Chapters 8--10 deal with the church's question about meat offered to idols. This was a serious problem to them, especially since the church was made up of both Jews and Gentiles. The Jewish believers were very careful to avoid any contact with heathen idolatry, particularly in the area of eating meat that had been slaughtered at the Temple. Sacrificial meat was sold at a cheaper price, making it that much more attractive to these poor Christians. The question that arose here was, "Should a Christian participate in eating this meat, and would eating such meat make him a lesser Christian?" We do not face this same problem today, but the basic situation is still with us: "Does a Christian, because he is set free from the law, have the right to live any way he pleases?" There are many practices and places that we know from Scripture are definitely wrong, but there are also many borderline problems about which even dedicated Christians disagree. In these chapters, Paul outlines the basic principles that should govern our lives when it comes to questionable things. In chapter 8 he uses the example of Christ, and states that we must be controlled by love so as not to cause others to stumble. In chapter 9 Paul uses himself as an example, pointing out that it is not necessary for Christians to use their rights to be happy. They should rather yield what they call their rights to God.
In chapter 10:12 Paul warns men that when they are trusting in themselves and thinking they can stand alone, to take heed lest they fall. Many times when Christians decide they are going to act on their own, without the leading of the Holy Spirit, they find themselves in a bad situation. Never let the devil convince you that you can operate under your own strength. We must trust in Christ and depend on Him to give us the strength in our daily lives.
Finally, in verse 13 Paul tells us that "God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." When times of hardship and sorrow come, rely on this verse as God's promise to you.
Index of Daily Devotions