Sunday, November 8, 2009

1 Corinthinas 8:1-13 (Knowledge vs. Love)

We can know a lot. God has provided His people with intelligence and a wealth of special revelation. Combine the two and you have all you need to be able to understand what God’s will is concerning your behavior in just about any situation. However, understanding the issues is not always the best way to decide a course of action. Here Paul teaches us the difference between knowledge and love.

Knowledge tells us that spiritual forces are mere creatures, just like us. They are not to be worshiped, feared or really to concern us much. We should not go through life fearing gods, or even seeing a demon behind every little thing in life. They may be there, but should not dominate our thoughts. They can do us no serious harm unless we show them too much respect or give them influence over us.

However, not all of our fellow Christians understand this. Some Christians live in fear of spiritual matters. Or, for that matter, a lot of Christians have not discovered the freedom they have from God in a lot of issues. They were perhaps enslaved to certain sins or behaviors when they were lost, so now they avoid certain things that in and of themselves are not bad.

How should we react to such “weaknesses?” Should we tell new Christians that they can do the things that were a problem for them before Christ? Or, should we help them not to stumble by limiting our own freedom in these areas where our knowledge tells us we have no reason to fear? Love tells us that we should place other’s needs before our own. We limit ourselves in love.

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