1st Corinthians 8

Paul moves into a new subject that the church of Corinth was facing during that time.  Sacrifices being offered to idols as part of normal worship were also then sold once they had met the requirements of sacrifice.

In the second part of the very first verse Paul offers the information that knowledge can make you “puffed up” or proud but charity or love builds you up.

In verse two Paul is making a statement that I find interesting. Depending on how you personally interpret this verse, one way of looking at it is this:  Paul seems to be saying that if a person “thinks” he knows something or possibly this line could be seen as “if a person has formed an opinion about something” he has formed this opinion or feels as if he knows something because of his life experiences.

We know that the sum total of where we are personally today is based around our personal experiences.  We think and feel the way we do because of experiences we have had in our lifetime.

However, Paul follows that up in the 3rd verse by saying the if you love God, people will identify that in your actions and deeds.

So Paul goes back to addressing idols by saying since we know that there is only one God the offerings or sacrifices to another God is nothing.  Means nothing at all………a waste of time.  Therefore the meat offerings are nothing more than cooked meat.

Now he goes into the next verses saying that while we all realize there is only one God, there are others who have come out of those religions or possibly have some doubt that there is only one God so the offerings or sacrifices are more important to those people.

While Paul has preached that we have liberty and are free from the bondage of the law, not everyone feels or walks in that freedom and eating food that has been offered as sacrifices to false Gods is  blasphemous or just plain wrong.  When that person sees you eating the things that are offered as sacrifices or offerings, you become a stumbling block.

So while you may not see yourself as doing something wrong, someone else may feel that what you are doing is wrong and if that is the case then perhaps you should not do that thing that would be offensive to someone else.

By way of an example, many people do not like believe in the drinking of wine.  I personally do not have a problem with it.  In other words if you and I were having dinner together I would not be bothered by the fact that you are having a glass of wine.  While I do not personally drink and would much rather have a cup of coffee, I am not offended by someone who would have a glass of wine.

However, if you are going to dinner with someone who could possibly be offended by your glass of wine, my suggestion would be not to have it.  This was Paul’s point here.  In love, consider the other person before you start to do something that you feel the other person or group of people may have an issue with.

Verses 12 and 13 brings it home when he simply says that when you do something that you know would offend someone else, you are sinning against them.  Just don’t do it.


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