1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Satruday, 4 September 2021
“…yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.” -1Cor.8:6
The books of Corinthians address various issues the church faces even in our day. Though the Corinth Church had true believers, there were serious problems such as factions, sexual immorality, abuse of spiritual gifts etc. which Paul needed to immediately deal with urgency. Paul diagnosed the problem of pride and lack of love in the church which he tries to correct through this letter.
One of the questions raised to Paul was on Christian liberty. Certain Corinthian believers were arrogant and ridiculed weaker believers who believed that eating food offered to idols was a sin. The stronger believers believed that the idols and food offered to them were nothing. Paul corrects them that the weaker brethren who just left the idol worship would not clearly understand and hence would eat such food in violation to their conscience. By their knowledge, the stronger believers were causing the weaker ones to stumble. Paul exhorted the strong believers to show love to the weaker ones by refraining from offending them. [Adapted from NKJV Study Bible].
The root cause of the behaviour of the strong believers was spiritual pride. This was/is an issue all through the years of the Church. Believers who claim to be spiritually knowledgeable look down upon others who seemingly are less enlightened. Paul in verse 1 stated “Knowledge makes one arrogant, but love edifies.” In our key verse, Paul highlights the fact about our identity– the fact about our existence. That is the key to handle arrogance and pride – to know who we are and to know the reason for our existence.
In Colossians 3:1, the Holy Spirit instructs us to “keep seeking the things above.” A true understanding of our identity in Christ will fill us with humility and gratitude and will purge out every bit of pride and arrogance.
Our identity: We exist for Him and through Him
In Psalm139:13 says “You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.” God our Creator is the Potter and we His creation is just clay: Jermiah18:6 (b) says “Behold like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My Hand, O house of Israel.” In Isaiah 64:8, it says we are the work of His hand…It reads thus: “But now O Lord, You are our Father, we are the clay, and You are our potter, And all of us are the work of Your hand.”
We have no existence apart from the One who made us: John1:3 declares “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” –that includes you and me! Colossians 1:16 & 17 reads: “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth……… all things have been created through Him and for Him. …. And in Him all things hold together.” What can we boast about in this life?
A person who has accepted Christ as His Lord, has become a new creation with a new character (2Cor.5:17) and as Paul stated: “It is Christ who lives in us.” (Galatians 2:20). Let us acknowledge the fact that we are created by God and every day of our existence is because of God’s abundant love extended to us through Jesus Christ. Let all pride and associated arrogance vanish from us and let us accept the weaker ones in faith through love!!
Acknowledge it: “Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” (Psalm 100:3)