(#038) -1 Corinthains 8 - What Idols Do You Worship?
Make the most of your time because the days are evil.
a Christian Church
Welcome to Barah Ministries…an intimate, local Christian Church with worldwide impact. My name is Pastor Rory Clark. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. At Barah Ministries we know this truth…that Jesus Christ is God. As the Lord He is 100% Deity…He is God the Son…a member of the Triune Godhead. He is also 100% human just like you and me, and His name is Jesus Christ. The Lord…God the Son…became flesh…Jesus Christ...and lived among us. He is the uniquely born One…the God-Man…100% God and 100% man in one Person forever. He is the Sovereign God of the Universe…He is the Savior of the whole world…and He is the Jewish Messiah. He came to the earth to save the world…to die on a Cross to pay for our sins…and as a result of His success at the Cross we are fully, freely, and forever forgiven of our sins.
As those who make Barah Ministries our spiritual home, we are Christians. Being a Christian means we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and we have a deep, intimate, and personal relationship with Him. Christianity is a relationship, not a religion…and the Lord Jesus Christ is a Person…He is not a “thing” … and He is not a concept. Just as we do with anyone whom we love, we spend time getting to know the Lord. The Bible is His exact thinking. We come together here to learn about our Lord…to know His mind…through the study of His Word.
God has an enemy, Satan, whom the Bible calls “the ruler of this world.” He is a liar who does not want you to get to know God. He deceives the whole world, including you. The Word of God is the truth that keeps us aware of Satan’s insidious deception schemes. Without it, we are defenseless. As believers in Christ, in union with Christ, we have the victory over Satan
through our Lord who has overcome the world.
/TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON
What Idols Do You Worship?
You may not think of yourself as a worshipper of idols if you don’t get regular psychic readings, and if you aren’t checking your horoscope daily. We simply don’t think about idols. Simply stated, an idol is a false god and idolatry is the worship of false gods. In our study of Paul’s letter to the Romans, we learned that the majority of the people walking on this earth right this minute worship idols daily. Romans, Chapter 1, Verses 18 to 25 teach us that for most, there are dire consequences for idol worship…
For the wrath of God the Father is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness (like idolatry) and against all unrighteousness (the sin) of unbelievers who suppress the truth of the gospel in unrighteousness…\
…because that which is known about God the Father is evident within those practicing ungodliness and unrighteousness…for God the Father made the knowledge of Himself evident to them.\
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible attributes…His eternal power…and His Deity…have been clearly seen by all mankind…being understood through everything that has been made in the entire created universe…so that all mankind (especially those practicing ungodliness and unrighteousness) are without excuse in the matter of knowing God.\
For even though those practicing ungodliness and unrighteousness KNEW God, they did not honor Him as God or give Him thanks…instead, those practicing ungodliness and unrighteousness became futile in their speculations…and their foolish heart was darkened.\
Professing to be wise…those practicing ungodliness and unrighteousness became fools…\
…and they exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image (idols)…in the form of corruptible man and in the form of birds and in the form of four-footed animals and in the form of crawling creatures.\
Therefore, God the Father gave those practicing ungodliness and unrighteousness over…in the lusts of their hearts…to impurity so that their bodies would be dishonored among them…making their sins clearly visible.\
For those practicing ungodliness and unrighteousness exchanged the truth of God for a lie…and they worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator (who created the creature)…He who is blessed forever. Amen.\
Yes…there are people worshipping idols each and every day, instead of worshipping God. Worshipping idols is an abomination. It’s an insult to the Living God. In the next three chapters of First Corinthians, starting today, we’ll be studying the subject of idols, and we’ll let God surface the idols in our lives so that we’ll know the things He is in the process of eliminating from our lives.
Let’s hear some music! Romans, Chapter 1, Verse 16 says…
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of God the Father…for the gospel of God the Father is the divine power of the Father for salvation to everyone who believes (in Christ)…to the Jew first (chronologically), and also to the Greek (Gentiles).\
The gospel is called the good news…it is a report about what CHRIST did for all mankind by dying on a Cross. The group Mercy Me says it isn’t good news…in their song they say it’s the BEST NEWS EVER!
/MUSIC AND REFLECTION
Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ
Enjoy the Singing of His Praises
BEST NEWS EVER
Let us pray...\
We’re grateful, Heavenly Father, for the privilege of studying Your absolute truth...the Word of God…
Father, thank you for all the things You have done for us in eternity past before we were ever created…the things that are unfolding before our eyes every day…a special thanks for giving us God the Holy Spirit who provides direction for our lives…who teaches us all about You and Your Son…thank you Father, for loving us in a way that is so divinely powerful that is indescribable…
Father, help us to love others with the depth and the intensity that You love…both personally and unconditionally…help us to see the flaws in others and to not be bothered by them at all…let as far as the east is from the west be the width of our forgiveness toward others…let the height of the heavens be how our graciousness is extended…first and foremost toward ourselves, but more importantly toward others…
…we ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ’s
/TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON
What Idols Do You Worship?
