Being Loving Rather Than Being Right
1st Corinthians 8:1-13
Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. But whoever loves God is known by God.
- Previously on ‘The Corinthians’…
- Knowledge: It has value, we all have it…is it useful?
- Puffs up = Self Focus / Feeling Important…is this the Culture we want?
- Builds up = Edifies / Strengthens / Grows…is this the Culture we want?
- Believing you have something figured out proves that you do not.
- Knowledge without humility is always incomplete
- I love God when I trust & live the truth of the Gospel…and I’m known by God!!
- What is the Gospel? How do I trust and live out the Gospel? Known by God?
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.” For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”)
- ‘We know’ Sound Scripture Based Theology
- One and only God, everything else is demonic
- They appear as ‘gods’ or ‘lord’ because of the power people unwittingly give
- What is your spiritual reality?
- Do you give idols power in your life because your theology is unsettled?
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.
- ‘For Us’…The Bond of The Gospel of Jesus Christ
- This Spiritual Reality is ours, not for being right, but for being loving
- He not only is everything, as disciples we live from that everything… ‘Lifestyle’
But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.
- Levels of this knowledge as God reveals Himself to us
- Even as we try to follow Christ we default to our old way of thinking (Rom 12:2)
- If you don’t have conviction of your surrender to Christ you can be legalistic
Jesus @ Mark 7:16-21:
“It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart… Can’t you see that the food you put into your body cannot defile you? Food doesn’t go into your heart, but only passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer.” And then he added,“It is what comes from inside that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts…”
Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols?
- As disciples we’ve the right to not care about silly superstitions & false gods…
- We have to be careful to not unduly influence others at different growth stages
- Following Christ, as His disciples, we must become aware of others situations!
- We are called to get into each other’s lives enough to know our weak spots
- Don’t be a part of enabling someone do do what they don’t think they should
So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.
- Knowledge is not our goal as disciples of Christ, Love is
- Christ’s way is to care enough to know what causes your bother to stumble
- Christ’s way is to do your best to not be a stumbling block
- The Spirit Filled example is to do whatever I have to
When and why do you rely on your knowledge instead of Your trust in God’s Love?
What influences in your life contribute to less ‘puffing up’ and more ‘building up’?
Why are the statements about the Father & Jesus important to our relationships?
How can you become more aware of things you do that discourage other believers?
How might you care for your Bothers & Sisters sacrificially, guarding them from sin?