ALL THINGS ARE NOT EXPEDIENT
By John C. Carpenter
 
The church in Corinth was full of sin. In an effort to deal with this sin, the apostle Paul wrote them, Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. All things are lawful unto me, butall things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's (1 Cor 6:9-20).
 
THE GOOD THAT I WOULD I DO NOT: BUT THE EVIL WHICH I WOULD NOT, THAT I DO
 
Paul said that all things are lawful, but all things are not expedient. The words all things mean any, every, as many as, whatsoever, or whosoever, while the word lawful means right, in the public, let, or may be. Additionally, the word expedient means to be better for, bring together, be good, profit, or profitable. The Websters New Collegiate Dictionary defines profitable as yielding advantageous returns or results. When Paul says that all things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient, he is saying that (1) we have the freedom and opportunity, and choice to do whatever we want, and (2) because there are consequences and outcomes to what we do, not all things are good for us, beneficial to us, make us better off, or are profitable for us to do. We have a choice. All things are lawful and permissible, but we must make a choice as to whether what we do is profitable and beneficial to us. We all know this is true. Believers (and non-believers) alike struggle with doing what we should not do, and not doing what we should do. We know we should pray or fast more, but we don't. We know we should diet and exercise, but we don't. We know we should try to be a better son, daughter, wife, husband, employee, or boss, but we don't do what it take to become better. We know we should worship and honor God more than we do, but we don't. We know we should be good to others and forgive those who hurt us, but we don't. We know we shouldn't become angry or curse, but we do. We know we shouldn't disrespect our parents, but we do. We know we shouldn't treat our spouse badly, but we do. We know we shouldn't sin, but we do. We know that we shouldn't lust after other people or things, but we do. We know we shouldn't be prideful, but we are. The list can go on and on. You get the point: you know for yourself what you should do, and don't, and what you shouldn't do, and do. We know the choices we make, and often know in advance whether or not those choices are going to be profitable for us. If we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that we all struggle with these issues from time to time.
 
The context of our subject verses is the tremendous sexual sin that the Corinthian church was participating in, and when Paul refers to those things which are not expedient, he is referring specifically to these sins which the believers in Corinth should not be committing. However, the expediency Paul is referring to does not refer only to just sexual sin, but can be applied to every type of sin, as well as behaviors that are not sinful, but neither are they expedient. Every type of sin requires choices which result in consequences and fruit, and this struggle to do the expedient thing in the areas in which we struggle is evident in all of us. The apostle Paul, a tremendously gifted and anointed apostle and saint who wrote more than half of the New Testament, revealed his own personal struggle to believers in Rome: For that which I do I allow not: for what I would [should do], that do I not; but what I hate [should not do], that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do (Rom 7:15-19). Despite our struggles, we must realize and remember that God the Father gives us many choices in life, and it is His desire and will that we do and have things which are better, good, beneficial, and profitable for us (and in using the term profitable, I am not talking here about the heretical full gospel and pentecostal false doctrines of health, wealth, and prosperity). God plainly reveals His will regarding the choices He would like for us to make: I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life [make profitable choices that result in blessing and life], that both thou and thy seed may live (Deu 30:19).
 
TREASURES OF WICKEDNESS PROFIT NOTHING: BUT
RIGHTEOUSNESS DELIVERETH FROM DEATH
 
Life is about choices, and God wants our minute by minute choices to be be expedient. He wants us to profit from what we say and do, from the daily choices we make. Solomon, full of God's wisdom, expressed God the Father's will that we make a choice, that we differentiate wickedness from righteousness, differentiate the things that are not expedient from those that are: As scriptures teach us, Treasures [store houses] of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death. The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked (Prov 10:2-3), as well as Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death. The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness. The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness (Pro 11:4-6). We all know that when we choose to labor in the right way with the right things, we benefit: In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury (Pro 14:23). Solomon understood that there was no meaningful, spiritual, eternal expediency or profit in all of his worldly pursuits: Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no [worldly] profit [excellency, preeminence] under the sun [on all the earth] (Ecc 2:11). Through Jeremiah, God warned Israel, and the rest of us, about the vanity of a life which does not seek and include God: Hear ye the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel: Thus saith the LORD, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain? Neither said they, Where is the LORD that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, that led us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and of pits, through a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, through a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt? And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination. The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit (Jer 2:4-8). Jeremiah also prophesied the vanity of deceit and lying before the Lord, a most unprofitable choice: Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these. For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour; if ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt: Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever. Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit (Jer 7:3-8). God the Father, Himself, describes false prophets, those who personally choose to place self before Gods' people, as unprofitable: Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour. Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD (Jer 23:30-32). Paul taught that we not only should do those things that are expedient for ourselves, but we should seek the things that are expedient for others, as well: And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: and how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house (Act 20:18-20). Paul also taught that our choices involving striving and arguing about worldly words and concepts are unprofitable (2 Tim 2:14). Many make the choice to spend hours working out and trying to stay in shape and be physically attractive, yet the scriptures teach that bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come (1 Tim 4:8). Reading and understanding the Holy Scriptures is a productive and profitable choice we can make, as scriptures attest to:All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (2 Tim 3:16-17). In our lust for worldly things, many make daily decisions concerning themselves [and others] that are neither wise, good, profitable, nor beneficial, while Jesus, Himself, taught, For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Mar 8:37). The apostle John advised Look to yourselves [examine our own behavior and choices], that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward (2 John 1:8). Paul needed individuals who were dependable and helpful to him in his ministry. Paul described Mark, his fellow apostle, as being profitable [easily used, useful, appropriate for use, good, beneficial] to him (2 Tim 4:11). Paul made the choice to give himself completely to the church at Ephesus because he wanted them to profit. Paul told them that he had served the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: and how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:19-21). Jesus referred to sin as unprofitable when He said, ...if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell (Mat 5:29-30). Moses warned Israel that their choice to transgress the commandments of God, their sinning, would not result in prosperity for them (Num 14:40-42). David instructed his son, Solomon, to keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper [have good success] in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself (1 Ki 2:3). The Old Testament teaches us that He that covereth [conceals, hides, keeps secret] his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy (Pro 28:13). John wrote his well beloved friend, Gaius, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper [succeed, have a good and meaningful life by doing what is expedient] and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth (3 John 1:2). Referring to the righteous, Job wrote He [God the Father] withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous: but with kings are they on the throne; yea, he doth establish them for ever, and they are exalted. And if they be bound in fetters, and be holden in cords of affliction; Then he sheweth them their work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded. He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity. If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures (Job 36:7-11). The ever-wise Solomon advises us that we should be happy when we make the right choices: In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him (Ecc 7:14).
 
