Give Me Liberty Or … Part 2

Apr 14, 2013 By: Pastor Joseph LoSardo Series: The Church in Sin City Scripture: 1 Corinthians 8:7
In the first 6 verses of chapter 8, Paul introduced the dispute over food sacrificed to idols by establishing common ground in which he and those writing him would agree – that there is one God, and idols have no real existence. Monotheism is an essential Christian truth that Paul would have died for; however, at least for the moment, rather than taking a rigid theological stance against those in the church who were eating food sacrificed to idols, Paul instead (in 8:7-13) considers the potential detrimental effect that this practice might have been having on fellow believers. He reiterates that the act of Christ’s love, which brings every Christian into God’s family, requires that all in the family respond to each other in love, and put others’ interests ahead of their own. Paul concludes the chapter with a hyperbole expressing just how far he would go to love his brother: “If food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat.” In chapter 9, Paul firmly establishes his right as an apostle to be married and receive financial support for his gospel labors. He does this not in order to receive money, or to defend his apostleship, but to spotlight the rights that he relinquished at great cost to himself, rather than impeding the faith of weaker Christians. He does this, so that the Corinthians would imitate his example by surrendering their presumed right to eat idol-food (see 11:1).