4th February 2024

The Limits to our Liberties

Passage: 1 Corinthians 2:10-16, 3:4-23, 6:12-18
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Automatically Generated Transcript

There's an old saying as a mischievous child I used to have when a teacher or a parent or somebody gave too many orders all the time, I used to say, all things, all things. I didn't really know what it meant, but it was interesting to discover the book of Corinthians or the books of Corinthians in our New Testament have at least 30 occasions where the Apostle Paul says all things. In the Greek the word is panta, pan means all, and panta is all things. And so he talks about numbers of things that can be summed up and understood that all these particular things he's done about can be understood this particular way that he's talking. Now in those letters across from chapter 2 in 1 Corinthians through to around chapter 10, he keeps addressing something that was very important for in his mind that the Corinthian church should understand, and that was that there are limits to our liberties. It's not just the fact, as Greek culture proposed, that a man or a human being could be unrestrained. There's nothing outside of a himself or herself. That needs to be taken to limit what their freedom is. And although that was a culture back in ancient land, and although much of our education has sprung up from the influence of Greek training, nonetheless, that's never really died out in popular understandings that man is the measure of all things. It doesn't mean man and not woman. It means humans. Humans within themselves can do anything. And sometimes you hear the people who are all for science and conquering the stars and sending rocket ships with astronauts in them to further and further places and saying there's no limit to what the human spirit can do. Do you think that the Apostle Paul agreed with that or disagreed with that? What do you reckon? Did he agree with the idea that there is something limitless about us? And particularly when it comes to our behaviours, that we don't need to recognise any limits to our liberties? Now the way I've asked the question has really prejudiced the answer because you could say yes and no and have different reasons for each reply. The truth is that it's good to know that there is something limitless about us. The truth is that it's good to think of the human spirit having been made by God and our personalities and our make-up and our intuitions are ones that reflect the divine more than any other creature, more than the animal world. Just a little illustration of that if you watch on television all those animal shows and about these creatures. The creatures being chased by these and where the predation works from one to the other. What always fascinates me is that some of those gazelles and those ones that jump around and have to run away from the lions and the tigers. Those ones very much get head up of being chased. And they run as flat out and they fear. Some of them even have little sentries at post, you know, like the ones that stand up straight and give warning. And some of them even have little things to the others if the lions are coming too close. Or in the Gibson backyard, there's one species of bird that gang up on our cat. And if the cat comes out the back door and starts just walking around, they all get a chirp. And they come swooping on him and going up to another tree. And they warn all the other little birds of their group to look out because the cat's out. And it's very interesting that while the... predator is close, and even while the predator is jumping on their back and bringing them to the ground and in some cases awfully eating it alive, they're still kicking while it's being eaten. It's... I find that very hard to watch. But the moment the predator is gone and there's no worry again, they go back to living normally. You know, I know I wouldn't be that way if there was... And in fact, I was out looking for them. I was out looking for where our cat was, somewhere outside. And suddenly my mind raced to what if they turned up a real live tiger? Because our little one looks like a tiger. But what if a real tiger suddenly jumped over the rear fence and was looking rather interestingly at me? I would be horrified. I'd be thinking of where to dash. I'd be thinking of... Is life going to end? But the animal world, if you watch them, the moment the predation's over and they manage to escape, they go back to eating the grass or doing something, and they don't seem to carry a fear with them. Next time you're watching, see if you don't see the same thing. There's something different about the human race and our awareness of we can do all things. And the human race has overcome a lot of the threats that are in nature, not necessarily all the time. If you swim in the Nile River, you might not discover them. You might not discover what I'm saying to be still true. The crocodiles there are some of the bad style that will eat you. But nonetheless, we have a capacity to see ourselves to have not the normal limits and to be prepared to have a go at transcending what might be something that would give us a ceiling on what we can attempt. I think it is one of the features of human nature to be able to push through limits. You see this in the speed that humans run at the Olympics. We're always breaking records. There is something in the human make-up that wants to go further than what has been done before. However, is that true in the spiritual world? Is that true in the behavioural world in terms of rights and wrongs, in terms of behaviours? And when you begin to investigate moral codes and investigate what is considered by a group of people as proper behaviour and what not, there are quite a number of issues where there really don't seem to be strict limits. And yet it doesn't work