1 Corinthians 8

Scripture 

1 Corinthians 8:9,12,13

9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak…12 When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.

Observation

The Apostle Paul continuing his letter to the church at Corinth walks this particular church through a difficult topic that was causing division and strife within the fellowship of believers. The church was trying to figure out its position on the consumption of foods that had been dedicated to idols(false gods). 

Understanding 

I had to read and re-read this particular chapter. This is how I understand it. 

 

It is about God’s love.

It is not about being right.

 

He points out that the “more mature” Christians of the church are not wrong. They followed the true God- in their hearts food dedicated to idols had no power over them! However, the early church had members who had not built themselves up to this level of thought. To them watching their big brother or big sister Christians eat this type of food confused them. In their confusion they were also hurt. Again not because of any right way of thinking but because that was their level of growth in Christ.

In verse 12, the apostle Paul makes it very clear, when you sin against a brother or sister in Christ in this way, and wound their weak conscience you sin against Christ!

Is that not a sobering conclusion? 

Life Application 

Living in community isn’t always easy. In fact I would be so bold as to say it is hard.

In verse 1 of the same chapter Paul teaches us that “knowledge puffs up while love builds up.” And so here is my prayer:

Lord as my relationship and knowledge of you deepens,

May my exercise of that knowledge always be

Couched in Love, Love, Love.

May I be willing to sacrifice my rights

For the sake of those whom I love,

For the sake of Your kingdom,

For the sake of Your Love, Love, Love.

 

Love You Jesus,

Kenneth Lee