Summary: Paul warns the mature Christians in Corinth not to be irresponsible but responsible for the growth and spiritual well being of the babes in Christ.
“Be responsible not irresponsible!”
Have Dr. Joe share about his mission trip?
Summarize last week’s message:
Lessons on marriage and family – Paul tells the church to be responsible and do things God’s way! Today he tells them to be responsible also in their relationships with others in the Body of Christ especially with the weaker less mature believers in Christ.
Opening Illustration: The importance of being responsible
AN HONEST DAY’S WORK The USS Astoria (C-34) was the first U.S. cruiser to engage the Japanese during the Battle of Savo Island, a night action fought 8-9 August 1942. Although she scored two hits on the Imperial flagship Chokai, the Astoria was badly damaged and sank shortly after noon, 9 August. About 0200 hours a young midwesterner, Signalman 3rd Class Elgin Staples, was swept overboard by the blast when the Astoria’s number one eight-inch gun turret exploded. Wounded in both legs by shrapnel and in semi-shock, he was kept afloat by a narrow life belt that he managed to activate with a simple trigger mechanism. At around 0600 hours, Staples was rescued by a passing destroyer and returned to the Astoria, whose captain was attempting to save the cruiser by beaching her. The effort failed, and Staples, still wearing the same life belt, found himself back in the water. It was lunchtime. Picked up again, this time by the USS President Jackson (AP-37), he was one of 500 survivors of the battle who were evacuated to Noumea. On board the transport Staples, for the first time, closely examined the life belt that had served him so well. It had been manufactured by Firestone Tire and Rubber Company of Akron, Ohio, and bore a registration number. Given home leave Staples told his story and asked his mother, who worked for Firestone, about the purpose of the number on the belt. She replied that the company insisted on personal responsibility for the war effort, and that the number was unique and assigned to only one inspector. Staples remembered everything about the lifebelt, and quoted the number. It was his mother’s personal code and affixed to every item she was responsible for approving. SOURCE: Commander Eric J. Berryman, U.S. Naval Reserve, Proceedings, U.S. Naval Institute, vol. 15/6/1036 (June 1989), P. 48. Contributed by: Terry Dashner
Thesis: Paul warns the mature Christians in Corinth not to be irresponsible but responsible for the growth and spiritual well being of the babes in Christ.
Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 8
1Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. 3But the man who loves God is known by God.
4So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. 5For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), 6yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.
7But not everyone knows this. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat such food they think of it as having been sacrificed to an idol, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. 8But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.
9Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, won’t he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? 11So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.
In our Scripture text today Paul challenges the more mature believers in Jesus to act responsibly to their less mature brothers and sisters in Christ. Paul is telling the more mature Christian to look out for their weaker family members. He tells them not to allow their freedom in Christ to be used without regard for its impact upon another.
They need to be responsible Christians and sensitive to the needs and mindset of others!
There was a major problem in this church because the mature Christians were doing things which caused the less mature believers to stumble and fall.