Aren’t you glad that God’s will is so clear in many aspects of life? – We may not always like it, but we can’t say it’s grey or fuzzy. – Just in 1 Cor, we’ve seen God’s definite & specific will revealed for us. – E.G.:
- Chp. 5, It is God’s will that we exercise church discipline on the unrepentant in the church.
- Chp. 6, It is God’s will that a Christian never sue or take another Christian to court.– And, it is God’s will that you flee all forms of sexual immorality.
- Chp. 7, It is God’s will that you not marry a non-Christian.
- Chps. 8 & 10, It is God’s will that a Christian never dine at an idol’s temple or be found in a place that has unmistakably worldly or demonic associations.
It sure helps when the Lord spells it out for us in black & white like that. – But then there’s all the other decisions in life, the vast majority of them, which are not cut & dry, obedience issues. – Their not black & white. – They’re some lovely, cloudy, muggy, smoggy shade of GREY (those debatable, questionable areas of Christian living). – They don’t just require straightforward obedience. – They require wisdom in applying biblical principles to each situation. – Let me remind you of but a few confusing examples:
- In the church: what should we wear? what style of music do we use? how do we sing – hands raised or not? eyes closed or open? clapping or not? – Which of the OT laws do we keep today? – On a Sunday, what can we do & not do?
- Outside of the church: what kind of movies can we watch? what kind of music can we listen to? Are video games kosher? If so, which ones? What about other technologies?
- Can Christians use any alcohol? Tobacco? Caffeine? If so, how much?
- What foods should a Christian eat? What can we drink? How should we spend our money? When is something too expensive, too extravagant, too big, too little, too costly, too cheap? – How about makeup? – How much? – And jewelry? – How big?
- Should you emigrate or not? What do we allow our kids to do? What kind of education should our children receive? – Should Christians dance? What kind of dance? – Should Christians play cards? – Any cards? – And clothes – what is modest, what is immodest?
- One that came up in our small group last week: What if a gay couple at work asks you to babysit their kid? – Or a Hindu friend invites you over for dinner during Dewali? – Or a Muslim friend invites you on an educational tour of their mosque?
O, if only we had a list of rules or a policy or code of conduct for everything! – Wouldn’t it make life much easier? – Wouldn’t it save us a lot of trouble, and a lot of conflict in the church? Not really. – It would satisfy the legalist inside us all, and lead to a room full of either dead
robots or proud Pharisees. – But it would also cancel any need for Christ, His cross, His Holy Spirit, His Word, His Church, His wisdom, and His refining, maturing, sanctifying work in our lives. – We’d never need to grow, mature, learn discernment, learn to love, or rely
upon His grace. All the things that our next passage here in 1 Cor. 10 is all about!