out in society if people consider themselves free to do whatever they please. All societies generally have an inclination for there being rules that set limits on our liberties, sometimes in practical reasons because it will help us stay alive. Driving on the left, for example, is a limitation on which side you're best to drive on. And if you were to be such a person to say I allow no one to tell me what to do, I'm going to drive on the right, you'll end up paying for it, one way or the other, in an accident or perhaps with the government. And it is the case of human law and order as investigated by people around the world that society can't really work unless it has some limits to its liberties. It's also true, according to the book of Corinthians, that there are limits to our liberties and our freedom, even though at the same time the Apostle Paul has that intuition, who has that outlook that I was just talking about, of believing that God has given us all things. And we'll go through now, my style for the message is to simply go through, we'll limit ourselves to 1 Corinthians, not 2 Corinthians, but we'll go through 1 Corinthians, the passages that talk about the all things, using the little Greek word panta, and see whether we can't understand a little bit about what Paul is teaching about the fact that we've been given a lot of freedom, and yet at the same time there are three reasons why we need to limit our liberties. So look for the three reasons, if I can say them clearly to this, and we'll start with 1 Corinthians 2, and verses 10 to 16. And immediately we've got in the Greek panta, these things. These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. And the fact of Paul's understanding of the spiritual world and what is the nature of being a Christian is very much demonstrated by his continual reference to the tremendous privilege that comes with the Christian era, particularly in the New Covenant. It comes with being a Christian, not only do you get the forgiveness of sins, but the moment you come to Christ in full repentance of being a sinner, meaning admitting that you are, and you ask for the forgiveness that Jesus on the cross has worked, then what happens to you is not only that you are forgiven your sins, but you're given the gift of the Holy Spirit. And those two blessings, the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Spirit, are the twin blessings of the New Covenant. There are other aspects also that we receive being in the New Covenant, but they're the major ones. And these things God has revealed to us. So he's in the midst of talking about some of these issues and he says these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. And the first thing we learn about this is that true Christianity needs us to be in tune with God in order to hear from the Holy Spirit. He's been given to you to live in you, the Holy Spirit, at your conversion. You may not have known the exact moment. It may have been a slow process, as God is not someone that has to have a formula and always do it the same way. But however it was that you came to be one that trusted in Jesus, along with your forgiveness was also granted the gift of the Holy Spirit. And different from the Old Covenant where the Holy Spirit did indeed come on people from different times, actually to specialists, and so theologians generally speak of the prophet, the priest and the king as the major people, not always everyone, but the major people who had the Spirit on them to help them to be in those roles. But when it comes to the New Testament, one of the chief features is that the Spirit is given to all those who have come, to as many as the Lord our God shall call, says the Apostle Peter on the first Christian sermon which was on the day of Pentecost. There's plenty of sermons that are Christian-like. in the Old Testament, but the one that was in the first of the Christian era of the New Covenant was Peter's sermon at Pentecost. Peter's Pentecostal sermon was a Gospel message and it offered the gift of the Holy Spirit to as many as the Lord our God shall call. And so the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the Christian is to reveal to the Christian what he or she now has because they belong to Jesus. And there's something about someone who's come to Christ that they display some intuition, some knowledge that's just natural about spiritual things. They don't know everything and often it is the trouble for churches to get young converts to realize they've got a lot to learn. But nonetheless, there is a sense in which that the anointing, as the little letter of 1 John talks about, has come on a person, helps them understand. You have knowledge that is yours because the Spirit is dealing with you in your heart. The Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. That's why what he was previously just talked about before verse 10, these things, those things are revealed to us through the Spirit. And so the first thing to understand about Christianity is don't limit what you understand of it just by culture. Don't limit just by rote learning or by what people have drummed into you as what is their belief. But look to the Holy Spirit to let you have a conviction. There's a very big difference between somebody who's got in their system things that they've become concrete on because somehow or other they picked it up and weren't going to budge or move and people who come to believe something so deeply because it's a conviction of the Spirit. But that is the job of the Holy Spirit and we need to have less people who have Baptists convict how do I say this carefully Baptists when you get solid and fixed in your thoughts but rather we need people who are led of the Holy Spirit and you can't shake them out of their belief because it's Spirit driven. There's been a revelation by the Holy Spirit. For