In 1Corinthians, St Paul gave guiding principles for practical Christian morality, charity, liberty and unity. For instance, practical matters concerning marriage are based on COMMANDS (7:10), CONCESSIONS (7:6), and COUNSELS (7:12).
1. COMMANDS for universal obedience that require UNITY and conformation,
2. CONCESSIONS for personal convenience that require LIBERTY and consideration, and
3. COUNSELS for situational assistance that require CHARITY and consecration.
There are also procedural patterns of Apostolic CUSTOMS (1Cor 11:2&23) divinely received for orderly compliance by the Church (2Thes 2:15; 3:6-7), which customs require common custody and conveyance for generational imitation in the Church (1Cor 4:16-17; 7:17; 11:1; 15:3; 16:1).
On other matters, the Scripture has recorded many exemplary COMMENDATIONS and diligent CAUTIONS from which the saints should learn wisdom for godliness (1Cor 10:11; Rom 15:4; 2Tim 3:14-17).
It is important to recognise that while COMMANDS are plain and simple to follow, CONCESSIONS and COUNSELS require maturity in comprehension, conscience and commitment to properly analyse for decision. Often, decision is made on behalf of others by their leaders and teachers, but this should be clear to the congregation that such choices are not final because they are not commanded but decided by spiritual wisdom.
We must beware because our conceit, culture, anxiety, interest, zeal or scruples may often influence our CIRCUMSTANTIAL CONSIDERATIONS to tend toward contradicting or overruling God’s COMMANDS, CONCESSIONS and COUNSELS as well as Apostolic CUSTOMS.
Beyond guidance in Christian liberty, God’s wider purpose and precepts in all things are best known through comprehensive grasp and faith in what God has DECREED, DEMONSTRATED and DECLARED in His Word, or through complete commitment to principles that are based on what God has COMMANDED, CONDEMNED and COMMENDED in the Scriptures.
Therefore, PRINCIPLES OF PRAGMATIC CHRISTIAN LIBERTY STAND ON SPIRITUAL COMMITMENT TO SCRIPTURAL COMMANDS, CONCESSIONS AND COUNSELS.
Grace to you,
I. U. Ibeme.