Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #54
Posted: August 5, 2005

IN CHRIST
A Study of Positional Truths

Let us again study the IN CHRIST  truths of Galatians 2:4-6 which say, And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage.  To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.  But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were it maketh no matter to me: God accepted no man’s person:) for they who seem to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:”

It is this context that Paul deals in verse 4 with ‘Liberty in Christ’ and the ‘Bondage of Religion’.  The word ‘liberty’ that Paul uses here means unrestrained, to go at ones pleasure, and to be a citizen not a slave.  The word ‘bondage’ means to enslave, to bring down and under another.  In the context found in Chapter 2 and verse 14 Paul confronts Peter with these words, “…why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?”  Peter was making the Gentile converts into Jews by outward appearance.  Do we not fall into this trap by trying to get those who have been saved to align with our rules of outward behavior.  Paul told us in verses 5 and 6 that he gave no subjection to them because God accepteth no ‘man’s person’.  Are there any rules of absolute authority or guide lines for a child of God to align with in order to be a Christian? (Christ like)  Let us look in the writings of Paul for absolute principles for God’s people to conform to and not to the rules of religion.  Let us look at three such principles.

The first is found in I Corinthians 6:12.  I call it the principle of CONTROL.  It says, “All things are lawful unto me, but all are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”  Paul tells us that he is free to do all things.  He does say that all things are not ‘expedient’.  The word means to bring together, to better one, and to be profitable.  How many things do we practice that do not bring us closer together with our Lord?  They are not profitable in making us into His likeness.  Paul tells us he refuses to be brought under the CONTROL of any of these things.  The list would be endless of practices that must be stopped when we apply Paul’s principle of CONTROL

The next principle is found in I Corinthians 8:9.  I call it the principle of CONFLICT.  The verse says “But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak.”  Paul warns us of the things we take the liberty to practice and may not bother us at all but may be the downfall of a weaker brother.  These practices may be a CONFLICT to the weaker soul and cause them to stumble into sin.  O, the list of practices would be endless of things we may be free to do but may cause others to sin. 

The third principle is found in Romans 8:2.  I call it the principle of CONFORMITY.  The verse says, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”  We have been freed from the law of religion to a higher law. (The law of Christ)  We must examine each practice to see if this is what Christ would do.  Will this practice cause me to appear to the world as being Christ-like.  O, the list would be endless of things that must be cut from the life because they are not what He would do.

B.B. Caldwell in recent days and St. Augustine in the year 300 A.D. were asked about standards and convictions.  Their answer was this: LOVE GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND THEN DO AS YOU PLEASE!

 

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