Seeking the good of others!
Scripture reading for August 16th: 1st Corinthians 10:15-11:2
The issue of eating meat sacrificed to idols was very controversial in the church at Corinth. There were many idol temples and people who were in the church had come from backgrounds where they participated in the worship of these idols and the demons behind them. Some were very sensitive in their consciences because of what God had delivered them from. They believed that they were participating in the worship of demons if they ate the meat. Others had learned through study of God’s word that these idols were really nothing at all and that the sacrifice did not mean anything. As believers, they were free to eat the meat and simply give thanks to God for providing it.
This conflict was causing division and some in the church to stumble. Paul wrote clearly to help them with this problem as he had done to the Romans. (Romans 13-14) Paul warned everyone to flee from idolatry. God is jealous and wants all our worship! (1st Corinthians 10:14, 22) When we partake of holy communion, we partake of the ‘cup of thanksgiving’ and participate in the blood of Jesus Christ. When we eat the bread we partake of the body of Christ. As believers, we become one with Christ and with all true believers through the sacrifice of Christ given for us. (1st Corinthians 10:15-17)
“”Everything is permissible”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.” (1st Corinthians 10:23-24) When we are part of the body of Christ, we must be mindful of those who may be sensitive in this area of eating meat sacrificed to idols. We may have liberty to eat, but it may be harmful to our brothers and sisters who came out of this kind of idolatry. We should limit our liberty to help them grow in faith.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God–even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. Follow my example as I follow Christ.” (1st Corinthians 10:31-11:1) Winning people to Jesus Christ for God’s glory is our single focus!