1 Corinthians 8

1 Corinthians 8:1-13

1  Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.

2  And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.

3  But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.

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.

5  For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords),

6  yet 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.

7  However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.

8  But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse.

9  But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak.

10  For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols?

11  And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?

12  But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.

13  Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

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1 year ago

This subject of humility now takes on revelation and understanding of our freedoms in Christ. We don’t really even have the opportunity to eat meat sacrificed to idols, but there are many other ways our actions can become a hindrance to others when “superior” knowledge takes precedence over love. Any understanding we may gain never puts us in a position of independence of our actions from their effect on others. Knowledge we do acquire is really nothing compared to what is yet to be discovered. Its purpose is never to enable behaviors, actions, entertainment, or things we partake of, if any of those things disables the higher priority of knowing and displaying God’s love. It’s amazing how Paul, the one with probably the greatest knowledge of any, so effectively maintained the priority of edifying the body over persisting in some personal revelation of freedom. In Acts 21 he even participated in an “unnecessary” religious ritual with some young believers in order to win their hearts. He made it a priority of edifying over pridefully demonstrating a freedom from the law, when it would only cause confusion and rejection of truth they could grow in.
While we have been truly freed from bondage to any religion and its constraints, the law of love will constrain as it becomes sensitive to the conscience and vulnerability of others. Rather than participating in bringing confusion and a compromised conscience into the heart of one yet in need of knowledge, there is a great opportunity to let go of personal freedoms that might cause them to stumble.

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