Delivered Spirits With Oppressed Minds Pt 2 By Myles Munroe

There is a situation recorded in the writings of the apostle Paul to the Roman metropolitan city of Corinth that illustrates the struggle to be truly free. Some Christians in Paul’s day experienced the same kind of Egypt-thinking problems in the New Testament promised land of the church as Israel did in the wilderness. Many of the Greek Christians were idol worshipers before they came to the Lord. After they were saved they realized there was only one God, but a problem arose. The idolatrous thinking from the past threatened their new Christian lifestyle. So Paul wrote these words to them: So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols:
We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one…. For us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. But not everyone knows this. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat such food they think of it as having been sacrificed to an idol, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. -1 CORINTHIANS 8:4-7
Paul knew that meat sacrificed to idols meant nothing because the “gods” to whom it was sacrificed didn’t exist. But some of the new Corinthian Christians had been so conditioned by their past that they were afraid to eat meat that had been offered to their culture’s mythical gods. Their oppressive past affected their present, and they allowed the practice to affect their new freedom.
Other Corinthian Christians grew in their understanding of God’s soul-restoring truth and had no problem eating “paganbrand” meats. But because of the dangers of oppressive thinking, which can kill God’s people in the wilderness, Paul warned the Corinthians:
Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, won’t he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will not eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.
Paul calls the people who were offended by eating meat sacrificed to idols “brethren” because they were saved, born-again people. They had the Holy Spirit. The problem was, they were still oppressed by their old pagan life. So when they saw meat that they used to offer to idols, they still saw the idols with the meat. They had been delivered from that old culture and lifestyle, but they weren’t free in their thinking to progress spiritually.
Our former idols today don’t usually consist of wood and stone idols. An idol may be a former hobby that God wants you to cut down on to give Him more time. Or it may be a habit you gave up that keeps trying to come back. If you aren’t free in your mind after conversion, even your eating can become bondage. When you are free, your mind needs to be free with you.
Paul declared his own freedom late in 1 Corinthians. But he also acknowledged that he would back down from that freedom if it would prevent others from sinning. “Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible” (9:19).
In his freedom, Paul put serving others above his own desires. He went where the oppressed people were and, through the truth, delivered them into freedom.
There is no true freedom without responsibility.
– The Burden Of Freedom