This Sunday, we started Part 3 of I Corinthians, Finding True Freedom. Pastor Boyd challenged us to answer the question: Is my use of my liberty or my ability to be a legalist causing issues?
Christian Liberty is driven by love not knowledge [8:1-6] There was a major dilemma for the Corinthians regarding eating meat sacrificed idols, so they inquired of Paul what is acceptable.
The Corinthian’s were exercising their freedom in Christ based off their knowledge. Pastor Boyd reminded us that knowledge of our freedom without love is arrogance. Therefore, it must be accompanied with love for God. If our Christian liberty is not coupled with love, than it serves us at the detriment of others. We must love God more than our knowledge of freedom.
Pastor Boyd challenge us to search our hearts to ensure we are loving God faithfully. If our love for God was absent, than idol worship would become present. Paul reminded the Corinthians there is only one God. Everything else is superstitious. Idols are not real. An idol is given power over a person when the imagination of the one who designed it or the impersonation of a demonic influence gives the idol ‘power.’
Pastor Boyd shared about four types of idols today: Power, Comfort, Control, and Approval. These four things are an imaginative or mental idol that every single one of us worships so that we can have the ability to live, have peace, be loved, and gives us a sense of pleasure. But, it’s nothing more than an idol. The only difference between Corinth and USA is that there’s were handmade, most of our idols are wrapped up in our minds.
“Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see. They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell. They have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk; and they do not make a sound in their throat. Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them.” Psalm 115:4-8
I can give up my rights; because of love [8:7-13] Pastor Boyd pointed out that we need to take care of the way we exercise our freedom, while we also need to be careful not to become legalistic. Paul cautioned the Corinthians, “Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.” Pastor Boyd exhorted us to be wise and discerning when exercising our freedom and we need to be willing to give it up for the good of others and out of our love for God.
I'm willing to give up something I love, for something greater, the love I have for my fellow brothers and sisters. Greater than that, I give up my rights in order to find freedom in Christ. But far greater than that, I give up my rights because of my deep love for God.