THE HAND OF OUR GOD IS UPON ALL THEM FOR GOOD THAT SEEK HIM
 
God wants us to behave in expedient ways because He also wants us to have good things. He wants to do good for and to us. Our heavenly Father wants us to make expedient decisions because He wants us to have plentiful and good things in our lives, because He loves us. The old testament teaches, thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day. And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good [beautiful, better, bountiful, gracious, prosperity, welfare], as he rejoiced over thy fathers: If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul (Deu 30:8-10). Indeed, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him (Ezra 8:22), while Nehemiah prayed to God,Think upon me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people (Neh 5:19). The scriptures also instruct us thatwe know that all things [including others and our relationships to them] work together for good [beneficial, profitable, expedient] to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (Rom 8:28). David prayed for God's blessing so that others might see and understand God's presence and goodness: But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid. Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me (Psa 86:15-17). According to His own purposes and will, God that Father may bring captivity in order to bring good. Jeremiah prophesied Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good. For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up (Jer 24:5-6). God may also bring evil, in place of good, to those who hate and reject God the Father and His commandments (Jer 21:10 and Jer 44:26-27). Knowing and being a part of God's will and plan is always expedient, and will always result in advantage. For example, Paul wrote the church in Rome, What advantage then hath the Jew [who God chose to be an integral part of God's eternal plan]? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God (Rom 3:1-2). Because our heavenly Father committed the oracles of God to be received and revealed by the Jews, they are considered by God and Paul [as well as men and women of understanding] to have a distinct advantage.
 
VERILY THERE IS A REWARD FOR THE RIGHTEOUS
 
Making decisions that are expedient, beneficial, and profitable in the eyes of God also results in reward and blessing. David wrote that righteousness results in reward: The righteous [those who do expedient things] shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth (Psa 58:11). Conversely, those who do not behave expediently shall receive their reward: Woe unto the wicked! It shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him (Isa 3:11). Seeking wisdom is certainly expedient, and shall bring its' reward: So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it [wisdom], then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off (Pro 24:14). Private prayer to God the Father is expedient, and results in reward: But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly (Mat 6:6). Once we come to a saving knowledge of Christ, our works in and for Christ shall be rewarded: Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward (1 Cor 3:13-14). Believing the gospel is certainly expedient, and results in salvation: When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed [considered well done by God, to speak well of and rewarded by God] of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world (Mat 25:31-34). Scriptures clearly teach that blessed [fortunate, well off] are they that hear the [gospel] word of God, and keep [preserve, obey, observe] it (Luke 11:28). It is also considered expedient by God to believe what God says and does, as Mary, the mother of Christ, and Mary's cousin, Elizabeth, experienced when Mary went to visit Elizabeth. Their faith resulted in blessing (Luke 1:45). From God the Father's viewpoint, carefully watching for the return of Christ is expedient and profitable. Scriptures teach us that Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching [being spiritually awake and alert, vigilant]... (Luke 12:36-38). Ministering unto the needy is expedient and good, and results in blessing: When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. Butwhen thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just (Luke 14:12-14). Having faith without having to see is expedient, and brings blessing. Jesus said to unbelieving Thomas, ...blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed (John 20:29). Paul taught, whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons (Col 3:23-25).
 
