This is something we are all used to: We’re driving along and pass either an intersection or we pass an interchange (on & off ramps on the highway). When we do we see a sign or two which tell us, again what road we are on. This happens to us all the time. It is that time for us. We are actually on one of those roads that is two in one. You know the ones like just north and again south of here where 63 and 41 run along together. We’re doing that with Scripture:
1. We are going thru the books or letters that Paul wrote to the church in Corinth.
2. The 2nd road is the topic, “How should I behave as a Christian?” Or, “What does Christian living look like?”
With that in mind we are going to close chapter 10 of 1st Corinthians this morning: Read 1 Cor. 10:23 thru 1 Cor. 11:1 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. 24 Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.
25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience’ sake; 26 for “the earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness.”
27 If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for conscience’ sake. 28 But if anyone says to you, “This was offered to idols,” do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience’ sake; for “the earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness.” 29 “Conscience,” I say, not your own, but that of the other. For why is my liberty judged by another man’s conscience? 30 But if I partake with thanks, why am I evil spoken of for the food over which I give thanks?
31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.
11 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.
God has His servant Paul come roaring out of the proverbial box here by tackling one of our favorite excuses and sayings as humans, “I didn’t break any laws.” We like that one. Our politicians use it all the time. But, seriously… We really like that one and we like to change our laws in order to get away with stuff. Have you ever heard the line that our national income tax is voluntary? Go ahead and type that into an internet search “is income tax voluntary?”
Yahoo, 43 million, 700 thousand responses>
Google, 13 million responses Why? Why all of these responses? Because people want to avoid paying their taxes and then say, “But I didn’t do anything illegal.”
Using His servant Paul again, God says, “It doesn’t matter whether something bad is legal or illegal, is it right or wrong? Is it good or bad?” We can be a bit lazy here because it is easy to pick on this one: In Nevada, prostitution is legal. There are brothels, or so I’ve been told, in many, many places. Even though it is legal, isn’t it still, according to God – still wrong?
Now look at verse 24 again –“Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.” A statement and two questions:
> It is not wrong to look out for your own best interests. However, there are two big qualifiers:
> How do your actions impact the lives of your fellow Christians?
- Is it hurting a Brother or Sister in Christ in any way?
- Are you bringing shame upon the name ‘Christian’?
> One of the biggest signs of a non-Christian is selfishness. You might be looking out for your own best interests. Again, there is nothing wrong with that if, repeat IF it is not based in selfishness. If your actions or mine are based upon selfishness, or the modern term “to help with our self- esteem” then we aren’t acting as Christians. Who says so? God does right here using…