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1 Corinthians 8 (NIV)
Concerning Food Sacrificed to Idols
8 Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. 2 Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. 3 But whoever loves God is known by God. 4 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.” 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), 6 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 whom all things came and through whom we live. 7 But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. 8 But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do. 9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? 11 So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12 When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if what I eat causes, my brother or sister, to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.
How is it that what is not a sin for one group is a sin for another?
Eternal Father, You are the creator of all things. You said that all things are good, very good. Sin, on the other hand, corrupted Your good world. Your Word makes it clear when it comes to sins such as murder, adultery, stealing or having no other God’s but You. You provided guiding principles on how to live a life pleasing to You. We have the opportunity to grow in knowledge about Your saving grace from spending time in Your Word. The point where most stumble is in issues relevant to Christian liberties (such as movies, drinking, music, or television) where some have developed opinions and traditions on how to carry out Your undisputable laws. Although they don’t impact salvation, these things may be helpful or hurtful in someone’s spiritual journey. For someone to deliberately do something that violates their conscience is a sin. Trying to influence someone to go against their conscience is actually a sin against You. I stand firm in my faith and proclaiming You as Lord, no matter who that offends, but to offend them by disregarding their conscience in areas of Christian liberties is to offend You. My actions can not be based only on what I know to be right. I also need to consider what is right towards my brothers and sisters in Jesus. Being right is important but it is not more important than showing love to Your family. What matters is not what I know, but my love for others. Help me to encourage and build other people up in love. It is no good just knowing lots about You, but help me to get to know You personally. Fill me with love for You and for others. Amen