Cor. Chapter 8:1-13
verses for this week: 1 Pet 3:10 For he that
will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from
evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
1 Pet 3:11
Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and
week in Chapter 7, Paul explained how that we are to conduct
ourselves both as single and married adults.
There were many rules laid out, but Paul wanted us to know
that whatever state we were in, either single or married, our focus
should be on serving the Lord.
This week, we talk about some of the limitations we should
learn to live under concerning our Christian liberty.
Meats, and the Limitation of Christian Liberty
Cor 8:1 Now as touching
things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge.
Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.
Corinth, as was the custom in many of the cities during this time,
animals were offered in sacrifice to idols.
Of course, when you start a fire and place the animal on the
fire, it may or may not be totally consumed.
Many times there were large portions of the meat undamaged,
and this was sold to be eaten.
Among the Corinthian Christians, there was evidently a
considerable difference of opinion as to whether believers should or
should not partake of such meat.
Verse 1 says that “we have all knowledge.”
This is not implying that we know everything there is that
can be known, but is speaking of how we have knowledge of certain
basic facts. One
of those facts is listed in verse 4 where it states that there is
none other God but one. Although we may have much knowledge, that is of little
use unless it is applied unto wisdom.
If we look strictly at knowledge, it will puff us up as the
scripture states. But
when we season knowledge with love, it builds us up.
When we are known as people of love, we build up one another
and the church becomes a place that others want to be involved in.
Love is so much more to be desired than knowledge.
“Charity” when used in the bible means love.
Cor 13:1 Though I speak
with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am
become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
Cor 13:2 And though I
have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all
knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove
mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
Cor 13:3 And though I
bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to
be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Cor 8:2 And if any man
think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought
verse really drives home the point that we don’t really know much
until we think “we know it all.”
I don’t know exactly when that is, but there is a time
right after we are saved that is a dangerous time.
We are so excited about being saved, we want to reach
everyone for the Lord. Unfortunately,
we don’t have the wisdom to rightly divide the scriptures, and
many times offend others with our righteous attitude.
But after years of study, and much tribulation, we learn
patience and how to reach others for the Lord Jesus Christ.
As we grow older, we have to constantly renew our enthusiasm
to reach the lost that we had when we first experienced salvation.
We are commanded to “renew our minds” daily.
we draw close to the Lord, study our bibles faithfully, we truly
begin to learn things “as we ought to know.”
We have so much that we need to learn.
12:2 And be not
conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of
your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and
perfect, will of God.
Cor 8:3 But if any man
love God, the same is known of him.
you have the Lord Jesus Christ in your heart, and you are being led
by the Holy Spirit, your life will be so radically different from
those in the world that you will definitely be known as a Christian.
If we are never known for our relationship with Christ, we
are surely not leading the separated, consecrated life that God
desires for every born again believer.
20:11 Even a child is
known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be
5:12 For when for the
time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again
which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become
such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
5:13 For every one that
useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a
5:14 But strong meat
belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of
use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
6:1 Therefore leaving
the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto
perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead
works, and of faith toward God,
6:2 Of the doctrine of
baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the
dead, and of eternal judgment.
6:3 And this will we
do, if God permit.
are to go on in our maturity to much more than just knowing the
doctrines. We need not
a heedful of knowledge, but a life transformed by the application of
the scriptures. Hearing
and doing are very, very different.
42:3 Who is he that
hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I
understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.
42:4 Hear, I beseech
thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto
Paul’s Answer Concerning Things Offered in
Sacrifice to Idols
Cor 8:4 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.
Cor 8:5 For though
there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as
there be gods many, and lords many,)
and the Word of God, teaches the Christian that an idol is nothing.
As Christians, we know there is but one God.
Not Allah, not Buddha, but the great God Jehovah that was
revealed to man in the Old Testament of the Bible.
are many “gods” in this life that people follow after, but only
one true GOD. The
people at Athens did not know the one and only true God, but Paul
took that opportunity to declare unto the people the God we serve.
17:22 Then Paul stood
in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive
that in all things ye are too superstitious.
17:23 For as I passed
by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this
inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly
worship, him declare I unto you.
17:24 God that made the
world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and
earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
17:25 Neither is
worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing
he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
17:26 And hath made of
one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the
earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the
bounds of their habitation;
17:27 That they should
seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him,
though he be not far from every one of us:
17:28 For in him we
live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own
poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
17:29 Forasmuch then as
we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead
is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's
17:30 And the times of
this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where
his commentary on I Corinthians, J. Vernon McGee had these insights
about the meats offered to idols.
you have come to Christ, after you have the Word of God, you know
that an idol is nothing. That
is the way Paul spoke of the idols—they are nothing.
is but one God. So he
says that the meat that was offered to the idol was not affected.
Nothing happened to it.
It was not contaminated.
In fact, it was prime meat.
So the instructed Christian could go there to get his meat
and eat it with no problem. These idols were merely called gods. As I stood in the ruins of the temple of Apollo in Corinth, I
thought of this passage of Scripture.
I thought of all the sacrifices that had been offered to that
image of Apollo there. It
was nothing. The meat
was brought in to the idol, put there for a little while, and then
it was taken to the meat shop.
It didn’t make any difference in the meat—the idol was
nothing. The instructed
Christian knew that. He
knew there is but one God, the Father, and that there is but one
Lord Jesus Christ. He
made all things, and all things belong to Him.”
Cor 8:6 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.
we come to this understanding about God, we truly know nothing.
