Summary: What are the marks of true spirituality?
2000220a - 1Corinthians 8.1-13 - Radical Spirituality, the Mark of Faith
First Corinthians addresses the subject of true spirituality.
Big debate about whether or not it was all right for a Christian to eat certain types of meat. Very Polytheistic (God of love, war, travel..)
Pagan temples - often offering was meat; birthday/etc..sacrifice 1/3 entrails/parts; eat 1/3; priests’ cut (paid in); took in a lot more than needed, so sold, discount/best plc (meat man).. are you supporting them?
Violate conscience>sin. (Romans 14.5-6) some saved out of pagan cult.
In our society, eating meat sacrificed to idols is no longer an issue. But the principles Paul teaches in this passage are as relevant as ever.
TV Show ID object: Not seen from normal perspective; microscopic. There are several conclusions you could reach after reading this passage…
1. It’s about food. (surface level, irrelevant issue)
Did anybody struggle with that this week?
2. It’s about freedom. (takes issue into our day but doesn’t hit root)
One thing: not everyone agrees what’s right and wrong.
Imagine a big blackboard: things Christians do/don’t. Minds..
Aldrich: Lifestyle Evangelism; LasVegas/Christmas tree.
We have different ways of showing reverence, living uniquely..
3. It’s about spirituality. (What are the marks of faith…)
College religion professor .. deep things of God and mean in office.. bad day lasted semesters..
it’s determined by your attitude in your attitude in the process. Simply put, Paul teaches that true spirituality is defined not only by how good you are, but how good you are to others.
True Spirituality is Evidenced by Love (don’t say it yet)
If you want to become spiritual, there are a number of things you ought to master in your personal life.
• For example, we need to be committed to the goal of spirituality. We need to be able to say, "I’m not going to let the world, or sin, or money, or enemies, or friends or family stand in the way of my becoming close to God."
• We also need to be disciplined. We need to be able to govern ourselves and force ourselves at times to do what we don’t necessarily feel like doing, and, at times, not do what we really feel most like doing. It takes discipline.
• Also, we need to be consistent. We need to make a regular habit of prayer, Bible study, worship, and service to God. These things can’t be done in a half-hearted "when I feel like it" fashion--they must be done consistently.
• We also need to be teachable. We need to become students of the Word, and learn what the Bible says about God, about holiness, about forgiveness, about marriage, about child-rearing, about career ambition, and about all the other areas of our life. We need to know the truth in order to live the truth.
But, as important as these habits are, they are not really the key to spirituality. It’s not enough to accumulate knowledge, or be disciplined, or be committed. There is something much more important than any of these. Can you guess what it is? You have got to develop a heart of love.
• (v. 1) Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. condescending
Knowledge puffs .. love builds (wax on about this!)
• (v. 2-3) The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. But the man who loves is known by God.
A few hundred words later Paul writes more about the subject in what has become known as the "Love Chapter." In that chapter he says…
• (13:2-3) If I have faith that can move mountains but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is the primary component of the Christian life. You’ve heard the saying, "People don’t care how much you know, they want to know how much you care." The same can be said about God. His primary concern for your spiritual growth is not how much you know, but how much you love. When you stand before the throne on judgment day, he won’t say, "Wow! You really knew the Greek. HC! Or…Boy! You could argue the authorship of Isaiah with the best of them. Or…Wow! You sat in the same pew every Sunday for 57 years." Those aren’t the things God is looking for. He wants you to develop a heart full of love towards others and towards him. True spirituality isn’t measured merely by how good you are, but by how good you are to others.