Digging Deeper is a weekly Bible study usually available on Monday morning. We offer this unique spiritual formation tool to anyone who wants to receive it. Use Digging Deeper as a personal Bible study tool, for family devotions, and small group discussions. Weekly lessons are based on the current sermon series at The Chapel.
The following blog post contains notes and application questions from our May 5, 2019 message, How Love Impacts Our Liberty.
LISTEN TO THE SERMON
Don’t forget to listen to the sermon again as you work through this Sermon Based Study Guide. You can download the sermon through a variety of venue. The easiest way to listen to the sermon and get information about our church is on our church app. You can download our app by searching for The Chapel at Warren Valley in the App Store or get it on Google Play. Or you can always listen to our sermons on our church’s website http://www.thechapelnj.org/sermons
SUMMARY OF THE SERMON
Pastor James’ message continued our series, entitled, “The Right-Side-Up Gospel for an Upside-Down Church” from 1 Corinthians. James preached from 1 Corinthians 8:1-13 from his message, we see:
Paul has answered the Corinthians’ question about marriage and singleness; now he moves to deal with their questions about food sacrificed to idols.
This section of Scripture is speaking to how we treat people who have different beliefs than we have. Romans 14 encourages us to accept one another, welcome one another, and not to judge one another.
Are we our brother’s keeper?
How is a passage on the sacrifice of food to idols relevant for us today? It helps us to understand how we deal with situations that are neither right nor wrong but are neutral, how we deal with situations that are neither black nor white but gray.
Exposition (1 Corinthians 8:1-13)
Challenge (1 Corinthians 8:1-3)
The two issues under consideration are: Can a Christian participate in the pagan feasts? What to do with leftover animals from sacrifices at pagan temples?
Paul says that there is a kind of knowledge that leads to pride. This seems to be a significant issue in the Corinthian church.
Paul states that the foundational principle of Christianity is not knowledge but love.
Consensus (1 Corinthians 8:4-6)
Paul agrees with the Corinthian “strong” Christians on two issues: There is no real existence of an idol. There is no God but one.
Paul says that there are “so-called gods.” Paul contrasts paganism and Christianity. Paganism says that there are many gods. Christianity says that there is one God. Paganism says that there are many lords or mediators. Christianity said that there is only one Lord and mediator.
God, the Father, is the source of all things. And, we exist for Him. Jesus is the Lord. He is fully God and sovereign over all.
Confirmation (1 Corinthians 8:7-8)
We must recognize and affirm that not all Christians possess this level of knowledge.
The strong saw nothing wrong with eating the food. The weak were profoundly affected, troubled, and disturbed. For the weak eating food sacrificed, triggers memories of their past life. For them, it seems that they are accepting idolatry and even endorsing idolatry.
This troubled their conscience. The conscience means “with knowledge.” It is a God-implanted sense of right and wrong that all humans have been given. When a person does wrong, they will feel guilty. It is the soul’s warning system.
Because of sin, our conscience is not infallible. Sometimes we can feel guilty when there is no sin involved. The truth found in the Word of God helps to teach the conscience. It teaches us of our freedom in Christ.
To resist the conscience is not wise. When we turn against our conscience, we become desensitized and dull. It is essential to follow our conscience unless what it tells us to do is sinful. We sin when we go against our conscience.
Caution (1 Corinthians 8:9-10)
The strong are warned not to use their knowledge to harm and hurt others. In essence, Paul is saying that just because we have the right to do something, does not make it right. To cling to our rights at the expense of others maybe unloving, selfish, and self-serving.
The strong Christian’s insistence on their right could become “a stumbling block” for the weak. It may place obstacles in their way leading them to be disoriented and confused. It may also lead them to go against their conscience. To encourage a weak brother/sister to go against their conscience is encouraging them to sin.
Consequences (1 Corinthians 8:11-12)
By encouraging this “sin” for the weaker Christian, the strong are:
Sinning against the weaker brother/sister
Wounding their conscience
Sinning against Christ
Conclusion (1 Corinthians 8:13)
We should live by the principle of love. We should be willing to sacrifice for the benefit of other believers. We are our brother’s keeper. We should be willing to, even for the rest of our lives, lay down our right (gladly) for the love of God and the love of others.
Jesus laid down His life for us. Are we not willing to lay down our rights for others?
The three words to consider are:
Learn (right knowledge leads to humility, gentleness, patience and loving forbearance).
Love (God and others.
Live (gospel-driven living)
We should be willing to sacrifice for the benefit of other believers. We are our brother’s keeper. We should be willing to, even for the rest of our lives, lay down our right (gladly) for the love of God and the love of others.
BRINGING IT HOME: (REFLECT, REQUEST, RESPOND)
REFLECT: QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION
Read 1 Corinthians 8:1-3. What is the new topic that Paul discusses in this chapter?
Read 1 Corinthians 8:1. Paul says that knowledge if it is not anchored by love, tends to produce what in a person’s life?
Read 1 Corinthians 8:3. Paul says that this type of knowledge is most important. What is it?
Read 1 Corinthians 8:4-6. What doctrinal issues do Paul and the strong Christians agree?
Read 1 Corinthians 8:6. What do we learn about God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ from this verse?
Read 1 Corinthians 8:7. What are the strong Christians failing to acknowledge?
Read 1 Corinthians 8:8. Does food make us more or less spiritual?
Read 1 Corinthians 8:9-10. A stumbling block is placing an obstacle in another person’s way. What are some ways we can cause someone to stumble?
Read 1 Corinthians 8:11. What happens to a weak Christian when they stumble over the strong person’s actions?
Read 1 Corinthians 8:12. Paul states there are three consequences of encouraging the weaker person to go against their conscience. What are they?
Read 1 Corinthians 8:13. What conclusion did Paul draw? Are there any limitations?
REQUEST: PRAYER AND PRAISE
Ask God to help you to be more Cross centered in your life
Confess and repent of any sins that are in your thoughts, words or actions that are hindering your glorifying of God.
Ask for the Holy Spirit to help you live in the forgiveness and freedom of cross of Christ.
RESPOND: APPLYING WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED
How can you love God more through what you have learned? (read, study, meditate, memorize, share)
How can you love others more through what you have learned?
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED RESOURCES
Suggested Scripture Study: Read Genesis 4; Romans 14; 1 Corinthians 4:6, 18-19; 5:2; Romans 1:18-32; Romans 2:15; Romans 11:36; Colossians 2:19; John 1:3; Mark 7:18-19; John 15:13; 2 Timothy 2:2