The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

10/15/2012

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Freedom Within The Fellowship


"Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall" (1 Cor.8:13).

When I think of freedom, doing what I want to do comes to mind. After all.... Its freedom, right? The apostle Paul gives us some insight here about freedom and its possible fragility. Chapter 8 of the first epistle to the church at Corinth speaks about the eating of meat that was a leftover from pagan sacrifice. Since the pagan idol represented no real god or represented no real power, some thought it was alright to eat this meat. "Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat such food they think of it as having been sacrificed to an idol, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled" (V 7). Some people couldn't handle this so Paul said: "But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do" (V 8). Paul is saying that in the big picture, it really doesn't matter. Then he makes a qualification that sheds some true light upon a Christian's freedom. "Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak" (V 9). Today's verse is the template that Paul sets for us about the proper use of freedom... "Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to fall." Even though he has freedom in Christ, Paul is ready to go to extremes in service to his weaker brother. If we read into chapter 9, we find that he is certainly willing to put limitations on his freedom to save others. Are we? Will we flaunt our freedom in the face of a brother who has a weakness in a certain area? You can probably think of some examples from your own experiences.... If I can find a bottom line to guide my behavior, Paul supplies it. "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (1 Cor.10:31). We need to glorify God through our actions.... All of them....

Have a great start to your week.... Begin it with a RAK or two... Love mark Phil.4:11

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