Devotional Readings

1 Corinthians 7 – More on Meat and Idols

Paul offers some strong advice here..


Food Offered to Idols

1Co 8:1  Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

1Co 8:2  And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.

1Co 8:3  But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

1Co 8:4  As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.

1Co 8:5  For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)

1Co 8:6  But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

1Co 8:7  Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.

1Co 8:8  But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.

1Co 8:9  But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.

1Co 8:10  For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;

1Co 8:11  And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?

1Co 8:12  But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.

1Co 8:13  Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

John Gill offers some commentary on whether we can cause our brother to lose his place in God’s kingdom.

Joh 6:37  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

Joh 6:38  For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

Joh 6:39  And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

1 Corinthians 8:11

And through thy knowledge,…. These words contain an aggravation of the sin such persons are guilty of, who are the means, by their example, of ensnaring weak minds, and causing them to stumble and fall, even in some sense so as to perish:

shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? every word almost carries in it an exaggeration of this matter; it is not some slight injury that is done to the person, but even causing him to “perish”; and this is not said of any person, but a “brother”, to whom the strongest affection, and strictest regard, should be shown; and a “weak” brother, of whom the greater care should be taken; and therefore it is an instance of cruelty to do damage to such an one, and that not ignorantly, which cannot be pretended, but “through thy knowledge”; not through the true use, but abuse of it: 

those that have knowledge should know better, and improve it to the edification, and not the destruction of fellow Christians; and all this done in a case of indifference, that might as well be let alone, of which there was no necessity for the doing of it: but what aggravates most of all is, that this affects a person for “whom Christ died”; that he had such a value for as to purchase and redeem with the price of his own blood; and yet these men made so little account of, as by so trifling a thing to risk their good and welfare. 

Some would from hence conclude the doctrine of universal redemption, that Christ died for all men, even for them that perish; but it should be observed, that the words are put by way of interrogation, and prove no matter of fact, even supposing they could be understood of eternal ruin and destruction; and at most only imply the danger and possibility thereof through offences given, were they not preserved by the power and grace of God through Christ, who died for them, and so will not suffer them to perish; though this is no thanks to them who lay stumblingblocks in their way, and, as much as in them lies, cause them to perish, in this sense: besides, the “perishing” of this weak brother is to be understood of his peace and comfort, and is explained by “defiling” his conscience, 1Co 8:7 by wounding it, 1Co 8:12 and making him to offend, 1Co 8:13 through an imprudent use of Christian liberty in those who had the greater knowledge, and by a participation of things offered unto idols, in an idol’s temple, and not of his eternal damnation in hell; which could never enter into the apostle’s thought, as to be brought about hereby, as appears from 1Co 8:8 and so is no proof of Christ’s dying for such as perish eternally: for those for whom Christ has died, he has by his death procured such blessings for them, as a justifying righteousness, pardon of sin, peace with God, reconciliation unto him, and eternal salvation, which will for ever secure them from perishing in such sense.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s