Through My Bible Yr 03 – December 03
1 Corinthians 8 – 9
Love Builds Up
1 Corinthians 8
1 Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2 If anyone supposes that he knows something, he does not yet know the way he ought to know. 3 But if anyone loves God, this person has been known  by him.
4 So, concerning the eating of food from idol sacrifices, we know that an idol is not anything real in the world and that there is no God but one. 5 Indeed, even if there are so-called “gods,” whether in the heavens or on earth (as in fact there are many “gods” and many “lords”), 6 nevertheless for us there is one God—the Father, from whom all things exist and we exist for him—and one Lord—Jesus Christ, through whom all things exist and we exist through him.
7 However, that knowledge is not in everyone. Instead some, who are still affected by their former habit with the idol, eat the food as something sacrificed to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.
8 Food will not bring us closer to God. We do not lack anything if we do not eat, nor are we better off if we do. 9 And be careful that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if someone sees you, a person who has knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of this man, weak as he is, be emboldened to eat food from an idol sacrifice? 11 You see, the weak person is being destroyed by your knowledge—the brother for whose sake Christ died! 12 And when you sin in this way against your brothers and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food causes my brother to sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I do not cause my brother to sin.
What Paul Does With His Rights and Freedom
1 Corinthians 9
1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus, our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? 2 If I am not an apostle to others, yet at least I am to you. For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
3 This is my defense to those who examine me. 4 Do we not have a right to eat and to drink? 5 Do we not have a right to take along a wife who is a believer, as the rest of the apostles do, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?  6 Or are Barnabas and I the only ones who have no right to be spared from manual labor? 7 What soldier ever serves at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat some of its fruit? Or who takes care of a flock and does not drink milk from the flock? 8 Am I saying this just from a human point of view? Doesn’t the law also say this? 9 Yes, it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it is treading out grain.”  Is God really concerned about oxen, 10 or does he say this entirely for our sake? Yes, it was written for our sake, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher ought to thresh in hope of getting a share. 11 If we sowed spiritual seed for your good, is it too much if we reap material benefits from you? 12 If others have some right to make this claim on you, don’t we even more? But we did not use this right. Instead, we endure everything so as not to cause any hindrance for the gospel of Christ.
13 Do you not know that those who do the work in the temple eat food from the temple, and those who attend to the altar receive a portion from what is on the altar? 14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel are to receive their living from the gospel. 15 But I have used none of these things.
I am not writing this to have it done this way in my case, because it is better for me to die than to let anyone deprive me of my boast. 16 You see, if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast about, because an obligation is laid on me, and woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 If I do this as a volunteer, I receive compensation. But if not, I have been entrusted with a responsibility as a steward. 18 What then is my compensation? To present the gospel of Christ  free of charge when I preach it, instead of making use of the right I have when I preach the gospel.
19 In fact, although I am free from all, I enslaved myself to all so that I might gain many more. 20 To the Jews, I became like a Jew so that I might gain Jews. To those who are under the law, I became like a person under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might gain those who are under the law. 21 To those who are without the law, I became like a person without the law (though I am not without God’s law but am within the law of Christ) so that I might gain those who are without the law. 22 To the weak, I became weak so that I might gain the weak. I have become all things to all people so that I may save at least some. 23 And I do everything for the sake of the gospel so that I may share in it along with others.
Christian Effort and Self-Discipline
24 Do you not know that when runners compete in the stadium, they all run, but only one receives the prize? Run like that—to win. 25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable victor’s wreath, but we do it for an imperishable one. 26 That is why there is nothing aimless about the way I run. There is no pummeling of the air in the way I box. 27 Instead I hit my body hard and make it my slave so that, after preaching to others, I myself will not be rejected.
- 1 Corinthians 8:3 Or chosen. The Greek word sometimes refers to divine election.
- 1 Corinthians 9:5 Cephas is the Aramaic name for Peter. Both Cephas and Peter mean rock.
- 1 Corinthians 9:9 Deuteronomy 25:4
- 1 Corinthians 9:18 Some witnesses to the text omit of Christ.
The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version®, EHV®, © 2019 Wartburg Project, Inc. All rights reserved.