What is an idol?
In the ancient world, it was something carved out of wood or chipped out of stone or molded out of metal. Idols were inanimate objects that were given power by people's imaginations. In today’s world, there are still these types of idols in some areas in the world, yet there are more. Today, idols include self, others, and things, all of which we give power. Have you ever thought that you allow your children to worship the idol called video games? Think of their obsessive devotion to them! Have you ever thought of your near fanatic homage to electronic devices as idolatry? Of course not! And when you leave here today, you won’t think of either of those things that way either.
Idols are the things that take your attention away from your relationship with God. Second Corinthians, Chapter 11, Verses 3 and 4…
/SECOND CORINTHIANS 11:3
But I (Paul) am afraid that just as the serpent (Satan) deceived Eve by his craftiness…your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of (single-minded) devotion to Christ.\
Idolatry. A mind led astray.
/SECOND CORINTHIANS 11:4
For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, and of course they do…or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received from us (meaning God the Holy Spirit)…or if you receive a different gospel than the one you have accepted from us…you bear this beautifully.\
Idolatry. A mind led astray. We bear it beautifully. We are completely comfortable worshipping idols instead of Christ. We repeat the pattern of Eve in the garden and we let our minds be led astray for devotion to things other than God.
What is idolatry?
Giving homage to…offering devotion to…worshipping…or making a god out of something that is not God.\
The next passage we’ll study extends from First Corinthians, Chapter 8, Verse 1 to First Corinthians, Chapter 11, Verse 1. The subject matter must be investigated as a whole, although I can’t teach it that way. We won’t study the passage today. I need to give you some background to introduce it, but before next week I’d like you to read the whole passage. It’s easy to get lost as we study if you don’t keep the context of the passage and the context of the entire letter in mind.
The subject matter is a dispute in the first century Corinthian church over food sacrificed to idols. God’s position on idols and idolatry is pretty clear in the Bible…Exodus, Chapter 20, Verses 4 to 6…
“You shall not make for yourself an idol…or any likeness (like a picture of Jesus)…of what is in heaven above (things in the sky…the sun…the moon… the stars) or on the earth beneath (animals) or in the water under the earth (sea life)…”\
“You shall not worship idols or serve them…for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children…on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me (unbelievers)…”\
“…but showing lovingkindness (God’s grace) to thousands…to those who love Me and keep My mandates.”\
Your idolatry today affects future generations.
To remind you of the context, you’ll remember that in the Corinthian church there are divisions and rivalries, especially the strong versus the weak…First Corinthians, Chapter 1, Verses 10 and 11…
/FIRST CORINTHIANS 1:10
Now I (Paul) exhort you fellow believers in Christ, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree…and that there be no rivalries among you…instead, that you be made complete…in the same mind and in the same purpose.\
/FIRST CORINTHIANS 1:11
For I (Paul) have been informed concerning you, my brethren (in the church at Corinth)…by Chloe’s people…that there are rivalries among you.\
It should be obvious to you if you’ve been following along in the study of this letter that the people in the Corinthian church who are asking Paul for spiritual clarification on certain matters want Paul to agree with them…as in First Corinthians, Chapter 7, Verse 1…
/FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:1
NOW CONCERNING the things about which you wrote (such as), “Isn’t it the highest, most virtuous good for a married man not to touch a married woman?”\
So, the issue Paul is sorting out in the next passage is eating food sacrificed to idols…eating at the temple of an idol…eating food of unknown origin that is brought into the marketplace…and eating food in the homes of unbelievers (which may be sacrificed to idols). For us, this passage calls our attention to the idols and the idolatry in our lives…the insidious cunning of the forces of the kingdom of death and darkness to direct our attention away from our God. A bit of background…
Ancient Greece was a cultural center with a world-famous university and beautiful architecture, but during one of his trips there Paul was quite disturbed to be in a city full of idols. Many people at the time worshipped the pantheon of gods including Zeus (god of the sky, also known as the king of the Gods)…Hades (god of the underworld)…Ares (god of war)… Poseidon (god of the sea)…Athena (goddess of wisdom)…and Aphrodite (goddess of love) to name a few.
In Corinth at that time, there were various gods and goddesses available for worship as well…there were various temples and shrines…and they worshipped! If the truth is known, not much has changed today…not in the United States and not in Asia. For example…
/Insert Mormon Temple, Gilbert slide here\
/Insert Jade Buddha Temple, Shanghai, China slide here\
/Insert Senso-ji Temple Asakusa, Japan slide here\
/Insert Taiwan Temple, Taipei, Taiwan slide here\
/Insert Crocodile Temple, Bangkok, Thailand slide here\
When we return from our five-minute break, we’ll take your offering, and then we’ll continue our look at the background of the next passage in our study.
