Rev. Lane Burgland, pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Churubusco, Indiana, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study 1 Corinthians 8.
A lot of churches are talking about their rights these days. “If food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat,” Paul says in chapter 8. Paul shows the Corinthians that love comes before freedom. While our fellow Christians may be “weak,” immature, or even incorrect on certain issues, it’s more important to preserve their souls than to enjoy our rights—regardless of how we see them, God values them at the price and worth of the blood of Jesus Christ. It’s more than worth it to abstain from exercising our rights, regardless of how reasonable or justifiable they may be, for our brother’s sake.
Thy Strong Word is a daily in-depth study of the books of the Bible with host Rev. AJ Espinosa and guest pastors from across the country. Thy Strong Word is graciously underwritten by the Lutheran Heritage Foundation and produced by the LCMS Office of National Mission.
1 Corinthians 8
Food Offered to Idols
8 Now concerning[a] food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. 2 If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. 3 But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.[b]
4 Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.” 5 For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
7 However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. 8 Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. 9 But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating[c] in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged,[d] if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? 11 And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. 12 Thus, sinning against your brothers[e] and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.
- 1 Corinthians 8:1 The expression Now concerning introduces a reply to a question in the Corinthians’ letter; see 7:1
- 1 Corinthians 8:3 Greek him
- 1 Corinthians 8:10 Greek reclining at table
- 1 Corinthians 8:10 Or fortified; Greek built up
- 1 Corinthians 8:12 Or brothers and sisters
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. esv.org