Rev. Dr. Adam Filipek, pastor at Holy Cross and Immanuel Lutheran Churches, both in Lidgerwood, ND, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study 1 Corinthians 8:1-13.
St. Paul turns to another matter that the Corinthians have brought to his attention: eating meat sacrificed to idols. The Corinthians have boasted concerning their knowledge, but the Apostle directs their attention to using that knowledge in love. It is good that Christians have knowledge; we must know that there is one God, the Father, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, and that idols are nothing. Because some are weaker in faith and do not have this knowledge, however, their consciences may be defiled upon seeing Christians eating sacrificed meat. Therefore, a Christian must put his knowledge into use with love, refusing to let his actions in freedom become sin against a brother in the faith and, thus, sin against Christ Himself. Christians freely give up their freedom in order to build up the faith of others.
“Nothing But Christ Crucified” is a series on Sharper Iron that goes through the epistle of 1 Corinthians. In response to correspondence from the Christians in Corinth and reports about matters arising in the congregation, St. Paul writes to address various matters of Christian faith and life. Throughout it all, he directs our attention to the power and wisdom of God for our salvation: Christ crucified.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
1 Corinthians 8:1-13
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.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. esv.org