1 Corinthians 8

Author

Joel King

Scripture

1 Corinthians 8:1-13

Observations

· Paul is addressing an issue that has come up in regards to eating meat that had been originally offered to a false idol of a false god
· Knowledge serves the one who has it and often ends in pride
· Love serves others and often builds them up
· Those who think they know a lot, always come up short in what they really know
· But those who love God, know the most important one – God himself.
· With that principle in mind (love trumps knowledge) Paul addresses food offered to idols
· We know that Idols really have no power and that the only true God is our God
· There are many gods and lords who are worshipped
· But we know there really is only one true God, our Father, who created everything
· We live for him and him alone
· And there is only one Lord or Master and he is Jesus Christ
· Through Jesus God made everything and through Him we have our very life
· But not every Christian knows these truths
· Some Christians when they eat the meat think of the idol and worshipping it
· Their own conscience is bothered and so it is sin for them to eat
· We don’t win God’s approval one way or the other by what we eat
· But we must be careful in our freedom to eat that we don’t cause others to stumble in their faith
· If someone who associates the meat with idols sees you eating it they may as well but with an unclear conscience
· When we wound the conscience of another Christian we sin against Christ
· Therefore, if what we do causes another Christian to stumble, we will choose to limit our freedom

Application

· In God’s kingdom, our Love for others trumps how much we know
· God is not concerned with the body, but He is deeply invested in our hearts
· The spiritual health of our brothers and sisters in Christ trump our personal freedoms
· (This principle applies to those things that cause others to actually stumble, not to their personal convictions)

Prayer

Father,
Thank you for giving me so much freedom in serving and loving you. Forgive me for spending so much time developing knowledge at the expense of becoming more loving. Please open my eyes to any area in my life where my freedoms might cause another to stumble. Help me make the love of the brethren more important than my personal opinions.
In Jesus Name I pray, AMEN

3 comments (Add your own)

1. Rob Schulze wrote:
Thanks Joel... I've been looking forward to soaping this chapter as over the weekend I was sensing that perhaps my "thinking/freedom" in one area could cause others to stumble in their faith.

Although there are many gods in our world today, I/we know there is just one true God. If governments permit many kinds of marriages in our world today, believers know there is one marriage that's true in God's eyes. As same-sex marriage, same-sex families, etc. becomes an increasing reality, one could have a clear conscious attending a friend's LGBT wedding or if they work for a bakery, decorating a wedding cake for a LGBT wedding. But perhaps this might cause others to stumble in their faith?

During 14 years of vocational college ministry I gladly gave up drinking alcohol in public or having it in our home as alcohol can be a challenge for college students young in their faith. Forsaking alcohol was clear to me but now I'm processing other freedoms where I have a clear conscious that may cause others to struggle or stumble.

Mon, April 6, 2015 @ 12:20 PM

2. Joel King wrote:
Rob,
Both great examples. Thanks for putting specifics on a general principle.

Mon, April 6, 2015 @ 10:08 PM

3. Amy Hernandez wrote:
Rob, I thought of this same issue studying this--that perhaps for some, being at a same-sex wedding is against their conscience. Therefore, should they not have the right to decline rather than be forced to participate in something that will cause them to stumble? On the other hand, it puts the wrong message of the gospel out there if it's rooted in something else. It's really food for thought. I feel this way about secular music. I've no problem with it if it isn't blasphemous or risqué, but when certain friends are in my car I turn it off or put on something else for them. I don't think they're wrong in not listening to it--what's acceptable isn't always beneficial--but I also believe I have a freedom that allows me to listen to it and not go against my conscience. But to others, instead of imposing, I must just always put on love.

Wed, April 8, 2015 @ 6:01 PM

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