1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Food Offered to Idols
8 Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. 2 If
anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. 3 But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.
4 Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.” 5 For although there
may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and
one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
7 However, not all possess this knowledge.
But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. 8 Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off
if we do. 9 But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will
he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? 11 And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. 12 Thus, sinning against
your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.
The rights and the freedom of the Gospel are wrongly promoted in the Corinthian Church, leading the believers to adopt too easily the behaviors and practices of the surrounding culture.
No believer has the right or freedom to destroy the faith of others, especially those whom Paul describes as weak in the faith. Faith is not a private matter. Faithful Christians will be zealous to pray for and carry out God’s will that all be saved
and come to the knowledge of the truth (1Tm 2:3–4). How marvelously our Savior bears with our weaknesses! Most important, He took away our sin and builds us up in love.
pray: From selfishly seeking our own rights at the expense of others, deliver us, O Lord. From unwittingly leading Your chosen saints into sin, deliver us, O Lord. Stir us up to worship and honor You alone, and through Your Spirit use us to turn others
to You. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The
Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1957.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), 1 Co 8:1–13.