Over the years, I’ve tried various ways to help me regularly study the Word of God with mild success. Mostly, while I succeeded in my goal of reading regularly, I rarely understood or learned anything from it. In my search to understand what I read, I discovered Bibletrack.org by Pastor Wayne Turner. I am always very cautious when I look into Christian matter online. Many things can seem like truth, but are ultimately unbiblical upon further inspection. I looked at his church website and statement of beliefs and it seems to align with my own beliefs. I’ve been reading bible commentary there for a couple of years now and, so far, nothing has seemed amiss. This has been amazing for my understanding of the Bible.
Now I would like to further my study. While perusing Pinterest, I stumbled upon the blog post 4 Simple Steps for How to Start Bible Journaling. It seems like an easy plan to keep up on a regular basis; Read, Choose a Verse, Copy the Verse, and Write About It. I’ve been reading the New Testament this year and I’m at Corinthians now. I thought I would share some of my entries here. Maybe not all of them, but some of what I’m learning and wondering about.
1 Corinthians 10:31-33
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:
Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they might be saved.
In this chapter of Corinthians, Paul is discussing whether it is a sin to eat meat offered to idols or not. It’s an interesting argument. My understanding is (with the help bibletrack.org), ultimately, don’t participate in any way that would endorse or encourage the practice of offering meats to pagan idols. If you don’t know that the food was used in a pagan practice, it’s not contaminated, it’s just food so don’t offend anyone. If you do know, don’t partake as this can harm your testimony and others may see you as accepting this practice.
I feel we can apply this argument to many areas in modern life.
The conclusion of the idol offering discussion, quoted above, is what I’m thinking about today.
The first verse is a wonderful goal and summary for Christian living. Do all to the glory of God.
What about the next two versus? According to Pastor Wayne, “Paul’s talking about projecting a testimony here. Mature Christians are willing to limit their liberty in Christ to project a positive testimony.” He goes on to say, “When [Paul] was around those who might take offense to certain aspects of the liberty he experienced in Christ, he limited his liberty for their sakes.”
How do I do apply this in my own life? I want to live as an inoffensive example, a testimony, of a life walking with Christ. However, in a world where merely quoting from the bible is seen as offensive (and can get you jail time in certain countries), how do I spread the gospel? What is the balance between standing up and declaring the truth, boldly sharing the gospel, and not offending?