The idea of being free in Christ is a precious idea and a great blessing for our lives.
God wants us to live in the freedom of his love.
To do so, it is important that we understand, in greater depth, what that freedom means and how to live in it, in the way that suits us best; according to the will of God.
I invite you to reflect on one aspect of what it means to be free in Christ.
I would like to share with you a fragment from the Bible that I think is central to that issue.
Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that “We all possess knowledge.”
But knowledge puffs up while love builds up.
Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know.
But whoever loves God is known by God.
yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.
Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.
| 1 Corintios 8:1-3, 6, 9
To begin with, I would like you to note with me the centrality of love in the exercise of freedom.
The Bible is clear in expressing that God’s character is love.
That the exercise of his universal reign is based on love.
Our interactions and uses of our freedom need to be founded on God’s unconditional love.
We are free in Christ Jesus.
In that freedom, which the Lord gives to our conscience through the knowledge of the truth, we have the privilege of living without being bound to superstitions or unjustified legalisms.
We are free from the burdens imposed on us by the world.
Those that are not according to Christ but according to the flesh, or according to unnecessary traditions.
In some cases, these burdens may also conform to the vanity of men.
Now, with that in mind, it’s important to consider that freedom with some care.
The freedom we enjoy is about good.
However, if in the knowledge we have to exercise that freedom, we cause a brother to go against his conscience or commit sin, then we are not exercising it correctly.
Today’s text of study expresses that idea.
There were certain people who knew there was nothing wrong with eating food that had been involved with the worship of pagan gods.
They knew that those gods did not exist and that believers were free in Christ to eat with gratitude.
On the other hand, there was a group of brothers who didn’t feel good about eating those foods.
Those who knew they were free in Christ to eat them, were pressuring those who didn’t feel well so that they too ate them.
Thus, they were pressuring them to go against their conscience and therefore pressuring them into sin.
They were putting their knowledge above their love for their brothers.
In the same way, in homologous cases, if we do something similar, we are not acting according to love, but according to the vanity of our heart.
The Lord, who sees hearts, judges them according to his grace.
Our duty, rather than to ourselves, is to our brethren for whom Christ died.
Let us not let the knowledge of the truth make us proud and or stubborn.
Rather, in love, let us humble ourselves to others.
In love, let us always seek mutual edification.
If there is something that does not edify my brothers, even if it is not bad in itself, it is better to put it aside out of love for them than to sin against them and cause them wrong.
God wants us to exercise the freedom we have in Christ with the temperance of love.
True love is the principle that directs the exercise of that freedom.
I would like to invite you to reflect on that idea and to say with me today:
Help me Lord to be prudent with the knowledge of the truth you have given me.
Help me love my brothers more than myself and my vanity.