1 Corinthians 8

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“Be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble” (1 Corinthians 8:9 NLT).

August 13, 2018

Our freedom in Christ does not relieve us of our responsibility to consider others, especially new believers. In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he was concerned about those who felt free to eat meat offered to idols without consideration of those who would be tempted to sin by doing the same. The city of Corinth was known for its temple to Apollo. The Apollo Temple was the most prominent building in the city. In addition, overlooking the city was an acropolis upon which stood a temple to Aphrodite. Animal sacrifices were offered at both of these temples. The meat was then sold to local butchers in the Corinthian market place, who sold it to their customers. Even though as Paul pointed out, these gods were not real, those who grew up in Corinth might feel disloyal to Christ by eating the meat offered to Apollo or Aphrodite. For this reason, he said, “If it causes your brother to sin, then don’t eat meat” (1 Cor. 8:13).

Our freedom to live according to our conscience and knowledge is to be limited by our responsibility to love others. How might this principle be applied today?

“yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist” (1 Corinthians 8:6 ESV)

August 13, 2016

Our existence is “from” and “for” God, the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ. He made us for Himself. As Augustine said, “Thou hast made us for Thyself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.” Do you know the One to whom you belong and for whom you exist? Come, and find perfect rest and purpose in Him.

“…while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church” (1 Corinthians 8:1b NLT)

August 13, 2014

What “strengthens” the church? Love. This does not discount the importance of knowledge, nor of good doctrine in the church. But it does clarify their priority. Love is superior. Let love guide and motivate the use of knowledge. As Paul said in Eph. 4:15, “Speak the truth in love.” An old cliché suggests, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Let others know that they are loved, then perhaps they’ll ask about the reason. Knowledge may win arguments, but love wins hearts.