1 Corinthians 10:23-33

Scripture

1 Corinthians 10:23-33

Observation

  • God’s people are no longer under the rules of the Old Testament but the law of love still binds us to do those things that are good for the soul
  • God’s people are no longer under the rules of the Old Testament but the law of love still binds us to do those things which build others up
  • The Christian’s goal is not to seek what serves him or herself best, but what is best for others
  • They are free to eat anything that is sold in the market place with a clear conscience even if it had previously been offered to an Idol
  • For as Psalm 24:1 says, “Everything in all the earth belongs to God.”
  • If an unbeliever invites you to their home and offers you a meal, you can freely eat it with a clear conscience.
  • However, if they inform you that the source of the meat is that it was sacrificed and blessed in the name of a false god or idol do not eat it.
  • Don’t eat it so you won’t affirm the person false hope in the false idol
  • You are not judged by the conscience of someone else
  • Except in the case of causing another to stumble, you are free to do in this matter what your conscience dictates to you
  • Whatever side your conscience dictates, do it as long as it brings glory to God
  • Don’t forget the gold standard which is to do nothing that causes a religious Jew, an unreligious Gentile, or a fellow Christian to stumble in their pursuit of or their relationship with God
  • Paul tries to model this by not doing what pleases himself, but doing those things he believes are good for others so they might be saved or grow in their faith.

Application

Paul teaches a balance of two ideas here. First, he answers the question, “Why should we be limited by another person's conscience?” His answer is that we are to do all things for God's glory. Nothing we do should cause another believer to stumble, and we do what is best for unbelievers, so that they might be saved. We need to be sensitive to the meaning of our actions to new Christians who are sorting out how to renounce sinful ways from the past and live for Christ.

However, Christians should not make a career out of being the offended people with oversensitive consciences. Believers must not project their standards onto others. New or weak Christians should not remain in a weak or sensitive state but grow into maturity and discernment lest they prove to be an unnecessary burden on others' freedom in Christ. We need to be careful lest we claim we are the offended weaker brother or sister, yet in reality we are no more than offended "Pharisees."

Prayer

Father, thank you for freeing me from having to keep all the rules. Help me live by the law of love, and lay down my rights in order to build others up. Help me discern between what is truly good for others and what is their personal conviction or hang up. At the same time Lord, help me identify areas in my own life where I might impose my personal values or weak conscience onto others. Forgive me for my improper judgement on them. Help me grow in my freedoms and the grace I give others. And also help me grow into loving You and others more. In Jesus name I pray, AMEN.

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