In many matters of conscience in which Scripture does not address clearly the appropriate response, should the believer simply have the freedom to act as he wishes ?
Can a believer enjoy any entertainment ?
Can a believer enjoy any music ?
Can a believer enjoy any hobby ?
Is it correct to say that a believer can do what he wants to do since he is free in Christ ?
It is true that the Bible does not mention specifically every possible decision a believer may face in life, but it does address all choices with general principles that govern Christian freedom and conduct.
Here are some principles which I gleaned from the excellent book, Right Thinking In A World Gone Wrong, by Dr John MacArthur, that will help us to make the right decision in life which will glorify God as the main goal.
1. The Edification Principle. Will this activity produce spiritual benefit ?
1 Cor 10:23. “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.
Unless something is profitable and helpful to the spiritual good of others, it is not worth doing.
2. The Enslavement Principle. Will this activity lead to spiritual bondage ?
1 Cor 6:12. “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.
Anything that dominates us and takes that rightful place of Jesus Christ as our Lord will bring us ruin at the end.
3. The Exposure Principle. Will this activity expose my mind or body to defilement ?
1 Cor 6:19-20. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Anything that exposes us to the sinful nature of the society is to be avoided obviously.
4. The Esteem Principle. Will this activity benefits others, or cause them to stumble ?
1 Cor 8:8-9. Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.
If any activity that causes a brother to stumble because of his weaker conscience, we should not insist in doing it for the sake of love for the brother.
5. The Evangelism Principle. Will this activity further the cause of the gospel ?
Matt 28:18-20. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Christians should always consider whether their action in any activity will affect their witness to a watching world. 1 Cor 10:32-33. 1 Cor 9:19-23.
6. The Ethics Principle. Will this activity violate my conscience ?
We sin if we act in any way that goes contrary to the convictions of our own faith and good conscience. If our conscience is troubled by what we are doing, don’t do it.
7. The Exaltation Principle. Will this activity bring glory to God ?
1 Cor 10:31. So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
We are created to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. If any activity that will bring dishonor to His name, don’t do it.