In John’s account of the gospel, he tells us that all
things were made by our Lord Jesus Christ.
1:1 In the beginning
was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
1:2 The same was in the
beginning with God.
1:3 All things were
made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
1:4 In him was life;
and the life was the light of men.
God, the Father exist alone until Jesus came as was born of a woman
there in Bethlehem? Absolutely
not. The Everlasting
God that we served was always a three part trinity, separate but yet
one. When God decided to create man, He said “Let us
create man in our image.” Who
was the “our” image? It
was speaking of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
1:26 And God said, Let
us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have
dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and
over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping
thing that creepeth upon the earth.
1:27 So God created man
in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and
female created he them.
John 5:7 For there are
three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy
Ghost: and these three are one.
Christians, we need to know that we were made by Him and for Him,
and as children of God, we are in Him.
Cor 5:17 Therefore if
any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed
away; behold, all things are become new.
Cor 5:18 And all things
are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and
hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
Cor 5:19 To wit, that
God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing
their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of
Cor 5:20 Now then we
are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we
pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
Cor 5:21 For he hath
made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made
the righteousness of God in him.
Cor 8:7 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.
that know God are truly privileged to have this knowledge. Verse 7 says that not every man has this knowledge.
Some of those who were saved there in Corinth had come from
an idolatrous past, and were having problems with this issue.
Deep down, they knew an idol was nothing, but they could not
seem to break away from them completely as they thought of them as
evil deities. If
one of those Christians eat that meat sacrificed to an idol, they
would feel they had committed a sin and “their conscience being
weak is defiled.” An
idol is just that. A
false idol that means nothing.
Satan can use almost anything to cause us to worship a false
idol. It does not have
to be a statue of gold or silver.
It could be a set of fine golf clubs, or a shotgun that we
use to hunt each week rather than going to church.
It could be our own belly if we are not careful.
We can get so wrapped up in the day to day life, that we live
for the day. But
whatever drags us down, we need to free ourselves from those
associations and serve the true and living God.
12:1 Wherefore seeing
we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let
us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset
us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
12:2 Looking unto Jesus
the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set
before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down
at the right hand of the throne of God.
12:3 For consider him
that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye
be wearied and faint in your minds.
of the greatest of the Old Testament saints, Daniel, refused to eat
the meat from the King’s table.
Perhaps he thought it might have been offered to an idol, or
perhaps that type of meat was one that was forbidden for an
Israelite to eat. But
he purposed in His heart to live a life that glorified God.
1:8 But Daniel purposed
in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of
the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he
requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile
Cor 8:8 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.
8 puts the whole issue in perspective.
In no way is meat going to commend us to God…. Neither the
eating of it or the refusal to eat it.
We are neither the better nor the worse for eating..
Meat has nothing to do one way or the other with our standing
Christian Liberty – Where do we Draw the Line?
Cor 8:9 But take heed
lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to
them that are weak.
matters that seem totally immaterial such as this issue of eating
meats sacrificed to idols, we certainly are given liberty by God to
do whatever we choose. This
comes down to personal convictions as to these minor things.
However, the believer need to be careful so that we do not
put a stumbling block in front of a weaker brethren.
You have others watching your life, and they may not have a
solid knowledge of the freedom Jesus gives us.
Cor 8:10 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;
Cor 8:11 And through
thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
uses an example of Christian liberty being used to the extent that
it leads a weak brother astray.
This example shows the weaker brother seeing the meat in the
idol’s temple. The stronger brother understands that an idol is nothing and
he is at liberty to eat the meat with a clear conscience.
Since the weaker brother does not have this knowledge, this
cause him to be led astray.
It is good that Jesus died for both the weak and the strong.
And our love for one another should drive us to be careful to
not do things in front of others that might be offended.
Cor 8:12 But when ye
sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin
Cor 8:13 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 exercise our Christian liberty to the extent that we put a
stumblingblock in the path of the weaker Christian, we are doing
wrong. Even the lost watch our lives, and they want to see a
difference in a Christian’s life.
Our talk and our walk ought to be much different than it was
before Christ saved us. Paul
says that if eating meat offends my brother, I will eat no flesh
while the world standeth. Paul
was willing to forgo some of his liberty for the edification of the
someone you know is offended by certain things that are permissible
in your convictions, we need to do our best to never do those things
where it might lead the weaker to fail.
Jesus paid a debt that we could not pay.
Thanks be to God, we are no longer under the law, but are
free because Jesus fulfilled the law.
5:17 Think not that I
am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to
destroy, but to fulfil.
6:14 For sin shall not
have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under
6:15 What then? shall
we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God
Christians, we need to learn what is scriptural fact and not a
tradition that we are following.
This may seem like a minor issue, but in Paul’s day it was
large. There are many
issues that are much like this in church today, and it comes down to
personal convictions about what we should or should not do.
We certainly should consider others and how our actions may
impact them. While
we should follow our convictions on these issues, we should respect
others and not expect everyone to follow every conviction that we
may have. That is
what the Christian liberty was all about.
Glorifying the Lord with our bodies, and living a free life
that can be used by God in His service.
Not a life weighted down like the Jews had been by dozens of
rules and laws that were complicated even more by over 700 new
‘laws’ by the Pharisees.
Follow Christ’s teaching, and you will fulfill the law and
22:36 Master, which is
the great commandment in the law?
22:37 Jesus said unto
him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with
all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
22:38 This is the first
and great commandment.
22:39 And the second is
like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
22:40 On these two
commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
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