November 16, 2017
November 16, 2017
This week’s sermon text: Romans 15:14-29
In chapter 8 of 1 Corinthians, Paul takes up the question of whether or not Christians should eat meat that has been sacrificed to idols. Such meat was commonly sold in the marketplace and might be the main course of a celebration at non-Christian neighbor’s home. Some believed that since they knew the gods to which this sacrifice was made were not real then it did not matter, and others were very concerned about not doing anything that resembled pagan practices.
Ultimately Paul concludes that the issue at hand is not the food but the relationships among the believers. Those who are confident in their faith in God, who have knowledge and strength, need to take care that their liberty does not cause someone else to stumble. Those whose faith might be newer or less solid might be tempted to fall back into old pagan habits. Therefore, believers should take care that their actions do not harm someone else. For a fellow believer is more important than food. One can ignore idols, but one cannot ignore a brother or sister in Christ. Disciples, in this case, are called to go above and beyond so that they do not cause harm to someone else.
QUESTIONS FOR THE FIELD
- Paul is talking about food sacrificed to idols; that was the concern of his day. What do you think would be a concern today where spiritual leaders might need to place fellow believers before their liberty?
- How can you live intentionally so as not to cause harm to someone else?
FAMILY FIELD TALK
- What tempts you to bad habits?
- How can we as a family work together to avoid those temptations?
God, thank you for the reminder that my actions have an impact on others. Help me to put people first. Help me not to fall into bad habits myself or to cause others to stumble. In Jesus’ name, Amen.