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Freedom In Christ-Part II

Freedom in Christ-Part II
Abusing the Freedom

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.  All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. 1Corinthians 6:12, 10:23 (NKJV)

In Part I of this devotional we looked at the similarities to the Declaration of Independence made by the original 13-colonies of the United States of America, and the Declaration of Independence that we, as Christians make from our old identity and nature in that old lifestyle that we formerly identified with.

We looked at those inalienable rights that God has given us in the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  We also looked at what Gods Word said about these rights.  In Part II of this devotional, we will look at the freedom that we have been given by our making the declaration to believe in, and follow Jesus Christ.

As Christians, we've been given the freedom and the power to live a life that brings honor and glory to God.  We've been given the ability to make good choices that will see our lives richly blessed.

"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Acts 1:8 (NKJV)

We've been given the choice to do what we know to be right, and with that, we've also been given the choice to do what we know to be wrong as well.  With each choice comes consequences or blessings.  With each choice, we are either glorifying God, or glorifying Satan.  With each choice, we are either doing the will of God, or the will of Satan.  There is no in-between when it comes to the will of God and the will of Satan; it is either one or the other.

I have seen many freedoms that have been abused in our Nation.  And although I am not advocating having these freedoms removed, it is still sad, as there are some, who speak forth vial lies, and divisive things of hatred, all in the name of freedom of speech.  Some will use their rights as a cloak to the point of abusing them, and at the cost of others.  

Again, I have to draw a parallel with our walk as Christian men and women.  Many abuse the freedoms that have been given to them when they accepted Jesus Christ.  Many speak forth vial lies and divisive things of hatred in the name of God. And some will use their Christian freedom as a cloak to the point of abuse, and at the cost of others.

For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men--as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. 1Peter 2:15 (NKJV)

Let me give you a couple of examples.  We have the freedom to dress in whatever type of clothing we choose as Christians.  But if we were to dress in such a way as to become provocative and cause another person to stumble in their walk, then it would be an abuse of your freedom.  

Much in the same manor you might have an alcoholic drink and again, you can drink too much and cause yourself to be drunk and loose control of your self-control.  You might also cause another person who doesn't know the Lord to stumble and as a result, not want to know the Lord.  You might cause another person who has had a problem with alcohol to stumble and began to drink as well.

But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. 1Corinthians 8:9 (NKJV)

When we take the liberty to exercise our freedom to the point where we do things that would potentially cause others to stumble, there is a good chance that we have abused our freedom.  Its like Paul said, "All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify."

Hey Christian, we have the freedom to do many things, but that doesn't mean that we should do them.  Why not exercise restraint to doing those things that might cause others to either stumble in their walk, or not want to know God.  It isn't having your freedom taken away, it is choosing in freedom to do the things that bring glory to God's name.

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn about our abilities to choose and the responsibility to choose wisely when reading the scriptures above?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you abusing your freedom when speaking, dressing, drinking, or in any other area of your Christian walk?  Are people seeing Christ in you?  Would you do anything different if Jesus were spending the day with you?

APPLICATION: Be willing to lay down anything that might potentially cause another person to stumble.  Don't split hairs on this issue, simply ask God, and you will know the answer.

Father, Thank You for the freedom that You have given all of us.  Thank.  Knowing that I have been given such freedom Lord, I am asking You to continue to guide me in my actions so that I might see things as You do.  Help me see the things that I am doing that may cause others to stumble.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000