Friday, May 31, 2013

1 Corinthians 8 - Liberty with Meat

LINK: 1 Corinthians 8 


BACKGROUND


1 Corinthians 8-11 deals with liberty as it relates to pagan worship. Meat sacrificed to idols is covered in both chapters 8 and 10. Greeks and Romans burned portions of their animal sacrifices but retained the edible parts for banquets that celebrated the sacrifices. Sometimes, these parts were even sold in the marketplace. The Corinthians wondered if it was permissible to buy and eat these portions or to attend a meal celebrating the pagan sacrifice. Paul's principle regarding this is simple: love is more important than knowledge (we will hear more about that in 1 Corinthians 13). Since there was only one true God and idols were "nothing" (Psalm 115:4-8), their knowledge of this gave them freedom to eat the meat; but if their freedom caused another less knowledgeable person to stumble in their walk with God, then they needed to refrain from eating so that they were not a stumbling block to the weaker believer. Brotherly love was more important than knowledge.


REFLECTION


This chapter caused me to have a flashback to 1988 in a little restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand where my good friend, Somnuk, offered me oranges that had been put on the Buddha shelf in the restaurant earlier that day. I remember being in a quandary about what to do and finally decided not to eat them. This passage made me smile in remembrance. 


APPLICATION


Are there any things that you practice because you are free from their hold on you but may be causing your younger brother or sister in Christ to stumble?


PRAYER


I pray we would do all in love because Jesus did everything in love. Amen. 
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