Useful Bible Studies > 1 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 8

About idols and the real God

1 Corinthians 8:4-6

An idol is the image of a false god, which people make out of wood, stone, or precious metals.

But their idol is not the real God. There is only one real God, who created the heavens and the earth. Their idol made nothing - in fact, people made it. It can do nothing to help the people who pray to it. It deserves no honour. It has no right to be called anyone’s god or master.

Christians serve the only real God, and he is one God. Paul uses similar words to describe both God the Father and Jesus Christ. They are not separate Gods but one God; Paul repeats the word ‘one’. Each time, Paul mentions first God’s relationship to all things, and then his special relationship with his people. Everything exists because of God the Father and by means of Jesus Christ. We, God’s people, live in a close relationship with God the Father because of Jesus Christ

So there is only one God who is the master of all things. But of course, there are other powerful spirits even as there are other powerful people on earth. It is those spirits whom people call their ‘gods’ and their ‘masters’.

An evil spirit deserves no honour. It is wrong even to take the honour that God deserves and to give it to a good spirit (Revelation 22:8-9). Only the real God has the right to be called ‘God’. And we know him only through Jesus Christ.

Next part: Can food spoil someone’s relationship with God? (1 Corinthians 8:7-8)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.