8 Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.2 And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. 3 But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him. My thought is Paul is going through the letter from the Corinthians, asking him what to do about these things happening with us…We don’t know what they said, nor the context, but it looks like from Paul’s response and reprimands previously those asking are trying to find fault in others within their body. They are using their ‘knowledge’ their prestige, what they are proud of in themselves as the reason to point out what others are doing wrong. Paul, I believe, begins this way, “Knowledge puffs up, love edifies’ because of this. This is a reprimand to their attitude behind the question. Paul is letting them know if you are sure you know it all, above the others, then you are not doing for God, out of love. God knows who loves him, God knows what is truly the desires of the heart.
4 Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, Paul continues to answer the question, because it deserves a response even though they were asking for the wrong reason. we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one. An idol is nothing, even if a man says it is, it still is nothing. 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), man has made up a lot of things to worship wood ones and pretend Zeus, etc. 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live. For US, Paul and those he answers the question to KNOW there is only one God.
7 However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; some who are now believers for some, with consciousness of the idol, Those who in the past believed in this idol, who thought it to be important. Maybe like a catholic today who rubs their beads? until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. 8 But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse. Some may not know any better, they are caught up in the past misconception.We do know that eating something or not, rubbing the beads or not, has nothing to do with our belief in God, nor his acceptance of us.
9 But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? You who ‘young’ believers look up to know that idol food is not a bad thing, but they still do. If they see you it causes them to wonder, to question your walk, your integrity, then theirs. 11 And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?12 But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. You know this causes those younger, confusion, that they think idol offered food is evil, yet you do eat in front of them, maybe to taunt them? 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble. Paul then says, go the extra mile basically, instead of causing turmoil for and with the weaker brother.
If a friend is a recovered alcoholic you should not ask them to a wine tasting party, he could abstain, but how much fun will he have watching everyone else? . If your sister is gluten intolerant you would not plan her birthday at Johnny Corinos, even though they do have a couple of gluten free meals to offer, the bread will still be there. How is that a special treat for her, take her to Outback who even has a GF dessert to offer. If your neighbor believes that her prayers are heard by her praying with her prayer beads in her hands, or if she wears red shoes on her hands, you should not tell her differently, this could be how she ready’s her heart and mind for God,. WE know he hears either way, but she needs know too!
Paul, I, all of us that believe;there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live, are WE. We believe that God’s word, the Bible from Genesis 1:1 through Revelations 22:21 is the Truth, every word, today, yesterday and tomorrow. If WE deviate from the Truth ANY at all, we cause someone to stumble. If we change the gospel to exclude anyone or to include everyone, we cause someone to stumble. If WE decide our interpretation of the word is more loving and more accepting, and fits this world better, than what God really said, we cause someone to stumble. If WE decide punishment/consequences/ for sins and disobedience is just to harsh, we cause someone to stumble. If WE decide we have more knowledge than God, we cause someone to stumble, and WE ALL FALL DOWN