1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Background info: At the time of this writing, meat served at a temple of a god, was almost always meat sacrificed to an idol. Meat available to buy in the market place was often sacrificed to an idol, and there was no way of knowing which meat had been sacrificed. What was a Christian to do?
· Puffs up or makes proud (vs. 1)
· Makes people think they know something, yet they don’t know what they should
· Can destroy a brother or sister, for whom Christ died (vs. 11)
· Builds up or edifies
· Whoever loves God is known by God
The doctrinal issue: Should people eat food sacrificed to idols?
Those who say yes argue:
· An idol is nothing at all in the world
· There is no God but one
· There is one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live
· There is one Lord, Jesus Christ, from whom all things came and for whom we live.
· Food does not bring us near to God
· They are no worse if they do not eat and no better if they do
Paul argues that it is not always wise to eat food sacrificed to idols because:
· Some don’t know the above and believe that they are eating meet sacrificed to a real god.
· Their conscience is weak and they are defiled (fear they pay homage to another god?)
· When people with knowledge exercise their “rights” they become a stumbling block to the weak.
· Those who do so can destroy their brother or sister, for whom Christ died
· Those who do so can wound a weak person’s conscience
· Those who do so can sin against Christ
· Don’t eat meat ever again if it will cause a brother or sister to fall
1. Assume that whatever knowledge I have isn’t all the knowledge I should have. Donna Noell used to say, “assume nothing, clarify everything.” Once I assume a stance where I think I know it all, I have stumbled into pride. Be teachable. Listen well to others. Understand where people are prone to temptation so that you can help them and not harm them.
2. Even if you are doctrinally correct – don’t be proud of your knowledge and insist on your rights. What we really need to know is that loving people is more important. We should give up our rights so that a brother or sister will not fall. Modern day examples might include: not drinking wine or beer around an alcoholic who might stumble as a result, not seeing a movie/show with someone if that movie/show will impact him/her in a negative way, not insisting on a nicer restaurant with someone on a tight budget, not insisting your doctrinal view is correct when there are possible other interpretations, giving up the right to “my time” to love someone well, etc.
3. Live for God. Remain humble; love God and others sacrificially.
4. Time in the Word or in godly study shouldn’t be a pursuit of knowledge but a pursuit of relationship with God and right living with others. SOAPing, especially for a blog, shouldn’t be about looking knowledgeable but about God impacting our hearts to love Him and others better.
Lord, I know I suffer from pride. Please forgive me. Help me to be humble and teachable. Help me to know what I should know and lead and guide me into all truth. Remind me daily that loving You and loving others are the most important things. Help me to give up my rights so that others won’t fall. May my time in your Word be a time to pursue relationship with You and right living with others and not a pursuit of knowledge for knowledge’s sake. Show me clearly where I am prideful and convict me so I can turn and walk more humbly. Give me a heart that cares more for others than for my own selfish desires. Help me to love You and others sacrificially.
Posted on Wed, February 10, 2016
by joel king