Being One With The Lord In Spirit
(1Corinth. 6, verses 12–20)
In today’s Bible study we will finish up the sixth chapter of First Corinthians, beginning at verse 12. The apostle Paul had just finished writing to the Corinthian church about settling legal matters and scriptural disputes from within the congregation, out of the view of non-believers. He warned them that those persons who practice this and other forms of evil, particularly in church, will not make it into heaven when their lives are over. Apparently there was some dissent from within the Corinthian church about this teaching, with at least a few believers taking the position that if something they say or do does not bother the conscience of that believer, then it shouldn’t bother anyone else either. Although I’m not sure what Paul was originally referring to, it appears that some people in that church were saying that if anything was said or done that offended someone else but not themselves, then that becomes the other person’s problem. Paul responds directly to this line of thinking beginning in verses 12 and 13:
“Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. ‘Food for the stomach and the stomach for food’, but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”
So now we can see that Paul is responding that just because something that we say and do is permissible for us, doesn’t make it right when it offends or sins against others. I’m sure that’s what he was thinking when he wrote, “Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.” For example, I would never consider inviting a vegetarian friend to my apartment for a nice dinner and then serving steak. I would never consider inviting a bunch of recovering alcoholics to my apartment for a nice dinner and then serve wine with the meal. You get the idea.
Real Christians don’t do things in front of other believers that offends them even if we think its okay for ourselves. Had I had done either of the two things that I mentioned above, then…