I AM the God who Ate with Sinners. 1 Cor 10:23-11:1

Living for others’ ultimate good

Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness. We forget that when we live by rules to

We can put ourselves out there knowing God has our back.

We can serve without fear, knowing God has our back.

please God. When we rest in Christ’s righteousness and not our own, we have freedom to live as a testimony to others in their situations so we can bring them along in the liberty which we enjoy “in Christ”. Thus because we are free in this fashion, we can have a cold beer with those who drink (unless we have trouble with control over this matter, let God guide you) so that we can show them that God is more concerned with their heart, soul and eternal destiny, than our following rules. Even though I don’t like beer, I have hung out with “the guys” over a cold one after work to show them that Christianity is not about rules, but relationship which opened up many opportunities to talk about spiritual matters where otherwise it was a closed topic.

The Believer’s Freedom

1 Cor 10:23 Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive. 24 Nobody should seek his 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.” 27 If some 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 anyone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the man who told you and for conscience’ sake— 29 the other man’s conscience, I mean, not yours. For why should my freedom be 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? 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 everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. 11 1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

As we ponder God’s character from the above passage, I wonder if God would answer our signature question below in the following way…

Who are you Lord?

I AM the God who ate with sinners. I AM the God who calls the sick not the healthy. No man comes to the Son unless I draw him. Until you see your need for me, you will not want what I can offer you. I allow the difficult situations to arise in your lives to show you your need. When you are sick and tired of the way your life is, look for me because I will show you the answer only when you really see that you need it. I am not a spare tire, or a genie in a bottle to be called upon to fix everything in your life that you messed up, but I will meet you in your need for forgiveness and salvation so as to give you a new center – a new nature, one with power and forgiveness.

I AM the God who has your back. Since you are free in me, since there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ, since I have empowered, indwelt, and commissioned you; live your life here to reach others. Don’t worry about success in your life here in this world everything here is going to burn. Now you have a hope and future that is secure in heaven. This is the whole point. There is nothing more that you can do or not do to make me happier with you than what Christ has done on your behalf. Now live so that others may know my good news as well. I have won the war over sin and Satan. Consider yourself not the warrior who must win this victory, but the occupational soldier who helps the masses realize their potential within the new reality I have won for them.

Know God know peace, no god, no peace.

Know the true Gospel and you will not have problems with legalism and other cults and factions of so called Christianity that tend to pull you back into Judaism. Know the true gospel and you will come to realize that Christ perfectly fulfilled the righteous requirements of the Law on your behalf. Know the true Gospel and you will see his Divine nature being manifested in you. Know the true Gospel and you will see your position give you victory over sin in your life as your new head (Christ, see Rom 5-8) “leads” you there (after all he has already given you the victory; you just have to learn to walk in it). But be unsure of it, and you will succumb to worrying about your future state, and yield to any and all doctrines promoting self help or legalism. This is one reason Paul says that he “would know nothing of you save Christ and him crucified.” Know God and you will know his peace in this uncertain life, which will free you to live for others because God has your back.

More to come,

Steve

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About strostrud

Missionary with New Tribes Mission since 1989
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