Matters Of Conscious

Passage:

“Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.” For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭8:4-13‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/1co.8.4-13.esv

Paraphrase:

So when it comes to eating food offered to idols, we all know that idols doesn’t exist. They aren’t living breathing beings like our God. We may call people “lord” or “king” or but we all know there is only one Lord and King, our God who is the Ruler over all. We exist for Him and because of Him. Everything finds its origins in Him. However, everyone isn’t aware of that fact. Some people

who grew up worshipping idols and false gods cannot eat food that’s offered to a false god because of their past.

Now food is not the issue. We are no better from not eating it or if we do. God isn’t judging us because of what we eat. But just be aware that you are responsible for helping your brothers and sisters and their walk with God. Don’t do anything that will cause them to stumble in their walk with God. Anyone who might see you eating inside a temple of an idol won’t be encouraged but confused. They may have a weak conscious and you will cause them to falter and in effect you’ll be winning against them and God. And so it’s for that reason I won’t eat any food offers to an idol… not out of obligation but out of love for my brothers and sisters and Christ.

Premise:

What we do matters and we should consider those things before partaking. Even in the eating of food offered to idols in this case for the people Paul’s day was a matter of conscious and debate. However Paul deals with this issue by instructing people that the issue isn’t about the food itself but the caring for those brothers or sisters whose conscious may be tainted because of their former lives where they used to worship false gods. In this matter, Paul says that it’s better to care about what might offend others than simply doing what seems of feels right to us. We are encouraged to not let matters of freedom become a stinking block to someone else.

Principle:

Just because you are free doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be sensitive to others around yo.

Caring for others and their walk with God is important.

Ponder:

What issue in society is like the meat offered to idols in Paul’s time?

Is there an area of conscious that you have had to wrestle with?

Do you ever consider your freedom being a stumbling block to another?

Practice:

Be sensitive in your use of “freedom”.

Always consider how your walk with Christ and your “freedom” affects others.

Be mature in how you handle “weaker” Christians.

Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank you for caring so much about each person and thank you for the freedom you have made possible through your death. Help me to always be considerate of my brothers and sisters in Christ. Don’t let my freedom become a stumbling block to anyone. Keep me sensitive to your Spirit and my fellow Christians that we all may dwell together in unity.

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