THROUGH THE BIBLE IN THREE YEARS

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Bruce McGee
P.O. Box 1627
Columbia, LA 71418

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE STUDY

1Corinthians

CHAPTER 8

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.

Undoubtedly, this is a question about which the church had written to Paul.(See1Corinthians 7:1)

Basically this whole chapter is devoted to the question:
"Should we eat of those things which are offered to idols?"

We have a similar problem in our world today.
WHAT should we eat?
What should we NOT eat?

A lot of people are really "diet conscious."

One person told me that I shouldn't be eating those eggs,
because they would drive my cholesterol up.
Well, I've been eating 2 eggs for breakfast with 3 strips of bacon,
almost EVERY day of my life.
And, my cholesterol is just fine.

However, if someone ELSE ate the same thing, their cholesterol
might indeed go higher.

I can eat candy bars, cake and ice cream every day and my sugar
count will stay in the 110's all the time.
But if someone who's a diabetic ate the same thing, they might
go into a COMA!

You see, not everything we eat affects every person the same way.

Basically, that's the discussion here.
Although it is not about HEALTH.
It is about a Christian being spiritual.

Paul begins the discussion with an enigmatic statement (see vs 1 above).
Perhaps the church had asked, should a Christian eat those things which
had been sacrificed to idols.

His beginning statement addresses the "knowledge" they have of idols.
They knew, since they had surrendered to the One and ONLY Lord Jesus,
that idols are figments of men's imagination and are really nothing.
Therefore, anything eaten from the sacrifice to idols actually MEANT nothing.
(The excess of those things sacrificed to idols were actually sold in the marketplace.)

But Paul also speaks of "charity"
That word in the Greek is agape, which is most often translated LOVE!

We can KNOW that eating those things are ok, because an idol is nothing.
But we have OTHERS to consider!

We should always act in "charity" - love.
After all, Jesus said THIS was the ONE thing by which the church would
be KNOWN -- how we LOVED one another! (See John 13:35)
And, we as Christian individuals should "love thy neighbor as thyself." (Matthew 22:39)

And, remember - we don't know EVERYTHING!
We cannot possibly know how our actions will affect other believers.
And, we especially cannot know how our actions will affect unbelievers!

3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

When a person loves God, then God KNOWS him/her. (See 2Timothy 2:19)

I take that to mean that God knows us intimately and completely!
If we truly love God we are to "depart from iniquity," and from anything that
would influence our neighbor to do wrong.
The word "same" may also refer back to the previous verse.
If a person loves God, that person will know to act in love toward others.

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.

As Christians, we KNOW that there is only ONE God, manifested in
the Person of Jesus Christ Who created all things.

Yes, many people worship other gods.
But they are (again) figments of man's imaginations.

7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge:
for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a
thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.

EVERY person does not have the knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

And, even the newly saved may still have lingering affects in their lives concerning idols.
Suppose an idolator came to know Christ and was saved.
Yet, he had not yet grown in understanding of the Bible.
Then, as a new Christian, he saw an older Christian eating something offered to that idol.
Perhaps he would think that Christian was worshipping the idol!

8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither,
if we eat not, are we the worse.
9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to
them that are weak.

God knows our heart.
He knows the motives and intent of our actions.
To eat of something offered to an idol makes no difference to God, as long as one
has no intention of deifying that idol.

However, Christians must be careful of their actions among the lost and the weak in faith.
Something those see us doing, may be misconstrued because of their non-faith or weak faith.

10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple,
shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things
which are offered to idols;
11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?

"If ANY man."
There may be a lost person thinking about becoming a Christian, or
there may be a new Christian who is relatively weak in the new Christian faith.

And, if they see an older Christian doing something they have reservations about,
they may be "emboldened" to do the same thing.

For instance, suppose a non-Christian saw a Christian going to the casino.
Or, suppose a newly saved Christian saw the same.
Could they not both suppose it is OK to go to the casino?

And, might that supposition lead to their downfall?

12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience,
ye sin against Christ.

Now this statement is purposefully considering "brethren."
In other words, newly saved or immature Christians.

Notice Paul speaks of the "sin" that is against the brethren.

To lead (by action) someone else into sin IS a sin aginst our Lord!

The law of Christ requires Christians to seek the BEST for their "brethren".
(See Matthew 22:39)
Christians are to love one another and others.
"Neighbor" in Matt. 22:39 includes EVERYONE!

13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the
world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

We might restate that this way:
"If what I do (or say) might cause my brother (or neighbor) to sin,
then I will NOT do it."

Again, let's consider the subject of this chapter.
"Should we eat of those things which are offered to idols?"

Or, should we do those things which might cause another to sin?

The answer is obviously NO!

Earlier in this letter to the church at Corinth (See 1Corinthians 6:12),
and later (See 1Corinthians 10:23), Paul says just because something is "lawful" it is not
necessarily "expedient" and may not "edify" others.

Therefore, let us live so as not to be a "stumblingblock" to others!

PLEASE CONTINUE WITH US IN BIBLE STUDY TOMORROW.
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