(v) SECTION FIVE: Chapter 10:23-11:1.

Map of Corinth / Map of Corinth's Location / Picture of the Temple of Apollo / Outline Chart/ Read The Letter


Read this Scripture passage first...

 

1 Cor 10:23-11:1

23All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.

24Let no one seek his own, but each one the other's well-being.

25Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience' sake;

26for "the earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness."

27If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for conscience' sake.

28But if anyone says to you, "This was offered to idols," do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience' sake; for "the earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness."

29"Conscience," I say, not your own, but that of the other. For why is my liberty judged by another man's conscience?

30But if I partake with thanks, why am I evil spoken of for the food over which I give thanks?

31Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

32Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God,

33just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

CHAPTER 11

1Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.

(NKJ)

Paul concludes with a few words about 'idol food' sold in the market place, reiterating the 'Stumbling Block Principle' in the context of a practical example.

Paul shows that there is nothing wrong with eating such food...why ? Click here for the answer.

According to the 'Stumbling Block Principle', when would it be wrong for a Christian to eat food sacrificed to idols when it is bought at the market place ? Click here for the answer.

To bring this teaching into your own modern day experience you must apply the principles learnt. You may not be faced with such 'idol food' problems but there will be situations with 'comparable particulars'.

For example, many Christians say Pokemon is evil (and I would agree that when the kids 'worship' the TV characters it leads to them 'fellowshipping with demons'). My kid was given a coat with a Pokemon character on it. She does not watch Pokemon and the person who gave it is a good Christian friend giving something my daughter badly needs. Should I allow her to wear it to School ? It is just a coat with a picture on it outside of the context of a Pokemon show. I am free to let her wear it and she has no problems in her conscience doing so, also at her school there is no one who would be offended - so I let her wear it. However, I would not allow her to wear it to Church - why ? Because there are some who feel no image of Pokemon should be worn, so I don't want to stumble them and so I will not let my daughter wear it to Church!

Notice, once again the main focus of Paul is 'that they may be saved' - his focus is always for the Church to be effective in God's mission for it - the salvation of souls.

Missionaries must grasp the Stumbling Block Principle for this very reason. I have witnessed rich missionaries in Thailand living in their 'palaces' with huge barriers right by the poor slums. They are a stumbling block to the locals! Jesus was a missionary - He came from heaven to earth, but did not let cultural differences stumble us - the only cause for offense with Jesus is the Cross! Let that be true in our live too.

Chapter 11, verse one is Paul's conclusion - 'imitate me as I imitate Christ' - Paul states that the example has been given by him, but ultimately by Jesus Himself. We are to imitate the way Jesus acted towards others and how He abided always by the 'Stumbling Block Principle'.

SUMMARIZING.....

PRINCIPLES FOR TRUE CHRISTIAN FREEDOM

When considering any course of action go through the following three stages.....

1. Examine whether the Bible specifically prohibits the behaviour (e.g.. see 1 Cor 6:9-10). Such things obviously are wrong as they draw you away from God.

2. Recognize that because matters of indifference are precisely that - matters of indifference - they change from culture to culture. You may be amused at some of the things that other cultures have found wrong to do as a Christian where the Bible gives no direct instructions (eg. Drinking alcohol - some 'Christian Cultures' ban it altogether whereas others allow it in moderation) - click here for an interesting personal testimony on this topic.

3. Remember the principle of LOVE... the Stumbling Block Principle. "Nobody should seek his own good but the good of others" (10:24). In other words, a believer may choose to refrain from a behaviour so as not to offend rather than because it is wrong in the eyes of God. This is done so that the purposes of God will be furthered in seeing many saved for the glory of God.

Now you are ready to go onto the final lesson... LESSON SEVEN: Problems In The Christian Assembly.


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