Reasons for Good Behavior

What are the reasons for good behavior?

  • All things are lawful but…(1 Corinthians 6:12 – 20, 10:23 – 33)
    • Criteria
      • Profitable
      • Controlled or in control?
      • Edifying
    • Context
      • 1 Corinthians 6:13 uses dietary rules as an example, but also includes many more “serious” behavior rules.
      • 1 Corinthians 10:23 is followed by a discussion of meat sacrificed to idols.  But what precedes it describes more “serious” behavior issues.
    • “Serious” versus “conscience” choice is not a distinction made in the New Testament.
  • Does bad behavior matter?  Have I not been redeemed?  Forgiven?
    • 1 Peter 2:16  …as free, not using liberty as a cloak for vice
    • Galatians 5:13  You have been called to liberty, only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh.
    • Note:  “Repent” does not appear in 1 Corinthians
  • New Testament reasons for good behavior:
    • We are the Temple of the living God, therefore cleanse yourselves, perfecting holiness in the fear of Christ (2 Corinthians 6:16 – 7:1)
    • Unrighteousness is not “fitting” (Romans 1:28, Galatians 5:1 – 14)  Fitting?
      • John 17:20 – 23  “That the world may believe that Thou sent Me”
      • Matthew 5:48  “Be ye perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect”
    • Malice and wickedness spoil sincerity and truth (1 Corinthians 5:8)
    • Displaying the power of God (2 Corinthians 4:7)
    • Works of the flesh are contrary to the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16 – 25, Colossians 2:18 – 3:10)
    • We are no longer slaves of sin (Romans 6:1 – 18, 8:13)
    • Everyone who has this hope purifies himself just as He is pure (1 John 3:3)
  • The impact of our behavior on those whom we love
    • Failing to put off the old man grieves the Holy Spirit of God (Ephesians 4:30)
    • Inconsistent behavior causes the name of God to be blasphemed (Romans 2:24, Isaiah 52:5, Ezekiel 36:22)
      • Christian slaves who do not honor their unbelieving masters cause the name of God and His doctrine to be blasphemed (1 Timothy 6:1)
      • Poor behavior by older women (perhaps including all Christians) causes the word of God to be blasphemed (Titus 2:5)
  • Summary
    • God promises the ability to overcome.  Faith causes the defeat of bad behavior.
    • Focus on the successes of faith (joy) rather than the failures of the flesh
    • We choose good behavior to please God and to enable the spread of the gospel.