Today, we’re in 1 Corinthians chapter 8. Chapter 7 of 1 Corinthians continues Paul’s discussion on sex and marriage. Not being married, I’ll let you read it for yourselves and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal its truth to you. I again defer to ThroughTheWord.org and their excellent lessons on each chapter of the Bible.
In chapter 8, Paul brings up the subject of eating food sacrificed to idols. That was a problem in Corinth given that they were a pagan society that worshiped and venerated a bevy of Greek gods. The Romans copied the Greek gods and changed their names. Zeus became Jupiter, and so on. Constantine copied the Roman pagan rituals and called them Christian to entice pagans to join the Christian church in the 4th century. Yes, that’s where all the pagan rites, rituals, vestments, rosary beads, incense burning, etc. came from. I detail that in this article.
Let’s see what Paul has to say…
1 Corinthians 8
Now regarding your question about food that has been offered to idols. Yes, we know that “we all have knowledge” about this issue. But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church. 2 Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much. 3 But the person who loves God is the one whom God recognizes.
4 So, what about eating meat that has been offered to idols? Well, we all know that an idol is not really a god and that there is only one God. 5 There may be so-called gods both in heaven and on earth, and some people actually worship many gods and many lords. 6 But for us,
There is one God, the Father,
by whom all things were created,
and for whom we live.
And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ,
through whom all things were created,
and through whom we live.
7 However, not all believers know this. Some are accustomed to thinking of idols as being real, so when they eat food that has been offered to idols, they think of it as the worship of real gods, and their weak consciences are violated. 8 It’s true that we can’t win God’s approval by what we eat. We don’t lose anything if we don’t eat it, and we don’t gain anything if we do.
9 But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble. 10 For if others see you—with your “superior knowledge”—eating in the temple of an idol, won’t they be encouraged to violate their conscience by eating food that has been offered to an idol? 11 So because of your superior knowledge, a weak believer for whom Christ died will be destroyed. 12 And when you sin against other believers by encouraging them to do something they believe is wrong, you are sinning against Christ. 13 So if what I eat causes another believer to sin, I will never eat meat again as long as I live—for I don’t want to cause another believer to stumble.1 Corinthians 8 NLT
Don’t let your Freedom cause a Weaker Person to Stumble.
I’m free to have a cocktail when I go out to eat with my friends. It doesn’t bother me, I don’t drink to get drunk (like I used to), but I do enjoy a beer or a glass of wine on occasion. However, some of my friends don’t drink. One was addicted, and another came from a family where her father was a “mean drunk” and her brother died too young of liver failure from alcohol abuse.
Out of respect for both of them, I will not drink in front of them. Besides reiterating that God doesn’t like idolatry, that’s what Paul is talking about here.
Addiction is a form of idolatry.
The addict lives for the next drink or fix. Their lives are dominated by the addiction.
Only the Holy Spirit can give us the self-control and self-discipline that we need to refrain from falling back into our old lives.
Temptation is everywhere. That’s the fallen world that we live in. We can live in the world or we can look up and live for Jesus.
Jesus told this parable of the lost sheep. He is the Good Shepherd. He’ll come after His lost sheep not matter what.
4 “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. 6 When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!Luke 15:4-7 NLT
Are You Part of His Flock?
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…