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1 Corinthians 8

Talks for Growing Christians

The Proper Use of Christian Liberty

1 Corinthians 8

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Lesson Number 10

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The right use of Christian liberty involves knowledge and love.
  2. The wrong use of Christian liberty involves sin against Christ.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t think “Me first!”

Questions

  1. What is Christian liberty?
  2. What are two possible dangers with Christian liberty?
  3. What controversial issue were the Corinthians facing in this chapter?
  4. What was Paul’s answer to this important question?
  5. How does Christian love affect our use of Christian liberty?
  6. What is the difference between a weak brother and a legalistic brother?

Answers

  1. We obtain and experience Christian liberty when we become Christians. We are free from the penalty of sin, free from the Law, and free to enjoy our new life in Christ.
  2. a. We don’t stand firm in our Christian liberty. We may slide back into legalism and think we are more spiritual if we keep man-made rules. b. We let our liberty go to license, thinking we can now sin all we want.
  3. Whether to eat meat which was left over from pagan sacrifices.
  4. Because of Christian liberty, it was okay to eat the meat, since idols are just wood and stone and the Corinthians knew that they were not real gods.
  5. If you love God and are in fellowship with Him, you will love your fellow believers and properly use your Christian liberty. You will not flaunt your Christian liberty and stumble a weaker brother in their Christian growth.
  6. A weaker brother has a tender conscience concerning certain things because of lack of knowledge and past experience. A legalist is not a weaker brother, but has a set of rules that he keeps and expects every other Christian to keep.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Although you may not face a decision about eating meat offered to idols, as Christians today we do face many areas of moral indifference. Can you give an example of this and discuss how to properly use your Christian liberty?
  2. What should your response be when you have exercised your Christian liberty and inadvertently stumbled a weaker brother?

Challenge

  1. An important guideline in exercising your Christian liberty is to put the needs of others before your own. Don’t think “Me first!”

Key Verses

  • “Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world.” 1 Corinthians 8:4
  • “But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak.” 1 Corinthians 8:9
  • “Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.” 1 Corinthians 8:13

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