Laws and Christian Liberty
What an observation. If everyone were a Christian, and everyone acted like one consistently, we probably wouldn’t need many laws, court systems, and jails. The problem is that people are not perfect, and sin exists. Unfortunately we all fall into sin at some point. So we need laws to protect the righteous from the lawbreakers and rebels, and even from each other from time to time. And we certainly need laws to protect us from those who primarily walk in wickedness.
“We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers… and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine” – 1 Timothy 1:9-10
The Bible tells us that for Christians, all things are lawful, but not all things are profitable (or helpful).” – (1 Cor.6:12, and 1 Cor.10:23) Another translation says that “I will not be mastered by anything.” We truly have freedom and liberty in Christ!
Image courtesy of: Thomas Hawk
Some people abuse our freedom as Christians by quoting this verse. But when you really dig into this and surrounding verses we learn the bigger picture here to consider in our behavior is not only the effect it has on us, but the effect that it has on others. Our goal should be to walk in truth, and to live in harmony and peace seeking the good of others (verse 24), and not just our own (verse 33).
Let us be aware of our actions and do our best to ensure they do not cause others to stumble and fall into sin. Let us treat others as we would want to be treated if we were in their shoes. Let us look through the eyes of the Spirit that is only love and goodness. Let our hearts be softened and realize that our aim should be to share the gospel and make disciples.
Truly the world would be a much better place if we all sought the Lord and walked in His ways.
Dear heavenly Father, thank you so much for this Word and perspective today. We are so grateful that you sent your only Son Jesus Christ to show us the way. Let us live our lives in a manner worthy of his sacrifice. Let us be aware of how our actions impact others, and help us to walk in a way that will not cause them to stumble. Guide our every step, our every word, our every thought. Help us to live boldly in our faith, embracing the power of the Holy Spirit that is with us. Refresh us and strengthen us. Fill us full of your love and goodness. We give you all the honor and glory and praise, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
Today’s full reading: 2 Kings 1-3; Psalm 82; 1 Timothy 1
Scripture References From Today’s Reflection:
- “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.” – 1 Corinthians 6:12
- “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.” – 1 Corinthians 10:23
- “No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.” – 1 Corinthians 10:24
- “even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.” – 1 Corinthians 10:33
- “Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.” – Romans 14:13
- “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” – Romans 14:19
- “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” – Matthew 6:33
- “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2
- “But that is not the way you learned Christ! – assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” – Ephesians 4:20–24