1 Corinthians 8:8-13

1 Corinthians 8:8
But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.
 
For a true Christian, the eating of things sacrificed to idols, has no effect upon our salvation or our relationship with God. If one abstains from eating these foods it neither increases our spirituality nor detracts from it.  This verse is not condoning wrong actions because a person cannot lose their salvation, rather, it is up to the personal convictions of each Christian. (Rom 14:17 KJV) For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
 
 
1 Corinthians 8:9
But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.
 
Paul warns that the actions of a Christian can and will affect other believers, especially those who are new in the faith or are weak in their understanding of Christianity. The question here is not the liberty the Christian possesses but the effect wrong actions have upon other Christians who are watching us. Let us bring this up to today. I once ate in a restaurant in Northern New Jersey which I knew was owned by the Mafia. The food was excellent, the portions were generous, and their salad bar was humongous. Did that affect my standing with God because it was owned by the Mafia? No it did not, but a Christian of weak conscience may refuse to eat there based on what they know about the illegal operations of organized crime. If they see me coming out of that restaurant, they may mistakenly believe that it is okay to support illegal businesses, even though that restaurant was perfectly legitimate. So in order for me not to offend the brother or sister of weak conscience, I would seek another restaurant.
 
 
1 Corinthians 8:10
For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;
 
Normally the pattern is that a new or weak Christian will imitate the Christian who seems mature in the faith. Sometimes this has a devastating effect on the outlook of the weaker brother. They may begin to adopt wrong thought patterns and wrong biblical interpretations, especially if they emulate the worldly Christian. (Rom 15:1 KJV) We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. In the Romans verse ”infirmities” carries with it the idea of weakness. To prevent a new Christian from being derailed by our visible actions, we need to become strong in weakness so we may also carry the weakness of the younger brother or sister. By becoming weak on their level, we can then begin the process of helping to build them in the faith, so they may grow properly and become strong Christians. (1 Cor 2:3 KJV) And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. Paul was a strong Christian, yet for the sake of the Corinthians, he came to them in weakness.
 
 
1 Corinthians 8:11
And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
 
Since Christ died for the weaker brother, we who are stronger in the faith must keep them from sinning. Here is where the fact that we are our brother’s keeper comes into effect. (1 Cor 9:22 KJV) To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Until a brother becomes stronger in the faith, we are to train them at the level they are presently at and build them up properly. We must see them where they are, which is also the essence of a good teacher. To assume that every Christian is at the same level of maturity is a serious mistake. If we possess more knowledge than the one we are influencing, then we must speak with them and find out where they are in their Christian walk. Once we know this, then we can begin the process of helping them to mature, according to their own ability to understand and the amount of baggage religion we might have to remove from them.
 
 
1 Corinthians 8:12
But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.
 
The sin of wounding a weaker brother (leading them astray) is actually a sin against Christ. (Acts 9:4 KJV) And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? Christ is intimate with His people as this verse conveys from the experience of the calling of Saul on the road to Damascus. So when anyone leads one of the Lord’s children astray, they may be in for some trouble. (Mat 18:6 KJV) But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Those who offend one of the lambs of the Lord will wish they were never born. If another Christian offends one of these young Christians, they too will face much tribulation for they should know better.
 
 
1 Corinthians 8:13
Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.
 
Paul simply concludes that whatever makes his brother stumble, he will avoid doing. He will not eat any type of food which would cause a Christian to stumble. This principle does not only apply to eating food. A Christian may cause another Christian to stumble by playing the lottery, having an alcoholic drink, remarrying after divorce, etc. Any unbiblical behavior can cause another Christian to stumble if they begin to imitate the wrong behavior.
 
(2 Th 3:9 KJV) Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.
 
(Titus 2:7-8 KJV) In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, {8} Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.

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