INTRODUCTION (v. 1-3)
This knowledge puffs up, but love builds up – 1 Corinthians 8:1
In this section of Paul’s letter, Paul is concerned with idolatry within the church. Paul understands that this knowledge that they have, in essence is a good thing, but the behavior and the attitude in which they possess that knowledge is troublesome. Paul rebukes the church for using their spiritual knowledge as means of pride and arrogance rather than for love and unity.
In the following verses, Paul exhorts the church to approach the spiritual knowledge that they have been given, in humility not in arrogance. And most importantly, Paul reminds them in verse 3 that all knowledge is secondary and that as sinners who are saved by grace, being known by God is the greatest thing that we could have ever been given. Being known by God means that He knew us as Jesus died for us on the cross. Being known by God means that we are not alone in our fears, anxieties, and worries and that God is with us through our hardships and He sees us.
LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION
9But 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? – 1 Corinthians 8: 9-10
In verse 4-6, Paul speaks about how the members of the church were eating of the offering given to the idols while knowing that there was no God but one. In this time, the Corinthians used the argument that since they know that there is only one God, that eating of these offerings were in a way mocking towards the idols and felt that they were not in sin. And here Paul affirms that truth that God is only one, but in the subsequent verses explains why their logic is wrong.
While the Corinthians felt justified in their feasting of the offering, Paul reminds those who possessed knowledge, that not everyone has that knowledge that they have. He expresses how some of the Christians who are weak, eat of the same food, are sinning not because they think they are doing wrong, but because they have fallen back into their idolatrous ways. Paul rebukes those who are more knowledgeable not for doing things that are innately sinful, but for stumbling and leading those who are less knowledgeable around them, to fall back into their old sinful ways.
So therefore, let us be diligent in leading those around us towards Christ. Many of us have learned great things here at KCM and let us pray that with this knowledge, we are able to lead the next generation to love, honor and glorify Christ. Let us not approach knowledge with arrogance or pride, but in humility remind ourselves that only God knows all things, and that even if we have no knowledge, that we are content because God knows and sees us.
RC Sproul ESV Study Bible