The Book of 1 Corinthians Bible Study Chapter 8 Part 2 Leave a Comment / Love Israel Connection Blog / By Rivka Korman Let’s finish chapter 8: 1 Cor 8:7-13 v7: Consciousness of the idol: Some people have had a habit or a custom taught to them (ingrained in their conscience) which they had embraced. When they become believers some of them might still be in a type of bondage to their tradition. · Eat it as a thing offered to an idol: Because the food they are eating was sacrificed to an idol (and their conscience is weak in this area) they still see it as having significance. They still believe that these idols have some spiritual authority or power. We know that if a fruit (for example) was offered up to an idol, sold in the marketplace, eaten by us etc it cannot affect us spiritually. However, the conscience of a weak believer (knowing the above and knowing the fruit was eaten by another believer) is made impure by witnessing these things. · Defiled: Contaminated. Rendered unclean. v8: Food does not commend us to G-d: Food sacrificed to idols does not cause us to draw closer to G-d or to go further away from Him. Paul is teaching us a principle in this text that should govern all our decisions, viz, we cannot base everything in knowledge, but we need to always be people who walk in love – doing things for the betterment of others. v9: Beware: Look out! Watch yourself! Pay close attention to this. Our mindset should be to never want to be a stumbling block to others. v10: Knowledge: The knowledge Paul is referring to here is the knowledge that idols are harmless and have no spiritual authority or power. · Eating in an idol’s temple: This temple is just a building that houses pieces of wood or stone etc. Any perceived power that this building or that these idols have is the figment of people’s imaginations. · Conscience… be emboldened to eat: Because this one is weak (confused), he doesn’t understand that there is nothing to be gained, spiritually, by eating these foods. He might think that by partaking of them that there is something to be gained – that he will receive some spiritual power or authority if he eats of them. Because he sees another believer eating of them, he becomes bold and eats them too – but not from the point of knowing that they are harmless but from the point of wanting power and authority from eating of them (eating from a position of immaturity). v11: Perish: This is not talking about salvation (although he is weak, this brother has been eternally saved) but about the fact that the weak brother’s spiritual condition is going to be impacted – receive a heavy blow – as he has been encouraged (even if inadvertently) to move away from truth. Instead of the more mature believer edifying/building up the immature one, he has emboldened him to do what he believes is wrong, and in this way the more mature believer’s actions have become a stumbling block to him. Because the immature believer now believes he has been disobedient (Roms 14:23) he feels guilty before G-d, and this pushes him away from intimacy with G-d. v12: Even though our conscience is clean, and we may be doing the right thing (we have knowledge, and we act on that knowledge), utilising our liberty publicly can have a detrimental effect on others – in which case our actions would be considered sinful. · Sin against Messiah: Why? Because we are not walking in love but in our own desires. We need to be good stewards of the knowledge and of the freedom that we have been given. v13: Never again eat meat: No fruit or vegetable is forbidden in the law (all of them are acceptable before G-d), but certain types of meat are forbidden. When it comes to foodstuff it is meat that is the most controversial. · Lest I make my brother stumble: Paul did not use his freedom and liberty in a way that only focused upon himself and ignored everyone else. The liberty and freedom that we have should always be meted out in light of being a testimony to others. If something is perfectly fine to do but someone considers it wrong, but they go ahead and do it anyway then they are in rebellion. They did it, even though they thought it was wrong.