Time: 55 A.D.
Golden Text: “Therefore, if meat make my brother offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. (1 Corinthians 8:13).
There are many things clearly identified in scripture that are right or wrong. Other things are not so clearly identified and fall into the category of debatable things because the Bible does not clearly state that they are wrong to do. To grasp the truth presented in this week’s lesson, we first have to understand the situation that existed in Corinth and in throughout Greco-Roman world. Sacrifices were made to many different gods. Meats from those sacrificial animals were then offered for sale in the marketplace. In addition, Corinthian believers were often invited to special social occasions, either in the home or in the temple, where such meat was served. This presented a dilemma for Christians. The question was whether the Christians had the liberty or freedom to eat meat that had been sacrificed to pagan gods.
Some believers had no problem with eating this meat. However, others believe that it was wrong and were offended when they saw some believers eating this meat. Although eating meat offered to idols is hardly a problem in the church today, there are other debatable practices that are just as problematic for Christians.
Paul wrote 1 Corinthians because he was concerned about the church’s problems. He had heard from member’s of Chloe’s household. (See 1 Corinthians 1:11) that the church had serious divisions with the members being divided over which Christian leader to follow (read 1 Corinthians, chapter 5), and believer’s were taking each other to court to solve disputes (read 1 Corinthians 6:1-11). The church also had questions they wanted to ask Paul concerning marriage (1 Corinthians, chapter 7), church worship (1 Corinthians 11:2-34), and questions regarding spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians, chapters 12-14).
In this lesson text: Knowledge vs. Love. Paul stated Knowledge was important but love was more important but “charity edifieth.” It was more important for the Corinthians to show “charity” or Godly, which “edifies” or builds up people. If everything we do is based on “knowledge” alone, it leads to pride (see Proverbs 16:18). But when we do all things based on love with “knowledge,” it will lead to edification or building up the body of Christ. The person who truly loves God wants to please Him and do what’s best for his or her neighbor, for Romans 13:10 says “Love worketh no ill to his neighbor.” Be Blessed!