1 Cor. 6:12 POWERFUL PRINCIPLES FOR PROPER PRACTICE
Intro: Ill. 1908, Syracuse verses Carlisle. As the teams made ready for
the game, the Carlisle coach, Pop Warner, decided to bend the rules to
give his team the upper hand. He was a good coach, but he wasnt
above bending the rules when it was to his advantage. Before the game, he
had them saw what looked like footballs unto the front of their jerseys,
so that the other team wouldnt know who had the ball! Now, there was
no written rule against it, but it violated all the principles of fair
play! There are a lot of Christians who wish that the Bible contained
specific rules governing every possible situation in life. Then, they
think, they would know what they should do in every situation. They would
know what they could do and what they could not do. A book like that would
be too big to read, so men would still be in the dark. God has, however,
given us a book that contains all the principles that we need to be able
to live for Him in this world.
In this verse, and on through chapter 10, Paul lays out several very
important principles for the Corinthian believers. You see, he is writing
to some very immature Christians, some true babes in Christ. He tells them
so in 3:1. He reminds them, that like little children, they think there is
a rule for everything. Ill. Little kids at play! Before long, someone is
going to yell, Thats not fair! Kids need, and by the
way, love rules! As children grow up and become old enough to leave home
alone, we lay out all kinds of rules for them to go by. But, when they are
grown, you dont want to keep having to tell them every little do and
dont! By then, they should have established in their lives some
principles by which they can live their lives. By doing so, they will know
how to respond in any situation!
Today, I want to share with you some Powerful Principles For Proper
Practice that will give us Gods standard by which we can live
our lives. These principles, if practiced, will teach you how to live your
life, and respond to any questionable situation or activity. As we grow in
Christ, we need to be liberated from the legalism of rules and learn to
apply these principles to life that we might know how to live, without
someone having to tell us every move to make. The ability to make
decisions wisely is a mark of maturity! These arent rules, these are
lessons that every Christian would do well to learn and use.
I. 6:12 THE PRINCIPLE OF EXPEDIENCY
A. This is a compound principle. There are 2 questions raised here that
help you decide whether something is right or wrong.
B. Is It Lawful? Is there any word from God concerning the
matter? Ill. When
God speaks on an issue, it is settled - 2 Tim. 3:16! (Ill. There are
some very clear moral absolutes - Ill. Relativism)
C. Is It Expedient? Ill. Expedient - To bring toward a
decision or activity either moves us toward or away from Jesus Christ!
yourself, Does this thing bring me closer to Jesus? If it
doesnt, then it is wrong! (Ill. Goals, every believer should have
them - Ill. Paul - Phil. 3:13-15!) (Ill. Does this thing get me closer to
where I need to be, or not?)
D. I can do anything I please, and it will not make me unsaved, Ill.
However, not everything I can do will help me grow as a Christian, and
if it doesnt bring me closer to my destination, it is wrong! Ill. It
doesnt matter what it is! (Ill. Gods plan for you and me -
II. 6:12 THE PRINCIPLE OF ENSLAVEMENT
A. To be brought under power means to be enslaved!
B. Ill. We were all slaves at one time, slaves to sin - Eph. 2:1-3; Rom.
we have been delivered by the Lord Jesus, Eph. 2:4; Rom. 6:14. Now,
anything outside Jesus that controls my life is a sin! (Ill. There are
only 2 forces in operation in the world! - Matt. 12:30) (Ill. The lost man
thinks he is in control, but he isnt! He is free to choose his
actions, but not the consequences of those actions, he is a slave to the
will of the devil!) (Sinner friend, give your heart to Jesus, and He will
set you free - John 8:36!)
C. We need to search our lives and be sure that no habit, attitude,
pursuit, etc. has us enslaved. If you are struggling with some besetting
sin, Jesus can set you free today!
III. 8:8-13 THE PRINCIPLE OF EXAMPLE
A. Ill. Corinth, where Paul lived, was a pagan society. Many who lived
there practiced idol worship. They would sacrifice a sheep or a goat to
their god and then they would sell the meat to the butcher at the meat
market. He, in turn, would make the meat available to the public at a
discount price. It was perfectly good meat and the price was right, so
some Christians would by this meat and eat it. Other Christians, however,
felt that Gods people shouldnt eat this meat because it had
been offered to devils. These opposing camps began to argue bitterly about
this issue, and they turned to Paul for help and he, through the inspiration
of the Lord, gave them this Principle Of Example.
B. Paul did not give them an ironclad rule, but rather, he gave them a
principle. He said that meat would not make you better neither would it
make you worse. However, his advise was this, dont do anything that
would make you a stumblingblock to another believer. The issue is not,
Will it hurt me? The question is, Could it hurt my brother?
(Ill. Others are supposed to come first! - Phil. 4:2!)
C. Each side thought they were right and possessed greater insight into
the issue, but Paul reminds them that brotherly love must be the main
objective - 8:1.
D. You and I possess great liberty in the Lord and could lawfully do many
things, but we must always be mindful of the example we are setting for
others. We must never do anything that will cause another brother to stumble
- Matt. 18:6! (Ill. Drinking for example!) The Christian must always consider
his brethren before himself!
IV. 10:23 THE PRINCIPLE OF EDIFICATION
A. To edify - To build up Everything you do, say,
hear, etc. is either building you up, or tearing you down.
B. Every conversation, every relationship, ever activity must be judged
by the same principle, Does this thing make me stronger in the Lord,
or does it weaken my walk with Jesus?
C. All of life should be lived in such a way that it does nothing but build
us up in the Lord Jesus. Do the things you are doing make you stronger
for Him? If not, they need to go!
V. 10:31 THE PRINCIPLE OF EXALTATION
A. Everything we do in life with honors or dishonors God! (Ill. Every
conversation, habit, relationship, business deal, vacation, book read,
film watched, music listened to, etc.)
B. Ill. WWJD - What Would Jesus Do? Learn to ask yourself this
question! Another good one to ask is this, What would I do if Jesus
were with me? Ill. He is! - Heb. 13:5
C. Remember, as a Christian, everything you do reflects back on God. It
can be positive, or negative, Ill. Phil. 1:27. Does your life exalt God
in the eyes of the world?
VI. 10:32-33 THE PRINCIPLE OF EVANGELISM
A. Ill. Pauls desire. He did not want to turn anyone off to the Gospel
by his lifestyle. Therefore, he strove to inoffensive and an open book
in his walk with the Lord.
B. Ill. People are watching you! Does your life move men toward God or
away from Him? Ill. Lifestyle does matter. Ill. What you do speaks
so loud that I cannot hear what you are saying!
C. Ill. We should strive to reach everyone we come into contact with
for Jesus, but we will be ineffective as long as our talk and walk do
not agree! Ill. Are you a living witness for Him - 2 Cor. 3:2!
Conc: If you and I will take these six principles and live our lives by
them, we will be a blessing to the Lords work in this world. Then,
at the end of the way, we will meet Him face to face and He will say,
Well done god and faithful servant! Dont know about
you, but thats what I want to hear! Doing these things in regard
to the issues of life will make that hope a reality!