/FIVE MINUTE BREAK
/TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON
What Idols Do You Worship?
God intends that your giving blesses others. Let that thought direct your giving, both today and every day. Let’s welcome up Deacon Denny Goodall with the offering message.
Deacon Denny Goodall\
See to it that no false teachers take you captive through their hollow and deceptive philosophy…based on human tradition…according to the demon inspired principles of the world…rather than teaching about Christ.\
SECOND TIMOTHY 3:16
All Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for teaching…for reproof… for correction…for instruction in righteousness…\
THERE IS NONE LIKE YOU
David Bauer, Instrumental\
/TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON
What Idols Do You Worship?
Welcome back! We’re beginning our study of idols and idolatry with First Corinthians, Chapter 8. What is an idol? The apostle Paul will tell us that there is no such thing as an idol in the world. In other words, the things we idolize are figments of our mental imagination thought to bring some benefit…a career can be an idol…sex…drugs…alcohol…rituals… traditions…inanimate objects…self…others…things to which we give power and to which we extend devotion.
People often rope us into their idolatry by inviting us to celebrations whether we want to be part of them or not. At Christmas there are NOVENAS… traditional religious rituals with food and a gathering connection…non-Christian practices that exist as part of family tradition that appear to be harmless. They are not. There is demon worship behind them.
There is the practice of making people deities…role models.
In Roman Catholicism…“Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners”… Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ’s humanity is thought to be a co-redemptrix.
There is the practice of praying to statues…praying to patron saints… thinking saints are people who have performed miracles instead of thinking the truth which is that every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is a saint. The apostle Paul’s letters are written to believers in Christ…here is how he describes them…Ephesians, Chapter 1, Verse 1…
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God the Father…to the saints (believers in Christ) who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in union with Christ Jesus…\
What must The Lord’s Supper look like when our visitors partake? Do they see us as worshipping an idol? Is worshipping Christ idolatry? It isn’t. He is God. Do they see it that way?
There is the idolatry of giving power to crystals and stones…a common practice here in Arizona. Although they are called negative…negative ions are thought to possess a lot of positive health benefits and are thought of as being capable of creating positive emotional states…mood improvements, resistance to stress, and better general health…an increase in the flow of oxygen to the brain resulting in higher alertness, decreased drowsiness, and more mental energy. People gather crystals and stones and take them to an energy vortex, like in Sedona, AZ, a place thought to have a high concentration of negative ions…to fire up the stones.
Does God think these things we worship are harmless? Hardly! We have to ask ourselves, “How does God look at idols and idolatry?” Remember the passage from Exodus…Chapter 20, Verse 5…
“You shall not worship idols or serve them…for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God…\
He is intensely concerned for us because behind every idol is one of Satan’s demons. Let’s read the first chapter of our new passage…First Corinthians, Chapter 8, Verses 1 to 13…
/FIRST CORINTHIANS 8:1
Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies.\
/FIRST CORINTHIANS 8:2
If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know…\
/FIRST CORINTHIANS 8:3
…but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.\
/FIRST CORINTHIANS 8:4
Therefore concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world and that there is no God but one.\
/FIRST CORINTHIANS 8:5
For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords…\
/FIRST CORINTHIANS 8:6
…yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.\
/FIRST CORINTHIANS 8:7
However not all men have this knowledge; but some, being accustomed to
the idol until now, eat food as if it were sacrificed to an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.\
/FIRST CORINTHIANS 8:8
But food will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat.\
/FIRST CORINTHIANS 8:9
But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.\
/FIRST CORINTHIANS 8:10
For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple,
will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols?\
/FIRST CORINTHIANS 8:11
For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died.\
/FIRST CORINTHIANS 8:12
And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.\
/FIRST CORINTHIANS 8:13
Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.\
What are the idols in your life? If you take a look at how you spend your time, you’ll find a lot of them. Isn’t it time to give that wasted time to God?
/GOD WANTS YOU!
Make the Most Important Decision of Your Life\
The closing moments of our study are the most important moments of this study. First and foremost, this part of the lesson is for the benefit of believers in Christ so you can always be ready to give an account of why there is hope in you. Second, this part of the lesson is for unbelievers, so you can be saved…so you can be transformed by God from being a sinner to being a saint. This message is called the gospel, and it is good news. It offers you the chance to make the most important decision of your life.