who knows a person's thoughts except the Spirit of that person? You have a depth that's to you a spiritual part and by getting more in tune with in touch with what the Spirit is leading you is the way that you can successfully get through the Christian life and when it comes to knowing rights and wrongs when it comes to knowing what are the limits of your liberty when the Spirit speaks to you when He shows you does that happen? Sometimes it is that you get advice that this is okay it might be that you're allowed to take the staplers out of the university library and take them home or you might be working in a job near Christmas time in the toy shop and you like a toy and you slip it in your pocket but if you're a Christian there'll be a moment somehow where the Holy Spirit speaks to you because stealing is not one of God's permission points and although I know there are people who can be fastidious and don't even want you to take a drink of water out of the fridge that's, I was going to say going overboard but no, that's taking something too far the water in the fridge is for drinking and so there is a lot of areas of Christian life where it's not certain what is the rights and wrongs but the answer to that uncertainty is to seek for the Holy Spirit to speak to you and one of the ways He does that is that if you happen to take a course that you thought was okay but the Holy Spirit doesn't agree with you He convicts you and there is a sense in which you can lose your peace not every writer about the scriptures interprets it the same way but it talks about the peace of God in your heart and the Spirit of God works in your heart and if you've done something that's definitely not meant to be what your liberty should let you do then the Holy Spirit will convict you and it's something that you sometimes try and drown and not listen to but it doesn't let up and eventually you get put in the spot where oh, I'll change what I've done one of the young men who had only just become a Christian and was shipped and is being a teacher to be in Dajara as co-worker with me there was a principal and there were two of us single teachers together in the little block for single teachers out there in the West and in his days just before he became a Christian he had found himself what would you say appropriating things from work to be what he needed at home, they were little things like pens or something or other and so he but then when he began to read the scriptures and he used to read his Bible every morning and you'd hear him get up and start doing that and he'd start exclaiming things that he'd read and come running into my room have you seen this, have you seen this God was teaching him but it also meant not only that he was learning and growing as a Christian but he suddenly realised that his conscience was talking to him about all the spanners and the little things in some previous time that he had appropriated and what he should have done about that was an interesting question I didn't tell him what I thought to do or not do I knew that he had to do something about his conscience being pricked let the peace of God rule in your hearts by the Holy Spirit is what the Bible says and I think that peace ruling can mean a number of different things but one of them is that when you've done something that God doesn't agree with he lets you know it and who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person that there is an internal operation so also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the spirit of God that he's able to tell you that we've not received the spirit of the world but the spirit who is from God that we might understand the things freely given us by God we know our liberties that God has said that we can have we know not to necessarily get caught up in other people's legalisms and about legalisms some of you may remember I've given this illustration before but there was a time when Michelle over there in Wheaton College she used to come to my lectures and the lecturers liked to have her come along and learn freely but also she needed to get some money for us to survive I was a grad student studying in communications and the New Testament and Michelle would sit in the classes but she made friends with the other young students' wives and one thing that Michelle could do as a sporting person was teach people to swim and it was amazing there were always people who couldn't actually swim at all and really accepted Michelle's offer willingly to freely teach them how to swim in the swimming pool the Wheaton College had a beautiful swimming pool and some of them came for those parts of America that didn't believe in mixed bathing and one of the girls or wives that she took down and told them as they were about to go I didn't have a class and I said I'll come too but that gave a bit of a surprise to the girl and she later complained about having a very bad conscience because she didn't participate in what they called mixed bathing I was there swimming around and I don't think Australians generally have many people who think that way but there are Americans who think that way and this girl was having a conscience and we suddenly noticed she and her husband were having lots of fights and they were displaying the works of the flesh and we wondered how come they were really not people who were not attempting to be spiritual but they started having something that had upset their walking in the spirit and it boiled down because the girl talked to Michelle that she had been broken and she had convictions that she shouldn't go mixed bathing and that was a surprise to us coming from Australia I'd never thought of such things but while she had that as a belief when she broke it her conscience smote her struck her convicted her and she certainly was wrong to go against what her conscience said it