Sunday, March 23, 2014

Cause no one to stumble

S- 1 Corinthians 8:8-13 NASB

But food will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol's temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.

O- Paul here is speaking to the church at Corinth whose culture is Greek and has many gods with many temples and sacrifices going on as part of their culture.  The church members new found freedom in Christ ame with the knowledge of the saving grace of Christ sacrifice on the cross, and with it a new found freedom in Christ.   Paul though recognizes that this is causing tension and perhaps disunity in the church between members who have found full freedom from the past and those that still struggle to find the fullness of freedom in Christ.  This could be for a number of reasons to include the fact the membership of the church probably consisted of both Jews who had lived under the old covenant and whose starting point was set at the fact that idol worship was a sin.  Others were likely gentiles who grew up in the culture of many gods, with many sacrifices to these false gods.   In either case Paul teaches the principle of humble servitude, with a heart to cause no man to stumble in their walk with Christ, even if that means giving up his rights.

A - The application for me  to recognize that I have found great freedom in Christ.  Sometimes I can walk so confidently in that freedom that I cause others to stumble.  In my case likely confidence begins to look like and even be arrogance, so I must guard my attitude to be sure I am more like Paul, a slave to Christ, giving up all my rights to represent Him.   If Christ needs mean to be without rights so that the lost may come to know Him I must be willing to do this.

P - Dear heavenly father, thank you for  your encouragement and inspiration to get back to journaling on your word.  I feel like I have so much to say and do, that the fear I have of staying in reflection of your word has left me clogged up.  Thank you for unclogging me.  I pray that you would continue to pour out your spirit on me so that I may be able to refresh and refine myself in your presence.  I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

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