Summary: Three eternal principles found in Paul’s admonition to the Christians at Corinth which are much needed in the church today. Looking past the specific concern we can see some eternal principles that Paul uses in dealing with the problem of eating food sac
Removing Stumbling Blocks
Paul wrote to the young evangelist Timothy, “All scripture is God–breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16–17). We know this and believe this as one of the pillars of our faith. But then we come across passages of scripture such as 1 Corinthians 8 that deals with food sacrificed to idols and we wonder how can this passage apply to us today? Maybe somewhere or sometime this passage could be useful, but 21st Century America?
Actually, Paul’s admonition to the Christians at Corinth is much needed in the church today. Looking past the specific concern we can see some eternal principles that Paul uses in dealing with this problem.
Tom Landry, legendary coach of the Dallas Cowboys once said, “"Most successful football players not only accept rules and limitations. . . they need them. (They) are free to perform at their best only when they know what the expectations are and where the limits stand. . . you can’t enjoy true freedom without limits."
Principle #1: Our conduct as Christians cannot be evaluated solely based on knowledge. (1 Corinthians 8:1–3)
1. Our conduct must also be evaluated with concern for our brothers.
b. Romans 12:9–10
2. Our conduct must also be evaluated with regard to our influence. Rom. 15:1–3a
Principle #2: Permissible behavior for one man may be sinful for another. (1 Corinthians 8:4–8)
1. A man must not violate his own conscience. Romans 14:23
2. Everyone must uphold their own conscience in faith. Romans 14:1–8
Principle #3: No Christian has the right to practice anything that damages the faith of another. (1 Corinthians 8:9–13)
1. Christians should not become a stumbling block to other Christians. Rom. 14:13–15
2. Christians should become a stepping stone for other Christians. Rom. 14:19–21
The giant sequoias of California have very shallow root systems. A tour guide pointed out that their roots extend just barely below the surface. It sounds impossible because we all know trees need deep roots to withstand drought and wind, but sequoias are most unique. They only grow in groves where their roots intertwine and their limbs interconnect with each other. When strong winds blow, they hold each other up. (Readers Digest, May 1989, pg. 48)
This is the way the church is designed. Without the help of others to keep roots firmly planted, with no support from others the individual Christian will soon fall. Like sequoias, we grow tall when we stand together and support each other.
Mitchell Skelton–Minister, Midway church of Christ