1 Corinthians 8
1. Now regarding your question about food that has been offered to idols. Yes, we know that “we all have knowledge” about this issue. But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that makes the church strong.
Meat offered to idols was the best meat and it was cheaper. So some Christians were saying “I know an idol is just a piece of rock. It does not mean anything!”
Another way of saying this is that thinking you are so smart puffs you up. This is a good warning for those who are proud of how much they know. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.
2. Anyone who says he knows all the answers does not know very much.
if you think you know many things, it shows that you do not know how much you do not know.
3. But the person who loves God is the one whom God knows.
If we want to please God, then stopping ourselves from hurting another Christian is more important than our freedom.
4 – 5
So, what about eating meat that has been offered to idols? Well, we all know that an idol is not really a god and that there is only one God. There may be so–called gods both in heaven and on earth, and some people actually worship many gods and many lords.
If we look at the names of these gods we see that they are demonic, dirty names speaking of evil things. David said, “I will not even speak their names.“ Psalm 16:4
6. But we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we live for Him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life.
We know the real God, but even though an idol is not a god, there is an evil spirit connected to it. This is the real reason that we do not play with these things.
7. However, not all believers know this. Some are used to thinking of idols as being real, so when they eat food that has been offered to idols, they think of it as the worship of real gods, and they are wounded in their heart.
If someone has been raised in confusion, they are going to have a hard time telling the difference between what is real and what is not.
8 – 9
It is true that we cannot win God’s blessing by what we eat. We do not lose anything if we do not eat it, and we do not get anything if we do. But you must be careful so that your freedom does not make others with a weaker conscience to stumble.
Why would you want to make life harder for someone else?
10. For if others see you with your “higher knowledge” eating in the temple of an idol, won’t they be tempted to go against their conscience by eating food that has been offered to an idol?
There are some Christians who say they can drink. What if a person sees you drinking and becomes trapped by this sin?
What if you are very strong Christian and you know that demonic movies and computer games are nothing but evil looking pictures on the screen? What if you encourage a weak person to look at these things and they are so weak that they invite a demon into their life and are destroyed will you say, “That is their problem not mine." What will you answer to the Lord about this?
11. So because of your higher knowledge, a weak believer for whom Christ died will be destroyed.
It does not say that this person will no longer be a Christian. What Paul is saying is that there are things inside this brother which are now destroyed because of you. Maybe he would decide trying to be a strong Christian is too confusing. Maybe he will stop going to God for the answers he needs. You may say that they are acting like a little child.
But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in Me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone hung around your neck. Mark 9:42
He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you [doing these things] to Me?” Acts 9:4
12. And when you sin against other believers by encouraging them to do something they believe is wrong, you are sinning against Christ.
Psychologists say, “Your problem is only because part of your mind is telling you that what you are doing is wrong. You need to use the other part of your mind to set yourself free.“ What they are doing is causing people to be fractured in their thinking and in many cases they become separated from reality.
13. So if what I eat causes another believer to sin, I will never eat meat again as long as I live for I do not want to cause another believer to stumble.
For you have been called to live in freedom... but do not use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. Galatians 5:13