May 13 2016
1 Corinthians 8-10 (Audio Sermon)
Should a Christian be free to eat anything at any time? Can he have a 666 number plate, attend a Hindu temple, practice tribal burial customs or offer a room to homeless prostitutes? As followers of Christ we are often forced to make strange decisions. In this regard Paul’s instructions to the Corinthians on eating food offered to idols is very helpful. Click the arrow to play –
Speakers notes follow –
Whether You Eat or Drink – do it for the Glory of God (10.31)
Would you have the number plate 666? Some ‘no way’ Others ‘just a number’ Me ‘no due to message it will convey.
Concerning food sacrificed to idols (8.1-13)
We know the idol is not real – the meat is meat- but caution!
Knowledge puffs up – love builds up (1) – those who know are those who love
Yes an idol is nothing (4) – there’s one God and one Lord
Not all know – stumbling block – eating can affect conscience (7)
1st Cent pagans said ‘That is Athena’ – goddess presence with statue
Sees you eating in a temple (10 ) Believers continued to attend temples to be sociable
Ismaili convert attended Mosque for family – but what rituals could she do?
– if another Ismaili convert sees her she may do the same and be drawn back to Islam
The weak – cause them to think they can worship Athena and Jesus
We need to consider how things look – shorts, drink, tattoo, bikini, pork
I will never eat meat again (13) exaggerating – but pushing necessary action
You say you have a right to eat what you want? (10.23) –
Paul’s rights as an apostle (9. 3-6, 12) Self example
Right to be supported financially – did not use right – hinder gospel (12) Stop talking about your rights and love others
Paul’s use of his freedom (19-23)
– Jew to Jews – not under law but became as one who was – for others and gospel
Reaching Muslims don’t put pork on table – Rural church don’t show tattoo
The Need for self Discipline (24-27) – example of athletes
Runners and Boxers – Corinth had Isthmian games every other year – runners run to win, have strict training – Paul pummels body like boxer – for lasting crown
Idol feasts and the Lords supper (10.14-22)
The Lord’s table (21) – ‘table’ reminded Corinthians of idol tables
Corinth had 16 temples or shrines – some had dinning rooms
Cups found at Corinth had names of gods on them
Ancient letter – “Chairemon invites you to a meal at the table of the lord Serapis in the Serapeum tomorrow the fifteenth from nine o’clock on wards”
Eating in the temples – cup participation in evil
Idol god not real – but demons are – cup of demons and cup of Christ
So two issues – weak believers – demons
The believers freedom (10.23-33)
I have the right to do anything – careful!
Not everything beneficial/constructive – don’t seek your good alone
Idol food ok if sold in the market (25) – sacrifices were in 3 portions – burnt up, priests, worshippers – If priest didn’t need it went to market – so, much sacrificial meat there
Idol food ok at friends house unless they make an issue of it – think of their conscience/thinking that you are consenting
Wisdom – what is ok in one situation (temple/home) is not in another – consider how things look
If you saw me having beer – is it likely I’m a drunkard? No.
If you saw me leave my house with a prostitute – is it likely we had sex? Yes.
Consider social climate – wouldn’t preach and go to bar in rural town – Mombasa different – questions about water into wine etc are big – opportunity to break legalistic molds – as Jesus did
A prostitute at my house is not a good way to teach kindness to them – no one will believe me
Cohabiting with someone you love before marriage – no one will believe there’s no sex, right? Likelihood to high. It will lead others to think they can do it too. This damages people. There’s enough pressure already. If you’re doing that – fix it quick.
We don’t have idol food problems – but we can still apply me principles
Jesus said we should judge by fruits – Paul similar – don’t be legalistic – ask what will my action produce?
I buy Halal food at grocery. Its just food. If I give it to you at dinner – does it bother you?
But if I go to a Christian mans funeral in Bungoma and am told they will bury him facing a direction because of the spirits – I object – not because that’s going to do anything, but so we don’t be seen to believe in that.
Wisdom – but above all: love
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.( 31)
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