1 Corinthians 8

Although the NET Bible, as well as others, have a heading for this passage that says, “Food Sacrificed to Idols,” I think that the passage is really about how to display love for your brother/sister in Christ.

The issue here is eating in an idol temple (8:10). Should you do it? Well, since there really is only one true God, you could claim that the idol worshippers are deluded. Food offered to nonexistent idols isn’t a problem at all, so go ahead!

But there are some who do see it as a problem, because they do not yet have that understanding or are having difficulty making that break from past idolatry. What if by dining there you encourage them to dine there, and thereby lead them back into the idolatry that they were trying to make a break from?

The issue here is strong vs. weak, mature vs. immature, knowledge vs. ignorance. The mature in this case has a responsibility to look after the immature. We shouldn’t do anything that will cause another believer to fall away in their relationship with Christ: “if food causes my brother or sister to sin, I will never eat meat again” (8:13).

Knowledge can be dangerous. It can make us proud (8:1). It can make us insensitive. It can cause us to harm fellow believers. What is the antidote to that type of behavior? Love (8:1). Love recognizes that others are important. Love understands that we don’t know everything, and that we have more to learn (8:2). Love reflects God (8:3), and our love of others shows that we love God too.

1 John 4:7-8 “Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been fathered by God and knows God. The person who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

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