In 1 Corinthians chapters 8 to 10, Paulís subject is the meat that people have offered to false gods. For several reasons, he advises Christians not to eat that meat. That is, they should not choose on purpose to eat it.
However, sometimes Christians may not be aware whether they are actually eating that meat. They may be afraid to eat any meat in case someone has offered it to a false god.
Paul told them that they did not need to worry about that. God created the world, and everything in it. So, it all really belongs to him (Psalm 24:1). So whenever they ate food from the market, they should thank God for it. He had provided that food for them.
It was not necessary to work out where that food had come from. For a Christian, that food comes from God, because he provides it. There is no rule that Christians cannot eat certain kinds of meat. God has given freedom to his people. When Christians buy food, they are using that freedom properly. They do not need to worry about the religion of the person who sold it. They only need to be careful that their own attitudes are right and proper in Godís opinion.
Paul gave this advice to Christians who were not Jews. Some Christians in Corinth were Jews. That is, they came from the family of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Those Christians probably followed the same rules about food that other Jews followed. God had given them freedom too, but they were following Paulís advice in 1 Corinthians 9:20 and 1 Corinthians 10:32. They did that because, like Paul, they wanted other Jews to trust Christ too. Those Christians were using their freedom wisely.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.