All Things to all Men

One of the paradoxes of the Christian faith was expressed by Martin Luther: "A Christian man is a most free Lord of all, subject to none. A Christian man is a most dutiful sevant of all, subject to all." Paul said, "I am free from all men." In other words, Paul was under no obligation to conform his conduct to the opinions of mere men. He had ONE master to whom he answered. However, Paul willingly made himself a SERVANT TO ALL. In matters of indifference (eating meat that had been offered to idols, for example) he was willing to yield. But in matters of principle (requiring Gentiles to submit to circumcision as if it were necessary for salvation) Paul was inflexible. When he was with Jews, he became as a Jew. He was careful not to do anything to needlessly offend them, and thereby place a stumblingblock before them. When he was with Gentiles, "he dropped those Jewish customs which would have hindered his preaching the gospel to them." [Arndt and Gingrich] He became "all things to all men." Some professing Christians are quick to turn liberty into license. "I'm like Paul. To those without law, I become lawless. When I'm with my ungodly friends, I become like them. I complain about the boss, laugh at their off-color jokes, enjoy the latest gossip, listen without comment to the stories of their weekend romps. I'll waste time like them, break rules like them, take God's holy name in vain like them, and just so they know I'm 'one of the guys,' I'll get plastered with them when the work week is over." This sermon, well-received by the flock, helps chart the course between liberty and license.

Oct 4, 2009
Sunday Service
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