Translation and Sermon by Nate Wilson for Christ the Redeemer Church, Manhattan, KS 01 Mar. 2008
1. Now concerning the things sacrificed to idols,
we know that we all have knowledge.
Knowledge puffs up
but love builds up.
2. If someone seems to know something,
he does not yet know as he ought to know,
3. but if someone loves God, He is known by him.
4. Therefore, concerning the eating of food sacrificed to idols:
we know that an idol is no one in the world
and that no one is God except one.
5. for even if there are gods spoken of,
whether in heaven or upon the earth,
just as there are many gods and many lords,
6. nevertheless there is one God to us, the Father,
out of whom everything [came to be], and we are in Him,
and there is one Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom everything [came to be], and we [came to be in God] through Him.
7. but such knowledge is not in all men,
and some through an intimate knowledge of idols until now
are eating as though it were a thing sacrificed to idols,
and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.
8. But food does not give us standing by God:
if we don’t happen to eat, it doesn’t make us come up short;
if we do happen to eat, we would not abound.
9. But keep watching how this authority of yours might not become a stumbling block to the weak ones,
10. for if someone happens to see you (the one who has knowledge) in an idol’s temple sitting down [to eat], would not his conscience, being weak, be fortified so as to eat things sacrificed to idols?
So he is being undone by your knowledge,
the weak one – the brother on account of whom Christ died!
12. and sinning thus against your brothers and wounding their weak conscience,
y’all are sinning against Christ!
13. Therefore, if food scandalizes my brother, I will never eat meat in this age
in order that I might not scandalize my brother.
I) Introduction to the Problem: Dealing with differences in Conscience
A) Examples of differences of conscience:
1. Last week, I mentioned the spread of Christianity throughout Asia during the first millennium. One controversy that Christians encountered early on when they took the Gospel to Japan was: Should a Christian participate in the national tradition of burning incense at ancestral shrines? It’s a controversy which still hasn’t been resolved to everyone’s satisfaction today. Some Christians have taken the position that it is merely a form of honoring your parents as the Bible commands and that it is not in conflict with the Christian religion. Other Christians say that it is an act of worship directed toward dead ancestors, or worse - toward demons, and that it is diametrically opposed to the worship of the one true God. What are Christians to do when we run into disagreements like this?
2. We run into all kinds similar conflicts in the here and now:
3. Faculty advisor of my High School National Honors Society responded the next day to me and a friend walking out of a movie that opened with people doing things that the Bible says are wrong, “Well I guess you just have a weaker conscience.”
4. Brother rejected the songs I had composed and recorded because it contained rock music.
5. Friends who believe that the Bible translations I use are terribly corrupted and that the translation they use is the only true word of God.
6. Christians are horrified at each other for reading Harry Potter books or, on the other side, for condemning Harry Potter books. Boy, the sparks can fly!
7. Or how about dress styles? Should the women in the church wear whatever they like, or should their liberty be constricted by the boorish men in the congregation who think nasty, lustful things when skirts are too short or necklines are too low?
B) Question to Paul from the Corinthians: “We know that idols are not the true God, so we can eat food sacrificed to idols, right?”
1. Common practice in the old world is to kill animals in the temple of your god.
2. Some of the choicest meat is donated to the priest in the temple. (Or is left out for the “god” to eat, which amounts to the same thing as giving it to the priest, since idols have never been observed to eat anything!) If the priest has more meat than he and his family can eat, he carries the meat down to the market and sells it. Since he didn’t have to pay for the meat to begin with, he can afford to sell this prime cut of meat for less than the farmers are selling their meat. Now imagine that you’re grocery shopping at this market. Should you buy this good meat at this bargain price?
3. The idol worshipper would often have a barbeque right there in the temple for his friends and family to eat the rest of the animal after donating a portion to the priest. What if your non-Christian friend invited you to one of these feasts? Should you attend a party with friends in the temple of a false god?
4. After the party, there might be meat still left over, so the idol-worshipper brings the meat home. Say he brings you some of the leftovers in a dish for you to eat in your own home, or maybe he invites you over to his house for dinner. Should you eat that food which has been sacrificed to idols?
C) Other Biblical teaching about Food sacrificed to idols:
Psalm 106:28-29 The Israelites joined themselves unto Baal-peor, and
ate the sacrifices of the dead. Thus they provoked him [the Lord] to anger with
Here, eating sacrifices to an idol was an act of joining allegiance with that idol and it provoked Jehovah-God to jealousy.
