4 “Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one. 5For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), 6yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.”
Paul now turns to the main subject of Christian liberty.
concerning the eating of things offered to idols,
Some Corinthian Christians held scruples about eating meat offered to idols. They thought that, when they went to a restaurant that served meat offered to an idol, they were committing idolatry.
we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one.
An idol is not a spirit being such as God. It has no living reality. If there is one God, then anything beyond Him is not God. An idol is a mere representation of a no-god. These “no-gods” are the figment of the imagination of idol worshipers. If the idols are nothing, then the meats offered to them are nothing as well.
For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords),
“Gods” refer to traditional deities, and “lords” refer to the mystery cults of Greece. These are “so-called gods,” indicating that they are not real.
yet for us
“For us” refers to genuine believers.
there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things,
All creation derives its existence from the source of one God. This flies in the face of religious pluralism.
and we for Him;
The purpose of creation and especially for believers is to glorify God in time.
Colossians 1: 16For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
and one Lord Jesus Christ,
There is one God – the Lord Jesus Christ (John l:1, 14; 10:30; Colossians 1:15-19). The Son has equality with the Father in the godhead.
through whom are all things,
The Father is the source of all things, and the Son is the Agent of all things.
John 1:3, All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
Hebrews 1:2, …has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
and through whom we live.
Christians receive life through the Lord Jesus.
God does not exist for the individual; the individual exists for God.
God placed Christians on earth to glorify Himself. God does not exist for the sake of the believer. Our relation to Him determines how we live; our goal is to glorify Him, so everything we do revolves around glorifying God.
No food is sinful in itself because there is a distinction between the illusion of idolatry and the true existence of God. This understanding will keep the sophomore Christian from going off on tangents. There can be no essence of reality other than God, so there is no need to hold scrupulous rules about something that does not exist.
Romans 14:14, I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
I verse 6, I know that Paul is contrasting the Truth versus the pagan gods and lords, but it also seems to confuse me. As you pointed out above, Paul calls Jesus God in other parts of Scripture, but in this case why does he seem to be referring to Him as Lord, and placing Him in a separate category from God? Thanks for the help!
Jakob, the difference deals with persons of the Trinity. God is one in essence but three in person. God is one (mono), monotheistic, not tri-theism. Christ is separate in person but not in essence.