1 Corinthians 8 – 9:18 by Pastor Don Moore
Notes from Bible study taught June 1, 2012
The application from 1 Corinthians Chapter 8 is: if we understand the SPIRIT of the Law, the letter of the law won’t kill us.
1 Corinthians 8:1 Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.
Pagan temples offered food to idols. There are still pagan temples in this day that offer food to idols – buddah, santeria, etc. The idol doesn’t eat. So the old food is thrown out or sold for cheap.
God established His Temple by a different system. Any food offered to God, except for certain parts of the animals, God provides for the priests.
Deuteronomy 18:1-8 “The priests, the Levites—all the tribe of Levi—shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel; they shall eat the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and His portion. Therefore they shall have no inheritance among their brethren; the Lord is their inheritance, as He said to them. “And this shall be the priest’s due from the people, from those who offer a sacrifice, whether it is bull or sheep: they shall give to the priest the shoulder, the cheeks, and the stomach. The firstfruits of your grain and your new wine and your oil, and the first of the fleece of your sheep, you shall give him. For the Lord your God has chosen him out of all your tribes to stand to minister in the name of the Lord, him and his sons forever. So if a Levite comes from any of your gates, from where he dwells among all Israel, and comes with all the desire of his mind to the place which the Lord chooses, then he may serve in the name of the Lord his God as all his brethren the Levites do, who stand there before the Lord. They shall have equal portions to eat, besides what comes from the sale of his inheritance.
God provides for the priests from the food that is sacrificed. The residual of the offerings belongs to the Levites to use for food. It is not sold in the market as profit for the priest. And during the feast days, when there was multiple sacrifices, God said that the people should eat of the leftover meat from the sacrifice – a big barbeque for the people. Twice a year at Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles (which included Yom Kippur) the people were to come to Jerusalem to the Temple to celebrate these feasts. God loves a big party.
Instead of tithing ten percent, the Israelites tithed 23 1/3 percent. Ten percent went to the Temple, and the balance of the tithe was used for expenses for the pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
Joseph brought his whole family (including Jesus) to Jerusalem for the feast.
Deuteronomy 5:6-10 ‘I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
Leviticus 26:1 ‘You shall not make idols for yourselves; neither a carved image nor a sacred pillar shall you rear up for yourselves; nor shall you set up an engraved stone in your land, to bow down to it; for I am the Lord your God.
Exodus 20:2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
God clearly tells us that we are not to have any idols. When we catch ourselves making explanations and excuses for what we’re doing, it’s sin.
1 Corinthians 8:2 And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.
Compared to God we know nothing.
1 Corinthians 8:3 But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.
Say (in reference to this verse)– this is for me. If we love God, He knows us. Not everyone is God’s child. In order to be His, we must believe He is and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6) If we don’t believe, we are not His kids.
1 Corinthians 8:4 Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one.
Paul said this, and if we misinterpret it, we can use it to sin. Jezebel ate food offered to idols. Don’t use this verse as an excuse to violate God’s laws. If we are not careful, if we know we are forgiven, we don’t perpetuate sin and then justify it.
1 Corinthians 8:5-7 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live. However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.
Not everyone has the knowledge about food offered to idols and. If they think they’re defiled by eating food offered to idols, they are. We have to be careful what statues and knickknacks we have in our house, that they aren’t mistaken as idols.
1 Corinthians 8:8-9 But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse. But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak.
This is the main point – that if the freedom you exercise becomes a stumbling block to another, then you need to refrain from doing what could be the stumbling block. For example, finding a healthy place to eat rather than McDonalds for someone with a weight problem.
1 Corinthians 8:10-12 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.
The action of eating the food offered to an idol isn’t a sin, the sin is if you do that and it causes a weak brother to perish or wound their weak conscience. That is the sin against Christ.
Some people have a weak conscience and it contains things that are a sin. If you have gotten past that sin, the fact that you do the behavior could still be a temptation to a weak brother or sister in Christ.
An example was the Lakeland Revival – the pastor Todd Bentley had tattoos from the neck down. Pastor Don watched this person to see what the fruit of that revival was. It turned out Bentley was an adulterer and a fornicator. Many of the young people who attended this revival went out and got tattoos – although the Bible tells us not to mark our bodies that way.
1 Corinthians 8:13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.
The higher action is to not sin against our brother or sister in Christ and cause them to stumble.
Revelation 2:14, 20 But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality……Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.
Immorality and idols went together. God has a problem with idols and their ability to cause us to sin. God is a Spirit and He does not deal lightly with things concerned with idols. Idolatry causes us to pray to things that are not of God and the sins increase.
1 Corinthians 9:1 Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?
Paul is establishing his place and position on the basis of what God has done and the fruit of what God has done.
1 Corinthians 9:2-3 If I am not an apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you. For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. My defense to those who examine me is this:
The problem: Paul is trying to have a home church recognize and establish his apostleship. It is home and family. A prophet is without honor in his hometown. Paul walked in all the gifts of the Spirit and stood in all the offices – apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher. He demonstrated these things to the people and they still did not recognize who he is.
1 Corinthians 9:4-5 Do we have no right to eat and drink? Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?
Paul spoke about having the right to take a believing wife on his trips, but Paul had no wife. An apostle has the right to have the finances to eat and drink and be comfortable.
1 Corinthians 9:6 Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working?
Paul and Barnabas worked. What is our work? To believe on Him who God sent. We need to find out who we are to Adam, to define ourselves. Where are we at? Work is the process by which we define ourselves and discern who we are. Work is discerning who we are in Christ, as opposed to our secular vocation. Paul’s work is apostleship.
God says work two times to Adam. 1) In the garden Adam was to care for creation and find purpose in naming things. 2) After the fall, he was going to work outside the Garden with sweat and tears.
Our work is stewardship. We take care of what does not belong to us and we can utilize the things for the Kingdom. Do we want ownership or access? Ownership deals with care, protecting your property and mortgage. Access provides shelter, protection, security and comfort.
Because of Adam we messed up our access and have to attain, to get to a place of the promised dominion which was given to us as stewards. We can’t have dominion without recognizing responsibility.
1 Corinthians 9:7 Who ever goes to war at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk of the flock?
The answer to these questions: no one
1 Corinthians 9:8 Do I say these things as a mere man? Or does not the law say the same also?
The law says the same.
1 Corinthians 9:9-14 For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” Is it oxen God is concerned about? Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things? If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more? Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar? Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.
The priests ate the shewbread in the Temple.
1 Corinthians 9:15-18 But I have used none of these things, nor have I written these things that it should be done so to me; for it would be better for me to die than that anyone should make my boasting void. For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship. What is my reward then? That when I preach the gospel, I may present the gospel of Christ without charge, that I may not abuse my authority in the gospel.
The Gospel is given without charge even though they deserve to be supported. The Gospel is freely given, but we are to honor the workers of the Kingdom with our gifts and offerings.
The church is weak in this area prior to the Civil War, and some of the practices are still seen today. Puritans were so in error because they made it impossible for men and women of God to earn a living from their work for the Church. They felt that the way to keep their ministers humble is to keep them poor.
We ran out of time at this Bible study, so will continue it next time.
Hoping you are staying cool during this hot, hot, hot weather.
Have a blessed day,