THINGS OFFERED TO IDOLS
"Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one" (1 Corinthians 8:4 NKJV).
The ancient city of Corinth was a cosmopolitan city. This made the young church in the city to have many socio-cultural problems. Paul had to write many letters to them to address some of the problems that confronted the church. One of such problems addressed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 8 had to do with things offered to idols. These were by and large meat offered in sacrifice, and then either brought for sale in the market, or served up at the feasts held in honour of idols, at their temples, or at the houses of their adherents. Some of the Corinthian Christians were of the opinion that it does not matter to eat such meat especially one bought in market; others opined that it does matter and that it can become a stumbling-block to young Christians. Of most concern was the meat offered to idols and later used to entertain people. Should a Christian partake in such entertainment?
Well, to Paul, even the idols are nothing compared to God, the Creator of the universe. The idols are just mere gods. So, eating things offered to idols does not matter. However, because of conscience, especially of the young and weak Christians, one may abstain from eating such things offered to idols.
What are the things seemingly offered to idols around you? These may not necessarily be meat or food used in shrines, but day-to-day activities that are controversial and that may cause young and weak Christians to stumble. What is your opinion about such things?
Paul later gave this instruction: “‘Everything is permissible’ -- but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible’ -- but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.... So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God?" (1 Corinthians 10:23-32 NIV. Read Romans 14 for Paul's further instruction on this matter).
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor)
1. Lord, do not let me cause others to stumble by my actions and words.
2. Let my actions and words always glorify you, Lord, and build up others around me.
This message was first sent out on December 4, 2005.