Archive for June, 2013

Day 81…1 Corinthians 10:23-24

1 Corinthians 10:23-24: Not everything is good for me

Paul continues his lesson on eating food offered to idols as he discusses something I hear a lot of Christians say when speaking about freedom in Christ: “I am allowed to do anything…I want.” Only problem is Paul tells us not everything is good or beneficial for us. Be concerned about the good of others more than you are yourself.

v.23, “I am allowed to do anything” or “all things are lawful” does not mean that believers are allowed to disobey Christ and God’s moral law. Paul is trying to get the Corinthian believers to understand that eating meat offered to idol is really unimportant to one’s faith, however even though they are allowed to do it (it’s not against God’s moral law) it may not necessarily be “good” for them or “beneficial.” Just because something is not against the law, doesn’t mean it is helpful.

v.24, “Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.” Even though believers are allowed to practice their freedom in Christ in matters that are lawful, some practices of freedom do not necessarily work to build up other believers. So we need to be concerned for the good of others, not for our own good. If our freedoms end up hurting or causing another believer to stumble we need to stop exercising them. It is hard be we need to consider the needs and perspective of other believers.

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?  Some actions are not wrong, but they may not be in the best interest of other believers, especially new believers. So I need to abstain from doing these activities. What are the activities that you do that would cause a new believer to stumble? Or even cause a misunderstanding or even an offense to them. The most obvious example is of a brand new believer who used to abuse alcohol, he comes to your home and you are serving wine. It is not morally wrong to serve wine but this could cause your new believing friend to question and eventually misunderstand why you drink wine. If you are concerned for the good of your new believing friend you will not serve wine in his presence. You might even go as far as stop serving it altogether because he could hear about it from another believer. Do you have any other examples as to how you can apply this principle?

June 12, 2013 at 10:29 AM 1 comment

Day 80…1 Corinthians 10:14-22

1 Corinthians 10:14-22: Food offered to idols

Paul goes back to a topic [eating meat offered to idols] the Corinthian believers must have been struggling with greatly. Why? Because maybe they didn’t get it the first time. Or Paul knows that repetition is a good way for his readers to learn.

v.14-15, “therefore” or “so…” was Paul’s way of reminding the Corinthian believers that what he was speaking about before–eating meat offered to idols. Paul wanted to make it clear to the believers that attending a feast in a pagan temple was an act of idolatry. So Paul says “flee from the worship of idols.” Paul makes it very clear to eat meat in a pagan worship service is idolatry. In v.13 Paul speaks of a way of out temptations, then in v.14 he suggests that sometimes the best way out is to flee. The word “flee” means to seek safety in flight or to run away from, the tense indicates habitual action so it is better said keep on running away from…the worship of idols! Paul explains the reason why, the idol itself is nothing, but it can be used by Satan to lead you into sin. To sit at the table of a pagan worship service could mean fellowship or communion with demons. Paul was enforcing the important doctrine of separation from sin. However he does call them “reasonable people” because Paul trusted that they could “decide” for themselves if what he was saying is the right course of action.

v.16-17, Paul uses the illustration of the Lord’s Supper. When the believer partakes of the cup and loaf at the “Lord’s Table”, he is, in a spiritual way, having fellowship with the body and blood of Christ. By remembering Christ’s death, the believer enters into a communion with the risen Saviour.

v.18, Paul mentions the temple “altar” and sacrifices as another illustration of the truth that when the Jews make sacrifices they too are enter into communion with the risen Saviour.

v.19-20, Paul makes it clear that food offered to idols doesn’t have any “significance” and the idols are not “real gods.” BUT the food is being offered to “demons” not “to God” and we shouldn’t be “participat[ing] with demons.” 

v.21-22, The point Paul is making is a believer CAN’T partake of the devil’s food and still partake of the Lord’s food. Paul says “you cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons, too. You cannot eat at the Lord’s table and at the table of the demons, too.” It’s one or the other. You are either in communion with our Saviour or communion with the Devil. We don’t want to “rouse the Lord’s jealousy.” The Corinthian believers think they are strong enough spiritually to enjoy the liberty of being in a pagan temple and not fall into sin. They may be stronger than their weaker brother but they are not “stronger than [God]”. It is very dangerous to play with sin and tempt God.

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?  Paul says here to keep running away from the worship of idols. What are the idols in your life? My life? Maybe they are not made of wood and stone but they might be made of money, metal, bricks, or even flesh. Trusting in or worshipping anything other than God is idolatry. This is a choice I must make everyday, to keep running away from the worship of anything other than God.

June 11, 2013 at 9:25 AM Leave a comment

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