" 'All things are lawful for me,' but not all things are helpful. 'All things are lawful for me,' but I will not be dominated by anything. 'Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food' - and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never!" - 1 Corinthians 6:12-15 ESV
" 'All things are lawful,' but not all things are helpful. 'All things are lawful,' but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor." - 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 ESV
I marvel at these verses. The legalist cringes and wrestles with them and seeks to make them fit into decent society.
Are we that free? Yes. Yes we are. Jesus has satisfied the legal requirements for righteousness. Our conscience needs to adjust to this. We lean towards morality. The problems with that system are many.
Jesus had no moral failings. We can't even live up to our standards much less God's standards.
If we choose morality all that waits down the road for us is failure. Fallen man must fail in that arena.
Grace is our answer. It is dangerous radical answer. It is also our salvation in every way.
God isn't ever going to wag His finger at us. Never. People pull verses out of the Hebrew scriptures of God doing this to Israel but God did it to demonstrate to us a method that doesn't work. Jesus appears in the world to an Israel that is under Roman rule. Israel should have been a world power but it was a subjugated province. Rules maybe right but they can't transform.
God is holy. He will never endorse sin. He also will never us rules to get us to be righteous. He made us righteous by placing us into His Son. When we believed the cloth of our being was dunked into the righteousness of God and now we are stained that color. No law did that. God did it. We didn't even know it happened until we read it later in the scriptures.
"Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." - 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 ESV
Life is going to do a fine job of beating us down. Living in a fallen world has many pitfalls. Cancer. Death. Heartache. Disappointments. Crazy things happen all the time because man is stupid and short sighted. God isn't going to hit us with the rules on top of all that.
God gives us grace so that we can have profitable lives in this fallen world. We can choose against our belly and it's desires. We can choose love and compassion. We can live free. We can fail and get back up again. God isn't even going to mention the failure. He will reward us handsomely for our decisions made by faith.
Grace makes us lights or hope in the darkness.
I don't want to settle for less than that.