Abuse, Of Christian Freedom
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For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under law but under grace.
Therefore since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of God's throne.
If anyone sees his brother committing a sin that does not bring death, he should ask, and God will give life to him-to those who commit sin that doesn't bring death. There is sin that brings death. I am not saying he should pray about that. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin that does not bring death. We know that everyone who has been born of God does not sin, but the One who is born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.
What should we say then? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may multiply? Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
But if our unrighteousness highlights God's righteousness, what are we to say? I use a human argument: Is God unrighteous to inflict wrath? Absolutely not! Otherwise, how will God judge the world? But if by my lie God's truth is amplified to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner?read more.
And why not say, just as some people slanderously claim we say, "Let us do evil so that good may come"? Their condemnation is deserved!
But if, while seeking to be justified by Christ, we ourselves are also found to be sinners, is Christ then a promoter of sin? Absolutely not! If I rebuild those things that I tore down, I show myself to be a lawbreaker. For through the law I have died to the law, that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ;read more.
and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.
But be careful that this right of yours in no way becomes a stumbling block to the weak. For if somebody sees you, the one who has this knowledge, dining in an idol's temple, won't his weak conscience be encouraged to eat food offered to idols? Then the weak person, the brother for whom Christ died, is ruined by your knowledge.read more.
Now when you sin like this against the brothers and wound their weak conscience, you are sinning against Christ.
For you are called to freedom, brothers; only don't use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love.
As God's slaves, [live] as free people, but don't use your freedom as a way to conceal evil.
It is widely reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and the kind of sexual immorality that is not even condoned among the Gentiles-a man is living with his father's wife. And you are inflated with pride, instead of filled with grief so that he who has committed this act might be removed from among you.
"Everything is permissible for me," but not everything is helpful. "Everything is permissible for me," but I will not be brought under the control of anything. "Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods," but God will do away with both of them. The body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. God raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.read more.
Do you not know that your bodies are the members of Christ? So should I take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Absolutely not! Do you not know that anyone joined to a prostitute is one body with her? For it says, The two will become one flesh. But anyone joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee from sexual immorality! "Every sin a person can commit is outside the body," but the person who is sexually immoral sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body.
But I have this against you: you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and teaches and deceives My slaves to commit sexual immorality and to eat meat sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to repent of her sexual immorality. Look! I will throw her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her practices.
But a man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a piece of property. However, he kept back part of the proceeds with his wife's knowledge, and brought a portion of it and laid it at the apostles' feet.
Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not really to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others, and one person is hungry while another is drunk! Don't you have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you look down on the church of God and embarrass those who have nothing? What should I say to you? Should I praise you? I do not praise you for this!
Therefore since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and run with endurance the race that lies before us,
If we say, "We have no sin," we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say, "We have not sinned," we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for because of these things God's wrath is coming on the disobedient.
This is how we are sure that we have come to know Him: by keeping His commands. The one who says, "I have come to know Him," without keeping His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, and above all that you may prophesy. For the person who speaks in [another] language is not speaking to men but to God, since no one understands him; however, he speaks mysteries in the Spirit. But the person who prophesies speaks to people for edification, encouragement, and consolation.read more.
The person who speaks in [another] language builds himself up, but he who prophesies builds up the church. I wish all of you spoke in other languages, but even more that you prophesied. The person who prophesies is greater than the person who speaks in languages, unless he interprets so that the church may be built up. But now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in [other] languages, how will I benefit you unless I speak to you with a revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? Even inanimate things producing sounds-whether flute or harp-if they don't make a distinction in the notes, how will what is played on the flute or harp be recognized? In fact, if the trumpet makes an unclear sound, who will prepare for battle? In the same way, unless you use your tongue for intelligible speech, how will what is spoken be known? For you will be speaking into the air. There are doubtless many different kinds of languages in the world, and all have meaning. Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner = in Eng a barbarian. To a Gk, a barbaros was anyone who did not speak Gk. to the speaker, and the speaker will be a foreigner to me. So also you-since you are zealous in matters of the spirit, seek to excel in building up the church. Therefore the person who speaks in [another] language should pray that he can interpret. For if I pray in [another] language, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with my understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with my understanding. Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will the uninformed person say "Amen" at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying? For you may very well be giving thanks, but the other person is not being built up. I thank God that I speak in [other] languages more than all of you; yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, in order to teach others also, than 10,000 words in [another] language. Brothers, don't be childish in your thinking, but be infants in evil and adult in your thinking.
About food offered to idols: We know that "we all have knowledge." Knowledge inflates with pride, but love builds up. If anyone thinks he knows anything, he does not yet know it as he ought to know it. But if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.read more.
About eating food offered to idols, then, we know that "an idol is nothing in the world," and that "there is no God but one." For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth-as there are many "gods" and many "lords"- yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through Him. However, not everyone has this knowledge. In fact, some have been so used to idolatry up until now, that when they eat food offered to an idol, their conscience, being weak, is defiled. Food will not make us acceptable to God. We are not inferior if we don't eat, and we are not better if we do eat. But be careful that this right of yours in no way becomes a stumbling block to the weak. For if somebody sees you, the one who has this knowledge, dining in an idol's temple, won't his weak conscience be encouraged to eat food offered to idols? Then the weak person, the brother for whom Christ died, is ruined by your knowledge. Now when you sin like this against the brothers and wound their weak conscience, you are sinning against Christ. Therefore, if food causes my brother to fall, I will never again eat meat, so that I won't cause my brother to fall.
But I have a few things against you. You have some there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to place a stumbling block in front of the sons of Israel: to eat meat sacrificed to idols and to commit sexual immorality.