· Segway: Break into groups to read the passage and identify the most frequent word.
Get responses on the key word. What? How many times? How was knowledge being used?
· Sermon Title and Instructions to kids: Draw the pictures on the slides.
· Larger context of 8-10
8.1 Misuse of knowledge
9.1 Paul’s deference of rights for the Gospel’s sake
10.1 Flee from idolatry!
10.23 Concluding principles on meat and idols
· Cultural background: Not to be confused with Jewish dietary restrictions
It is interesting to note that most poor ate little meat.
Some burnt, some eaten in a feast, some sold in the market.
Feasts in the temples.
· Two views on this passage.
1. Meat sacrificed to idols was an “amoral” but controversial issue.
2. Paul was responding to some Corinthian objections to the prohibition
“For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements:
that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols,
and from blood,
and from what has been strangled,
and from sexual immorality.
If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.”
· Big Idea: Give priority to how your actions impact others for the Gospel.
A. Value of Knowledge (1-3)
1. Knowledge puffs up. (1)
They were using knowledge like a lawyer looking for a loophole
Knowledge alone tends to focus on the abstract overlooks people.
What is our priority? Your loophole or your brother/the Gospel?
2. Knowledge is incomplete. (2)
The more you know the more you know you don’t know.
3. Knowledge of God is not enough. (3)
v.3 “If” assume the answer is yes. Who does God love? Those who know about Him or those who love Him?
APPLICATION: “Some Christians grow; others just swell.” --W.Wiersbie
B. “Idol-Smart but People-dumb”
1. Only one God (4-6).
· One God
· “gods” traditional / “lords” mystery religions
· (Father “of/from” the source -- Son “through” the means)
o We believers live FOR the Father (not for ourselves)
2. Eating harms others (7).
It is dangerous to live in violation of your conscience.
3. Food is neutral (8).
Meat offered to idols didn’t have “cooties.”
Cf. 1 Timothy 4:3-4 “For every creature of God is good … if it is received with thanksgiving.”
APPLICATION: Love should take priority over knowledge.
III. Concern for a Brother... (9-13)
1. Be careful. Others are watching you. (9-10)
2. Your actions can ruin a brother’s conscience. (11-12)
3. Value your brother above yourself. (13)
APPLICATION: We need to prioritize the right question.
“How can I build up the brother for whom Christ died?”
Today I want to focus on the heart attitude rather than the loopholes.
You can’t be confident you are doing right by your brother (or the Gospel) if you are not willing to sacrifice for his spiritual health.
A. The Gospel in 1 Corinthians 8
v. 6 – God is our creator
v. 12b Sin is against Christ
v. 11 Christ loved and died for us
------Christ’s love and death demands a response.
B. Read instructions from George in India
· “If the person knows that food has been placed and offered to the idols with all the pooja worship and so forth, I think they should refrain. If they eat it knowingly, then they are compromising and giving a signal that they do not mind in worshipping their god. Then their stand that there is only one God gets devalued. On the other hand, if they eat from the plate without knowing, then I would see no harm, as there is no power that is greater than Jesus and His blood that was shed on the cross.” --George Ebenezer, Going Beyond, a ministry in India
· “In our practical context, I have learnt to be very sensitive but not compromise. How do I do that? I tell my friends very openly, (but with a smile in a gentle voice) that I will surely eat your food on your festivals but not the food (kept on a certain plate) offered to idols. Then it is like me worshiping your god. They immediately understand the religious connotation and give freedom. That is the best thing with a land like India where there are more than 33 million gods :) Some of them even have said… oh it is like we not taking part in your communion (We know that it is a different issue here) but I simply smile and nod my head and if the relationship continues, I explain the meaning behind the communion.” --George Ebenezer, Going Beyond
C. Big Idea: Give priority to how your actions impact others for the Gospel.