Day 24 P. 270-283
Sometimes when we read the Bible, we do so in such small chunks or even just a verse or two. When we use only that method we can fall into becoming more about the “letter of the law” than the “spirit of the law.” When we read longer sections, we begin to see broader principles for Christian living. For instance, in today’s passage, we see the principle of, “Everything is permissible, but not all things are beneficial.” In the early section of our reading, Paul goes to great lengths to help us understand that we are free in Christ. We are not bound by the law. But while we are free, we must also be mindful of those who still feel bound; those who would be offended by our actions and made to feel guilty by their own consciences. So we have freedom, but we also have responsibility.
This brings up a second principle: the principle of our interconnectedness as believers. God did not create us to be independent, but instead, to be interdependent. There are many differences among us, but those differences are to complete us as a body. So we may say things like, “I don’t need the church. I can worship God out here in nature,” but that just isn’t true. Yes, we can worship God in nature, but we can’t say that we don’t need the church. That is saying that I don’t need other Christians in my life. Paul would refute that by saying that we are one body made up of many parts and that each part is very important to the whole.
A third principle evident in this passage is that of loving God and loving others. While it isn’t stated here explicitly, it is obviously foundational to all that Paul is saying. Our love for God and our love for others will fuel the “living out” of the other two principles. That’s exciting to see this in Paul’s writing. This means that I can go about my life today, confident that I am free in Christ and that what I’m responsible for is to do everything I do, and say everything I say, and type everything I type, in love – love for God and love for others.
About The Author
Dave Jochum is a former Education Minister at Oakland Heights Baptist Church. He currently serves God by reaching out to the business community working at the Longview Chamber of Commerce. In his spare time he serves as the Interim Pastor of Lone Oak Baptist in Harleton, TX. He and his wife Michelle have four children and their family's favorite vacation spot is Disney World.