by Justin Huffman
"We know that an idol is nothing" (1 Corinthians 8:4).
Paul, while addressing an immediate problem related to Christian liberty, simultaneously addresses a vital overarching point regarding idolatry. Idols are nothing. Of course the material, physical stuff from which the idol is made is real, but the god it represents does not exist.
There is no need to fear idol gods, and there is certainly no reason to worship them.
Notice this important and unmistakable reality: people who worship false gods are not worshiping the one true God ignorantly. They are worshiping a god who doesn’t exist or, put another way, they are worshiping the demons who encourage false worship: "they sacrifice to devils, and not to God" (1 Corinthians 10:20).
Paul goes on to affirm the basic Christian creed that "there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him" (v.6). So, on one hand, idols are nothing; and on the other hand, Jesus is everything.
Everything, including our every breath and talent and Godward desire, comes from Jesus Christ as our Lord.
Every Christian, by definition, affirms these truths. Idols are nothing in reality, and Jesus as our Lord and Savior is everything we need. Yet, while it is relatively easy to apply this principle to wooden gods of pagan religions, it is more difficult (and more personally painful) to make the application to the shiny, technologically advanced idols of our Western culture.
"We know that an idol is nothing." Or do we? Your house doesn't really protect you. The food in your fridge won't ultimately sustain your life. Your smartphone can't make you truly wiser. In fact no amount of family, friends, promotions, luxury cars, or philanthropic efforts will be able to fill the void in your eternal soul.
All things come from Jesus, so no thing in the whole world can ever take his place.
Christian, there is only one God, and one Lord Jesus Christ. Don't let anything else be lord over your life. Don't let anyone else become the object of your worship. Don't look to anything else to fill your needs or save your soul. Idols are nothing. Jesus is everything.
© Baptist Bible Hour
Website designed and developed by Five Q.