Summary: The Christian and food offered to idols. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
• The great composer Johann Sebastian Bach said, always headed his compositions “J.J.”
• The letters stood for “Jesus Juva” which means “Jesus Help Me.”
• He ended them “S.D.G.” the letters stood for “Soli Dei Gratia”
• Which means “to God alone be the praise.”
• That would suggest to me that Bach was a man;
• Who wanted to glorify God - that was his priority.
• And of course it is (or it should be) the priority of EVERY Christian!
• I want to entitle my sermon this morning ‘Glorifying God’.
• That should be the priority of every Christian – look at verse 31:
• "Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."
• This morning we will see some principles that will help us to achieve that goal.
Our passage this morning begins at verse 14 with the word "therefore."
• Now every preacher is always taught that when you come across that word;
• You stop and ask the question: “What’s it therefore!”
• The answer is simple;
• It is a link to what has gone before;
• Don’t forget chapter divisions and verse numbers are our idea not God’s.
• They are put there for our convenience;
• To help us find our way around the Bible quickly and more easily.
• Now verse 9 – the verse which you finished off last weeks talk with;
• Is all about temptation.
• Today’s opening verse (10) to our section;
• Which let’s us know what temptations these Christians were struggling with,
• They were struggling with idolatry – the worship of wrong things.
• That word ‘idolatry’ ought to sound very familiar to you;
• Because Paul has been talking about it in chapters 8, 9 and the first half of chapter 10.
• So what follows in our passage this morning;
• Is a summary of everything that Paul has been discussing in chapters 8, 9 and first part of 10.
I want to divide this passage under 4 headings:
(A). The Warning (vs 14-22):
“Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry”
• The pagan world or religion was dominated by idols;
• Idols are of course perceptible, visible, they are physical and tangible.
• A little boy went up to a missionary Sunday School leader in a pagan country;
• The boy said;
• “I like what you say about the God of the Bible but I can’t see him;
• But if I go to the temple I can see my God”.
• The missionary said to the little boy;
• “Listen, does your God bleed”.
• The boy said; “I don’t know!”
• The missionary gave him a pin and said;
• “Next time you go to the temple, when no one else is watching;
• Prick him, see what happens”.
• The following week the boy returned to his Sunday School class;
• He said to the missionary: “I did it, I did it, I pricked the idol”.
• The missionary said; “And what happened”.
• The boy replied; “Nothing, my god doesn’t bleed”.
• Straight away the missionary said;
• “But my God did! He bled for me and he bled for you!”
The point the missionary was making was what Psalm 115 teaches about the foolishness of worshipping an idol:
“The idols of the nations
are made of silver and gold.
5They have a mouth and eyes,
but they can’t speak or see.
6Their ears can’t hear,
and their noses can’t smell.
7Their hands have no feeling,
their legs don’t move,
and they can’t make a sound.
8Everyone who made the idols
and all who trust them
are just as helpless
as those useless gods”.
• Having swapped the worship of idols for the living God;
• The Corinthian Christians now faced another problem;
• Before we look at dilemma that let’s pause and apply this warning to ourselves!
“Though we do not face a pantheon of false gods like the Israelites did, we face pressures from a pantheon of false values—materialism, love of leisure, sensuality, worship of self, security, and many others. The second commandment deals with idols. This may be something that most of us can’t relate to—unless we include life goals that revolve around something other than God Himself.
What is the object of our affections, our efforts, and our attention?
Where does the majority of our time go?
On what do we spend the greatest amount of our resources”
Today’s idols are more in the self than on the shelf
• An idol of course is not just a statue of wood, silver or gold;
• It is anything or anyone who takes the place of God in our lives.