March 23, 2019: SOAP #3397: Joshua 15-17; 1Corinthians 8 Scripture: 1Corinthians 8:8 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 […]
March 23, 2019: SOAP #3397: Joshua 15-17; 1Corinthians 8
Scripture: 1Corinthians 8:8 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.
Observation: Knowledgehad set them free. They knew that an idolwas really nothing but a painted and decorated stick. Knowing this, they also knew that there wasno special power if the meat they were about to eat had been dedicated to that god. But not everyone had grown in their spiritualwalk to have that issue settled in their heart and mind. Weaker/younger believers had changed theirallegiance from the idol-gods to the One True God. But some still thought the idol-god had somepower. When weaker believers saw abrother eating some meat that had been offered to an idol, they would beoffended, or would think that they too could eat meat in honor of the godrepresented by that idol. Maybe theythought the blessing of that idol-god would keep them from getting sick if theyate that meat.
Application: So, what is a person to do? Remember that the freedom door swings bothways. We are free to eat, AND we arefree not to eat! Selfishly I may swingfreedom's door to get and/or do what I want! Lovingly I may swing freedom's door the other way not to offend mybrother.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, if ever there was one whoused His freedom to serve others at great cost to Himself, it was your Son,Jesus! No one forced Him to take myplace. He suffered willingly. Remind me of His sacrifice for me when I amtempted to run from the opportunity to sacrifice for someone else. Amen
Making friends for time and eternity!