Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #39
Posted: April 1, 2005

IN CHRIST
A Study of Positional Truths

The chapter of I Corinthians 8 is before us for study this week.  It is based upon the principle of liberty and what a Christian should or should not do.  In Paul’s day, meat was offered to idols of the pagan gods.   Since these gods didn’t exist, the meat was never touched.  The meat left over after the pagan god worship was sold in the public market place.  The strong Christian had no problem eating this meat. (Verses 5-6)  The weaker Christian who was saved out of this pagan worship found it a stumbling block to eat this meat. (Verse 7) 

In the middle of this chapter is a verse of focus for us when we are prone to base the strength of our beliefs on our standards of dos and don’ts.   The text of verse 6 says, “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things and we by Him.”  Remember, our Lord is not impressed by our do, do, do, but His done.  Our God looks not on the outward appearance but the inward heart.  He is extremely interested in His being in us and us being in Him. 

The text begins by saying, ‘…there is but one God,.  This is the central theme of Judaism as well as Christianity.  Deuteronomy 6:4 says, “Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD”.  There is not multiple gods, but there is but one God.  He is called in our text, ‘the Father’.  This term refers to Him not as the first person in the Trinity, but it is a term of a Father to his children.  The text also says, ‘of whom are all things,’.  The Father is the creator of all things. 

There is no contradiction in the text when we are given the name Lord Jesus Christ and are told this about Him, ‘…by whom are all things’.  John tells us, “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God.  All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made”.  (John 1:1&3)  The Father and Son are one.  Jesus told Phillip, ‘if ye have seen me, ye have seen the Father’.  This text also says that we are ‘by Him’.  This is an extension to all things being created by Him.  This is the indication not of our earthly, but eternal birth.  Our redemption and eternal birth is through the Lord (eternal title) Jesus (earthly title of death) Christ (prophetical anointed title of promise).

When our focus is a Big God and a little man outward things will seem minor in the scheme of life.  The laws we will adhere to are not the laws of religion but a higher law, and that the Law of Christ.  When our focus is upward and not outward much of our dos and don’ts may not change but they will lose their overbearing emphasis.  Let us not tread on the convictions of others, especially those of the weaker brethren.  We do not want to be the weaker brother’s excuse for stumbling.  On the other hand, let us not impose our convictions on others.  Let us remember, God must enlighten and convict of things right or wrong.  Paul said in Ephesians 1:18, “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened: that ye may know”.  Psalm 19:8 says, “…the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.”  We see from verse 6 of our study, He is well up for the job of enlightenment and needs no help from us. 

B.B. Caldwell, in recent days, as well as St. Augustine in the year 300 A.D., when asked about convictions and standards said, “Love God with all your heart and then do as you please." 

 

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