from me to you / just sayin' / sanctification / The Mapps Quest

The “rights” decision.

Available as a podcast, click here to listen.

As a Christian, you are not allowed to “do you.” By definition of the word, YOU belong to Christ. You have agreed by proclamation, wether that was baptism or confession before another, that He is your Lord and that you will live a life dedicated to Him.

So why do confessed Christians keep telling me that they have the right to do whatever THEY feel is right for them? I want you to listen to what Scripture has to say about our “rights” and how we should view them.

Only after you have given it much thought should you comment.

For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.” We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. We should not test Christ, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.

11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

1 Corinthians 10

The first section of this chapter is meant to remind us – those who are in the body of Christ (chosen by God to be set apart) – that because you are part of this body, you are not free to ignore the one who leads you. This group that you are part of, is not like any other group you are used to. It is not democratic. It is not something you have a voice in. You are given the instructions upon becoming a member to follow.

The example is showing us what happened to those who were part of this group but chose to pursue their own way. Immorality led to death. Testing Christ led to death. Grumbling led to death. Why? Because each of these things started in hearts that were determined to do their own thing…and not just follow. They became their own idols.

14 Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.

18 Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? 19 Do I mean then that food sacrificed to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. 22 Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

1 Corinthians 10

Look at verses 18 to 22 – the same people who are sacrificing to idols are also participating in the Lord’s Supper. Let me retell this section in a modern way:

Look at God’s people: they each do what they think is right, but then they eat the Lord’s Supper and proclaim that only He knows what is right. Does that mean that they think of themselves as superior? Not necessarily, but when they do the same things that the world does, they are participating in things Christ does not condone. You can’t be split between Christ and the world. Are you trying to make God jealous? Are you better than Him?

23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.

25 Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, 26 for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.”

1 Corinthians 10

The writer now argues from the perspective of God’s people, and goes back and forth in the argument to show the motivation of the person arguing. Though you may have the right to do anything because you are free in Christ, does not mean that you should. By doing whatever you think is right, you are making yourself your own idol.

How should one combat this internal struggle to be one’s own idol?…

27 If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the one who told you and for the sake of conscience. 29 I am referring to the other person’s conscience, not yours. For why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience? 30 If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?

1 Corinthians 10

Again the back and forth argument between what is good for others verses what I think is good for me. “Why should I be to blame if I know that what I’m doing is because I thank God for it?” …Wait… Who is the main subject in this line of reasoning? …ME.

31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33 even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.

1 Corinthians 10

Just because you CAN be liberated from what the world says you should do, doesn’t mean you SHOULD. You might cause someone to stumble because of your attitude in wanting what you want over doing what is good for the majority.

Hey Christian, check yourself.

Answer the questions below to see if you have made yourself an idol.

QuestionY / N
I have chosen to make my own decision instead of abiding by those in authority.
I have argued with someone about my rights.
I have decided that I don’t care what others think about my actions/words.
I will get the last word in.

13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.

1 Peter 2

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