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The Scriptorium

Love God, Love Others

Ancient truths, still valid today. 1 Corinthians 8

1 Corinthians 8 (7)

Pray Psalm 16.1-3.

Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust.
O my soul, you have said to the LORD,
“You are my Lord,
My goodness is nothing apart from You.”
As for the saints who are on the earth,
“They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.”

Sing Psalm 16.1-3.
(All to Christ: Jesus Paid It All)
Preserve me, O my God; I refuge seek in You.
You alone are all my good, my LORD and Savior true!
Refrain v. 11
Make me know life’s way! Pleasures fill Your hand.
Fill my life with joy each day! Before Your face I stand.

The saints within the earth, majestic in their day,
delight me with the worth of all they do and say.

Review 1 Corinthians 8.1-13; meditate on verses 1, 2.

1. What was the great need of the churches in Corinth?

2. What seemed to have been keeping them from this?


Paul is laying a foundation for his majestic exposition of love in 1 Corinthians 13. The Corinthians had approached him with a variety of problems that had brought division, impurity, confusion, conflict, and consternation into their churches. But back of all these problems was one great unacknowledged need.

The Corinthians needed grace to love God and one another.

They were babes in Christ, hung up on their differences of opinion and practice and blinded to the power of grace working through love. So here, in chapter 8, just as he has done since chapter 2, Paul is laying down the solid rock foundation of love. We deceive ourselves if we vaunt knowledge over love. Or freedom over love. Or ourselves over our brethren in the Lord. Whenever differences are in view, our duty is to humble ourselves in service to those around us, to defer our freedom to their condition in the Lord, and to do only what is loving and edifying, even though it means denying ourselves.

Isn’t that what Jesus did (Phil. 2.5-11)? How can we be followers of Jesus if we’re not willing to practice His way of life in even the most ordinary of situations? Too many Christians today are like the Corinthians. We focus on getting our doctrine right. Or insisting on our practice of worship. Or touting our church’s size and busyness to the “dead” churches in our community. And we hold on to such divisive ways, setting aside love for God and our fellow believers. It’s no wonder we do not have the kind of powerful, united witness that Jesus said would convince the world to believe in Him (Jn. 17.21).

Love God. Love your neighbors, beginning with your fellow believers. Never lose sight of these, and never step outside the guardrails of love laid down in the Law of God and the life of Jesus. Paul’s word to the Corinthians is his word to us as well.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Knowledge, for knowledge’s sake, only puffs up; but lawful love edifies (1 Cor. 8.1).

Puffed Wheat, Puffed Rice, and Puffed Christians are all bland and distasteful. But along with gobs of honey, and puffed with God’s love, we can all be used for His glory.

God has given us His Law—precepts, statutes, commandments, testimonies, and judgments—to guide us and keep us where His love can continually reach and bless us (Jude 20,21 TLB). God has also given His Law to lead us into perfect love for Him and for others (Matt. 22.37-41).

“…I delight in Your law…Oh, how I love Your law!
It is my meditation all the day” (Ps. 119.70, 97).

“Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law…Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Rom. 13.8, 10).

“For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Gal. 5.13, 14).

“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 Jn. 5.3).

And because they are not burdensome,
John trusts us with hard words of warning, and gentle words of encouragement:
“Do not love the world or the things in the world.
If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—
is not of the Father but is of the world.
And the world is passing away, and the lust of it;
but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 Jn. 2.15-17).

Forever puffed to lovingly edify.

For reflection
1. Knowledge is not evil, but it can be wrongly used. How are you to use the knowledge God allows you to acquire?

2. How can prayer help you to keep focused on loving God and your neighbors?

3. How does daily reading and meditation in Scripture help us to keep focused on loving God and our neighbor?

Without holy affections all human knowledge is worthless. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on 1 Corinthians 8.1-6

Pray Psalm 16.5-11.
Thank God that He has called you to His Kingdom and glory, and within that framework, to your own unique calling and ministry. Seek His strength for today’s journey. Call on Him for grace to fulfill your calling, and thank Him in advance for all the good things He will grant you.

Sing Psalm 16.5-11.
(All to Christ: Jesus Paid It All)
My portion and my cup are You, my Savior dear;
You help and hold me up and ever keep me near.

Refrain v. 11
Make me know life’s way! Pleasures fill Your hand.
Fill my life with joy each day! Before Your face I stand.

I bless Your Name, O LORD; my mind instructs each night;
You teach me by Your Word and guide me in the right.

You are ever with me, LORD; in You I shall not fall.
But rejoicing in Your Word, I abide within Your call.

Soon Your glory I shall see, for as Jesus rose again,
You will come to gather me to my home with You in heav’n.

T. M. and Susie Moore 

The Church in Corinth was in need of revival. But there was much to be done before that would happen. The Church today is in need of revival, and the same is true for us. Our book, Revived!, can help us to discern our need for revival and lead us in getting there. Order your copy by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalteravailable by clicking here.


T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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