SOAP Study - October 14, 2020

    10.14.20 | by Larry Williamson


    1 Corinthians 8:9-13

    But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble. 10 For if others see you—with your “superior knowledge”—eating in the temple of an idol, won’t they be encouraged to violate their conscience by eating food that has been offered to an idol? 11 So because of your superior knowledge, a weak believer[a] for whom Christ died will be destroyed. 12 And when you sin against other believers[b] by encouraging them to do something they believe is wrong, you are sinning against Christ. 13 So if what I eat causes another believer to sin, I will never eat meat again as long as I live—for I don’t want to cause another believer to stumble.


    • What verse stood out to you while you were reading?
    • What did you discover about God, yourself, and others?
    • How should this information impact your life?
    • What needs to be different about the way you are currently living?
    • Take some time to talk to God about the things you just learned and how you want your life to look different. Give God thanks for revealing these things to you, ask Him for wisdom and courage to move forward so that you can apply these things to your life.

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    Today's scripture is the completion of Paul's response to the Corinthians regarding food offered to idols. The conflict that exists here is that not just people disagree about food sacrificed to idols but that seeing some Christians partake is causing other Christians to stumble in their faith in Jesus. Due to some believers in Jesus also believing in other gods at the time, when these "weaker" Christians were seeing others partaking of idol sacrifices, it could easily cause them to place their trust in those idols instead of only in Jesus Christ. Paul warns Christians not to allow our freedom and "superior knowledge" to cause other Christians to harm their faith. In verse 13, Paul lets us know that we must be willing to completely abstain from whatever it may be that can cause our brothers and sisters to stumble. When we knowingly cause fellow believers to stumble, we are sinning against Christ.


    Reading through this passage has allowed me to wonder, "What am I doing that can be sending people away from Christ?". We do not deal with the same food/idol situation that Paul is confronting here, but we all can have moments where we allow our knowledge and personal freedoms to become a wedge between other believers and us. In America, we allow our liberties and our superiority of knowledge to become Lord over our lives, which often creates collateral damage with the people who exist within our lives. In this entire chapter, Paul is not only challenging the meat that is sacrificed unto idols. He also challenged every single time that we allow our agendas, knowledge, and freedoms to become the main priority in our lives.


    Father God, thank you for continually challenging the idols in our lives. We know that you are God and God alone, and we understand that Christ is enough to satisfy our every need. So, we surrender all of who we are to be used for your glory so that we may be guided by love, and other's faith may be strengthened.