What does 1 Corinthians 10:24 mean?
ESV: Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.
NIV: No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.
NASB: No one is to seek his own advantage, but rather that of his neighbor.
CSB: No one is to seek his own good, but the good of the other person.
NLT: Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.
KJV: Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth.
Verse Commentary:
Paul has rejected the philosophy that Christians are free from any and all restrictions because our sins are forgiven and we live under God's grace. This is the attitude which simply says, "everything is allowed," and stops there. In contrast, Paul now says the standard for every Christian should be what it written in this verse: "Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor." This was the theme Paul explored in chapter 9, saying that even his "rights" were not as important as the spiritual good of other people.

Paul has written earlier that he is not under the law of Moses, but he continues to live under the law of Christ (1 Corinthians 9:21). That "law" is captured in Christ's words affirming the greatest commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself" (Luke 10:27).

Paul will, in the following verses, apply that law of love to the issue of knowingly eating meat that has been offered to idols.
Verse Context:
First Corinthians 10:23—11:1 shows that merely asking, ''Is this lawful?'' is the wrong question for Christians. Instead, we must continue by asking, ''Will this glorify God?'' and ''Will this build up our neighbors?'' Paul instructs them to act on this by refusing to eat meat they know has been offered to an idol. The reason is to avoid causing anyone to think Christians approve of idol worship in any way. They are free, though, to eat any meat they don't know to have been offered to an idol, with a clear conscience, and with thanks to God. The key message of this passage is that our intent, and the effects of our actions on others, are more important than the physical things involved.
Chapter Summary:
Idol worship is an extremely serious sin. Paul reminds the Christians in idol-saturated Corinth of that by referring to the history of the Israelites who wandered in the wilderness. Though blessed by God, they worshiped false idols. God killed many of them for it. Paul commands his readers to flee from idol worship. To participate with idol worship in any way is to participate with demons. God always provides some way to avoid sin. So, they must avoid giving anyone the idea that they approve of idol worship, even by knowingly eating food offered to idols. Their first question must always be, ''Will this glorify God?''
Chapter Context:
The previous chapter concluded with Paul's commitment to continue to control himself. He exercises discipline so he does not become ineffective in his ministry. He begins chapter 10 by reminding the Corinthians of how the Israelites brought consequences on themselves in the wilderness. Among their many sins was worshiping idols, and God killed many of them for it. The Corinthians must flee idol worship and any appearance of supporting the demonic practice. They are free to eat meat if they don't know that it is idol food. However, they should be ready to set aside their own freedoms and rights whenever doing so will glorify God and win others to Christ.
Book Summary:
First Corinthians is one of the more practical books of the New Testament. Paul writes to a church immersed in a city associated with trade, but also with corruption and immorality. These believers are struggling to properly apply spiritual gifts and to resist the ungodly practices of the surrounding culture. Paul's letter gives instructions for real-life concerns such as marriage and spirituality. He also deals with the importance of unity and gives one of the Bible's more well-known descriptions of love in chapter 13.
Accessed 4/15/2024 11:33:05 PM
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