Acts 15:29 The apostles and elders in Jerusalem decreed that the
newly-converted gentiles should “abstain from things sacrificed to idols, and
from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication” (repeated in
Fornication, blood rituals, and animal sacrifices all went together in pagan worship ceremonies, and Gentiles were to avoid these things not only to show that they were no longer aligned with pagan gods but also to make fellowship with Jewish believers easier, as the council put it, “for Moses has everywhere those who preach his law,” in other words, there are Jews everywhere that are still trying to obey the O.T. laws and it’s going to be difficult to have a church where people can eat fellowship dinners together unless you do these things.
· Fornication, eating meat sacrificed to idols, and turning away from God are also all lumped together in Rev. 2:14 “But I have a few things against you, because you have there some that hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to set up a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornication….(cf Num. 25:1-2) v.20 you are giving free reign to the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess; and she teaches and seduces my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols.
· Later in 1 Cor 10:20 we will read that “…the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God: and I don’t want y’all to have communion with demons. You cannot… partake of the table of the Lord, and of the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? …All things are lawful; but not all things edify. Let no man seek his own, but each his neighbor's good. Whatsoever is sold in the market, eat, asking no question for conscience' sake, for ‘the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof.’ If one of them who doesn’t believe invites you to a feast, and you are disposed to go; eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for conscience' sake. But if someone says to you, ‘This has been offered in sacrifice,” Don’t eat, for the sake of the one who brought it up, and for conscience sake: his conscience, I say, not yours; for why would my liberty be judged by another conscience? If I partake with thankfulness, why should evil be spoken of me concerning something for which I give thanks?”
· 1Tim 4:1-5 “But the Spirit expressly says that in later times some shall fall away from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons… seared in their own conscience as with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats which God created to be received with thanksgiving by them that believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified through the word of God and prayer.”
· Romans 14 – Daniel read this earlier in the service, so let me summarize:
o We need to settle for ourselves what is right and live by it.
o If a fellow believer reaches a different conclusion and has a different practice, we have no business criticizing him. Each of us is responsible to God, not man.
o We must consider however, how to show love to other Christians and keep peace with them, not “putting a stumblingblock in a brother's way, or an occasion of falling.”
o No food is evil in and of itself, but if somebody thinks something is wrong, it really is a sin for him to eat it. “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”
o It is better to deny our liberty than to cause a brother to sin on account of that issue.
o Some convictions are best kept to yourself “You have faith?” (NAS=conviction) “Keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who do not have to feel guilty for what they allow.” (New International Reader's Version)
Paul starts answering the Corinthian’s question by talking about epistemology.
Paul uses the word “know” or “knowledge” ten times in this chapter!
This is a little unexpected – what does the study of what you know and how you know it have to do with eating meat sacrificed to idols?
Actually, knowledge has everything to do with explaining a basis for determining right practice from wrong practice.
II) Three facets of sin are brought out by Knowledge
A) Content: Lawbreaking vs. Growing in knowledge (v.2)
1. Knowledge makes the difference between sinning with impunity and sinning in ignorance.
(a) For instance, I was driving down Ft. Riley Boulevard last year and a policeman pulled me over. He came up to me and told me that my brake light was out. I didn’t know that my brake light was out, and he knew that I wasn’t purposefully breaking the law of having working brake lights, so he didn’t fine me, he just warned me to fix my lights.
(b) If, however, I was speeding down Ft. Riley Boulevard at 100 miles an hour and the police pulled me over, it would be a different story. I should know better than to go so far over the speed limit, and he would not let me go without a hefty fine.
(c) On the other hand, I was pulled over by the police on another occasion because someone thought I had done wrong and called 911 on me. They saw me accept a high-powered rifle from another person in a parking lot and drive off in a car I did not own, so they assumed I was up to no good. However the police investigated me and the rifle and the car and concluded that my story was true, I had not broken the law, I had borrowed a rifle and a car with the permission of their rightful owners and I was going hunting.
2. Knowledge makes a difference in the quality of the offence and in determining whether or not there actually was an offense.
(a) Insufficient knowledge of God’s standards can prevent us from realizing that we are doing wrong when we actually are doing wrong,
(b) and insufficient knowledge of God’s standards can make us think we’re doing wrong when we actually are not doing wrong.
(c) In the case of eating meat sacrificed to idols, an insufficient attention to God’s law was creating both problems:
(i) The party with the “weak” conscience did not have a sufficient knowledge of God and of His creation to know that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with eating meat of any kind.
