|But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin. –Romans 14:23
Christians have a lot of varying opinions and standards when it comes to things that are acceptable for a Christian. In my encounters with Christians at different stages of their walks, I have heard a plethora of standards. Some Christians do not eat pork or shell fish, some do. Some Christians have decided not to watch any films or television shows that go beyond a PG rating, some watch everything. Some Christian couples have decided that they will have no physical contact until they are married, some have drawn the line after kissing, and yet others a little further. Some Christians do not drink because of religious beliefs, while some others drink socially. Whatever the case, there are varying standards. So what is biblically acceptable?
Paul encountered the question above from the churches in Rome and Corinth. In 1 Corinthians 6:12, Paul quoted the words of some in the Corinthian congregation that boasted that they had the right to do anything they pleased, writing, “Everything is permissible for me.” He countered their point by writing, “but not everything is beneficial…but I will not be mastered by anything.” You see, the Corinthians got so caught up in the freedom they enjoyed in Christ, that their focus became, ‘how far can I go without “technically” breaking the law?’ ‘How far can I go without hurting God?’
On the other hand, some of Jews in Rome were unwilling to give up the observance of certain requirements of the law (i.e dietary restrictions), and the Roman Christians, who were not certain of how the Old Testament rules fit into the new covenant, did not observe any of the regulations, so there was a big divide and a lot of judgment coming from both sides. Paul wrote to them saying, “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers everyday alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind…Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block in your brother’s way.”
So what is biblically acceptable? There are a lot of issues on which the Bible is very clear. However, there are others that we face in life that are not specifically addressed, so what are we to do? I love Paul's response in 1 Corinthians 10:31; “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” The exercise of our freedom in Christ should not be used as a ticket to indulge in anything and everything that falls in the “gray area.” Instead, our freedom should be governed by a desire to please the Lord and bring glory to Him, while edifying the body of Christ and winning more souls into the body.
What is biblically acceptable? Anything that brings glory to God! What is not biblically acceptable? Anything that will not bring glory to God! If you ever find yourself in a situation that you are uncertain about, ask yourself, “Is this beneficial? “ “Will it bring glory to God?” “Do I feel convicted about it?” “Does it honor God?” “Will it build up the body of Christ?” Trust me, the Holy Spirit will speak to your heart concerning it, and the decision on whether or not to be obedient is solely up to you!
What is biblically acceptable? What do you think?
Grace and peace be with you.
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