Give Me That Mountain

Not Always Beneficial

The Law and Grace. Day fifty-nine...

A marriage of convenience, simply defined, is a relationship based on anything else but love.

Maybe a man, seeking a new career in politics, needs to get out from under the image of being an irresponsible bachelor by marrying an upstanding professional woman. Maybe a woman, seeking social standing to promote the charity she wants to establish, needs to get our from under her anonymity by marrying a socially prominent man. (Of course, the spouses on the other end of the deal also have to benefit in some way from these arrangements.)

somber bride and groom

The church at Corinth saw this new covenant made possible by Jesus as a sort of marriage of convenience with the Lord.

The grace message appealed to the church at Corinth, not so much because they wanted a real‐time love relationship with God, but because they wanted to get out from under the law.

Instead of seeing grace as an empowerment to live their daily lives in the presence of the Lord. They saw grace as a release to accommodate the flesh. Otherwise, Paul would not have corrected them as he did.

I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you. For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Therefore I urge you, imitate me. For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.
Now some are puffed up, as though I were not coming to you. But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power.
For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power. What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of gentleness?(1 Corinthians 4:14–21 NKJV)

Some in the church at Corinth used grace to cover sexual immorality—and a kind of sexual immorality that even unbelievers didn't do.

I can hardly believe the report about the sexual immorality going on among you—something that even pagans don't do. I am told that a man in your church is living in sin with his stepmother. (1 Corinthians 5:1 NLT)

Some in the church did not even bother to try to work out differences with their brothers and sisters in Christ—but went immediately to the court system of the day.

When one of you has a dispute with another believer, how dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter instead of taking it to other believers! Don't you realize that someday we believers will judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can't you decide even these little things among yourselves? (1 Corinthians 6:1–2 NLT)

Others in the church came to the Lord's Supper, not to eat the bread in remembrance of what Christ did for them—but to fill their hungry bellies. And others came just to get drunk.

When you meet together, you are not really interested in the Lord's Supper. For some of you hurry to eat your own meal without sharing with others. As a result, some go hungry while others get drunk.
What? Don't you have your own homes for eating and drinking? Or do you really want to disgrace God's church and shame the poor? What am I supposed to say? Do you want me to praise you? Well, I certainly will not praise you for this! (1 Corinthians 11:20–22 NLT)

We miss the entire point of God's grace if we think His grace is to just get us out from under the law.

It is not beneficial to “just” get out from under the law.

As we will discuss tomorrow, to get out from under the law appears to be complete freedom for me to do what is right in “my” own eyes. But the so‐called freedom to do what is right in my own eyes is not always beneficial.

Have a good day,
Mike

Image credit: Sam Fam

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