(ii) The party with the “knowledge” did not have a sufficient view of the importance placed in the Law of God upon loving one’s brother.
3. The remedy for both parties is to grow in the knowledge of God.
(a) v.2. “If someone seems (thinks/supposes/imagines) to know something, he does not yet know as he ought to know.”
(b) Psalm 19:7-11 “The law of Jehovah is perfect, restoring the soul: The testimony of Jehovah is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of Jehovah are right, rejoicing the heart: The commandment of Jehovah is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of Jehovah is clean, enduring for ever: The ordinances of Jehovah are true, and righteous altogether. They are more to be desired than gold - than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the droppings of the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned: In keeping them there is great reward.”
(c) Col 1:9b Paul prayed that the Colossians would “…be filled with the knowledge of His [God’s] will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, to walk worthily of the Lord resulting in being totally pleasing, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God…”
B) Results: Pride vs. love (vs. 1-2)
1. v.1 “…we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up but love builds up.”
2. Notice both pride and love can have the effect of making people grow in size, but playlands of pride that are “puffed up” with air from a fan are not nearly as stable and long-lasting as the brick-and-mortar edifice of love. Which do you want to be in when a tornado rips through?
3. When you think that more knowledge is the solution to the problem, you are on the wrong track. Certainly all will benefit from growing in the knowledge of the Lord, but when your assessment of a situation is that the real problem is the ignorance of the other guy, what you probably need to do at that point is love on that other person rather than open the dubious spigot of your knowledge upon him.
4. So, this second issue of sin that knowledge brings out, is the RESULT. When you have a lot of the content of truth in you, the result of that knowledge must be love, not pride.
5. v.3 says that if we love God, we will know God or He will know us.
(a) The second half of v.3 in Greek is literally “this one is being known by him” and we have to interpret who is known by whom.
(b) Gordon Clark makes a good case that the antecedent to the
first pronoun should be “God” because pronouns usually describe the closest
noun. This would render the meaning that God is known by him who loves God.
Supported by 1John 4:7b “everyone who loves is begotten of God and knows God. (8) He that is not loving is not knowing God; for God is love.”
However, most scholars take it the other
way “the man who loves will be known by God.”
Ps. 1:6 “Jehovah knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”
2 Tim 2:19b “The Lord knows those who are His”
Gal 4:9 “…now that y’all have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and poor principals… again?”
So our knowledge should have the right content and the right result in order to answer this question dealing with differences of conscience. The third component is the most important, however:
C) Relational sin: Rebellion vs. Worship (vs. 4-8)
1. Part of what defines sin is whether the action was done to honor God or whether it was done to spite Him. This is the relational aspect of sin.
(a) For instance, if you saw a teenage boy go running at a little girl and shove her over, you might conclude that he was being mean to her, but if the girl were in the street and a car was speeding down the street toward her, you might think the boy had done a brave thing to dive in front of a car to save the life of a little girl.
(b) Similarly, there might be two reasons to go into an idol’s temple:
Christian might go in to witness to the people there. He might even eat there
to prove that “the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.”
-That practice is perilous, as we will see in chapter 10, and it may be misguided and wrong, but the attitude toward God as the reason is what I’m focusing on.
(ii) Another Christian might go in to an idols’ temple because he thinks there still might be some power in that idol, and he wants to keep holding on to this idol in addition to God. That would be rebellion against God, and God would judge that more severely than the naïve and reckless Christian who went in with no thought but to glorify God.
(c) v.8 tells us that it’s not what we do or don’t do that defines our relationship with God. It’d not whether or not you have a TV, or an electric guitar, or meat sacrificed to idols; the important thing is that you know God and trust in Jesus to save you, and that you are nurturing that all-important relationship.
(d) Everything you do is either an act of rebellion or an act of worship. Think about that. Ask yourself throughout the day, “Was that an act of rebellion or an act of worship?”
2. The more you know about a particular sin, the more you may want to avoid it. This is also a relational aspect. The closer a relationship you have had to a particular sin, the more temptation it may hold for you and the more restrictive policy you may want to keep concerning it.
(a) I have never seen firsthand the horrors of what a drunk father can do to his family, I’ve never seen the debauchery of drunken college students, and I’ve never been drunk myself, so I don’t have much sensitivity about the sin of drunkenness, and I can drink a cup of wine now and then without it ever crossing my mind that anyone could have any concern about it, but someone who has struggled with addiction to alcohol or who has seen the damage it can do may be much less oblivious to the temptations and pitfalls and thus may want to avoid having alcohol in their home, and when I have them over to my house, I shouldn’t leave wine bottles out.
