Let’s talk about Christian liberty! Because we are saved by grace through faith (Eph.2:8-9) we no longer have to live by laws. But aren’t there laws engraved on our hearts? What is permissible? Let’s see what Scripture says about this liberty: “Everything is permissible, but not everything is helpful. Everything is permissible, but not everything builds up. No one should seek his own good, but the good of the other person. Eat everything that is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience sake, for the earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it. If one of the unbelievers invites you over and you want to go, eat everything that is set before you, without raising questions of conscience. But if someone says to you, “This is food offered to an idol, do not eat it,” out of consideration for the one who told you, and for conscience sake.” 1 Corinthians 10:23-28 So let’s unwrap this. Everything is fine for we no longer live by law, but by grace through faith. But we still have to think of the other person. We find in Romans 14 we are told: “So then, we must pursue what promotes peace and what builds up one another. Do not tear down God’s work because of food. Everything is clean, but it is wrong for a man to cause stumbling by what he eats. It is a noble thing not to eat meat, or drink wine, or do anything that makes your brother stumble. Do you have a conviction? Keep it to yourself before God. The man who does not condemn himself by what he approves is blessed.” Romans 14:19-22 So we are faced with what edifies another. Now if we go to a person’s place where they say specifically that what we are eating is an offering from some unknown god, then we need to respectfully NOT eat, and that should give us a good reason to have a dialogue about our faith. For today we don’t see a lot of that, but we do have people who are living with addictions, such as to alcohol. If we want to honor that person, do we really have to have wine in their presence? No, because we know that it is difficult for them because of their addiction. It’s placing the concerns and welfare of those we are with above our own. Is that not liberty? Of course it is, and it is a choice to honor another in that liberty. How about those who still live by the traditions of the Old Testament and do not eat pork. Would you serve pork to them if you invite them over? Would you make breakfast bacon for them, knowing that they do not eat it? Of course not! So Christian liberty has a lot of freedom to it, but it doesn’t negate the need for responsible understanding of another’s needs. So when we invite another over to eat, let’s find out what they like. Let’s find out if they have an aversion to certain types of food, not that we cannot eat or drink, but we want to honor their presence at our table with nothing that would either embarrass them or cause them to stumble. Paul would write to the Roman Church after that which I wrote above: “Therefore, accept one another, just as the Messiah also accepted you, to the glory of God.” Romans 15:7 Oh what a world this would be if we just put others before self. But in everything we do, let’s glorify our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, by our attitude and our behavior. Pastor Andy

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