Give no offense
1 Corinthians 10:14-33 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to wise men; you judge what I say. 16 Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ? 17 Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread. 18 Look at the nation Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices sharers in the altar? 19 What do I mean then? That a thing sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? We are not stronger than He, are we?
23 All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor. 25 Eat anything that is sold in the meat market without asking questions for conscience’ sake; 26 for the earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains. 27 If one of the unbelievers invites you and you want to go, eat anything that is set before you without asking questions for conscience’ sake. 28 But if anyone says to you, “This is meat sacrificed to idols,” do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience’ sake; 29 I mean not your own conscience, but the other man’s; for why is my freedom judged by another’s conscience? 30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I slandered concerning that for which I give thanks?
31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God; 33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved.
In Paul’s day sacrifices to idols were quite common. In today’s text it says: If one of the unbelievers invites you and you want to go, eat anything that is set before you without asking questions for conscience’ sake. But if anyone says to you, “This is meat sacrificed to idols,” do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience’ sake; I mean not your own conscience, but the other man’s While these types of sacrifices are not part of our culture, unbelievers will still try to get believers to participate in the things they partake of or participate in. They seek to justify their own actions by encouraging believers to participate with them. Previously, in 1 Corinthians 6:12, Paul said: All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. In today’s text he says: All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor. Jesus paid the price for our sins, once for all, so we are redeemed from sin, it is no longer our master. In yesterday’s text, 1 Corinthians 10:13 it says: No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. Even if we are redeemed, even if we are freed from temptation, for the sake of others we should not participate in anything that might cause them to stumble. In 1 Thessalonians 5:13-22 it says: Live in peace with one another. We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil. In the King James it says: Abstain from all appearance of evil. As examples and bearers of the light of Christ and His righteousness, we should avoid all that even appears to be darkness and evil.
Paul ends today’s text saying: Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God; just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved. It’s difficult, in our culture and our society to do much without offending someone. Paul says do all to the glory of God. If the world will be offended by what we do, it is better that they be offended by what we do to the glory of God than by our appearance of evil. In John 15:18-20 Jesus says: “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.” In Matthew 5:14-16 He says: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” The world may be offended if we live as light. They may hate us, as they hated Jesus Himself. It is better though that they see our good works, than our participation in evil. Romans 12:9-13 says: Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. The world may be offended by righteousness. Believers are often called hypocrites for their lack of love. But true love, without hypocrisy will abhor what is evil; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven; so that they may be saved.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit thank You that by the finished work of the cross I am forgiven, redeemed from sin. Sin no longer holds any power over me. Thank You that through the indwelling Holy Spirit I can escape any temptation. While nothing can harm me in Christ, may I live to do all things for the glory of God. May I be light in the darkness. May I love without hypocrisy abhorring what is evil, even the appearance of evil, that You may be glorified and they may be saved. Amen.