no one deceive you with vain words, for on account of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
And hereby we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that says, I know him, and does not keep his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;
Follow after love, and be emulous of spiritual manifestations, but rather that ye may prophesy. For he that speaks with a tongue does not speak to men but to God: for no one hears; but in spirit he speaks mysteries. But he that prophesies speaks to men in edification, and encouragement, and consolation.read more.
He that speaks with a tongue edifies himself; but he that prophesies edifies the assembly. Now I desire that ye should all speak with tongues, but rather that ye should prophesy. But greater is he that prophesies than he that speaks with tongues, unless he interpret, that the assembly may receive edification. And now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, unless I shall speak to you either in revelation, or in knowledge, or in prophecy, or in teaching? Even lifeless things giving a sound, whether pipe or harp, if they give not distinction to the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? For also, if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for war? Thus also ye with the tongue, unless ye give a distinct speech, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye will be speaking to the air. There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of undistinguishable sound. If therefore I do not know the power of the sound, I shall be to him that speaks a barbarian, and he that speaks a barbarian for me. Thus ye also, since ye are desirous of spirits, seek that ye may abound for the edification of the assembly. Wherefore let him that speaks with a tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray with a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, but I will pray also with the understanding; I will sing with the spirit, but I will sing also with the understanding. Since otherwise, if thou blessest with the spirit, how shall he who fills the place of the simple Christian say Amen, at thy giving of thanks, since he does not know what thou sayest? For thou indeed givest thanks well, but the other is not edified. I thank God I speak in a tongue more than all of you: but in the assembly I desire to speak five words with my understanding, that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue. Brethren, be not children in your minds, but in malice be babes; but in your minds be grown men.
But concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know, (for we all have knowledge: knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. If any one think he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know it. But if any one love God, he is known of him):read more.
concerning then the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God save one. For and if indeed there are those called gods, whether in heaven or on earth, (as there are gods many, and lords many,) yet to us there is one God, the Father, of whom all things, and we for him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. But knowledge is not in all: but some, with conscience of the idol, until now eat as of a thing sacrificed to idols; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. But meat does not commend us to God; neither if we should not eat do we come short; nor if we should eat have we an advantage. But see lest anywise this your right to eat itself be a stumbling-block to the weak. For if any one see thee, who hast knowledge, sitting at table in an idol-house, shall not his conscience, he being weak, be emboldened to eat the things sacrificed to the idol? and the weak one, the brother for whose sake Christ died, will perish through thy knowledge. Now, thus sinning against the brethren, and wounding their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore if meat be a fall-trap to my brother, I will eat no flesh for ever, that I may not be a fall-trap to my brother.
But I have a few things against thee: that thou hast there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a snare before the sons of Israel, to eat of idol sacrifices and commit fornication.