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Living Life

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  • January 2018
2018. 1. 19 | Love Builds Up (1 Corinthians 8:1~13)         Speakers Stephen Cha

1 Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.
2 The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.
3 But the man who loves God is known by God.
4 ○So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one.
5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"),
6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.
7 But not everyone knows this. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat such food they think of it as having been sacrificed to an idol, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled.
8 But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.
9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.
10 For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol's temple, won't he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols?
11 So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge.
12 When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.
13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.

 

 

Reflection

Love Wins (8:1–8)

Corinth was a cosmopolitan city that was well-known for its pagan temples dedicated to many different deities. After meat was sacrificed to these gods, the leftovers were sold in the marketplace. In his letter, Paul tells the Corinthian believers that eating this meat does not defile them, but he also urges them not to allow their knowledge of this truth to become a stumbling block to those who disagree. They should abstain from eating the meat out of love for those whose faith is weak. When we focus solely on what we know, we can easily become arrogant and insensitive to the needs of our brothers and sisters. Our knowledge should always be tempered with love so that it does not hinder others but rather encourages them to follow Christ.

 

How have you responded to fellow believers who are uncomfortable with an issue you know is not a sin? How can you show love for God and other people in the way that you respond?

 

Freedom to Love (8:9–13)

In these verses, Paul focuses on how believers should balance their freedoms with responsibility. The weaker believers—who may have worshiped idols in the past—might not only find it difficult to eat meat sacrificed to idols but might be tempted to judge those who do eat it as idolaters. In contrast, those who have no issues with eating this meat might view those who do abstain from it as spiritually immature. Paul therefore exhorts all believers to relate to one another in a spirit of love and urges strong believers to use their freedom to act with love toward weaker believers. When we walk in love, we will use our freedom to build others up and spur them on to become more Christlike in character.

 

What freedoms might God be asking you to willingly set aside for the sake of your brothers and sisters in Christ?

 

A letter to God 

Father, thank you for the freedom I have in Your Son, Jesus Christ. May my love for You influence how I relate to my fellow believers. Give me a heart that is sensitive to their needs. Help me to be a blessing to Your church today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

* All Copyrights of the text in Living Life belong to Duranno Books.