Summary: Some sins the Bible says nothing about. How do you handle those sins?
1 Cor 8 1_13.doc
GOOD ADVICE TO A GROWING CHURCH _____________________________________________
A Study In The Book Of 1 Corinthians
Dealing With The Gray Areas Of Life - 1 Corinthians 8:1-13
The apostle Paul had two great desires in life… (1) To live his life totally for God and…, (2) to help others.
This is the essence of our Christian faith.
Paul was a man who left his mark on human history because he had proper convictions and he lived by those convictions.
Convictions -- "A strong persuasion or belief.”
Everyone has some convictions; some are right, some are wrong, and some are in-between or weak.
The only way to have strong convictions is to have close and strong relationship with God.
Daniel had certain convictions…
Dan 1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
Just because Daniel didn’t eat certain foods… – does that mean that we can’t either?
Keep in mind that Paul is answering questions that have come to his attention.
The Bible is very definitive as to what is right and wrong… what is sin and what is not.
Some areas in the Bible are very specific and define what is right and wrong… Like…
· Sexual Immorality
The problem lies in those gray area… the areas left to our conscience as to whether they are right or not.
· Some people struggle at to whether they should go to the movies or not
· The type of movies we should go to
· Whether it is alright to drink or not
· Some people won’t play cards
· Some ladies feel that it is a sin to wear make-up
· Or some feel like dancing is a sin
· How about how to celebrate Halloween or not
· Should we have a Christmas tree
· Should we celebrate Christmas with Santa
· Are Christians allowed to be in Freemasons, or Shiners or part of the Masonic Lodge
· What is appropriate dress to wear or not
· How about smoking
Quite honestly… the Bible is very silent on a lot of these issues. It leaves room for us to figure it out ourselves.
The problem that the Corinthian Christians was whether or not they should eat that had been offered to idols. This was a gray area.
It becomes a matter of our own conscience.
In many Asian cultures and in Africa – this still is a large issue.
However… It was just as sensitive of an issue as some of the issues we face today.
Most of the meat that was sold in the town marketplace came from sacrificial animals that had been slaughtered at the pagan ceremonies.
· Part of the meat of each sacrificial animal was burned on the temple altar
· Part was eaten in temple ceremonies
· Part was sold in the Corinthian marketplace for consumption at home
The question at hand was this… did these rituals somehow automatically taint the food with some weird spiritual voodoo?
Could Christians eat meat that had been offered to idols?
· For some Christians, eating the meat from the temples brought back memories of their past life.
Could they go to a friend’s home and eat a meal there?
What about weddings and social events?
Rom 14:1 Accept Christians who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. (NLT)
A few weeks ago we talked about a group called the Gnostics who were in Corinth.
The Gnostics believed that your body was temporary and would be left on the earth after you die. Therefore, you could do anything you wanted with it.
This gave them a kind of superiority over other Christians because their freedom was unhindered.
The Corinthians knew that they were free in Christ.
But many of them took this to an extreme, thinking that Christian liberty was their ticket to sin.
1 Cor 6:12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
Keep in mind that we are to be salt and light to the earth…
Mat 5:13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
Mat 5:14 "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Mat 5:15 "Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.