Christian Liberty

Principles to Guide Our Decisions


Concerning Self

1.) Can I do this in genuine faith?

Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. (Rom.14:5)

And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. (Rom.14:23)

2.) Is this going to help or hinder me in the Christian life?

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. (I Cor.10:23)

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. (I Cor.9:24-25)

3.) Will it bring me under its power?

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. (I Cor.6:12)

But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (I Cor.9:27)

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. (I Cor.10:12)

4.) Am I doing this to please self or others?

We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. (Rom.15:1-2)

Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth. (I Cor.10:24) Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. (I Cor.10:33)

5.) Are my motives pure?

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. (Gal.5:13)

As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. (I Pet.2:16)

Concerning the Brethren

1.) Will this be a stumblingblock to my brother?

Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. (Rom.14:13)

It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. (Rom.14:21)

But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. (I Cor.8:9)

2.) Will this offend or harm a brother?

Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. (I Cor.8:13)

Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: (I Cor.10:32)

For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. (Rom. 14:20)

3.) Will this bring peace?

Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace. (Rom.14:19)

4.) Is this going to edify my brother?

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. (I Cor.10:23)

Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. (Rom.14:19)

Concerning Unbelievers

1.) Is this going to hinder my opportunity to present the gospel?

If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. (I Cor.9:12)

But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void. (I Cor.9:15)

For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. (I Cor.9:19)

2.) Will this unnecessarily offend an unbeliever?

Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: (I Cor.10:32)

3.) Will this affect my testimony for Christ? What will others think of Christ by my action?

Let not then your good be evil spoken of: (Rom.14:16)

Provide things honest in the sight of all men.(Rom.12:17)

Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men. (II Cor.8:21)

Abstain from all appearance of evil. (I Thess.5:22)

Concerning God

1.) Is thing being done for God's glory?

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (I Cor.10:31)

He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. (Rom.14:6-8)

2.) Would Jesus do this? Would I feel comfortable if He were standing next to me while I did it?

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (Phil.2:5)

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. (I Cor.11:1)

Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. (Rom.15:2-3)

3.) Will I have confidence giving an account of this action at the judgment seat of Christ?

But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. (Rom.14:10)

So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. (Rom.14:12)



Too often we ask the question, "What harm will it do? What's wrong with it?" What we should be asking is, "What's right with it? What good will it do me in my Christian life?"

Freedom from the law does NOT mean lawlessness. It means that we are free to be married to Christ and to SUBMIT to Him. This should result in fruit unto God. Liberty does NOT mean a license to sin! (Rom. 7:1-6)


LIBERTY, NOT LICENSE

We are free... BUT take heed lest ye fall!



All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. (I Cor.10:23)

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. (I Cor. 6:12)

All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. (Rom.14:20)

I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.... ...But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. (Rom.14:14 15)

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. (Gal.5:13)

As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. (I Pet.2:16)

But meat commendeth 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 become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. (I Cor.8:8-9)

Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. (Titus 1:15)

Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void. ( I Cor.9:14-15)

For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. ( I Cor. 9:19)

There are a lot of issues which are not specifically addressed in the Bible. Since there is no specific "law" against the issue, as believers, we must consider the principles listed above and make a decision under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. But just because God has not made a specific "law" against something, that does not mean that it is the right thing to do! Many things are "legal", [no specific law against it] yet it may be UNBECOMING for a believer. It may be "legal", but it may reflect IMMATURITY. It may be lawful, but not PROFITABLE spiritually.

As Christians, we are "running a race". In order to run a race, God expects that we "stay in shape" spiritually. That means that we must exercise self discipline and say NO to some perfectly legitimate activities IF they hinder us in running that race. In the Boston Marathon, snowshoes are not illegal. You will not be disqualified from the race if you insist on wearing them. But you will never win! We are to run the race (our Christian life) so as to win, and to receive a crown from the Judge! (I Cor.9:24-27)



Have you searched the scriptures, examined your heart, & are still not sure? Consider Rom.14:22-23: "And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin." Here is a simple rule: If you doubt, don't! Better safe than sorry! Consider also Hebrews 4:12-13. "The word of God is ... a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.... all things are naked & opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do! Be honest! God knows your heart. Do all to please and glorify Him. (I Cor.10:31)