THE SPIRIT IS GIVEN TO EVERY MAN TO PROFIT WITHAL
 
Since believers are to make expedient choices and behave in expedient ways, how are we to accomplish that? There are three primary ways: through study of the scriptures, through seeking the guidance of God's Holy Spirit, and through prayer. Of course, God, being all knowing and all powerful, may guide us in any way that He sees fit; He may even use people or circumstances to guide us.
 
First of all, God may use the Holy Scriptures to guide us. We are taught by the Scriptures themselves that All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness [and will help us to make expedient decisions and live in expedient ways] (2 Tim 3:16). Not knowing the Scriptures may cause us to make decisions which are not expedient: Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err [to roam from safety, truth, or virtue, i.e., not expedient], not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God (Mat 22:29). Knowing that an understanding of the Scriptures is related to expedient living, the apostle Paul encouraged Timothy, thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise [to make good, beneficial, and profitable decisions] unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:15). The prophet Malachi prophesied, Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: andwhat profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts? (Mal 3:14). God gave His answer: Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not (Mal 3:16-18).
 
God the Father can also use the speaking and operation of the Holy Spirit to guide us in our decisions and choices. Scriptures teach us that the manifestation of the [Holy] Spirit is given to every man to profit withal (1 Cor 12:7). Isaiah prophesied, Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit [through making expedient decisions], which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go (Isa 48:17). Jesus taught His disciples, Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you [through the Holy Spirit] (John 16:13-15). The Holy Spirit can even help us pray: Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities [feebleness, weakness, inability]: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God (Rom 8:26-27).
 
God the Father also used prayer to guide us in expedient ways. God said, If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attend unto the prayer that is made in this place (2 Chron 7:14-15). If we wish to be guided regularly, we should give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word [of the gospel] (Acts 6:4), Praying always [for guidance and strength] with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints (Eph 6:18). The apostle Peter taught, But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch [be alert for guidance] unto prayer (1 Peter 4:7). The psalmist, David, needed God's guidance and prayed: Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me. For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me (Psa 31:2-3). Isaiah prophesied, ...shalt thou [through prayer] call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity (Isa 58:9), as well as, they [through prayer] seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice [and expedience]; they take delight in approaching to God (Isa 58:2). Concerning the need to hear from God, know His will, and be guided by Him, Jeremiah prophesied , Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken untoyou [and guide you] And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart (Jer 29:12-13).
 
THIS MAN SHALL BE BLESSED IN HIS DEED
 
God the Father surely wants us to be expedient in what we say and do. But, why? What are some of the reasons?  God the Father wants us to be expedient, to do those things that are good and profitable, because He loves us. Paul mentioned God's love for us when he wrote the church in Ephesus: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:3-6).Expediency also results in the blessing of the crown of eternal life. The apostle James taught Blessed is the man that endureth temptation [which is expedient, good, and profitable]: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him (James 1:12), and whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty [the gospel of Christ], and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (James 1:25).
 
Expedient behavior also results in our partaking in God's divine nature and holiness. As with earthly fathers, God the Father may occasionally discipline and correct us so that we may partake of His holiness: ...we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he [God the Father chastens us] for our profit [to be better for, for our good], that we might be partakers of his holiness [sanctity, be blameless]. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby (Heb 12:9-11). Addressing his fellow believers, Simon Peter wrote, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust (2 Peter 1:3-4).
 
Expedient behavior also results in our doing what God wants, and expects, us to do, and that is to bear fruit.  Christ taught His disciples,I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit (John 15:1-2), as well as, Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples (John 15:8), but also said, And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down (Luke 13:9). Jesus also told His disciples, Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you (John 15:16). Jesus taught, For a good [expedient] tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh (Luke 6:43-45).  Paul taught the believers in Rome about the importance of expedient behavior: What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin [not behaving expediently] is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom 6:21-23). Jude referred to church leaders who do not behave in good, profitable, and expedient ways, and their resulting fruit: But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever (Jude 1:10-13). Jeremiah prophesied about the relationship between unprofitable behavior and the loss of God's blessing and benefit: If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them. Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devisea device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good (Jer 18:8-11).
 
In addressing the sin of the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul also mentioned two more reasons why we, believers in Christ, should behave expediently: we are part of Christ, and our bodies contain the Holy Spirit. Paul explained that believers should behave expediently because we are a part of Christ: Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. Know ye not that your bodies are the members [a limb, a part of the body] of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body (1 Cor 6:13-18). Paul also explained that believers should behave expediently since the Holy Spirit resides within us: What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's (1 Cor 6:19-20). The body of the Christian contains the Holy Spirit, and because we have been bought with a price [the death of Christ], and because our bodies are not, therefore, our own to do with as we wish, but are Christ's, we should behave in expedient ways, in good and profitable ways, which glorify our Father in Heaven.  AMEN.

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
THE CHRISTIAN HERALD
                                                           A Judeo-Christian Bible Study

"For I know that
in me (that is,
in my flesh,)
dwelleth no good thing: for to will is
present with me;
but how to
perform that
which is good
I find not.
For the good that
I would I do
not: but the evil which I would
not, that I do"
(Rom 7:18-19)


 
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