Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #225 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading 1 Corinthians 10 today and our focus is on Does God Give Us More Than We Can Bear? Yes! Also: Should Christians Try Not to Offend People?. We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new in listeners in Botswana, New South Wales, Australia, Nairobi, Kenya, parts unknown Russia, China and Italy, Nagaland, India, Manitoba, Canada, Los Angeles, California, Indianapolis, Indiana, Richmond, Virginia, Knoxville, Tennessee, and Fort Smith, Arkansas. Thanks for listening! Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
1 Corinthians 10 – what a chapter. I jokingly told my kids tonight as we read the chapter as a family that they couldn’t ask any questions about this chapter because it is pretty mystifying in some areas. Honestly, there are some head-scratching parts of 1 Corinthians 10 for me – lots of depth here, and I haven’t gone to the deepest parts of it – maybe one day. That said, there are some crystal clear and quite well known passages here, such as:
- 13 No temptation has come upon you except what is common to humanity. But God is faithful; he will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to bear it. vs. 13
- 24 No one is to seek his own good, but the good of the other person. vs. 24
- 31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. vs. 31
Three great truths there, and the first one has often been twisted a bit, or taken too far, at least in a sense. Have you heard before that God will never give you more than you can bear? Hogwash, poppycock, boondoggle and balderdash. He most certainly gives us more than we can bear in our own strength – sometimes to miraculously deliver us, so that our trust will not be in ourselves, as Paul mentions in 2nd Corinthians:
8 We don’t want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, of our affliction that took place in Asia. We were completely overwhelmed—beyond our strength—so that we even despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death, so that we would not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a terrible death, and he will deliver us. We have put our hope in him that he will deliver us again 2 Corinthians 1:8-10
As Paul says – they were completely overwhelmed beyond their ability to bear it – beyond their strength…why did it happen? So that they would learn to trust in God’s deliverance and not in their own strength. I find that this is a most difficult lesson that God teaches me again and again, and I am a poor student at understanding it. though I know in my heart it is true. God is our deliverer.
Second topic: Should Christians seek to avoid offending people? I suspect that many Christians would see a gotcha of sorts in this question, and say, NO! We should not avoid offending people – the truth is the truth, whether people like it, or not. And, in a sense – that is true – we must never water down or soften the truth to make it more palatable. At the same time, I see Christians offend people all of the time – with their personal opinions, habits, political views, medical views, allegiances, etc. I honestly think Christians offend society more these days with things that are not in the Bible, such as politics, medical views, response to pandemics, etc – as opposed to things that are in the Bible. This is dangerous, especially for a vocal and outspoken Christian, because it causes people who aren’t in the church to assume that Christians are of one mind on everything – that ALL Christians have a certain view on vaccinations – ALL Christians have a certain political candidate they passionately support, and a certain political candidate (or group of candidates) that they passionately oppose. This often makes me cringe – not as a pastor, but as a Christian who wants to see the good news of Jesus spread far and wide. Have you talked to a non-Christian lately about their views on Christians? If you haven’t, allow me to encourage you to do so. Don’t take offense to their answers – just listen. You will be surprised, I’m sure. Some Christians treat non Christians like enemies – which is utter foolishness and opposed to the gospel. Listen to what Paul says in today’s passage:
31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. 32 Give no offense to Jews or Greeks or the church of God, 33 just as I also try to please everyone in everything, not seeking my own benefit, but the benefit of many, so that they may be saved. 1 Corinthians 10:31-33
So, should we always be people pleasers? No – not when it comes to compromising the truth of God’s Word, says Paul in Galatians 1:10 (“For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? or am I striving to please men? if I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ.”)…but when it comes to other issues – peripheral issues, then, yes – our allegiances and opinions must NOT be the stumbling block that drives people away from the truth. The stumbling block of Christianity must NEVER be the behavior, opinions, or rants and raves of a Christian = our stumbling block is one thing and one thing only:
22 For the Jews ask for signs and the Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles. 24 Yet to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God, 1 Corinthians 1:22-23
So, hear the commands of the Word of God today – don’t compromise the truth of His Word or the message of the gospel, but we must not let our opinions, political allegiances, conspiracy theories or other deeply held but non Bible informed views be a stumbling block – we must give no offense to people inside the church, or outside the church, says 1 Corinthians 10:31-32.
Let’s read our passage.
Bible Memory verses for the month of August: 4 Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant, 5 is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not irritable, and does not keep a record of wrongs. 6 Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-6
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