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Summary: I Corinthians 10:14-33

CHRISTIAN FREEDOM

1 Corinthians 10:14-33 (quickview) 

Introduction

A. Jesus loves us, and bought us to set us free (John 8:36 (quickview) ; Galatians 5:13 (quickview) ).

B. Paul warns these people not to play around with temptation and with their Christian freedom.

1. He wants them to have unity.

2. The Lord’s Supper communicates that unity (vv. 16-17).

3. The word “participation” means a “fellowship” or a “partnership” (v. 16).

4. This kind of participation can take place in a meal that has been sacrificed to idols.

C. Christians should never participate in pagan worship experiences.

I. The Christian and Idols (vv. 14-22).

A. What is idolatry?

1. It is having any false God.

2. Two of the Ten Commandments have to do with idolatry.

3. Everyone worships something, even the atheist worships his own understanding.

4. Idolatry can be anything that takes us away from worshiping the true God in the right way.

B. Idolatry offends God (v. 22).

1. An idol is nothing (v. 19).

2. Idolatry is pagan. Paul indicates that pagan worship is not offered to God, but to demons (vv. 20-21).

3. Check your life for idolatry. Are you putting habits, hobbies, sports, or philosophies ahead of God?

II. The Christian and Freedom (vv. 23-33)

A. Buy what is sold in the meat market without question (v. 25).

1. It all belongs to God (v. 26).

2. Don’t create difficulties unnecessarily.

B. If a pagan serves food to a Christian (v. 27, 28).

1. Eat it and ask no questions.

2. Reject the meat if you are told it has been sacrificed to an idol.

3. We assume verses 28 and 29 refer to being told by a Christian who has a weak conscience or by a pagan who is trying to test the Christian.

C. Do not be a cause for stumbling (v. 32).

1. We have a greater responsibility to others than we have to ourselves.

2. Christian freedom must be used to help, not hurt.

Conclusion

The lessons of Christian freedom and idol worship can be applied to many questionable things in our society.

Illustration

The word “jealousy” is used in verse 22 and the Old Testament often reminded the Israelites that God is a jealous God. We must remember that “jealousy” has two meanings:

1. We can be jealous for completely selfish reasons. This kind of jealousy is a work of the flesh according to Galatians 5:20 (quickview) .

2. We can be jealous because of our concern for others. This kind of jealousy is “strong zeal.” It leaves “self” out of the picture because of concern for others. This kind of jealousy is seen at the cross. Satan has the other kind; he is concerned about his own will not about others.


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