Abuse, Of Christian Freedom
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For sin will not have mastery over you, because you are not under Law but under grace.
Therefore, having so vast a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, and throwing off everything that hinders us and especially the sin that so easily entangles us, let us keep running with endurance the race set before us, fixing our attention on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of the faith, who, in view of the joy set before him, endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
If anyone sees his brother committing a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray that God would give him life. This applies to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not telling you to pray about that. Every kind of wrongdoing is sin, yet there are sins that do not lead to death. We know that the person who has been born from God does not go on sinning. Rather, the Son of God protects them, and the evil one cannot harm them.
What should we say, then? Should we go on sinning so that grace may increase? Of course not! How can we who died as far as sin is concerned go on living in it?
But if our unrighteousness serves to confirm God's righteousness, what can we say? God is not unrighteous when he vents his wrath on us, is he? (I am talking in human terms.) Of course not! Otherwise, how could God judge the world? For if through my falsehood God's truthfulness glorifies him even more, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? read more.
Or can we say as some people slander us by claiming that we say "Let's do evil that good may result"? They deserve to be condemned!
Now if we, while trying to be justified by the Messiah, have been found to be sinners, does that mean that the Messiah is serving the interests of sin? Of course not! For if I rebuild something that I tore down, I demonstrate that I am a wrongdoer. For through the Law I died to the Law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with the Messiah. read more.
I no longer live, but the Messiah lives in me, and the life that I am now living in this body I live by the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not misapply God's grace, for if righteousness comes about by doing what the Law requires, then the Messiah died for nothing.
But you must see to it that this right of yours does not become a stumbling block for those who are weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you, who know better, eating in an idol's temple, he will be encouraged to eat what has been offered to idols, won't he? In that case, the weak brother for whom the Messiah died is ruined by your knowledge. read more.
When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak consciences, you are sinning against the Messiah.
For you, brothers, were called to freedom. Only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity to gratify your flesh, but through love make it your habit to serve one another.
Live like free people, and do not use your freedom as an excuse for doing evil. Instead, be God's servants.
It is actually reported that sexual immorality exists among you, and of a kind that is not found even among the gentiles. A man is actually living with his father's wife! And you are being arrogant instead of being filled with grief and seeing to it that the man who did this is removed from among you.
Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is helpful. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not allow anything to control me. Food is for the stomach, and the stomach is for food, but God will make them both unnecessary. The body is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. God raised the Lord, and by his power he will also raise us.read more.
You know that your bodies belong to the Messiah, don't you? Should I take what belongs to the Messiah and unite them with a prostitute? Certainly not! You know that the person who unites himself with a prostitute becomes one body with her, don't you? For it is said, "The two will become one flesh." But the person who unites himself with the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Keep on running away from sexual immorality. Any other sin that a person commits is outside his body, but the person who sins sexually sins against his own body. You know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God, don't you? You do not belong to yourselves, because you were bought for a price. Therefore, glorify God with your bodies.
But I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet and who teaches and leads my servants to practice immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she refused to repent of her immorality. Look! I am going to strike her with illness. Those who commit adultery with her will also suffer greatly, unless they repent from acting like her.
But then a man named Ananias, with the consent of his wife Sapphira, sold some property. With his wife's full knowledge, he kept back some of the money for himself and brought the remainder and laid it at the apostles' feet.
When you gather in the same place, it is not to eat the Lord's Supper. For as you eat, each of you rushes to eat his own supper, and one person goes hungry while another gets drunk. You have homes in which to eat and drink, don't you? Or do you despise God's church and humiliate those who have nothing? What should I say to you? Should I praise you? I will not praise you for this!
Therefore, having so vast a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, and throwing off everything that hinders us and especially the sin that so easily entangles us, let us keep running with endurance the race set before us,
If we say that we do not have any sin, we are deceiving ourselves and we're not being truthful to ourselves. If we make it our habit to confess our sins, in his faithful righteousness he forgives us for those sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have never sinned, we make him a liar and his word has no place in us.
Do not let anyone deceive you with meaningless words, for it is because of these things that God becomes angry with those who disobey.
This is how we can be sure that we have come to know him: if we continually keep his commandments. The person who says, "I have come to know him," but does not continually keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth has no place in that person.
Keep on pursuing love, and keep on desiring spiritual gifts, especially the ability to prophesy. For the person who speaks in a foreign language is not actually speaking to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands him, because he is talking about secrets by the Spirit. But the person who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding, encouragement, and comfort. read more.
The person who speaks in a foreign language builds himself up, but the person who prophesies builds up the church. Now I wish that all of you could speak in foreign languages, but especially that you could prophesy. The person who prophesies is more important than the person who speaks in a foreign language, unless he interprets it so that the church may be built up. Indeed, brothers, if I come to you speaking in foreign languages, what good will I be to you unless I speak to you in some revelation, knowledge, prophecy, or teaching? In the same way, lifeless instruments like the flute or harp produce sounds. But if there's no difference in the notes, how can a person tell what tune is being played? For example, if a bugle doesn't sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle? In the same way, unless you speak an intelligible message with your language, how will anyone know what is being said? You'll be talking into the air! There are, I suppose, many different languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. If I don't know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker will be a foreigner to me. In the same way, since you're so desirous of spiritual gifts, you must keep on desiring them for building up the church. Therefore, the person who speaks in a foreign language should pray for the ability to interpret it. For if I pray in a foreign language, my spirit prays but my mind is not productive. What does this mean? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind. I will sing psalms with my spirit, but I will also sing psalms with my mind. Otherwise, if you say a blessing with your spirit, how can an otherwise uneducated person say "Amen" to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you're saying? It's good for you to give thanks, but it does not build up the other person. I thank God that I speak in foreign languages more than all of you. But in church I would rather speak five words with my mind to instruct others than 10,000 words in a foreign language. Brothers, stop being childish in your thinking. Be like infants with respect to evil, but think like adults.
Now concerning food offered to idols: We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone thinks he really knows something, he has not yet learned it as he ought to know it. But anyone who loves God is known by him.read more.
Now concerning eating food offered to idols: We know that no idol is real in this world and that there is only one God. For even if there are "gods" in heaven and on earth (as indeed there are many so-called "gods" and "lords"), yet for us there is only one God, the Father, from whom everything came into being and for whom we live. And there is only one Lord, Jesus the Messiah, through whom everything came into being and through whom we live. But not everyone has this knowledge. Some people are so accustomed to idolatry that when they eat food that has been offered to an idol, their conscience becomes contaminated because it is weak. However, food will not bring us closer to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat food that has been offered to an idol, and no better off if we do. But you must see to it that this right of yours does not become a stumbling block for those who are weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you, who know better, eating in an idol's temple, he will be encouraged to eat what has been offered to idols, won't he? In that case, the weak brother for whom the Messiah died is ruined by your knowledge. When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak consciences, you are sinning against the Messiah. Therefore, if food that I eat causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, in order to keep my brother from stumbling.
But I have a few things against you: You have there some who hold to the teaching of Balaam, the one who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the people of Israel so that they would eat food sacrificed to idols and practice immorality.