In 1 Corinthians 8 verse 1 to 13: Paul was dealing with the problem of food sacrificed to idols as well as when to eat and not to eat.
In this age when most people are well fed to say the least or under fed as in some of the poorest nations of the world, this topic is a good one to look at. And a lot of the food these days is done up to satisfy beliefs that are not Christian, so should we partake.
A basic answer to food prepared and packaged to satisfy other beliefs, is Give thanks in everything. One of the things missing from most Christian meals is the saying of Grace. If we look in a dictionary, one of the meaning of ‘Grace’ is: ‘A short prayer before or after a meal’. So there is the answer to that problem, asking Our Lord and Our Friend to bless the meal; we eat.
Our God is bigger than anything the world believes in, and by asking Him to bless the food before we eat, we should have no problem eating it. After all He wants to be involved in everything we do. if we developed a practice of bring everything to the Lord before we do it, we might be reminded that even though we are free do do them, those things might not be expedient for us to do.
In 1 Corinthians verse 4 to 6; Paul says that idols have no objective spiritual existence, so essentially the meat had been dedicated to nothing. The one God that Christians serve is the provider of all things.
Although other people recognized various gods and goddess, NONE of those so-called deities had anything to do with the creation, sustenance, or redemption of the world. Therefore, a Christian was free to eat meat that had been scarified to an idol because the idol had NO spiritual power or authority.
Now for the matter of expedience: Paul had declared that there was no theological basis for refusing to eat meat sacrificed to an idol. That fact is that many people who have come to accept Christ may have been apart of idol worship, and want nothing to do with the past. These now fellow brothers and sisters may feel compelled to abstain from anything associated with such ceremonies.
Therefore in consideration of these brothers and sisters in Christ who continue to struggle with these issues, Paul asks other believers to willing abstain from the practice as well.
Even though we all have freedom in Christ, the highest calling for us as believers is Love. Love should constrain us, to limit the exercise of our freedom we have in Christ Jesus, because of our concern for our fellow Christians. This concern should take precedence over our personal freedom in Christ..
In conclusion it is completely selfish though of freedom in Christ, that believes a person can do anything he or she wants. True freedom in Christ is having the courage and will to do what ought to be done. The love that we display, should demonstrate one of the most important exercises of Christian freedom, willfully abstaining from certain things in order not to cause a brother or sister to stumble in his or her walk with the Lord.
O F J.