July 27th 1 Corinthians 8 (Christian Liberty)
Liberty & Conscience
1: Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. 2: And if any man think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. 3: But if any man love God, the same is known of him. 4: As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. 5: For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) 6: But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
Next Paul tackles the difficult subject of food offered to idols. Let me explain what was happening at Corinth. The heathen priests were taking meat from the slaughter house and offering it to the various gods in the heathen temples. There was very little if any meat in Corinth that had not been offered to an idol. Now the meat had not changed in any way whatsoever except in this sense that it had been officially offered to an idol. This meat was then taken and sold in the market place to be used as ordinary food. Some of the believers refused to buy meat that had been offered to idols whereas there were others who felt that buying this meat was fine because the meat was just the same and that the heathen worship was nothing to worry about. So between the Christians there was a stark difference of opinion. Both thought of each other as wrong even heretical. Those that ate the meat thought that those who did not were denying scripture where God says that all meats are clean. And those who did not eat the meat thought that those who did were doing a very wicked thing in touching things to do with heathen worship. Paul starts by saying that every man has some knowledge of the truth and that this knowledge can make men self righteous and proud. Whereas love edifieth in all circumstances. If a man thinks that he have everything sorted out, then he knows nothing as he aught to know. However if a man loves God – his love is known by all. So Paul is saying that love must rule over knowledge. Regarding the subject of Idols first Paul says we know that the idol is nothing. It is not a god there is only one God. Pauls says us christians know that there is only one God, The Father, who is the author of everything and we are from him and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom everything was created and we are from him. This is an incidental description of Gods divinity. Paul says there is only one God and then he describes two separate persons within the one God.
- Why does knowledge puff up?
- What was wrong with eating meat that had been offered to an idol and then returned to the market for sale?
- What is the over riding principle in all matters of interaction between christians?