Preferring the Freedom of Our Neighbors (1st Corinthians 8)

We resume our study of 1st Corinthians by turning the chapter to issues facing the both the ancient church and the church today, asking questions like:

  • How shall the church live in the culture?
  • How shall we relate to those who hold different views and have differing preferences than us?

Preferring the Freedom of Our Neighbors

Message title: Preferring the Freedom of Our Neighbors
Fourteenth week of the Beautiful Messy Church
Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 8:1-13
Preacher: Jeff Patterson
Date: 1/10/16

Listen or download:

Weaker vs. Stronger

Helpful resource: Blind Spots: Becoming a Courageous, Compassionate, and Commissioned Church by Collin Hansen

Family Verse:

“Blessed are those who
Hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.”
—Matthew 5:6
Matthew 5:6

Scripture readings:

Matthew 5:1-12 (NLT)

The Sermon on the Mount

5:1 One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, and he began to teach them.

The Beatitudes

“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,[a]
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
God blesses those who are humble,
    for they will inherit the whole earth.
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,[b]
    for they will be satisfied.
God blesses those who are merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
    for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace,
    for they will be called the children of God.
10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

11 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

Footnotes:
  1. 5:3 Greek poor in spirit.
  2. 5:6 Or for righteousness.

1st Corinthians 8:1-13 (ESV)

Food Offered to Idols

8:1 Now concerning[a] food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.[b]

Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.” For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating[c] in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged,[d] if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? 11 And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. 12 Thus, sinning against your brothers[e] and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

Footnotes:
  1. 1 Corinthians 8:1 The expression Now concerning introduces a reply to a question in the Corinthians’ letter; see 7:1
  2. 1 Corinthians 8:3 Greek him
  3. 1 Corinthians 8:10 Greek reclining at table
  4. 1 Corinthians 8:10 Or fortified; Greek built up
  5. 1 Corinthians 8:12 Or brothers and sisters

Beautiful Messy Church
Audio for this teaching may be played above, and is included in the RENEW Church podcastsubscribe in iTunes here, or access the church podcast feed directly here.

This year we each of us are invited on an adventure to look up and love God first. What will be your plan to develop a new rhythm of seeking God each day? » Find some help here.

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