We’re continuing our look at Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian church. He had to deal with a lot of issues. One of them was how to respond to the grey areas of sin – those things that the Bible doesn’t specifically call out as right or wrong.
Paul talks about this subject in chapters 8-10. In looking at these principles, we covered a lot of ground. Since this is the concluding post on that subject, I want to review the principles that Paul talked about.
In chapter 8, we’re told that even though Christ has given us freedom in many areas, we’re not to use that freedom if it will have a negative effect on others. We have to be sensitive to new believers or weak Christians around us.
Chapter 9, verses 1 through 18, tells us that we need to check our motives. Why do I want to do this activity? Is it because I want to imitate the world? Am I rebelling against authority? Or is my heart pure in this area?
That same section also deals with the issue of personal rights. When you’re serving Christ, there are times that the Lord asks you to lay down your rights for the sake of others. Just because you have the right to do something, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s God’s will for you.
Then, in chapter 9, verses 19 through 23, Paul tells us that the message of the Gospel is the priority. We can’t lose sight of what’s truly important for the sake of self-gratification. My life must bear witness to the truth.
After that, Paul deals with the principle of keeping free from distractions in verses 24 through 27. Even if something is not sinful, it may still keep you from fulfilling God’s call upon your life. We have to make sure that we don’t spend all of our time pursuing unfruitful distractions.
Then, in the first thirteen verses of chapter 10, the apostle talks about the things that we set our heart on. Where you set your heart determines your destiny. Are you after the things of the world or the advancement of God’s kingdom?
In chapter 10, verses 14 through 22, we’re told to flee from idolatry. For us, this means the modern version of idolatry. That’s anything that we put in a position where God should be. Is there something to which we’re devoting our time, money, and strength, that rightly should be going to the Lord?
Finally, in verses 23-30, the principle of caring for others comes into play. I can’t be doing something that wounds the conscience of a fellow believer. I have to be careful not to shipwreck the faith of those around me.
These are the important things to think about when deciding if something is right for you to take part in. Paul sums it up like this…
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God – even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.
1 Corinthians 10:31-33
The fact is that it’s not all about me. There’s a bigger picture that I have to take into account. We must live our lives in such a way that God gets the glory from all that we do.
Question: How does living for God’s glory make the Gospel message more attractive?
© 2019 Nick Zaccardi