Summary: Don’t Settle - don’t settle for sin over true pleasure, don’t settle for desserts when you can dig into the word on your own
Title: A few words from our sponsor
Text: 1 Cor 6:12 – 13a
MP: Don’t use your liberty to settle for anything less than the fullness of God’s glory.
We think that 30 second spots are unique to our generation
1. Everything is permitted, but not everything is beneficial
a. Christian Liberty is a fact
b. So are consequences (Law of the Calorie)
2. Free to do anything, but don’t be mastered by anything
a. Sin’s desire is to control you (Gen 3:15, 4:7)
b. God’s desire is to free you
3. God created pleasure, but real pleasure is to be found in him
a. What glorifies God?
b. Where can you find out more?
Sometimes we think that advertisements are unique to the TV generation. The truth is: the 30-second spot has been with us even since Paul’s day. In our text this morning, we’re going to see a series of shorts – some slogans that are pass for theological debate. Still, even in these slogans, there’s some truth that we need to be able to recognize, so if you’ll look at the text with me, we’ll read 1 Corinthians 6:12 – 13.
1. The Corinthians are going to say: “Everything is permissible for me.”
I like the translation that says, “I am free to do whatever I please.” And guess, what – to a certain extent, they’re right.
Yes see, Paul has already told this church about a thing we call ‘Christian Liberty.’ Basically, if you’re already completely forgiven, and you are, in one respect, it doesn’t really matter what you do. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who believe in Christ Jesus. That no condemnation thing means, there’s no condemnation. We’re all God’s children, created in God’s image, given his authority, and completely forgiven, right? Well, then – it’s pretty obvious that we can do whatever we want, because it’s not like we can lose our right to be with God.
But Paul says, okay, you want to thing in slogans? You want to dummy it down? Then he’ll dummy it down. Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial. Feel free to eat anything on the buffet – just remember, some of it may make you sick.
I like a good steak at Outback as much as the next guy. It is definitely something that is my right to eat. I mean, God made good things, right? Nowhere does he say I can’t indulge. But God never designed my body to eat that every day of the week. There’s no law other than the law of calories that sets in. Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial.
Did you know that as a Christian, you could go out, have an affair or do whatever you want, and still get in to heaven? Indeed you can – God will forgive your sin. Your wife? Well, that may be a different story. God is more than willing to forgive you, but he never said anything about removing the consequences.
Well, these Corinthians are going to try again.
2. “I’m free to do whatever I please,” they say.
And Paul says, yes – but don’t use your freedom to be enslaved. You’re free - but don’t be mastered by anything.
If there is one thing that I have learned about sin in my day, it’s that sin always wants to take away my freedom. Think about the guy who is addicted to food. His doctor tells him – you have to stop eating. He says – Oh, I could healthy whenever I want. That usually means he doesn’t want to. Or, maybe he listens to his doctor. He tries a crash diet. And he finds out how much of a master his little deserts are.
I have yet to meet anyone who is mastered by celery, but start waiving the Doritos around. Go back in the kitchen at the potluck and start seeing the desert trays. It takes some willpower to resist, doesn’t it? Well, if it takes willpower, then you know something’s trying to master you.
Sin is a lot like a dessert in that way. It’s good – but in the long run it may not the best thing for you. Satan would never tempt you with something that doesn’t look desirable, because he knows that undesirable things will never master you. And don’t be fooled – that’s all sin wants to be is your master.
The very first sin in the Garden was when the Snake wanted the man and the woman to think they were in control – but who was really calling the shots, eh? And just one chapter over, the first murder in all history, God warns Cain beforehand – Cain – sin is waiting at the door wanting to have its way with you. You must master it, God tells him.