There is one inescapable truth that is at the very root of Christianity…Christ. Jesus Christ is God. He is the truth in His very Person, and there is only one way to get to heaven…by placing your faith in Him and in what He has done at the Cross on your behalf. The bad news is that you were born a sinner. The good news is that Jesus Christ paid a price with His blood so that you can be saved. This message is your chance to have a personal relationship with the Sovereign God of the Universe, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We want you to know that GOD WANTS YOU.
If you’re going to place your confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ for your eternal salvation, you probably should get to know Him as soon as you can. While there are many things to know about Him, here are the critical few things…
The Lord Jesus Christ is Your Creator…John, Chapter 1, Verse 3…
All things came into being through the Lord (God the Son) … and apart from Him, nothing came into being that has come into being.\
The Lord Jesus Christ loves you UNconditionally… First John, Chapter 4, Verse 8…
/FIRST JOHN 4:8
The one who does not love unconditionally does not know the Lord, for the Lord IS unconditional love.\
The Lord Jesus Christ wants you to be saved. If you don’t have a relationship with Christ you are a sinner, just as all of us are from the moment of physical birth. Sinners need a Savior. That Savior is Christ. First Timothy, Chapter 2, Verses 3 and 4…
/FIRST TIMOTHY 2:3
This is what is good and acceptable in the sight of the God who is our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ…\
/FIRST TIMOTHY 2:4
…who desires all men to be saved and who desires for all men to come to the knowledge of the truth.\
There are some things the Lord doesn’t want for you. The Lord Jesus Christ doesn’t want you to go to the Lake of Fire…Second Peter, Chapter 3, Verse 9…
/SECOND PETER 3:9
The Lord is not slow about His promise of salvation, as some accuse Him of…instead, He is patient toward unbelievers…not wishing for any of you to perish in the Lake of Fire but for all of you to come to repentance (a change of mind about having a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ).\
You will go to the Lake of Fire at physical death if you choose not to believe in Him.
The Lord Jesus Christ forgives all of your sins…Isaiah, Chapter 43, Verse 25…
“I, even I (the Lord), am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake…and I will not remember your sins.”\
The Lord doesn’t want you to work to please Him…Romans, Chapter 11, Verse 6 says…
But if salvation is by grace, and of course it is, it is no longer on the basis of (your) works…otherwise grace is no longer grace.\
God’s graciousness offers you the chance to be saved as a free gift.
Who is this God who saves you? The apostle Paul describes the Lord Jesus Christ…in First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verses 3 and 4…
/FIRST CORINTHIANS 15:3
For I (Paul) delivered to you as of first importance the gospel message…the good news I also received … that it was Jesus Christ who died for our sins according to the Scriptures…\
/FIRST CORINTHIANS 15:4
…and that He was buried…and that He was raised from the dead on the third day…according to the Scriptures…\
So how can you get to heaven? There is ONLY one way. This loving, forgiving, patient God who wants you to be saved is willing to save you right this minute. Right where you sit, RIGHT NOW, you can tell God the Father that you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and that is the moment of eternal life for you. Acts, Chapter 16, Verse 31…
“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and everyone in your household who also believes.”\
John, Chapter 14, Verse 6…
Jesus said to the doubting apostle, Thomas, “I am the way (to salvation), and I am the truth (through the Word of God), and I am the resurrection life (eternal life)…and no one comes to God the Father (in heaven) but through believing in Me.”\
So heed the warning in John, Chapter 3, Verse 36…
“He who believes in the Son has the resurrection life right at that moment… but he who does not obey the command to believe in the Son will not see the resurrection life…instead the wrath of God (the Lake of Fire) abides on him.”\
When you get to know Jesus Christ, you’ll have no problem placing your confidence in Him, both for your salvation and for anything else. Why? Because you’ll know that Sovereign God of the Universe wants a relationship with you, He loves you, He died for you…so take advantage of His grace and choose to be saved RIGHT NOW!
Let’s close with music! Second Peter, Chapter 1, Verse 20 says…
/SECOND PETER 1:20
But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own private interpretation…\
/SECOND PETER 1:21
…for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will…but men carried along by God the Holy Spirit spoke directly from the exact thinking of THE God….the Lord Jesus Christ.\
When you let the Word of God sink in, it does EXACTLY what June Murphy says about the Word in her song…YOUR WORD TAKES ME.
YOUR WORD TAKES ME
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. //In all your ways acknowledge Jesus, and He will make your paths straight.\
“For the Lord is the one who goes ahead of you…He will be with you…He will not fail you or forsake you…so not fear or be dismayed.”\
The Lord longs to be gracious to you…He waits on high to have compassion
on you…for the Lord is a God of justice…blessed are all those who wait for Him.\
/FIRST PETER 5:6-7
Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time…//…slamming all your cares on His back, because He cares for you (God considers your problems to be His responsibility).
Let us pray...\
/Thanks for coming!
Thanks for watching!
Thanks for listening!