1 Corinthians 8: 1-13
Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all posses knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. But the man who loves God is known to God.
So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ,through all things came and through whom we live.
But not everyone knows this. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat such food, they think of it as having been sacrificed to an idol, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we not eat, and no better if we do.
Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, won’t he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? So this weaker brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.
My thought is if anything separates me from God, it is an idol to me. Some new believers, who have worshipped other “gods” and made sacrifices to them, may not have received the knowledge that there is only one God, the Father and there is only one Lord, Jesus the Christ. The meat that we eat can be a stumbling block that causes a weak believer’s faith to be destroyed and then return to their old way of living. When we do this, we are guilty of sin against a brother by wounding their weak conscience; therefore, we have sinned against Christ. Beware of becoming a stumbling block to a new brother. We are to build one another up in the love of Christ and not lift up ourselves in what we think we know.
Father you are the only God and Jesus Christ is Lord! Praise your holy name. Thank you for the freedom we have received in you. Help us to build up others with the same love and mercy that you give to us while we all learn together to live for you. We ask in Jesus’ name, amen.