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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11 months ago

While Paul is addressing food offered to idols – which isn’t really something we’re familiar with – this same principle applies to so many other things. What is consumed, worn, spoken, entertained by, and so many other behaviors and actions may be affected by the liberty we’ve received in Christ and still be a serious compromise of conscience in some. Just because the substance or action itself may not be a problem, addiction or slavery to that thing can still be much more destructive than liberating. To persist in carrying out these behaviors that may cause someone else to fall is to negate any assumed higher knowledge and become in direct opposition to Christ. This is also true for those areas where others don’t hold our own strong convictions. To disqualify someone else and ascribe condemnation to them because of some claimed knowledge of a legal perspective is to press towards a way of living that is much more representative of division and strife than the love and unity of God’s heart. The tidbit of information that we might assume to be massive and deep is but a dip into the mass expansion of knowledge yet to be acquired in God. He surely has to put up with misinformation and its evidence in even the most legitimately enlightened of us. While there are surely areas of transgression, such as the sexual perversion addressed in Chapter 5, that are unacceptable, to begin validating anything based upon “higher information” is to let pride and arrogance override the heart of compassion and love we’ve been given in Christ. Celebration of personal freedom that enables another’s bondage is just partying over an imminent fall. There is no freedom in a personal space with the Father that isn’t guided by love for His body. Loving Him is caring more for how personally held freedoms may impact those Jesus gave up His own freedoms for. To be guided by love may be much more restrictive than a guide that is legally defined. Love’s adherence, though, will yield a liberty that is so much more impacting in Christ’s body than just that of a personal gratification. 

11 months ago

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