Summary: We are to be known first for our love.
BUT I LOVE STEAK!
S: Love and freedom
C: Love is a larger priority over freedom
Th: Live the Difference
Pr: WE ARE TO BE KNOWN FIRST BY OUR LOVE.
TS: We will find in our study of I Corinthians 8:1-13, two issues that need the application of love.
The _____ issue is the…
I. WEAKNESS OF INTELLIGENCE (1-6)
II. WEAKNESS OF IMMATURITY (7-13)
PA: How is the change to be observed?
· Love one another
· Realize knowledge alone has its limits
· Do not use your freedom to hurt fellow believers
· Live in harmony in the community
RMBC 13 June 04 AM
ILL Notebook: Insult (I hope you get better)
Lou Yelnick is a retired man who volunteers to entertain patients in nursing homes and hospitals. One day he went to New York City’s Coney Island Hospital and took his portable keyboard along. He told some jokes and sang some funny songs at a patient’s bedside.
When he finished, by way of saying good-bye he said, "I hope you get better."
The man replied, "I hope you get better too."
How about you?
Have you ever done that to someone?
Have you ever been accused of being insensitive?
ILL Personal example
This happened to me during my Senior year at Nyack.
I was careless and insensitive with my words.
There were two fellows who were running for the position of President of the Student Senate.
In my enthusiasm for one of the candidates, whom I liked very much and had tremendous respect for, I carelessly made comments about the other candidate that were unkind.
In fact, my comments were inappropriate.
I didn’t think much about it, because it was a private remark made in a private conversation, until I heard that my opinion was made known all over campus.
Even then, I was not that concerned because I was thinking there was freedom of speech and all that.
But in the process, I found that my words were being taken very seriously, especially by the other candidate.
Within days, he came to share his hurt and I soberly realized my error.
I had been unwise and careless with my words.
Not only that, I had also seriously misjudged him.
It was an incident that made a profound impact in my consideration of people.
I had been insensitive, and as a result, I had gravely wronged my brother.
Likewise, Paul is dealing with a similar insensitivity that is happening in the church at Corinth.
Starting with the last chapter, Paul is answering a series of questions that have come from the church itself.
In the portion we are considering today…
1. Paul is answering a question regarding food offered to idols.
The Greek and Roman culture of the day was polytheistic.
In other words, there were many gods.
And it was a common belief that evil spirits would attach themselves to the food in order to get into a person.
So in order to remove the spirits from the meat and gain favor from a particular god, the food would be sacrificed.
To accomplish this, the sacrifice was divided up into three parts.
One part was burned on the altar.
The second part was given as payment to the priest doing the ceremony.
And the third part was kept by the one bringing the offering.
Now what happened more often than not was that there was an excess of the second part.
In a given day, the priest would be given more than he could use.
So this excess meat was then taken and sold on the market, the proceeds going to the temple.
This meat was highly valued, because it was considered cleansed and safe.
Not only that, anytime meat was sought for guests, the best meat in town would be found at the temple.
Now, if you are like me, you love steak.
I love steak!
It is great, and when I want to purchase some, I want the best.
And in this case, the best steak in town was at the temple.
For the Corinthians, this was a difficult issue.
For some in the church, to eat this meat violated their conscience.
For others, they could eat this meat without any trouble at all.
For the latter…
2. It is an issue of freedom.
It was their thinking that since it is not directly forbidden in Scripture, then it is allowable.
But there is a tension here that has existed since the beginning of the church.
For how far does freedom go in regard to behavior that is not specifically forbidden in Scripture?
While we don’t tend to deal with issues like food offered to idols, we do find Christians divided on issues of freedom like…