Friday, July 25, 2008

Whatever the law says... (Part 5)

"All things are lawful for me," Paul said twice in 1 Corinthians. I can do whatever I want without fear of the law condemning me or making me guilty. "But not all things are helpful... but not all things edify... but not all things are beneficial." "All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any." (see 1 Cor 6:12, 10:23)

In the verses prior to 1 Cor. 6:12, Paul goes through a list of sinful behavior and he says that those who practice those things will not inherit the kingdom of God. He then goes on to say, "And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." It's after all this that he says, "All things are lawful for me... but not everything is beneficial."

As people who have been washed clean (a done deal), we are now among those who have inherited the kingdom of heaven. Since we've been washed, sanctified and justified... there is no legal case that can be made against us - no charge that can be brought up against us - no matter what we do, because "(God) has made (us) alive together with Him (Christ), having forgiven (us) all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross." (Col 2:13-14). We are now under a new covenant, because "He has made the first obsolete (and) what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away." (Heb 8:13).

All things are lawful for me. Even my sinful behavior doesn't stand in the way of my having been washed, sanctified and justified. However... since I have now been made alive together with Christ, I should not allow myself to be mastered by anything. Not everything is beneficial. All things are permissible, but not everything is constructive.

The main thing I'm pointing out here is that law is not the issue! Real, vibrant, constructive LIFE in Christ is what matters! Whatever the law says, it does not say to those who have LIFE!

This will be the last post in this series for now, unless I think of anything else to add or if anyone has any thoughts or questions that they'd like me to address.


  1. *Grinning* I was just talking about this very thing - and these very verse - last night with a friend. Freedom. Ah!

  2. Joel,
    Thank you for doing a "series" blog on this topic. Helps me understand even more about the Law. Christ FULFILLED the Law completely. In Being IN Christ, because He fulfilled the Law, we are no longer under it. However, I do believe that the Law does give us Father's heart of how to live in harmony with Him. By this, I mean to say that commandments such as "Love your neighbor as yourself, Do not murder, steal, etc"...we WANT to follow, from our hearts inwardly out BECAUSE we know that following them is GOOD and loving for us and to our relationship with God. However, if we FAIL, sin in following such wonderful suggestions from God, we are not CONDEMNED by God, nor should we condemn ourselves.

    ~Amy :)

  3. Katherine,

    That's wonderful! Freedom indeed.


    It's so true that Christ fulfilled the law and we're no longer under it. And yep, I think it's true that as Paul said... if we walk according to the Spirit, which is where we'll find our Father's heart, there is no law against the fruit that flows from that. (Galatians 5:22-23).