King's Business - 1917-10



may be, nevertheless, Christ died for him and that ought to make him exceedingly dear to us, and make us exceedingly care­ ful not to cause him to stumble. Monday, October 29 . 1 Corinthians 8 : 12 , 13 . In sinning against a brother, even a very weak brother, we “sin against Christ.” In wounding their weak conscience we “sin against Christ.” These are solemn words. So many of us because we have had more privileges of being instructed in the things of God and, thereby being made strong, are likely to act contemptuously toward a weak brother, ridiculing their foolish scruples and sometimes leading them to be emboldened to do things which they cannot do with a clear conscience, just because we whom they think are more advanced Christians, do them. I f we have the love of Christ in our hearts, we will not insist upon the liberties we have in the Lord, but will be careful not to use our liberty in such a way as to cause offense to others. We will be gov­ erned by love, love for all the brethren, and especially love for the weak brother, and therefore forego our privileges in order that we may not cause a weak brother to stumble. Now comes one of the noblest utterances that ever fell from Paul’s lips, “If meat (food) make my brother to stum­ ble, I will eat no flesh forevermore, that I make not my weak brother to stumble.” What a glorious day it would be if this spirit of love ruled in the church. There are many things that would be innocent and harmless for me, perhaps beneficial to me (as meat certainly would be), but I have a brother, a weak brother, I must think of him. How will my doing this thing effect him? If it will cause him to stumble, I will not do it, innocent as it is, beneficial as it is in itself, I will not do it forever­ more. Note how Paul rings the changes on “my brother.” O, that we were all so completely possessed with the thought that every other believer, even the more poorly instructed and the weaker ones, were our brothers.

Tuesday, October 30 . I Corinthians 9 : 1 - 5 .

Paul here illustrates his teaching about foregoing our rights for the sake of others by appealing to his own example. There were many things that he had a right to do and claim, which he did not do nor claim. He delighted to forego his rights and claims out of regard for the welfare of others. If others were “free” (v. 1 R. V.), he cer­ tainly was; nevertheless, he did not use his freedom. He was not only a Christian but an apostle. As such he had a right to claim support from the church (v. 7), but he didn’t do it. Some in Corinth seem to have made Paul’s not exercising his rights in the matter of claiming support from the church a ground for insinuating that Paul himself, was conscious of not being a real apostle (cf. 2 Cor. 12:13-16). Therefore, Paul here gives conclusive proof of his apostleship. He had seen Jesus Christ, the Lord. He refers here to his seeing him on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:7-15; 1 Cor. 15:1-8). Thus Paul became an eye witness of the Lord’s resurrection and thus, and thus alone, was fitted to be an apostle (cf. Acts 1:22). To be an apostle, one •needed to have actually seen the Lord, not merely in a vision, but in real, visible, per­ sonal, bodily presence. They, themselves, were the “seal of his apostleship in the Lord” (cf. Rom. 15:18, 19; 2 Cor. 12:12). Paul elsewhere stoutly maintains the reality of his apostleship and the equality of his apostleship with that of the twelve (2 Cor. 12:11-13; 1 Tim. 2:7). Paul also had a right to have a wife as Cephas (Peter) and the other apostles, but out of regard for the larger interests of the church, he put this right aside also (cf. ch. 7:2 6, 32, 35). Wednesday, October 31 . 1 Corinthians 9 : 6 - 10 . In all things Paul put his rights utterly aside and simply asked himself, how can I best serve Christ and my brethren. What a model for all ministers and all believers. So many of us are all the time insisting upon our rights, instead of eagerly seeking for opportunities for service and sacrifice.

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