wouldn't have been it wasn't wrong for a person who didn't have that written into their consciences because part of what you should do as a Christian is to let your conscience speak to you and there is a case that you sometimes might be taught up to have conscience on things that you don't need to be worried about but you should obey your conscience while it's speaking to you and if you're not sure about where the limit to your liberty is on any given issue to come and tell you now another issue similar especially as we discovered it in the United States is the question of alcohol and I don't know whether it's still the same any illustrations you get out of me can sometimes be 20 years old now so I don't know quite what goes on there now but a lot of the students that came to Wheaton College they were people who came from areas where the churches didn't none of the Christians drank and when they got to Wheaton College it was actually one that had people from all over and as evangelical rather than fundamentalist it was one that wasn't really telling people that you shouldn't drink and so there were people there who had to learn how not to get drunk and how to learn to control themselves and what to do at parties if people are trying to stir it up with alcohol but they still believed that they could drink if they could handle it but then when they mixed with the other students the other students said oh no you're not very spiritual and so there would be this difference but you see if you read the Bible and what's interesting I came back from being at Wheaton College and we ended up in our church in Adelaide and there were people in the church just down the road the church down the road was very strict and there was a doctor he was a doctor that Michelle and I both went to he was a returned missionary and he was a godly man he told you that not only the medicine he put down your throat but what he put into your ears he was pretty good but he was really strict about drinking and he made it in his church where the church he went one of the things that nobody could do now do you know whether or not we allow people to drink in our church question to the audience do you know what our church is on that issue I don't know I don't I know what most of us do and that is that we see a danger in drinking and my attitude is I am a teetotaller but not because I have to because living out at Dujara I saw someone die the very first night I was there because of all the drunken fights Friday night they all had a big brawl a man died and I used to see the local people take the cheques from the government they got which was their only sustenance take it down to the pub and give it to the man beyond the bar and he would tell them when it would run out and I saw a lot of suffering came because of what people did when alcohol affected them so I became I got confirmed that I was someone that wasn't going to support the alcohol industry but that's not because it wasn't necessarily wrong for someone and I've got relatives who do drink but they do it well I got a surprise when I visited them and looked in the fridge but I never saw them with drink changing and making them act strangely or anything like that but this is an issue where it's actually the fellow down the road the doctor when you asked him about it he says oh it's because of the Galilee the first miracle that that must have been unalcoholic wines now I can see how he's convinced himself of that but the truth of the matter is that the man who was the master of ceremonies called Jesus over and said this wine you've brought along you've kept the best you've kept the best to last the early stuff you gave out wasn't much good and that's something that you'll experience about what the effect of alcohol and the flavours that it brings does so that the wine is often called the best type of wine is because there's quite a wisdom human wisdom and there's quite a science of it and there's quite an industry of people who have jobs to be wine tasted and teach all the ones who are growing the grapes how to get the very best taste for their bottles and Australia and some areas of the world while the people still let them in the borders produce some of the best wine there is but this man said no Jesus must have turned that water into non-alcoholic wine but I went back and read the passage and there's nothing in the passage to make you think that so you're left with on the issue of drinking what is the limit to our liberties and it's very important to work it out and one of them is what effect does it have on you I want to say this carefully but I reckon that most of you will agree with me if you've had anything to do with people that get drunk regularly when they get drunk regularly some people behave nicely but is it not the case that when people get drunk they lose capacity to discern right from wrong how many how will I say carefully how many babies are conceived because of the presence of alcohol how many times are there murders that happen by people who got carried away in anger because they were drunk how many times on the streets in Brisbane are there people who come away from drinking heavily and then get in a brawl and someone dies just ask police people they might be drinkers themselves but they'll certainly tell you the truth that alcohol is one of the chief concerns amongst especially young people but amongst people in the streets and is also one of the major causes for accidents that kill people that's the second reason why I don't believe well the second reason why I don't think the Bible mandates that I still am one the two teachers the husband and wife who taught it to Jara before we were there they got a call to go to the Gold Coast I think it was to take another school on but on the journey down they had an accident and they were both killed and I think I don't