This material accompanied the sermon BODIES, THE BODY, & ONE BODY from the sermon series: Be the Body – Seeing the Church as the Body in the Bible and Making the Body a Priority in the Present by Pastor Howard Lawler on 12/3/17.

“He [the Apostle Paul] will not dispute the contention of the Corinthians that an idol is not a god at all. But he will not agree that therefore idols can safely be treated as nothing more than so many blocks of wood and stone. The devils make use of men’s readiness to worship idols. Thus, when men sacrifice to idols, it cannot be said that they are engaging in some neutral activity that has no meaning. They are in fact sacrificing to evil spirits, like the people spoken of in Dt. xxxii. 17. To share food is to establish fellowship. Thus they are entering into fellowship with devils. Paul does not wish this to happen to his Corinthian friends.” F.F. Bruce

“The principle is clear. The Christian is not concerned with the assertion of his rights, but with the glory of God. Eating, or drinking, or anything else, must be subordinated to this major consideration.” F.F. Bruce

“The Lord’s Supper is analogous to the pagan meals as a rite charged with religious meaning and intention. The Lord’s Supper is a sacred act that requires absolute fealty to Christ and to Christ alone, and believers cannot participate in both feasts as if they were an ancient version of a ‘progressive dinner’ hosted by the various gods. The meals are mutually exclusive.” David Garland

“If the host was a patron, one’s refusal to eat idol food could be taken as a grave insult to the god and the host, and such an affront could lead to financial retribution. If the host was a family member or a neighbor, the refusal could result in being cast into the outer darkness of social banishment. …In the face of such pressure, Christians would be tempted to compromise and rationalize their decisions. The social problems created for Christians who abandoned idolatry are described in 1 Pet. 4:3-4: former friends are surprised at the Christians’ new temperance, and in their irritation they malign them and blaspheme God. Withdrawing from all idolatrous functions would scuttle any ambitions for social advancement, impair patron/client relations, fuel ostracism, and damage economic partnerships. The pressure to compromise and to join in the hail-fellow-well-met conviviality was intense. Paul assures them, however, that any testing that comes upon Christians will be met with God’s faithfulness. God will not allow them to be tempted beyond what they can withstand, and God will provide a means of escape so that they can endure it. In the Corinthian situation, a refusal to participate in idol feasts will not result in any trauma that God’s power cannot help them endure. Consequently, there is no excuse for any compromising involvement in idolatry.” David Garland

“In the marketplace all is permitted: once off the idol’s turf, the food reverts to the sphere of the God who made it. But to enter an idol’s temple, and eat there alongside those who are actually intending to share fellowship with this non-God, this hand-made pseudo-god – this is to invite created powers to have an authority over one which they do not possess, a power which belongs only to the creator-God revealed in and through Jesus the Messiah.” N. T. Wright

“True enough, as 8:4 makes plain, the gods of the idols have no existence whatever; no being by the name of Jupiter exists, and this is true with respect to all other gods. But something does exist, something that is far more terrible than these pseudo-gods, namely an entire kingdom of darkness which is hostile to God, a host of demons or fallen angels who are ruled by the greatest of their number, namely Satan, Eph. 2:3, 6:12. All altars, all sacrifices, and all worship that are not intended to serve the true God are thus actually though not necessarily consciously and intentionally devoted to these demons.” Richard Lenski

“Their liberty lies in the ability to choose between eating and not eating with entire freedom as long as they are guided by both true knowledge and true love. To choose blindly where one can choose intelligently is to abuse liberty and not really to use it; and the same is true with regard to choosing inconsiderately where one can just as well choose considerately. Liberty is given to us, not in order to hurt ourselves and others, but in order to help ourselves and others.” Richard Lenski

“Though Christ is not bodily present, yet he is really and truly present in a spiritual and invisible manner. He is present by his God-head and by his Spirit. He is present by his power and efficacy, communicating and applying the virtue of his death: and thus we are really made partakers of Christ in this ordinance. We partake of the sun when we have its beams of light and heat darted down upon us, although we have not the bulk and body of the sun put into our hands: so we partake of Christ in the sacrament, when we share his grace, and the blessed fruits of his broken body, though we do not actually eat his flesh with our mouths.” John Willison

“The outward elements in this ordinance, duly set apart to the use ordained by Christ, have such relation to him crucified, as that truly, although in terms used figuratively, they are sometimes called by the names of the things they represent, in other words, the body and blood of Christ, albeit, in substance and nature, they still remain truly and only bread and wine, as they were before. …Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible elements in this ordinance, do then also inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally and corporally, but spiritually receive, and feed upon Christ crucified, and all the benefits of his death; the body and blood of Christ being then not corporally or carnally, but spiritually present to the faith of believers in that ordinance, as the elements themselves are to their outward senses.” Second London Baptist Confession of 1689

“Moderate liberals quickly disappear into the vortex of the pagan sexual and spiritual utopia, unaware that they are being torn away from their gospel roots by the logic of the radical, pagan religious agenda. They do not understand that there is no halfway house, no compromise. Warmed-over liberalism, which has lost its sense of the transcendent God of Scripture, has no ground on which to stand to oppose the church’s fall into paganism. Pansexuality brings in its wake pantheistic religious paganism for only pantheism offers religious justification for pansexism. Spiritual orientation affects the sexual. The rendezvous of ‘god’ and ‘sex’ shows us what is on the horizon. If homosexuality gains global acceptance as part of the agenda to bring ‘peace and understanding to the earth,’ the future moral and spiritual arbiter of the planet will be pagan religion, and homosexuality will be its sexual sacrament.” Peter Jones

“The weekend church gathering is never seen in the Scriptures as a place where individuals go to enjoy a particular experience, nor as the central place of evangelism. When those things are the focus, the worship service loses its biblical identity, which in turn degrades the church’s own identity. If you treat the worship gathering as an experiential production, in other words, the church begins to see itself as concertgoers or, again, as customers rather than as the body of Christ. The worship service, biblically, is a gathering of Christians to enjoy God in communion with him and each other. There are several elements to this – singing, praying, preaching, eating. We could add other elements, too. But the service is meant to reorient the body around its head – Jesus Christ – and to prepare us for the ongoing personal and communal witness of the church outside the gathering.” Jared Wilson

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This