Abuse, Of Christian Freedom
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For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace.
Therefore seeing we also are surrounded with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily ensnare us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death. We know that whosoever is born of God sins not; but he that is begotten of God keeps himself, and that wicked one touches him not.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer in it?
But if our unrighteousness commends the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who takes vengeance? (I speak as a man) God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world? For if the truth of God has more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?read more.
And not rather, (as we are slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose condemnation is just.
But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.read more.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God: for if righteousness comes by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours becomes a stumbling block to them that are weak. For if any man sees you who have knowledge eating in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him who is weak be encouraged to eat those things which are offered to idols; And through your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?read more.
But when you sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.
For, brethren, you have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that has done this deed might be taken away from among you.
All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Foods for the belly, and the belly for foods: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now 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 also raise up us by his own power.read more.
Know you not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of a harlot? God forbid. What? know you not that he who is joined to a harlot is one body? for two, says he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is outside the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body. What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have of God, and you are not your own? For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her time to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also knowing it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
When you come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper. For in eating every one takes first his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have you not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise you the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.
Therefore seeing we also are surrounded with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily ensnare us, and let us run with patience the race that is set 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 just to forgive us our sins, and to 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 man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things comes the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
And, A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them who stumble at the word, being disobedient: to which also they were appointed.
And by this we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that says, I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
Follow after love, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that you may prophesy. For he that speaks in an unknown tongue speaks not unto men, but unto God: for no man understands him; but in the spirit he speaks mysteries. But he that prophesies speaks unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.read more.
He that speaks in an unknown tongue edifies himself; but he that prophesies edifies the church. I would that you all spoke with tongues, but rather that you prophesied: for greater is he that prophesies than he that speaks with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? And even things without life which give sound, whether flute or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is played? For if the trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for the battle? So likewise you, except you utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for you shall speak into the air. There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without meaning. Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaks a foreigner, and he that speaks shall be a foreigner unto me. Even so you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that you may excel to the edifying of the church. Therefore let him that speaks in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. Else when you shall bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupies the place of the unlearned say Amen at your giving of thanks, seeing he understands not what you said? For you verily give thanks well, but the other is not edified. I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than you all: Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. Brethren, be not children in understanding: but in malice be children, but in understanding be men.
Now concerning things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. And if any man thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man loves God, the same is known by him.read more.
As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one. For though there be those called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. But there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience about the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. But food commends us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours becomes a stumbling block to them that are weak. For if any man sees you who have knowledge eating in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him who is weak be encouraged to eat those things which are offered to idols; And through your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when you sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother to stumble, I will eat no meat while the world stands, lest I make my brother to stumble.
But I have a few things against you, because you have there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.