1 Corinthians #18: An exposition of 1 Corinthians 10:14-11:1. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, April 10, 2011.
I’m sure it is something that all the fallen children of Adam struggle with, but I think it is a more intense struggle for Western believers especially American Christians. We’re a fairly stubborn, independent bunch. Add to that we are Baptists and it just gets worse. We are big on freedom and not too keen on responsibility. We like to demand our rights but are not always concerned about those whose rights are trampled. Like spoiled children we tend to pout when we don’t get our way. All that is so foreign to what the Scripture demands of us. Yes there is freedom in Christ. A glorious, wonderful freedom but it’s not without limits. We are not free to do as we please. We’ve been granted freedom not license. I’m comforted by the fact we are not the only ones who struggle with what Christian liberty is all about. It’s been a problem within the church from the beginning. Paul’s been talking about it for two and a half chapters already and tonight we will consider the second half of that third chapter. Our text is found in 1 Corinthians chapter 10.
Text: 1 Corinthians 10:14-11:1
Paul told the Galatian believers, “It is for the sake of freedom that Christ has set us free.”
He insisted that they not allow themselves to be subject to a yoke of bondage.
But Christian liberty always carries with it responsibility.
In Chapter 8 we are reminded that Christian liberty is limited by love.
In Chapter 9 Paul gives a personal example concerning how he limited his own freedom.
In the first part of chapter 10 Paul warns of the danger of abuse on our own souls.
Now he comes to sum up his message on freedom.
I would sum up his message in this way…
Thesis: While there is incredible freedom in the Gospel, the mature believer is not enamored with his rights, rather he is captivated by the glory of God.
We are not to be protective of our rights.
We are not to demand our rights.
We are to concern ourselves with God’s glory.
Our goal, our aim is to see the name and fame of our God grow and expand.
It’s not about us – it is about Him.
It’s not our will – but His will that matters.
There are two basic points that sum up Paul’s position on this whole matter.
- Christian liberty is determined to avoid even the appearance of evil. (10:14-22)
- Christian liberty eagerly submits to a higher priority. (10:23-11:1)
While there is incredible freedom in the Gospel, the mature believer is not enamored with his rights, rather he is captivated by the glory of God.