I Corinthians 8:1-13
What can knowledge cause? (1-3) Why?
What is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God, but one? (4)
Where were, the idol gods located that Paul opposed? (5)
What do we know about God? (5-6)
What happened to a weak Corinthian Christian’s conscience if he ate meat that was offered to an idol? (7)
What does this mean? What do you think about that?
Does eating meat make us better or worse? (8) What is Paul saying?
For whose sake must the Corinthian brethren abstain from the liberty of eating meats offered to idols? (9)
What could our liberty become to those who are weak? (9) How?
If you cause a weak brother to perish what have you committed? (10-12) What do you think about that?
According to Paul “when ye sin against a brethren and wound their weak conscience; ye sin against whom? (12)
For how long did Paul say he would eat no flesh, lest I make my brother to offend? (13)
What is Paul saying?
What shows the value that Paul placed on a soul? (13) What do you think about that?
1. What is more uplifting Love or Knowledge? Why?
2. What principles should guide us in the exercise of Christian liberties?
1 Corinthians 8:1 Now concerning the next question you proposed. All of us have knowledge - A gentle reproof of their self - conceit. Knowledge without love always puffeth up. Love alone edifies - Builds us up in holiness.
*1 Corinthians 8:2 And if any man think that he knows anything,.... Whoever has an opinion of himself, or is conceited with his own knowledge, and fancies that he knows more than he does; which is always the case of those that are elated with their knowledge, and treat others with contempt, and have no regard to their peace and edification: he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know; if he did, he would know this, that he ought to consult the peace, comfort, and edification of his brother; and therefore whatever knowledge he may fancy he has attained to, or whatever he may be capable of, and hereafter obtain, for the present he must be put down for a man that knows nothing as he should do; for he knows neither his duty to God nor man; if he knew the former, he would know the latter.
***1 Corinthians 8:3 But if any man love God - In that way which the commandment requires, which will necessarily beget love to his neighbor, the same is known of him - is approved of God, and acknowledged as his genuine follower.
1 Corinthians 8:4 We know that an idol is nothing - A mere nominal god, having no divinity, virtue, or power.
1 Corinthians 8:5 For though there be that are called gods - By the heathens both celestial, (as they style them,) terrestrial, and infernal deities.
1 Corinthians 8:6 Yet to us - Christians. There is but one God - This is exclusive, not of the One Lord, as if he were an inferior deity; but only of the idols to which the One God is opposed. From whom are all things - By creation, providence, and grace. And we for him - The end of all we are, have, and do. And one Lord - Equally the object of divine worship. By whom are all things - Created, sustained, and governed. And we by him - Have access to the Father, and all spiritual blessings.
1 Corinthians 8:7 Some eat, with consciousness of the idol - That is, fancying it is something, and that it makes the meat unlawful to be eaten. And their conscience, being weak - Not rightly informed. Is defiled - contracts guilt by doing it.
**1 Corinthians 8:8 But meat commendeth us not to God - This is to be regarded as the view presented by the Corinthian Christians, or by the advocates for partaking of the meat offered in sacrifice to idols. The sense is, “Religion is of a deeper and more spiritual nature than a mere regard to circumstances like these. God looks at the heart. He regards the motives, the thoughts, the moral actions of people. The mere circumstance of eating ‘meat,’ or abstaining from it, cannot make a man better or worse in the sight of a holy God. The acceptable worship of God is not placed in such things. It is more spiritual; more deep; more important. And therefore, the inference is, “it cannot be a matter of much importance whether a man eats the meat offered in sacrifice to idols, or abstains.” To this argument the apostle replies 1Co_8:9-13, that, although this might be true in itself, yet it might be the occasion of leading others into sin, and it would then become a matter of great importance in the sight of God, and should be in the sight of all true Christians. The word “commendeth” παράστησι parastēsi means properly to introduce to the favor of anyone, as a king or ruler; and here means to recommend to the favor of God. God does not regard this as a matter of importance. He does not make his favor depend on unimportant circumstances like this. Neither if we eat - If we partake of the meat offered to idols. Are we the better - Margin, “Have we the more.” Greek Do we abound περισσεύομεν perisseuomen; that is, in moral worth or excellence of character; see the note at Rev_14:17. Are we the worse - Margin, “Have we the less.” Greek, Do we lack or want (ὑστερούμεθα husteroumetha); that is, in moral worth or excellence.
***1 Corinthians 8:9 But take heed - Lest by frequenting such feasts and eating things offered to idols, under the conviction that an idol is nothing, and that you may eat those things innocently, this liberty of yours should become a means of grievously offending a weak brother who has not your knowledge, or inducing one who respects you for your superior knowledge to partake of these things with the conscience, the persuasion and belief, that an idol is something, and to conclude, that as you partake of such things, so he may also, and with safety. He is not possessed of your superior information on this point, and he eats to the idol what you take as a common meal.
1 Corinthians 8:10 For if any one see thee who hast knowledge - Whom he believes to have more knowledge than himself, and who really hast this knowledge, that an idol is nothing - sitting down to an entertainment in an idol temple. The heathens frequently made entertainments in their temples, on what hath been sacrificed to their idols. Will not the conscience of him that is weak - Scrupulous. Be encouraged - By thy example. To eat - Though with a doubting conscience.
***1 Corinthians 8:11 Shall the weak brother perish - Being first taught by thy conduct that there was no harm in thus eating, he grieves the Spirit of God; becomes again darkened and hardened; and, sliding back into idolatry, dies in it, and so finally perishes. For whom Christ died? - So we learn that a man may perish for whom Christ died: this admits of no quibble. If a man for whom Christ died, apostatizing from Christianity, (for he is called a brother though weak), return again to and die in idolatry, cannot go to heaven; then a man for whom Christ died may perish everlastingly. And if it were possible for a believer, whether strong or weak, to retrace his steps back to idolatry and die in it, surely it is possible for a man, who had escaped the pollutions that are in the world, to return to it, live and die in its spirit, and perish everlastingly also. Let him that readeth understand.
***1 Corinthians 8:12 But when ye sin so against the brethren - Against Christians, who are called by the Gospel to abhor and detest all such abominations. Ye sin against Christ - By sending to perdition, through your bad example, a soul for whom he shed his blood; and so far defeating the gracious intentions of his sacrificial death. This is a farther intimation, that a person for whom Christ died may perish; and this is the drift of the apostle’s argument.
1 Corinthians 8:13 If meat - Of any kind. Who will follow this example? What preacher or private Christian will abstain from any thing lawful in itself, when it offends a weak brother?
* Gills Commentaries ** Barnes Commandments *** Clarke’s Commandments
All others by Wesley