Freedom’s Responsibility

1 Corinthians 9

Our rights are among the most difficult things for us to relinquish, and that’s because letting go of them often feels unjust. After all, they are by definition a claim that we are morally or legally entitled to have something or to act in a certain way. Yet in order to serve Christ more effectively, the apostle Paul chose not to insist on certain rights and privileges.

Godly freedom carries responsibility and therefore shouldn’t be a selfish means of making others treat us as we desire. As 1 Peter 2:16 says, our freedom is not to be a covering for evil, but we’re to “use it as bondslaves of God.” Jesus set us free from the power of sin so we could obey the Lord, and part of obedience is serving one another unselfishly. God also wants His followers to share the good news of salvation and forgiveness of sins through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

If we believe that God has liberated us only for ourselves, then we have missed the point and are abusing our freedom. Paul likened the Christian life to competition at Olympic-style games. In the world’s system, a person wins by demanding his or her rights. But in God’s race, we’re victorious when we discipline ourselves to obey Him and fulfill His purpose.

Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 20-22

From In Touch Ministries with Dr. Charles Stanley

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