Part Three: Seven Principles for FREEDOM

July 19, 2008 at 3:13 pm (Articles, Godly Living) (, , , )

Posted by Abigail

We all want a solid line, chalked in bright yellow on the pavement. A line to define the difference between obedience and legalism. Between freedom and sin. Once upon a time God drew yellow lines in the sand, but we crossed them anyway. Laws do not keep us from crossing, they only reveal to us that we have crossed. Usually our thoughts have crossed ahead of our feet. Under grace, God has left many lines up to us to draw, with the measuring-stick of holiness to guide us. Always our highest aim should be to glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

“How will my exercise of freedom most bring glory to God?”

Seven important principles line that ruler, to help us determine where our freedoms extend in each circumstance. Is the scripture silent about the issue? No prohibitions? No commands? Let’s run it through a filter of principles for glorifying God.

F. The Fire Principle (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)

When my works come before Jesus, will this be burned away as chaff, or is it something Jesus can reward?

R. The Reputation Principle (1 Corinthians 10:23-29)

Do I seem inconsistent with Christianity to my unsaved neighbor? (“So what? You’re just like us.”)

E. The Evangelism Principle (1 Corinthians 9:1-27)

Does it help or hinder the gospel? Would exercising my liberty allow me to reach farther or would it cause offense or confusion?

E. The Edification Principle (1 Corinthians 14:12, 26)

Does it build up my fellow believers?

D. The Destruction Principle (1 Corinthians 8:7-13)

Instead of simply not building up, could it tear down fellow believers? Could it cause a brother to sin or violate his own conscience?

O. The Obstacle Principle (1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1)

Does it offend anyone? Create an obstacle between them and the Lord? (We’re not talking about conforming to the heavy rules of others—Jesus wasn’t afraid of offending the Pharisees. We’re talking about honoring the convictions of those who might be led into temptation or caused to blaspheme through your actions.)

M. The Master Principle (1 Corinthians 6:12-13)

Yes, it’s permitted, but is it profitable? Yes, it’s allowed, but is it an addiction? Does it compete with Christ for a place in my heart? Does it enslave me, master me, control me or cause me to do its bidding?

Solid lines, painted by someone else, disguise invisible chains. We’re not to be enslaved again to the weak and elemental things of the world. To empty practices. To forms of godliness with no power. Our freedom in Christ is given, not as an opportunity for the flesh, but to allow us to serve one another in love. By understanding and limiting or exercising our liberty, we find an amazing freedom: to fellowship in unity with Christians from other cultures or backgrounds, to be diverse in our manifestation of the Holy Spirit, to reach out to unbelievers in purity and truth, to avoid addictions and sins and to love as Jesus loved.

Liberty isn’t about being lawless—free from all law. It’s about being free from the dominion of sin—free to choose the right thing to do, and to do it.

Disclaimer: Parts of this post have been shamelessly stolen from teachings by my father, Lane.

Part One / Part Two / Part Three

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  1. Lauren Ashley said,

    I really liked this post! Excellent thoughts, something we all need to be aware of and remember.

    We have been talking about this lately at my house, so this was a neat reminder! Like Paul said, “All things are lawful but not all things are profitable”.

    Least in the Kingdom

  2. Jasmine said,

    Wow, Abigail!

    What a neat series. Thank you for posting about this very important subject.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  3. Alex said,

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

  4. L.i.n.k.a.g.e. « |l Every Thought Captive l| said,

    […] Seven Principles of Freedom – “Once upon a time God drew yellow lines in the sand, but we crossed them anyway. Laws do not keep us from crossing, they only reveal to us that we have crossed.” […]

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