1 Corinthians 10:29b-33

In 1 Corinthians 10:29b-33 Paul wraps up this chapter of his letter to the Corinthian church by reminding them that the food itself is not the problem, no one should judge another Christian who can eat meat sacrificed to idols, as long as they don’t violate their own conscience or someone else’s. It’s never been about the meat. It is about the relationship of the meat in the environment of idol worship, along with the impact the decision to eat that meat has on others around them in their patch. “For why should my liberty be determined by someone else’s conscience?” The principle here is that we have to recognize that what we do matters, not just for ourselves, but for those we influence.

Paul is working to help the church understand that the surface problem of eating meat offered to idols isn’t really the issue at all. Idols are powerless and nothing at all in comparison to God. Yet the perception related to eating that meat in a pagan temple is a problem because those circumstances make the appearance of idol worship. And further, if it impacts others in your patch because their conscience doesn’t allow them to eat sacrificed meat, then it becomes your problem again. So this is not complicated, it just means we have to open our eyes and understand the impact our decisions will have on others around us. “If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks?”

Paul gives us the key principle of this entire chapter – do everything for the glory of God. It is really that simple. The purpose of our lives isn’t to see how much we can get away with and still be Christians; rather, it is to glorify God. If the Corinthian Christian would have kept this principle in mind from the beginning in regards to this issue, everything would have made simpler! “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” While we don’t live to please others, we still need to be sensitive to how our choices impact them. We need to live to please and audience of One, but to do that, we can’t ignore how our actions might cause another to stumble.

Our ‘innocent’ choice may cause another to stumble even leading them to fall into sin. Our behavior should never cause another to sin. We have to make choices that build up the body of Christ, not give them cause to even consider making a sinful decision. “Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.” Paul wanted to please men, but he truly had only one focus. Paul’s concern was not focused on self, but on doing whatever he could to bring people into the Kingdom that they might be saved!

One response to this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: