Paul tells the Corinthians to be ready to consider the spiritual maturity of other believers before acting in their own knowledge. He advised them to consider the weak in their midst especially on the issue of food offered to idols. He emphasised that their knowledge on the insignificance of idol worship does not give them the liberty to act insensitive to other believers in their midst who have a different perspective on the matter. He concluded that their knowledge of the truth should never become a hindrance or cause a stumbling block to the weak, because this might give them an impulse to sin.
We are saddled with the responsibility of making decisions daily that either ministers salvation or otherwise. We should be aware that we are saved to save others; hence our liberty in Christ Jesus should never be a stumbling block to those who are around us. We should also be ready to help the weak in faith by building people up to the level of spiritual maturity.
I will build others with my words, actions and lifestyle.
Reading – 1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Concerning Food Sacrificed to Idols
8 Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. 2 Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. 3 But whoever loves God is known by God.[a]
4 So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.” 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), 6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.
7 But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled.8 But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.
9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? 11 So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12 When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.
- 1 Corinthians 8:3 An early manuscript and another ancient witness think they have knowledge do not yet know as they ought to know. 3 But whoever loves truly knows.