Christian Liberty and Conscience
As we come to chapter 8, Paul begins to address the topic of Christian liberty as it relates to eating food sacrificed to idols. And if we are not careful, we may be tempted to think this chapter has nothing to offer us and want to skip over it. And that would be a big mistake. In the church, we are not perfectly unified on the expressions and boundaries of the freedom we have in Christ. For example, for some, their Christian conscience may provide them the liberty to vote a certain way or own a gun or consume alcohol. For others, their Christian conscience may not permit these things. So how shall we, the body of Christ, called to live in unity, treat each other? How then do we move forward together? What should guide our behavior when we disagree? This what the next 3 chapters of 1 Corinthians is about: Differing views in the church regarding Christian freedom and conscience and how to live together in peace and in a way that pleases God.
Community Group Questions:
- What’s an area of Christian conscience and or liberty that is presently an issue for you? One that either causes you to stumble or a circumstance where you limit your freedom for the good of another?
- What does Paul say should govern our use of Christian liberty? What metrics/filters should we use to make choices? Hint: there are more answers found in Chapter 10.
- What’s an example of a time in which you prized your personal freedom over caring for another brother or sister in Christ?
- What does Paul mean in verses 5-6? How are these helpful to shaping our biblical worldview? Read also: Psalm 86:8, 96:4, 97:7, Ex 20:3, 23:32-33
- Why does Paul forbid eating meat sacrificed to an idol in a temple?
- What idols have a grip on your heart such that you don’t want to give them up for the sake of your brothers and sisters in Christ?