(b) This goes for any other thing that has been an idol in your life or your friend’s life. Flee temptation, and be considerate of the other people around you.
III) 3 Things you need to know
A) You need to know God (v.6)
1. He is the only true God (v.4 “no one is God but one”)
(a) Deut. 4:35 “It was shown to you… that Jehovah, He is God; there is none else besides Him… (39) Know therefore this day, and lay it to heart, that Jehovah, He is God in heaven above and upon the earth beneath; there is none else.”
(b) Deut. 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah:”
(c) Deut. 10:17 “Jehovah your God, is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, the mighty, and the terrible, who does not show favoritism to persons or take bribes.”
2. He is the creator of all. (v.6 “from whom are all things”) Therefore He owns all things and has authority over all, and everything finds its rightful place when it serves to glorify Him.
3. He is relational - we are literally “into Him” in Him=KJV, we exist for him?=NAS,NIV,NKJ
4. The Lord Jesus Christ is God - ontologically no different from God the Father although distinct economically in practical ways, as the prepositions in v.6 bear out: creation was “out of” the Father and “through” the Son.
5. Jesus is the means through which we enter into God. This passage doesn’t give the details, but we know that this was done through Jesus’ death on the cross – His payment for our rebellion which separated us from God, so that when we believe in Him, that payment is applied to our account and we are reconciled to God.
6. We don’t become God, by the way, but we do enter into communion with Him.
7. This is what we need to know about God: He is the creator of all things, He exists as Father and Son (and we see in other parts of scripture the Holy Spirit completing the Trinity), He brings us into fellowship with Himself through the Son, Jesus, who died on the cross to forgive us of our sins.
B) You need to know your calling
1. It is not your calling to focus on any created thing:
(a) eating or not eating (v.8) food doesn’t give us standing with God.
(b) Listening to rock music vs. listening to classical music does not define your calling.
(c) Your dress or your Bible translation, or whether or not you “dance or chew or go with girls that do” is not what your life is about.
2. Your calling is to worship God – to be “into God.”
3. You have authority (v.9 - KJV=liberty, ESV=right, NIV=freedom) to use God’s creation to glorify Him.
4. “Don’t use your freedom as a cover-up for evil but rather in service to God.” – I Pet. 2:16
So what we need to know is who God is, what our calling is, and…
C) You need to know your Christian brothers
1. First command: v.9 Watch/look/take heed/ take care so as not to be a “Stumbling block”.
(a) Comes from a Greek word meaning to “cut” – stumbling blocks have rough edges.
(i) Story of cutting my shin on a toolbox as I was going through a dark room.
(ii) If I had tripped on a pillow or fell over a mattress, I might be surprised, but wouldn’t have been hurt.
(iii) What kinds of rough edges exist in your speech or your way of relating to other people? Are there ways you could soften them so as not to be a stumbling block?
(b) The other thing that makes something a stumbling block is that it is out of place.
(i) The toolbox I stumbled over had no business in the middle of the room – it was supposed to be stored against the wall.
(ii) Part of the reason people stumble over things is that they are unexpected things, things that have no business being out in the open in a public thoroughfare.
(iii) Are there things in your life that you flaunt – that you wear on your sleeve, but which would be better kept private?
· Maybe it’s alcohol consumption (although getting drunk is still wrong even if you do it in private),
· Maybe it’s your passion for Reformed theology (not to say there’s anything wrong with it, as long as we don’t use it as a knife to divide ourselves up in public or as a club to beat up sincere Christians from a different tradition).
· The point is not to not to be a stumbling block, so smooth out those rough edges and remove from prominence things that might throw other people for a loop.
2. Follow the example of Christ who died for your Christian brother or sister (v.11)
(a) If Jesus was willing to give up His glory and die on a cross in order to help you and your brother in your weakness and sin, are you willing to die to some things that you like in order to keep from creating occasions for your brother to stumble?
(b) Notice that the problem is not an active hatred against other Christians or a malicious spirit of trying to trip them up into sin, instead the problem is apathy. Apathy is simply not thinking about others, just doing your own thing without considering other people. Practically apathy is no different from hatred.
(i) Both have the same result of “destroying” your brother, or at least causing him to come undone for a time.
(ii) Just in case any of you are truly reformed and are bothered by the theology in v.11 that Christ could have died for someone and yet they perish, let me ease your mind: this word translated “destroyed/ruined/perish” is also used in Luke 15 of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son who were all recovered.
