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Doctrine of Christian Liberty - Inferences

May 29, 2022 Series: Great Doctrines of the Christian Faith

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 6

Quote: Dr. John Frame

Implication does not add anything new in syllogistic argument. It merely rearranges information contained in the premises. It takes what is implicit in the premises and states it explicitly.

 Thus, when we learn logical implications of sentences, we are learning more and more of what those sentences mean. The conclusion represents part of the meaning of the premises.

So, in theology, logical deductions set forth the meaning of Scripture. When it is used rightly, logical deduction adds nothing to Scripture, it merely sets forth what is there.


We agree that the Bible is fully sufficient and informs all other disciplines that we might undertake

We agree that Scripture is necessary and that it is fully sufficient to live a life of faith and godliness.

But when we begin to deduce from Scripture the means & methods applicable to those other disciplines

  • we must consider implications
  • we must be able to deduce those implications from Scripture

When we talk about the sufficiency of Scripture

  • we are not saying that it is an engineering manual
    • with explicit instructions for building a bridge, for example
  • we are saying Scripture informs the engineer
    • that he is not to cut corners
    • that he is to protect human life.

Would you want an engineer that did not have the foundation of scripture to care for the life for mankind building bridges?


We should learn to retain, in our mind, the supreme and proper elevation of the scriptures

  • to keep them in their proper place
  • to regard them as higher than all other things
    • that we see around us
    • that we hear around us
    • that we learn around us

Without the Scripture, as that necessary and sufficient foundation, we will be lost

We want engineers that are Christians.

We want professionals that are Christians.

  • because they are caring about how they do engineering for the glory of God
  • because they are excellent and accurate in their calculations
  • because they understand that everything is to be informed by Scripture.
    • whether it is our daily chores
    • whether it is our daily jobs
    • whether it is calculus
    • whether it is other forms of logic

ASIDE: Did you know, mathematics in its broadest application is really the application of logic?

That there is s a particular way of working with logic.

But this logic, where do we get it?

  • We get it from Scripture.
  • Without logic, we could not understand what the Lord is communicating to us, right?
  • There are the 3 beginning steps/ laws of logic
    • the law of identity
    • the law of contradiction
    • the law of the excluded middle.
  • Just those three laws begin to inform our understanding of the Bible’s propositions.
  • And with those beginning steps, there are all kinds of things available to us.

The scriptures are that sufficient and necessary foundation.

Having a proper understanding and learning the right use of implication is necessary to a proper use of this Scriptural foundation.

  • We will look at the topic of inferences
    • how we are able to build doctrines and practices
      • apart from direct statements of Scripture
      • that are perhaps not explicit in Scripture, but implicit in the Bible.

Dr. Frame, makes a particularly good case for understanding that when we draw out the inferences of Scripture,

  • what we are not doing is adding to Scripture
  • what we are doing is making scripture clear.

We are taking those things that are there within the Bible

  • things, perhaps, not just laying on the surface
  • but things that are just under the surface
    • one, maybe two steps under the surface
    • this is what we mean, “by implication”

And once we have all of those things in place, we can understand and build a greater practice.

There are a number of churches in our day that are impoverished in that they look for a particularly direct statement

  • There is the old adage →

Where Scripture speaks, we speak and we are Scripture does not speak, we do not speak.

  • These churches
    • limit their understanding only to those things about which Scripture directly speaks.
    • and apart from any direct statement, they refuse to speak.

In general, we agree with that hermeneutic

  • But there are times the Scriptures speak obliquely or by way of inference and we need to hear that speaking as well.

It is important that we do not abuse our methodology of making inferences to turn the Scripture into a wax sculpture, bending it into any shape we want it to be.

  • It is important that we that we leave off those kinds of hermeneutics that say:
    • Well, if there is not a direct sentence addressing this, then we cannot address it.

For example:

  • Without inferences, we could not understand the principle of general equity.
  • We can infer the existence of a living God by looking at the world around us.
  • The Bible never explicitly says that Solomon’s father was the King of Israel, but we know that is true by inference that his father was David, and that David was the King of Israel.

Let us look at something perhaps a bit more difficult.

  • Does the Bible address tattoos?
  • Does the Bible address body piercing as it is practiced today?
  • Does the Bible address other kinds of body modification?
  • Yes, it does.
  • But it does not do it directly.

There are a few direct statements which point to an underlying principle and that underlying principle is especially important.

If we do not understand the underlying principle, it will be exceedingly difficult to put the proper inference and understanding into practice.

To answer this question, we need to understand first, what the Bible teaches about these three topics and then using inference, we will answer the question

  • Who owns our body?
    • You know the answer to that question, but we are going to prove it from the scriptures.
  • The principle of separation and holiness.
    • We will speak about those laws of separation in the Old Testament, and what they teach us today.
  • Liberty of conscience.
    • it must be rightly understood, for us to make proper decisions about tattooing.

Three Scriptures

1 Corinthians 6:12-20

Romans 12:1-2

  • notice in this passage that the Paul speaks
    • not only of your mind
    • but also, of your body.
  • We are to present our bodies, living sacrifices
  • And be not conformed to this world, by the renewing of our minds, both belong to him.

Leviticus 19:23-29

Who owns our bodies?

The question we are looking at here is this →

Who owns our bodies?

of course, the answer is clear in Scripture → God owns our bodies.

