First Corinthians – Part 26
Last time we looked at the tension between what cannot be done in truth revealing communion (see vs 10:21) and what can be done under liberty (10:25,27,28). The truth is that we who are saved by Grace cannot partake in the altar of an idol — we have nothing in common and we cannot in truth “partake”. So it is with our communion with the doctrines and manner of life associated with other ages.
21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.
22 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?
23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.
24 Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.
25 Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:
26 For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.
27 If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.
28 But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof:
The above verses give clear teaching in relation to “communion and liberty” and last time we looked at the application to our own particular state. We cannot “partake” and pretend communion with the doctrines of an age that is past. The Corinthians were instructed that though they be free and their conscience unhurt they should be careful in using their liberty.
29 Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience?
30 For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?
31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
You might give thanks for the food which is before you but to those looking on it may “appear” to give respect to a “god” as opposed to the one and true God who created all things through Jesus Christ.
Give NONE OFFENSE
32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:
10:32 ἀπρόσκοποι γίνεσθε καὶ Ἰουδαίοις καὶ Ἕλλησι καὶ τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ τοῦ Θεοῦ· (1Co 10:32 TBT)
Giving none offense ( ἀπρόσκοποι γίνεσθε ) is put in a context of our affect on outsiders. There were degrees of being outside — you could be Jew and unsaved — but still your nation is given an advantage (as here in the book of Acts see Acts 24:16) or a Gentile which was to be in second place. Look at the usage of aproskopos in Acts 24
14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:
15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.
17 Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings. (Act 24:14-17 KJG)
To be void of offense before God and man in the Acts period was to act in compliance with the teaching of the age. The Jew was first — we must acknowledge that this has changed today. What about an issue that might come from outside that would affect the unique and special doctrine of the age in which we live and which was especially ordained, planned and provided for by God the Father? That is if someone tries to subvert the doctrines of this age by attempting to import things from another age into our own what is our response before God?
PAul does give us some instruction, the word used for “none offense” is also used by Paul in Philippians
KJG Philippians 1:10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
TBT Philippians 1:10 εἰς τὸ δοκιμάζειν ὑμᾶς τὰ διαφέροντα, ἵνα ἦτε εἰλικρινεῖς καὶ ἀπρόσκοποι εἰς ἡμέραν Χριστοῦ,
Here we are commanded by implication of age to approve the things that differ in order that we be sincere and without offense up until the day of Christ. Paul’s instruction is another clarification of “right division” there are excellent things in the Bible and specifically this age — we can find them as we compare and see the things that diiffer. These things we MUST approve in order to be without offense. This is not a contradiction of 1 Cor 10:32 but an elaboration of principles found in such passages as 1 Cor 10:21. When others make the issue to destroy the distinctive teachings passed to us by PAul from the risen Lord we must hold ground, there will have to be a push back.
KJG Ephesians 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
TBT Ephesians 5:6 μηδεὶς ὑμᾶς ἀπατάτω κενοῖς λόγοις· διὰ ταῦτα γὰρ ἔρχεται ἡ ὀργὴ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐπὶ τοὺς υἱοὺς τῆς ἀπειθείας.
KJG Colossians 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
TBT Colossians 2:16 Μὴ οὖν τις ὑμᾶς κρινέτω ἐν βρώσει ἢ ἐν πόσει, ἢ ἐν μέρει ἑορτῆς ἢ νουμηνίας ἢ σαββάτων·
KJG 1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
TBT 1 Timothy 4:12 μηδείς σου τῆς νεότητος καταφρονείτω, ἀλλὰ τύπος γίνου τῶν πιστῶν ἐν λόγῳ, ἐν ἀναστροφῇ, ἐν ἀγάπῃ, ἐν πνεύματι, ἐν πίστει, ἐν ἁγνείᾳ.
This is the balance of truth which we must always seek and find. It is particulary important to us to hear the Lord in this age — finding His message to us is a very powerful and life changing instruction. We can be most confident of it when we hear it from Paul the prisoner — God’s appointed ambassador from prison speaking uniquely and directly to us in this age.
It should be pointed that there is a general principle at play here, namely that when truth is on the line especially the truth that brings life it must be stood for even to the point that fellowship with man be broken in order that fellowship with God be maintained.
4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:
5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
6 But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man’s person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:
(Gal 2:4-6 KJG)
11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, (Gal 2:11-15 KJG)
The above is Acts period as is Paul’s statement below:
1 Cor.10:33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.
So the chapter ends with this statement that his conduct was changed due to the overiding influence from God to bring salvation to all.