Sermon – July 6, 2014

Community - Letters to the Church in CorinthFreedom and Responsibility,” by Rev. Mike Holly
Sermon Series: Community – Letters to the Church in Corinth

Today, we explore two portions of Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth. Both passages have to do with freedom and responsibility. For Christians, freedom and responsibility are fused together in that our highest calling is to, as Jesus said, love God and neighbor as ourselves. In the effort to love God and others, our freedom must be exercised cautiously lest that we end up loving ourselves more than both in our pursuit of what we want.

Consider the age old question posed in the book of Genesis: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” In modern society, not completely. However, in the Christian life, the answer is yes.

We do have the gift of freedom, both from God giving us free will and from the freedom we receive within our country. This freedom is beneficial and allows us to enjoy life and provides us the opportunity to thrive with our God-given talents and skills and passions. However, Paul teaches the Corinthians and us that our freedoms should not and must not turn us against the love of God and the love and care of our neighbors. The gift of freedom is a gift of learning that to truly be alive and in peace is to choose God’s priorities as our responsibilities.

—Rev. Mike Holly

The Word

1 Corinthians 6:12; 8:9-13

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are beneficial. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.

But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if others see you, who possess knowledge, eating in the temple of an idol, might they not, since their conscience is weak, be encouraged to the point of eating food sacrificed to idols? So by your knowledge those weak believers for whom Christ died are destroyed. But when you thus sin against members of your family, and wound their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food is a cause of their falling, I will never eat meat, so that I may not cause one of them to fall.

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