Scriptures Showing Propriety/ Ownership

God claims a particular propriety over the bodies of all men, not just his people.

Psalm 24:1

To whom do all that dwell therein belong?

  • The word used here for world
    • It is a special Hebrew word which speaks of the world that is inhabited
    • It is the place where human beings and animals live
    • so, all of those who dwell in the habitable world belong to the Lord
      • they all belong to Him.

Nahum 1:5

same word and usage for world

Psalm 98:7-9

He shall judge the world and the people with equity.

  • When coupled with Psalm 24:1
    • the Lord is claiming a propriety over all men
    • the Lord is claiming the right to judge them.
  • The right to judge them is a right of authority, propriety, and ownership over them.
  • In other words, the Lord asserts the right to judge them because they are His.
    • They are responsible to Him
    • They must answer to Him
      • because He created them
      • because hey are His.

For Reference

  • Psalm 9:9
  • Psalm 33:8
  • Psalm 96:13

There is one God to whom all men will give answer.

  • The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof the world and they that dwell there in because for he had founded it upon the seas. (Ps. 24)

The question we are looking at here is this →

Who owns our bodies?

  • The only conclusion is that God owns our bodies…
    • because He is the redeemer?
    • because He is the creator of all mankind?

Indeed, if this is the conclusion that God does own our bodies

  • Then we must also conclude that we ought not to deface our bodies
    • because they belong to God.

Therefore, both the redeemed and the unbeliever both

  • are defacing their bodies
  • they are sinning against God
  • He will call them to account.

What we do with our bodies is not our business.

You Are United to Christ

1 Corinthians 6

In reading this, one might simply respond that Paul is speaking about fornication

  • that he is speaking against fornication
  • That he is speaking about what a man does with his body.

And that is true, but it is not the full story

Verse 13

the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord and the Lord for the body.

Verse 14

this includes or is wrapped up in the resurrection of the body.

Verse 15

our bodies are members of Christ

Verse 19

your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which you have from God, and ye are not your own

Verse 20

you are bought with a price

glorify God and your body and in your spirit, which belong to God.


There are syncretistic religions that had infiltrated the church in Corinth

The unbelieving religions around them in Corinth have gotten have into the church

  • such that people are worshiping on the Lord's Day with God's people
  • and then on another day, they are going down to the idol house and doing their religious duty in the idol house
    • which included temple fornication.

We do not do that in our day - not with such an obvious engagement

Today, instead, we draw back on our observance of the Lord’s Day and simply give in to entertainment.

  • Do you want to fill a church? → fill it up with entertainment.
  • You did you hour in church, now go and spend the rest of the day in the idol of house of self-will

The Apostle Paul is not only talking about this sin of fornication (the 7th commandment violation)

But also, that we have a particular religious duty to the Lord with our bodies

  • because He owns them
  • because He has bought them
  • because we are united to Christ Jesus in the likeness of His death, and in his resurrection.

Our bodies are not our own

  • not just in the same creational way that all people's bodies belong to God as the Creator
  • but as our Redeemer specifically

Our bodies belong to Him

  • because they are united to Christ
  • because Christ took on human flesh.

And when Christ took on human flesh

  • He became our elder brother
    • as a human being
  • He lived, died, and rose again
    • our first fruit, our forerunner

Therefore, we are united to him

And if we have any hope of the resurrection

  • it is because we are united to him.

This is what the Apostle Paul means

Notice, and that immediately following upon, the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord and the Lord for the body.

  • The Lord here is not God, generally,
  • but the Lord Jesus Christ (kyrios), specifically

Notice, that God has both raised up the Lord and will also raise up us by His own power.

  • There is a particular uniting of our bodies to Christ, which includes the resurrection.

The apostle is telling us here about not being our own

  • that we are bought with a price
  • that we are to glorify God in our bodies
  • that we are not to worship at the idol house down the road
  • that we are to glorify God in our bodies
    • because we are united to Jesus Christ
    • because our bodies belong to Him

How much so do our bodies belong to Christ?

1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

Even in death our bodies still are united to Christ Jesus.

  • Our body bodies are united to Christ.

If our bodies are united to Christ even in death, can we reason from the estate of death to the estate of life?

Are our bodies united to Christ in life also?

  • Isn't that exactly what Paul said in 1 Cor 6?
    • that our bodies are not our own
    • that we are bought with a price.


We are going to end here and continue next week looking at our duty to God by examining Romans 12 and then look at the implications for holiness and separates by looking at Leviticus 19.

However, the implications for what we have discussed today are clear.

Our bodies do not belong to us - they belong to the Lord Jesus Christ

There are also several implications we can derive, therefore, we have to take care of our bodies

For example, we ought to eat healthfully.

  • remember what Paul says to Timothy (1 Tim 5:23)
    • no longer drink water, but take a little wine for thine health's sake and thine often infirmities
  • there is a right care that we exercise over our health.

For example, we have to get proper rest.

  • Psalm 127:2

For example, we should get proper exercise

  • 1 Timothy 4:8

For example, we should take care of our lives because they are a gift from God

For example, we should seek proper medical attention

  • but not trust in that treatment, but trust in God, who is able to use means such as medicines and surgeries, and so on to bring us to health.

Finally, the inference as it relates to body modification and to tattoos are also clear.

  • We should not get tattoos.
  • We should not modify out bodies without proper medical cause.

All of these things are proper to an understanding that we do not own our own body

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