King's Business - 1917-10



from the dead. Meats and the stomach are temporary; it is otherwise with the body and soul 'of the Christian. All things are lawful: all things are in *my power, but I will not be brought under the power of any (vi. 12). Christian lib­ erty is not to be used indiscriminately. “Expedient.” How may our conduct appear before God ? ‘‘Is this that I propose to do not only good in itself, but the best thing for me to do at this time? Can I do this to the glory of God? The familiar ques­ tion, Is it wrong to do this, or to go thither? is often misleading and utterly irrelevant. The answer to the question may be ‘No.’ Then the fallacious reasoning fol­ lows: ‘If it is not wrong, then I may do it without sin.’ Stop. That is unsound logic. A thing thoroughly right may be utterly wrong. All things are lawful, but all things are not expedient; and the Chris­ tian is bound by every obligation to do that which is expedient within the realm of the lawful. He must do that which is best. To do aught less is sin. What we ought to do and what we may lawfully do afe two very different things. Many things are in our power, but are not for our good, either in themselves or because of the special cir­

cumstances in connection therewith.” All things are lawful, it is true;' but what things, within the limits of the lawful, are expedient and profitable? Fredom may be limited by moral power—I may, but I will not; or ,by moral advantage—it is not expedient. The body has a destiny so exalted that it should not be prostituted by being put to base uses (vi. 14). In the Christian the bodily appetites are elevated and purified; they cease to be mere animal instincts. The body is to be a fit companion and habita­ tion for the spirit. ' “All things are lawful” seemed to be a slogan in the early church. It was prob­ ably a favorite saying of Paul’s and was being misunderstood and abused. Christian liberty Is limited by Christian expediency. “Ideally, of course, ‘all things are lawful’; but in this unideal world such privileges may be rightly abridged, for life is a dis­ cipline, and also lest offense should be caused. No man, certainly no Christian, liveth to himself. Freedom to theI Chris­ tian is not an end; it is a means. If my liberty and freedom could not be abridged for sufficient cause, then that liberty and freedom would be tyranny and bondage.”

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