know the details too much as to what cause but the police say that as a factor for fatal accidents that's the reason now because of that I had an extra reason because I like driving and I want to have my wits about me when I am that I don't want to be a person that has someone else's death and burial on my conscience because my reflexes were lowered and I have my family these days if they think I'm a bit too tired Kieran offered to drive me home from this morning I won't let myself get behind a car if I think there's any sense in which I haven't got my quick reflexes so that's a reason for doing something because not just the spirit is said that is wrong not just that there is a limit to your liberty and that's something beyond the bar but because of the simple wisdom, the simple fact that it makes more sense it's convenient to keeping safe but there are things that you limit what you do because it's just not wise and in our text I haven't gone through many verses it goes on there about the fact you're meant to be a spiritual person but we'll jump to the next one and see if I can't get a bit more time chapter 3 verse 21 to 23 chapter 3 now here part of what's being said has a background understanding of the fact that the Corinthians were arguing about which of the leaders they choose to follow and they were having a bit of a wrestle with other people who were in different camps so let no one boast in men for all things are yours now what's being said here is that just because there are people who are good at something and do it well doesn't mean that you should take on a cringe and fail to see that as a Christian you're a person of stature in Christ's eyes so don't be have to be someone who is a follower now you hear a lot from me about Billy Graham well he's in glory and now we have Franklin Graham and now we've got his Franklin Graham's son that's Billy's grandson Will and I've been to hear Will preach and I'll tell you what and I will support any of his crusades because he has a gift the spirit is working through him but I don't let that make me think only the people of the super family Graham Graham Graham you know they're the only ones doing something for God because I've come across the fact of Christians all around Australia who serve the Lord and do some fantastic things but they're not advertised they're not something that's necessarily taught about but they serve the Lord and some of them are absolute saints but you don't have to follow a leader because that person in your opinion is giving you a good lead and you're for Paul but you don't want to follow Apollos in case you know Paul won't be respected Cephas is another name for Peter but here Paul was telling them off for putting their trust in what a leader might tell them the leader might have a wrong in fact usually most pastors especially when you talk to them and when they're in the old folks home and they come a bit clean about some of the times they had ups and downs they've had times when things didn't go well or they made a mistake and they did something that's hurt the church because none of them are perfect and nor was Paul or Apollos Paul really got angry with Barnabas and angry about Mark and wouldn't have Mark come with him but Mark wrote the gospel of Mark and he did a very good job and God used him Apollos actually wasn't converted at first so he was a Jewish man who taught from the Bible but he'd come to believe in Jesus from listening to John the Baptist but there were two Christians who were in the spot where Apollos came teaching about Jesus from the Old Testament and they asked him home to lunch and thank God that Aquila and Priscilla if I had a name like Aquila anyway never mind they had a good self image that God could use them Apollos was known to be an orator and he was one of those people he was a golden tongue person who could just speak and everybody said oh boy did he put those words together and they heard him speak but when they took him home to lunch you know what they had had a discernment of the spirit that even though he knew the truth some of the gospel truths from the Old Testament he himself hadn't really understood the place of Christ Jesus as the saviour and they taught him more accurately and from that moment on he went out and became a wonderful teacher who had Jesus as the heart of his teaching one way you can tell a good teacher is if they're always wanting to talk about Jesus Apollos became that because of a couple Aquila and Priscilla weren't going to get thinking about this big leader person and get cowards and just let him talk they actually gave him the gospel and was used to God what a fantastic thing whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future all these things that you may think are good and there's nothing wrong with knowing that there are some expert people I really have folk that I like to listen to on the YouTubes and I look up their sermons and although I see all their faults as well you know but maybe they're not best that I'm wrong but anyway none the less there's nothing wrong with you having people that you learn from and follow from but don't let that make you take on a cringe factor or fail to recognize that all things and that word is actually Pantar all things are yours and you are Christ's and Christ is God Christ is God's meaning God the Father do you know there is a hierarchy in terms of God the Father Christ the Son now the Church and Apollos and Paul and Cephas are down the bottom there at least in the order as I've presently just said it and Paul wants his listeners at Corinth to know that all things are theirs because you belong ultimately to the headship of Christ and when you understand that that's your position then you lift your head and you know that you've got something wonderful and you can make a discernment as to whether something is