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Sermon: Food Sacrificed To Idols (1 Corinthians 8)

1 Now about food sacrificed to idols: we know that ‘We all possess knowledge.’ But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. 2 Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. 3 But whoever loves God is known by God.

4 So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: we know that ‘An idol is nothing at all in the world’ and that ‘There is no God but one.’ 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords’), 6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

7 But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. 8 But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.

9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling-block to the weak. 10 For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? 11 So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12 When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.

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Ancient Corinth was one of the largest, wealthiest and therefore most important cities of the ancient world. It had a large mixed population of Greeks, Romans and Jews. The streets of Corinth were lined with temples to all manner of gods. Not only Greek gods but also because Greece was now under the Roman empire, temples paying homage to Roman gods. This of course included those giving homage and worship to the Roman Emperor, who at the time this letter was written, was probably the Emperor Nero. More than that, some of the Greek gods were merged with Roman gods, in order to make new gods and therefore more temples were constructed.

In these temples, sacrifices were made to appease these gods and were acts of worship to and of them. For if the gods were not appeased then it was thought that all manner of things may happen to a person, internally and externally, for the gods would be angry and send their demons and spirits to inflict all manner of ill on a person. The meat from these sacrifices was then, in part, given to be eaten by the priests conducting the sacrifice, and the rest sold to the general public for consumption.

We see therefore, from a Christian perspective, Corinth was a city deeply immersed in idolatry and immorality. What of the Church there in the midst of such a place? Paul had helped start the Church about 6 years ago. You can read about that in Acts 18. To discover more, please listen or download the mp3 using the links available

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February 27, 2021

WISE - God of Love

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A God Of Love

 

We live in a world that is in love with love.  Love, according to some people, is what makes the world go around.  In the Bible, God’s love is revealed. The Apostle John in 1 John 4 does not simply say that God loves, but rather that God is love.  Remember that God is the Holy Trinity, three persons in one. The Trinity is a living, vibrant community of love, and every activity of the Trinity, is an expression of love.  God loves because that is His very nature. Throughout the Bible, God’s love is described as an unfailing, everlasting, intimate, sacrificial, unbreakable, conquering, immeasurable and all-knowing.  How is God’s love seen?  It is seen in two ways.

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Firstly, it is shown supremely in that He has given His Son to be the Saviour of the world, so that if a person takes up that opportunity, they can know and enjoy God in a personal relationship.  God had only one Son, Jesus Christ, and He sent Him on a rescue mission to seek the lost and to reconcile people to God.  This is love in action.  The lover dying for the ones He loves.

Secondly, God’s love is shown when Christians love. As a Christian, you are a child of God, so you should want to be like your Heavenly Father, by showing the world your love for others and your transformed character.  The Christian Church should be a community of love, for this is how the world sees God

If people see Christians that are not loving and kind, rightly or wrongly, the whole Church is branded as a bunch of fakes and hypocrites.  Worse still, God is seen at best as nothing more than a distant uncaring irrelevant figure.  The love between Christians is seen as a visible showing of the invisible God.  The very character of the church should always be to reflect God in all aspects.  The ultimate example of showing people God, is for you as a Christian, to love and be love.  People should be seeing God’s love, through your love.  For as Jesus said, “All men will know that you are my disciples if you have love one for another” (John 13:35).

His love releases us from the things that so easilyentangle our daily walk with Him.  The more you hold onto His love, the more you will desire it and the more it will be revealed in your daily life.  Your love in action today, reflects God’s love in action on the cross.  Go and love - to the glory of God!  Maranatha!

 

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February 26, 2021

WISE - Prayer

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Prayer

I wonder what you think prayer is and how much of it you have experienced? Is your vision and experience of prayer too small? Let us find out together, a small part of prayer!

Prayer is to be at the centre of the relationship between God and the Christian. It is the major interaction and fellowship between God and humans, and of humans communicating with God, both in talking and listening. Prayer is allowing God to be consciously in to all aspects of Christian's life and enjoying God's companionship.

John Calvin, said that part of praying was asking for "what we have learned to be available" in God's love and of His being the infinitesimal good giver. He goes on to say our "only security" is achieved by calling on the Father for His providence out of His infinite mercy.

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