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1 Corinthians 8

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1 Corinthians 8

May 5, 2002

Intro: Paul continues to answer a series of questions that seem to

         have been sent to his, as he is in Ephesus at this time.

1 Corinthians 7:1, Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: …

A-  After looking at marriage, divorce, singleness, and a calling; The issue now seems to be Christian liberty or freedoms.

1-   The subject: is meat offered to idols.

2-   The parallel issue for CCO that can be plugged in is:

a-   Paul don’t I have the freedom to drink alcohol in measure.

b-   Don’t I have freedom in Christ of smoke cigarettes.

-         If a Christian (no hell) just heaven sooner.

c-   I believe that I am mature enough in the Lord to go to an R rated movie is that OK.

d-   How about gambling, I’m saved would gambling change that.

-         The answer to the Christian to the above is YES you can do all the above and you’ll, still go to heaven.

3-   BUT, not because of maturity but because of immaturity.

a-   The mature Christian has learned to tame the desires of the flesh in order to protect his witness.

-         My desire for a beer, My guilt over renting an R rated movie.

·        BUT are we not free in Christ .

John 8:31-32,  Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

2 Corinthians 3:17,  Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Read Matthew 10:34-39

Ø So what we have, concerning these issues, is a balancing act between legalism and using grace as a license to sin.

A-  The legalist is one who is quick to issue the RULES.

1-   Salvation was by grace but if you want to keep it this is what you have to do and this is how you have to act.

a-   So that the Christian life is twice the burden that non-Christianity was.

Matthew 11:28-30,  “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

B-  Then there is the other end of the spectrum.

1- Those who use grace as a license to sin.

a-   God has to forgive.

-         Where does repentance enter in???

b-   Because of their perception of freedom they have moved back into the bondage of sin.

John 14:15,  “If you love Me, keep My commandments.

Read Verses 1-6

Ø The key here is to see how Paul explains our liberty in Christ BUT also, as he defines the purpose of our freedom.

A-  He is going to spend the next 2 chapters showing how these liberties are to be used to edify others and not glorify self.

Galatians 5:13,  For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

1-   Where the biblical definition of liberty is mentioned it is in regard to our ministry to a weaker brother or sister.

1 Corinthians 8:1, Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.

A-  Remember Corinth is in Greece and Greece is a pagan country that was totally given over to idols.

1-   It was believed that an idol sacrifice would appease the represented god and would cleans the food of any demons.

a-   This offering would be divided in 3 parts.

-         One offered to the idol as a burnt offering.

-         The 2nd was given as payment to the priest.

-         The 3rd was kept by the offerer.

b-   Because of the amount of offerings the priest would have much more than they could use.

-         The excess would be sold in the market place as demon free.

·        The question is can we, as Christians, eat this meat?

l- We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but

    love edifies.

A-  The “knowledge” Paul speaks of here is:  The knowledge of the word so as to know what was permissible and not permissible.

1-   Paul’s implied question here is “you know the word enough to know that what you eat will not affect your salvation BUT how can you use this knowledge to minister??”

a-   Christian maturity can only be displayed through actions and not words.

-         Knowledge, by itself puffs up.

·        Puffs up = to make proud or to exhibit yourself.  (Bodybuilders)

-         PROBLEM: Usually when we build ourselves up it’s on the foundation of someone else.

ll- “But love edifies”

A-  Now love without knowledge is of no use to the Lord.

1-   But knowledge seasoned with love edifies

a-   Edifies = To promote growth in Christian wisdom, affection, grace, virtue, holiness, and blessedness.

Turn to 1 Corinthians 12:31- 13:3

2-   If gifting that comes from God is nothing without love JUST THINK of what use your knowledge is apart from love.

John 15:12-13,  “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.13 “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

a-   Chuck Smith’s success in ministry

-         Knowledge + Grandfatherly love.

1 Corinthians 8:2, And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.

A-  A most dangerous person.  One who thinks he knows everything but has yet to learn the most important things.

1-   A picture of the person who has the right knowledge but wrong understanding.

Turn to Ephesians 4:14-16


1 Corinthians 8:3,  But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.

A-  The earmark of a true Christian minister.

1-   To graduate school I needed to past test to prove that I had obtained a certain level of knowledge.

2-   To drive I had to pass a test

3-   Contractor I had to pass a test.

-         BUT notice for salvation a test was never required.

·        It was all about the giving of my heart to He who already loved me.

1 John 4:19,  We love Him because He first loved us.


1 Corinthians 8:4,  Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one.

A-  As mature Christians we know that an idol is nothing, and if nothing then the food offered to it is nothing.

1-   Look at the biblical description of an idol.

Turn to Isaiah 44:6.19

Acts 19:26,  “Moreover you see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but throughout almost all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands.

Read verses 4-7

Ø The problem stated

A-  Yes if you have been brought to the point of maturity it is for purpose.

1-   To humble yourselves go down to the level of the immature and see him lifted in the Lord to maturity

1 Corinthians 1:10,  Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Read 1 Corinthians 4:6-13

Ø So when is it a sin to Drink, smoke,…..(Fill in the blank)

A-  Only if it causes someone less mature to stumble.

Read Galatians 6:1-6

Romans 14-15:3


Read Verses 8- 13

Mark 7:15,  “There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man.

Mark 9:42,  “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.


Ø So whatever your issue is; what is it compared to someone’s salvation or walk with God.

#1- Is it really that important the you can’t give it up?

Hebrews 12:1, Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

#2- Is your issue helpful and useful for the glory of God’s

      kingdom or a desire of the flesh.

1 Corinthians 6:12,  All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

#3- What would Jesus do?

1 John 2:6,  He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

#4- Do you hide what you do,  what if your child started to do it.

1 Timothy 4:12,  Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

#5- Is what you do going to draw people into the kingdom of


Colossians 4:5,  Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.


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