beneficial as to whether you do it or whether you're free to do it now this beneficial thing the Apostle Paul illustrated by the case of eating meat that was offered to idols and because the idols are lifeless things the spirits may get in them and try and use them but nonetheless the idols have got no status in that order of things God the Father Christ the Son and us in Christ we get into that hierarchy and there's nothing about anything in the customs of our world that you have to cringe at you just make a decision in the first instance as to whether it's beneficial and in the second instance you need to make a decision as to what it will do if you are moved to bend your liberty to allow something that actually ends up hurting you and in order to illustrate this Paul goes on to speak I'm not sure I can jump to the next verse whether it will be the one 1 Corinthians 6 12 to 18 all things are lawful for me now there's the same panter all things are lawful for me now where I confronted this in my final years of high school was that there was a big gang of kids who considered that they were going to be in charge somehow of everybody and and they couldn't be in charge somehow of everybody and they couldn't be in charge somehow of everybody and and they couldn't get over the fact that I was a Christian and when it came to the Melbourne Cup day they decided to have a raffle and I was young and didn't know whether I should be involved in what was essentially gambling I personally don't feel at all anything about horse racing except that they run fast and they leave their poopers you know I'm not that interested in the racing industry the class has to have a ticket meaning a horse assigned to you and I said no thank you I don't need that but I wasn't worried about them doing it and I wouldn't have been worried if in order to go along with it I had done it myself it's just that I wasn't interested the bloke who ran it his name was Tullock James Tullock actually and he gave out all the I think he pulled them out of a bag or something and he had my name attached to them and it turned to be the horse Tullock and so he saw good use for this to come along and tell me look you didn't ask for it but I've given you a horse and it's Tullock and immediately my mind was racing I don't really want to upset him especially since the horse they've given me is Tullock that was his name and I said nothing and just walked off I can't remember whether I walked off anyway the race went on Tullock came second and won a lot of money in his thing and then he came to me and he says oh this is money for you because we've given you Tullock I said oh thank you and he says oh you cunts they take it you don't believe in gambling I says well I wasn't gambling anything you gave me the horse thank you and so that was that day but to this day I don't know whether that was the best witness or not but it did work on him I might say because he used to come and ask me more questions about Christian things and I think that we can get hung up on the details about all things because even the fact that there are people who put money on the races doesn't mean that horse racing itself is something that you should never go near you know when I met Michelle she's someone that has done long distance horse racer things across the countryside and she'd been in a pony club and she used to model pony gear and not the horse but Michelle and so this was a very delicate point but loving horses she would take me off to find somewhere where they you know have a ride on the horse and she always gave me a big stallion which I could hardly control but for her sake I have to love horses and they're animals and I think they're pretty beautiful actually but I don't turn away and say that's an evil thing to love horses they're just creatures and there's a lot of things in the world that the world does and by its worldliness turns to be wrong there's actually nothing wrong with films but do you realise and most of us here today are not old enough to remember that when we were little churches like we are they didn't believe in going to films my parents didn't ever let me go to films I got invited to a party where a part of it was to go to a film but my parents didn't know but films were something that were wrong because they were a film and there are churches like that actually one crusade I had in West Australia at a church I won't say the name but in the church I used to do special little things as well as my preaching and one of them was to use scripture union film strips and they had, I don't know if they still do or not but a number of film strips in cartoon form that gives the gospel where Jesus is a pretty interesting looking cowboy and so I showed this film I think it's called The Stranger and there was an uproar in the church because I was bringing the world into the church and I thought that the Apostle Paul wouldn't have had to worry about it not that they had films back then but there's a need for us to get a limit to our liberty but not from people who've just got a set that someone taught them and they never really thought it through if something leads to sexual immorality it's wrong but if something is just a culture and it's a matter of whether or not they use have a jazzy shirt this actually belonged to Lycaon but I fit it better than him now and anyway this it's not wrong to want to dress well but there are churches where the way they have you go to church and someone were to walk by in the street and see you coming out again they say what a funny bunch of people they look like they're from the last century or they say they look like they're the same I don't think and you can have a different opinion to me because you're free to have your own opinion but I don't think it's wrong for young men and young women to want to dress well dressing well is