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When Members Insist On Their Way   1 Cor. 8:1-4, 7-13; 10:31-33    March 21, 2010


1.   If We Insist On Our Way; We Forget The . . Preeminence Of God. 1 Cor. 8:1-4

       A.   The Preeminence Of God In Knowledge And . . Adoration. 8:1-2

1 About food offered to idols: We know that "we all have knowledge."Knowledge inflates with pride,

       but love builds up. 2 If anyone thinks he knows anything, he does not yet know it as he ought to know it.


       B.   The Preeminence Of God In Knowledge And . . Authority. 8:3-4

3 But if anyone loves God, he is known by Him. 4 About eating food offered to idols, then, we know

       that "an idol is nothing in the world," and that "there is no God but one."

Some Basic Arguments

1.    Knowledge is fundamental (1 Cor 8:1-3).            2.    Idols are not real gods (1 Cor 8:4-5).

3.    There is but one God (1 Cor 8:4-6).                      4.    People, not idols, are of God (1 Cor 8:6).

5.    All people do not have knowledge (1 Cor 8:7). 

6.    Problems arise from ignorance and a weak conscience (1 Cor 8:7).

7.    Meats being offered to idols does not defile the meats themselves (1 Cor 8:8).

8.    Meats do not make any difference in our relationship to God (1 Cor 8:8).

9.    Knowledge and liberty can become stumblingblocks to the weak (1 Cor 8:9).

10.  The example of the strong could cause the weak to commit sin (1 Cor 8:10).

(Dake Annotated Reference Bible.)


Ryrie 1 Corinthians 8:9

8:1 things sacrificed to idols. The remainders of animals that had been sacrificed to heathen idols. If the offering was private, the remainders were claimed by the offerer; if public, they were sold in the market. The questions discussed here concerned what a Christian should do about buying such meat, eating it when served to

him at a banquet, and whether to eat in the temple of an idol. (Ryrie Study Bible.)

(Life Application Study Bible.)

8:1-3 Love is more important than knowledge. Knowledge can make us look good and feel important, but we can all too easily develop an arrogant, know-it-all attitude. We can obtain God's knowledge only by loving him (see James 3:17,18).


2.   If We Insist On Our Way; We Forget The . . Prescription Of God. 1 Cor. 8:7-13

       A.   The Prescription Of God Will Not Make Us . . Inferior To Idols. 8:7-8

7 However, not everyone has this knowledge. In fact, some have been so used to idolatry up until now,

       that when they eat food offered to an idol, their conscience, being weak, is defiled. 8 Food will not make us

       acceptable to God. We are not inferior if we don't eat, and we are not better if we do eat.


       B.   The Prescription Of God Will Cause Our . . Influence To Be Effective. 8:9-13

9 But be careful that this right of yours in no way becomes a stumbling block to the weak.

       10 For if somebody sees you, the one who has this knowledge, dining in an idol's temple, won't his weak

       conscience be encouraged to eat food offered to idols? 11 Then the weak person, the brother for whom

       Christ died, is ruined by your knowledge. 12 Now when you sin like this against the brothers and wound

       their weak conscience, you are sinning against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food causes my brother to fall, I will

       never again eat meat, so that I won't cause my brother to fall.

Wiersbe 1 Corinthians 8:9-11

As a Christian grows in grace and knowledge, through reading and obeying the Word, he understands the truth, and the truth sets him free (John 8:32). He sees knowledge as a tool with which to build, not a weapon with which to fight. Conscience is that inner judge that condemns us when we do wrong and commends us when we do right. It "bears witness" to us (Rom 2:15 and 9:1). Repeated sin not judged and confessed will make it a defiled conscience (Titus 1:15) and eventually a seared conscience (1 Tim 4:2) that no longer convicts. We must strive to have a conscience void of offense (Acts 24:16). (Wiersbe's Expository Outlines.)

(Life Application Study Bible.)

8:10-13 Christian freedom does not mean that anything goes. It means that our salvation is not obtained by good deeds or legalistic rules; it is the free gift of God (Eph 2:8,9). Christian freedom, then, is inseparably tied to Christian responsibility. New believers are often very sensitive to what is right or wrong, what they should or shouldn't do. Some actions may be perfectly all right for us to do but may harm a Christian brother or sister who is still young in the faith and learning what the Christian life is all about. We must be careful not to offend a sensitive or younger Christian or, by our example, cause him or her to sin. When we love others, our freedom should be less important to us than strengthening the faith of a brother or sister in Christ.           (Life Application Study Bible.)


3.   If We Insist On Our Way; We Forget The . . Prerequisites Of God. 1 Cor. 10:31-33

        A.   The Prerequisites Of God Bring . . Praise To God. 10:31

31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God's glory.


        B.   The Prerequisites Of God Bring . . Profit To Church. 10:32-33

32 Give no offense to the Jews or the Greeks or the church of God, 33 just as I also try to please all

       people in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. HCSB

(Life Application Study Bible.) 10:31 Our actions must be motivated by God's love so that all we do will be for his glory. Keep this as a guiding principle by asking, Is this action glorifying God? or How can I honor God through this action?

10:33 Paul's criterion for all his actions was not what he liked best but what was best for those around him. The opposite approach would be (1) being insensitive and doing what we want, no matter who is hurt by it; (2) being oversensitive and doing nothing, for fear that someone may be displeased; (3) being a "yes person" by going along with everything, trying to gain approval from people rather than from God. In this age of "me first" and "looking out for number one," Paul's startling statement is a good standard. If we make the good of others one of our primary goals, we will develop a serving attitude that pleases God. (Life Application Study Bible.)


(Wiersbe's Expository Outlines.) 1 Corinthians 10:23-33

C. Live for God's glory, even if it means sacrifice (vv. 29-31).

Paul anticipates an argument in vv. 29-30. "Why should my strong conscience be judged by a brother's weak conscience? And what damage can there be in meat for which I have given thanks?" The answer is: regardless of what we do, be it eating or drinking, we must do it for God's glory and not just to please ourselves. Humanly speaking, it may seem wrong for a strong Christian to bow to a weaker brother, but this is what glorifies God. Making that weaker brother stumble into sin would disgrace the church and the name of Christ.

D. Live to win souls (vv. 32-33).

There are only three groups of people in the world: the Jews, the Gentiles, and the church. God expects the church to seek to win Jews and Gentiles to the Lord. If a Christian lives to win souls, these questions about conduct will take care of themselves. It is' the idle Christian, the carnal Christian, who frets over how far he can get involved with the world. When believers live to build the church and win the lost, they put first things first and glorify the name of Christ. (Wiersbe's Expository Outlines.)


(Ryrie Study Bible.)      10:31 do all to the glory of God. This is the all-inclusive principle concluding the

discussion that began in 8:1: Test all conduct by whether or not it manifests the characteristics of God. Other principles for guiding the believer's conduct in this book are (1) is it beneficial (6:12)? (2) is it enslaving (6:12)? (3) will it hinder the spiritual growth of a brother (8:13)? (4) does it "edify" (build up, 10:23)?

10:32 The mention of Jews separate from the church shows that Israel was not replaced by the NT church but remains distinct in this age. (Ryrie Study Bible.)