Happy Friday! You made it! Praise God! He carries us through and through! Whether in classes, work, or just the pressures of life, never be defeated nor declining but victorious and inclining to flourish in the Lord! Press on, young adult family! As adults - not children nor youth any longer - let us press on to know Jesus Christ.
This week was a bit special with two birthdays - our sister Hanna yesterday and our brother Jake, whose birthday is today! Happy birthday to Jake, our brother of Christ's gentleness, kindness, and faithfulness! Bless him with a prayerful happy birthday, if you haven't already :)
I apologize we weren't able to meet last week! Let's pick-up our gatherings tonight. You'll have to forgive me again, as I am presently in Houston for the Presbytery of Texas gathering. However, our wonderful Teacher Heather has offered to be with you to lead the time in Word and reflection/discussion. Let us show our love and appreciation for Teacher Heather as she leads us to the Lord!
I hope you were able to read this very short chapter, with so many insights about the difference between knowledge and love. Have a Spirit-filling time hearing from the Lord with Teacher Heather. I will be with you in prayer. Love builds-up, looks-up, picks-up! Live to love-up over puff-up! Bless you!
Your Brother Chester
Young Adult (College/Post-Grad)Life group THE FIRST LETTER TO THE CORINTHIANS Knowledge Puffs Up, But Love Builds Up [chapter 8] LOVE BUILDS UP (8:1-3) (Question #1) Numerous problems in the church at Corinth have been addressed – divisions, impurity, lawsuits, abstinence (singleness and marriage). The apostle Paul now deals with another growing problem – eating food once offered to idols. We can imagine what the heart of the issue was here – to eat or not to eat? Before addressing the issue of food, what do they all possess, and what does this do in contrast to love (verse 1)? [*REFLECT #1a] The “knowledge” that the apostle Paul was referring to is the ability to examine and understand the whole of the problem from both sides. In one sense, we understand and know that all food is clean in Christ and can be eaten, yet in another sense we know how difficult this can be for someone who was associated with the idol-worshipping temple where that food was purchased/came from. Our knowledge determines our sense of what is right and what is wrong. *Yet, the apostle Paul is saying that being right and wrong is not the end-goal of knowledge, because knowledge by itself can only be pride that puffs up. Rather, the goal of knowledge is love. Knowledge can either grow love or grow pride. Knowledge can either build up or puff up. How are we growing in knowledge to love, and not just swelling in knowledge by itself? Are we just bubbling-up or building-up? [*REFLECT #1b] Knowledge alone is not the goal. If we hold to knowledge alone and think we might know something, what does the apostle Paul say about what we think we know (verse 2)? [*REFLECT #1c] Rather than claiming our knowledge, what must we do to truly know God and be known by Him (verse 3)? [*REFLECT #1d] When have we claimed to know something without considering love? When have we claimed to love without knowing as we ought to know? How can we make the goal of all our knowledge to love God and one another? LOVE LOOKS UP (8:4-6) (Question #2) The apostle Paul now lays out the knowledge that the Corinthian Christians know. Concerning eating food that was once offered to idols, what do they know (verse 4)? [*REFLECT #2a] When have we made idols more than they really are? Are we living as if idols have no real existence? [*REFLECT #2b] What does the apostle Paul label the idols that the corrupt Corinthian worshippers were calling upon in heaven and on earth (verse 5)? [*REFLECT #2c] There’s always a plurality of so-called gods and lords in our lives. One of them is never enough. What are the so-called gods that we can never get enough of in this world? How are we putting the only true and one God, the confession that “there is no God but one” in danger? What must we be gently and fearfully warned of today? [*REFLECT #2d] Yet for the Corinthian Christians, among their world of many false gods and lords, who remains for them, from whom all things and through whom they exist (verse 6)? [*REFLECT #2e] How are we seeing more and more from whom all things exist? How are we embracing more and more for whom we exist? LOVE PICKS UP - REFRAINING STUMBLING THE WEAK (8:7-13) (Question #3) Not all possess the knowledge that “an idol has no real existence” and there is but only “one God… one Lord” – according to Paul, who are those who do not possess this knowledge (verse 7)? [*REFLECT #3a] When have our conscience been defiled by our own weakness in faith? Similarly, how has our knowledge stumbled and defiled the conscience of others who are weaker in faith? [*REFLECT #3b] What will not commend us to God, and are we worse or better off because of it (verse 8)? [*REFLECT #3c] How have we made unimportant things commendable/praiseworthy before the Lord? Are we any better off with or without it? [*REFLECT #3d] What should the Corinthian Christians take care concerning their knowledge and rights, and why (verse 9-11)? [*REFLECT #3e] Who are we sinning against when we wound the conscience of the weak, although our knowledge may be correct (verse 12)? [*REFLECT #3f] If something like food makes someone stumble, what ought we do (verse 13)?