when you have a bit of taste I need help to do it being colour blind and Michelle helps me to not make a silly look but there's nothing wrong with having a desire to do well at sport or to give yourself to go to the park run and try and train up so that you get a better score there's nothing wrong with someone wanting to study hard and get to do well and get a prize some people say that's worldly no it's not worldly why Paul would say it's not worldly is this little word all things because he taught all things are lawful for me not all things are helpful so there's the way you tell don't do it if it's not helpful if going to the park run and makes you so that you're getting so wrecked you can't study during the week then don't go to the park run or if they did something to the park run to make it so like in Sydney when they now have all those times when people go down the streets not being dressed very helpfully what's that called don't worry about it there's nothing wrong with a march but if there's something in the march that is irreverent to God or is lifting up sexual immorality as good or if somehow taking the mickey out of people who are paraplegics if there's a reason then don't go to the march but all things are lawful gives you the case that you don't have to limit your liberty if you've applied these tests and if it's something that's helpful then it's something that's good now the rest of the chapter there in chapter 6 is leading on about the fact that don't get involved with immorality because immorality is taking that which belongs to Jesus your body belongs to him and you're making it join to a prostitute and what is underlying that teaching is that the nature of sex is more than just pleasure of two bodies the nature of sex is the coming together of two people and they become one body look there at the second part of the writing if we can put one here if you go and sleep with a prostitute you're making the members of Christ members of a prostitute never or do you not know that he who is joined to the prostitute becomes one flesh the old versions read or one body with her for as it is written the two will become one flesh there's more to the union that happens in the marriage than just pleasure and you don't have the liberty to use your bodies for pleasure outside of the marriage bond when we have a marriage ceremony one of the things that we have in the Bible is the definition some people getting married were hoping maybe that they could do it in some special way that they have but I make them have to have what the book says that we're given that marriage was ordained by God and it's something that he put into place and we don't have the liberty to design our own definition of marriage we do what the Bible says Jesus says right at the beginning that there are two females so Jesus doesn't accept the idea of gender variance or fluidity anyway that's one aspect about the limit of our liberty but as we keep on going I said that there were three and one was that it's the Holy Spirit led the other one was that it's helpful and doesn't cause you to your Christian life to run down and get you into sin and God is forbidden but the third one is about what you do to other people's consciences who may copy you and so that would be a verse again in let me see chapter 9 I'm fishing here oh no you had it you had to go back to what you had 1 Corinthians 8 and you need the bottom part that no you needed the top part sorry but take care that this right of yours your right to be free does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak for if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol's temple will he not be encouraged if his conscience is weak and the definition of a weak conscience is that he's scared of the demons and goes in setting himself up to be affected by eating food offered to idols a person with a strong conscience might say a prayer in fact this is one place where the saying of grace comes from where you pray over it as something given of God and that dismisses all the demons who might think they own that piece of meat and so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed that's the person the brother who saw you go and they said oh there goes Jim and he's involved in that church at Salisbury and there he is he's going in and doing this and so it must be okay and so if you do that you might cause him to stumble now if what he thinks is okay actually is okay if someone said to me come and watch this horse race I would have two thoughts going through my head I don't feel any sinfulness of watching a horse run I'm not going to bet on him I just don't mind the Queen used to go and want people to come along and watch her horse run but nonetheless if I thought people who were weak in the area of gambling and saw me going because they couldn't stop gambling then I would have damaged a weak person and in the next little part there if you make your brother to stumble I will never eat meat lest I make my brother to stumble now Paul actually teaches there's nothing wrong with the meat that's been offered to an idol but if it's going to cause your brother to stumble I won't eat any meat lest I make my brother stumble so that's the third reason why you might limit your liberty because of having a bad effect on someone else it's good to know where the limits are we are meant to be free because of the part that I didn't tell you at the start and in a couple of sentences I can say is that Paul believed that everything in the world belongs to Christ and we belong to Christ and we own everything in the world and there's nothing that's not ours and he uses the word all things and the fact that all things are ours in Christ and that's a fantastic thing but you've got to know these limits the three limits of liberty thank you.

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