Summary: Christians have been caught up in an attitude of don’t tell me what to do. What does the Word of God say about that view.
Quite often, we hear individuals espousing libertarian philosophies of unbridled personal freedom. The pro-abortionists cry out that a woman has a right to her own body and that no one should interfere with what she does to her body, with little regard to the rights of the unborn child and its body. The drug culture would try to expound the supposed harmlessness of marijuana claiming that to keep these drugs illegal is an infringement on personal freedom. We have seen in recent years the growth in what’s known as the Gay Culture - famous people "Coming Out." Their claim is that no one has the right to tell them that their sexual deviation is abnormal or wrong. It’s their life and they will do what they will. We hear of those who support or endorse sexual promiscuity as long as it’s between consenting individuals. The claim is it is my life and my body I can do whatever I want to do and nobody has the right to tell me what to do or what is right and wrong. What is disconcerting is that we often hear these views being touted by professing Christians. Ecclesiastes 1:9 states, "The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun." In other words, whatever has happened before will happen again. Whatever has been done before will be done again. There is nothing new under the sun. The philosophy that we hear today is no different than what Paul observed in the church at Corinth. The motto of the church at Corinth was "All things are lawful to me!" They embraced and cited this in defense of their Epicurean lifestyles as well as acts of fornication. Because of this abuse, Paul had to address the issue of Christian liberty.
I. All Things are Lawful.
A. God has redeemed the believer and has forgiven all of his sins, whatever they may be.
B. Ephesians 1:7 " In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace." Through the blood of Jesus Christ, we are set free from all our sins.
C. The believer has been forgiven all his/her sins and has been adopted into the family of God. Nothing, nothing that he/she does can alter or sever that relationship.
D. The believer has also been set free from the law of commandments.
E. Romans 8:2 "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."
F. Ephesians 2:14-15 "For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;"
G. It is true you can do whatever you want to do. God never forces man; He never sets a limit to man’s freedom.
H. Ecclesiastes 11:9 "Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment."
I. It’s wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do; take it all in. But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do. (NLT)
II. While all things are lawful, not everything is good for me or wise to do.
A. 1 Corinthians 6:12 "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."
B. You can do anything you want to do but not everything is expedient - helpful, worthwhile, advisable, and profitable.
C. You reap what you sow.
D. A skydiver announces at 10,000 feet to the rest of the group, "I’m not using a parachute this time. I’m going to do my own thing. I want freedom!" You say that is absurd no one would do that, at least not in their right mind. Yet, that is exactly what we do when we choose to ignore God’s standards and choose to have it our way.
E. Galatians 6:7 "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."
F. "In 1982, ’ABC Evening News’ reported on an unusual work of modern art: a chair affixed to a shotgun. It was to be viewed by sitting in the chair and looking directly into the gun barrel. The gun was loaded and set on a timer to fire at a undetermined moment within the next hundred years. The amazing thing was that people waited in lines to sit and stare into the shell’s path! They all knew that the gun could go off at point-blank range at any moment, but they were gambling that the fatal blast wouldn’t happen during their minute in the chair. Yes, it was foolhardy, yet many people who wouldn’t dream of sitting in that chair live a lifetime gambling that they can get away with sin. Foolishly, they ignore the risk until the inevitable self-destruction." [Jeffrey D. King, Parma, Ohio. Leadership, Vol. 4, no. 4.]