Lesson 7

DECISION MAKING WITHIN THE WILL OF GOD

 

e. Freedom within the moral will of God suggests a diagram:

 

FREEDOM AND GOD'S MORAL WILL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


1. Whatever is commanded by God lies within the circle;

2. Whatever is forbidden by God is outside that perimeter;

3. Within the larger circle of God's moral will is a smaller circle showing the area of freedom.

 

f. Illustrated by Gen 2:16-17:

1. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil would be outside of the circle of God's will therefore forbidden.

2. The rest of the trees of Eden would not only be inside the larger circle, they would be within the area of freedom.

g. This same principle is taught in the N.T. as well.

1. Freedom of choice with regard to dinner invitations from unbelievers. 1 Cor 10:27

2. Freedom of choice with regard to giving to the church. 2 Cor 9:7

3. Freedom of choice with regard to marriage partners. 1 Cor 7:39

 

h. In each of these cases, there is a clear line marking off the parameters of God's moral will, and yet the reality of an area of freedom is equally clear in each case.

1. For example, in 1 Cor 7:39, the moral will of God forbids marriage of a Christian to a non - Christian. ("only in the Lord")

- also 2 Cor 6:14 unequally yoked

2. But the choice of whether to marry and which particular believer to marry falls within the area of freedom.

3. It is up to the individual involved to make the decision and then follow through on the commitment - responsibility.

 

Rabbit trail

CHRISTIAN LIBERTY Some observations on 1 Cor 6:12. (13-20 Paul deals with the misuse of liberty)

In this verse two times Paul will say, "all things are lawful for me."

 

In the statement of liberty here Paul gives 2 constraints, that they had missed, failed to apply or just plain ignored.

 

In the statement of liberty here Paul gives 2 constraints, that they had missed, failed to apply or just plain ignored.

 

Before we consider this passage we need to note some general propositions related to the believer and the will of God.

#1 It is never the will of God to do what is forbidden by God or His Word. The clear explicit statements of scripture we must come to terms with.

#2 It is always the will of God to do that which He has commanded.

 

 

When Paul says "all things are lawful," here twice and twice also in 10:23, he is not saying he has carte blanche to do as he pleases.

 

 

The word Paul uses here for "lawful" (e;xestin) means it is permitted, it is possible, it is proper, it is lawful. It does not imply w/o qualifications, w/o restrictions, i.e. to do as one pleases with no consideration of anything or anyone but themselves.

 

 

#3 Those areas not specified by Scripture comprise areas of liberty, freedom where mature choices and wise decisions must be made on the basis of the effect of a course of action will have on both ourselves and others, those around us.

 

 

The 1st qualification is "but not all things are profitable."

 

This should cause us to ask a few questions as we approach a decision making situation. Namely, "Is this going to benefit me spiritually?

What are the long term consequences if any?

What is the impact on those around me, those who are important to me?"

 

The 2nd qualification is "but I will not be mastered by anything."

 

The word in the Greek for mastered is evxousia,zw and it means to put under the power of someone or something, to exercise authority over.

 

This should raise the question, "If I choose this course of action will I loose control or become enslaved by it??

We must recognize that loss of control, self discipline always results in loss of freedom."

 

At this point there are some pertinent observations on Christian liberty.

1. Liberty is not the freedom to do as one pleases. This is made very clear from the immediate context. Paul in 1 Cor 6:9-10 listed types of activity that are clearly sinful and which believers are not free to practice without consequences.

 

2. Liberty is entirely consistent with our servant hood as believers.

Rom 6:18 unites the idea of freedom and servant hood "...having been freed from sin, you become slaves of righteousness."

 

 

3. Liberty is entirely consistent with Authority orientation.

1 Pet 2:13,16 ties the freedom we have in Christ with submission to authority. It is to be "because of the Lord" and in verse 16 we are to submit as free men, not using our freedom as a covering for evil. Therefore, liberty and authority are at home with one another.

 

4. The parameters of freedom are established by God through His Word.

True freedom is related to truth. Jn 8:31-32

 

** Liberty is not what we CAN DO!

** Liberty is not what we SHOULD DO!

** BUT liberty is what we MAY DO!

All must be within the parameters established by God in His Word.

Next we need to examine some basic principles related to the exercise of our freedom, the liberty that we have as Christians.

That is how we are to deal with those areas not specifically addressed by the Word of God.

#1. It will be determined by the circumstances that surround the situation and the person who practices it.

 

 

#2. There is a 2nd consideration, and that is the person who practices it.

One of the critical questions Paul raises that must be answered in the evaluation stage by the individual comes right out of 1 Cor 6:12. Can I maintain self discipline, self control in this situation. This comes from the phrase "I will NOT be mastered by anything."

 

 

#3 The principle then is this. The exercise of liberty is to be determined by the circumstances that surround it and the person who practices it.

 

If I practice this, Can I maintain my self discipline? If I practice it, Can I say no to it?

Is it a threat to the control of my life? Is it a threat to my decision making process?

Is it a threat to my volition?

Is it a threat to my responsibility to determine right conduct based on sound judgment?

Is the exercise of this liberty beneficial? Are there good things that might come from my actions?

 

 

 

 

In mature judgment, freedom is not the final question, the consequences, the impact of that decision must be considered.