The Book of 1 Corinthians Bible Study Chapter 8 Part 1

Our first reading this week is taken from 1 Cor 8:1-6
 
Often, what is important to us is being right. This can easily overshadow what should be important to us – ie building one another up, helping others mature and grow in their faith, not being a stumbling block to them, etc. All too often we don’t think about the spiritual condition of someone else. We want to be right at all costs. This is the issue that Paul deals with in this chapter. 
 
v1: Things offered up: Sacrifices made to a pagan image. This is the subject/example (many spiritual issues would fit into this category) that Paul is using in this text to teach us a spiritual principle – namely: being concerned with the growth and maturity of one another so that we can all know the truth and be set free from wrong views. We do not use our liberty and knowledge to step on others in order to build ourselves up. We are built up together (Eph 2:20-22). 
·      We all have knowledge: The believers have knowledge, but knowledge is not enough. We can know that we need to love one another but, in isolation, knowing it (head) doesn’t help – love has to be put into practice (hands and feet). 
·      Knowledge puffs up: This is the danger we all face. We need to be careful, because the knowledge we have can become a source of pride to us rather than being the foundational, guiding principle in our life.
·      Love edifies:  This is a word of construction, a word for building up. Knowledge leads to pride. Love (thinking of others and not only of ourselves) leads to being a source of edification for others. Paul emphasises the importance of this in this passage. 
 
v2: Knows anything: He thinks he knows a lot. 
·      He knows nothing yet: In actuality, what he knows is not yet to the extent of what he needs to know. Biblically, knowledge is important, but it is worth very little until it is mixed with love. 
 
v3: Knowing something doesn’t bring G-d’s blessing into our lives. But when we love G-d, we are known by Him. Knowing something is not important. Being known by G-d (experiencing His Presence in our lives) is extremely important. This isn’t brought into fruition through knowledge, but through love. It is only when we love G-d that we can love our neighbours as we love ourselves. Knowledge is not a bad thing. But knowledge apart from love will not have an edifying influence in a situation. 
 
v4: In this verse, Paul gives us an example of someone who has knowledge regarding a certain issue (eating food offered to idols) but his knowledge is not ministering and demonstrating love for another person. Rather, his knowledge is actually destroying a fellow believer.
·      We: Mature believers
·      An idol is nothing: There is only one G-d. An idol (made of wood/metal/stone etc) has no spiritual power whatsoever. We do not need to be afraid of it or give it any relevance in our lives. 
 
v5: People have made many (false) gods for themselves – in heaven and on earth. 
 
v6: We for Him: We are in Him through a covenant.
·      Through whom are all things: The implication here is that Yeshua is the Creator of the world – although G-d the Father was there it was the Word that brought it into being (John 1:1-3, Roms 11:36, Col 1:16)
·      Through whom we live: He makes us spiritually alive. 

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