3. A sin against a Christian brother or sister is a sin against Christ (v.12).
(a) Acts 9:5 – When Saul persecuted Christians, Jesus asked, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
(b) When Jesus comes back, He will say, “Inasmuch as you did it to the least of these my brothers, you did it unto me” (Mat. 25:40)
(a) I know a Christian woman who researched how homeopathic medicines worked and came to the conclusion that she could not in good conscience take them because they did not appear to work according to a scientific principle and thus she suspected that they might have some sort of demonic principle at work. Homeopathic medicines are pretty much nothing more than purified water, so is there anything intrinsically wrong with water? No. Water can be used for the glory of God – it’s what we baptize with. But would it be a sin for her to take that medicine as long as her conscience wasn’t sure if it were right? Yes, it would be a sin. It would also be a sin for a fellow Christian who believed in taking homeopathic medicine to browbeat her into taking some.
(b) Just last week, a guy asked for my advice about relating to a friend from a different religion. This guy had asked his friend not to pray according to his religion while visiting at his house. My immediate response was to pull rank as the Reverend Wilson, Master of Divinity, and Near-Expert on the ways of prayer in all the major religions of the world. This religion’s method of prayer was harmless, I thought, so there’s no need to be so superstitious and inhospitable to a guest. But by God’s grace, I held my tongue a little longer and started realizing that the Holy Spirit could have led the guy who asked for my advice to do what he did. My knowledge on the subject wasn’t all that important after all. God was at work in two people’s lives, and it was my job to confirm that!
(c) The pastor I grew up under, Frank Barker, made a decision early in his ministry to give up drinking alcohol. It happened at a wedding, when everybody was being served alcoholic drinks. Some time into the reception, Pastor Barker observed a man who had gotten very drunk being warned by his wife not to get any more of the spiked punch. The drunk man pointed a shaky finger at the cup of punch in Pastor Barker’s hand, slurring his response to his wife, but Pastor Barker heard it all too clearly, “But honey, the preacher’s drinking it!” From that point on, Pastor Barker decided to quit drinking alcohol so that kind of scenario would not happen again.
(d) Lowell Bliss is a resident of our town that some of you may know. I listened to a sermon he preached on this passage, and he has an interesting perspective, because he has lived in India and had to deal personally with this issue of food sacrificed to idols. In the area in which he lived, neighbors would take a box of cookies or some such food item to the Hindu temple and hand it to the priest, who would touch the box of food up against the image of an idol while chanting an incantation. The priest would then hand the food back to the neighbor, and the neighbor would bring this specially-blessed food back home to share with his family and friends. Occasionally, a neighbor would stop by the Bliss home to share their blessed food. Usually the Blisses would accept a snack from these people because they were innocently wishing to bring good luck to the Bliss family. However, Lowell said that every once in a while, he could tell that the person was doing it as a religious challenge or maybe it was a new Christian who was struggling with giving up idol worship, and so he would politely refuse the snack.
(e) Paul says in v.13 that he will never eat meat again if that’s what it takes to keep this brother from stumbling. This is a unique word for “meat” in the N.T., found only here and in Rom. 14:21, so it’s possible that this word refers only to meat offered in sacrifice to idols, in which case Paul wouldn’t have to become a vegetarian.
(f) Ultimately, our example is Jesus Christ. Jesus forsook his glory and comfort and privileges to save us in our weakness and sin, and we should be willing to do the same for others out of love and consideration.
Call2Worship Isa 43:1
But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!
Exo 34:4-7 NASB
So he cut out two stone tablets like the former ones, and Moses rose up early in the morning and went up to Mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and he took two stone tablets in his hand. The LORD descended in the cloud and stood there with him as he called upon the name of the LORD. Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations."
Christ we do all adore thee (R.T. #737)
Hosea 13:1-9, 14
I Know Whom I have Believed (R.T. 705)
1 Corinthians 8 - Consider your Brother's Conscience
At the Lamb's High Feast we Sing
John 6:40-54 NASB
"For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day." Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, "I am the bread that came down out of heaven." They were saying, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, 'I have come down out of heaven'?" Jesus answered and said to them, "Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, 'AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me. Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, "How can this man give us His flesh to eat?" So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
I Know it was the Blood (a cappella)
Jude 1:20-25 NASB
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, (21) keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. (22) And have mercy on some, who are doubting; (23) save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh. (24) Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, (25) to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.