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More than Meets the Eye (19 of 36)
Series: Saints Gone Wild
1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Washington State allows motorists to make a right turn when the traffic signal is red-if the way is clear. This gives drivers liberty and keeps traffic moving. At some intersections, however, signs read, "No turn on red." These corners are exceptions because they are potential danger spots. By turning on red at one of these intersections, a motorist could cause a se¬rious accident.
Similarly, in the Christian life we have been given great freedom, yet there are certain potential danger spots that can cause a serious accident between brothers and sisters in Christ. In 1 Corinthians 8, we have a dangerous intersection concerning meat offered to idols. Paul had perfect freedom to eat meat offered to idols. He knew that there was only one true God and that idols were nothing. Eating meat offered to them was neither right nor wrong. But not all be¬lievers felt that way. A person who had a weak conscience believed that the meat was defiled by the idol, and therefore it was off limits. Paul recognized the need to take special care, lest by eating he would influ¬ence such a person to eat, thus violating his conscience. Concern for weaker believers kept him from exercising his liberty.
As Christians, we are free in Christ-free to engage in social prac¬tices and customs not specifically forbidden by biblical commands. Yet, the Holy Spirit may prompt us to refrain from some legitimate prac¬tices. Then the principle of love must take precedence over the principle of liberty. A mature Christian will heed the "no turn on red" sign to keep from causing a weaker believer "to have a serious accident." In 1 Cor 8:1-13, Paul will explain that we are not only responsible for ourselves but for one another. To put a spin on the words of Cain, "Am I my brother's keeper?" (Gen 4:9), Paul will insist, "You are your brother's keeper." You do have a responsibility to look out for your ...
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