A License to do Good
1 Corinthians 10:23.24 “All things are lawful,” but not all things are beneficial. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. Do not seek your own advantage, but that of the other. (NRSV)
Jesus promised us that if He sets us free, then we will be, in His words, free indeed! Truly, truly free. And yet, freedom means different things to different people. Question: what does it mean to you?
Back when the New Testament was being written … well, it was an interesting time. Christianity was being birthed out of Judaism. Our new relationship with God (the “New Covenant”) was being birthed out of our old relationship with Him (the “Old Covenant”).
And what that meant for these new believers, those that dared to stake their eternity on the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Son of God, was that there were lots of rules that they didn’t have to follow anymore. All of a sudden it was okay to eat, for instance, pork. All of a sudden, many of the religious rituals of the past no longer mattered.
Which is why Paul writes this:
1 Corinthians 10:23,24 “All things are lawful,” but not all things are beneficial. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. Do not seek your own advantage, but that of the other. (NRSV)
In other words, don’t use your new-found freedom to do anything you want. Don’t all of a sudden see it as a license to tread on other people. It was true back then in that context … and it’s still true today.
Way too many Christians are focussed on their freedoms, their rights, their entitlements … forgetting that insisting on those can often hurt others, forgetting that when we stand up for ourselves, we often tread on others.
Absolutely! If the Son of Man (Jesus) has set you free, then you are free indeed …
but not all things build up. So don’t seek your own advantage, but that of others.
That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.