1 Corinthians 8


We talked that Paul is now dealing with questions that have been asked of him from a letter from the Corinthians.


  1. Knowledge of One God and One Lord 1 – 6


  1. Knowledge without love is sin Vs 1
    1. “We all have knowledge’ may be a direct quote from the letter from the Corinthians.
    2. Their pursuit of knowledge did not edify, it only puffed up or may them feel important.
  2. Loveless knowledge is ruinous. Vs 2
    1. Paul is not speaking against knowledge.
      1. The Corinthians have the thought that they have arrived at some deeper truth
      2. Corinth is not that far from Athens where the pursuit is all about the latest ideas.
    2. We will not know all the answers and because of this, we are always on a pursuit of knowing truth
      1. Truth is a person Jesus Christ, not a new idea.
      2. Some take this to extremes and continually are searching for a new understanding of the Bible at the expense of truth.
        1. Example: Definition of hell and marriage.
        2. Debate of these things must lead to the building up of the church in love.
  3. No one who is acquainted with God does not love Him Vs 3
    1. If knowledge does not make us fall more in love with Him, what is the purpose.
      1. NOTE: Be careful who you share this knowledge with.  It can be like pearls before swine and they will turn on you.
      2. This does not mean that you only share things with “spiritually mature people” and leave behind others.
        1. God was going to raise up another people through Moses and kill all the children of Abraham.  Moses knowledge of God stopped this from happening.(See Exodus 32: 10 – 14)
      3. Knowledge brings us into a leadership role to bring others along
  4. The controversy over idols. Vs 4
    1. An idol exists, but it is really nothing.
    2. Here is the real question for the Corinthians.  We believe in God so what does it matter if we eat food offered to idols?
  5. There is only one God Vs 5, 6
    1. Paul is most likely quoting a line from their letter again.
    2. This again, is an emphasis of all true knowledge.  That we might know the one who created us.


2.  Consider the weak conscience of a brother Vs 7 – 13


  1. Conscience is seared by others behavior. Vs 7
    1. First time the word Conscience is used in the New Testament
    2. People who have not yet won over to the liberating knowledge of the truth…they are threatened at the very heart of their being when as weak they try to achieve the insight of the strong.
      1. They are in pursuit of knowledge through following the example of others.
      2. Through that knowledge, we can put them in “deep anguish”
      3. We have to help them make the journey from their heads to their hearts.
      4. Too many times we try to make an intellectual conviction for their lives and how they act.
      5. Discipleship is an assimilation emotionally and with knowledge of the word of God. Either extreme will lead to error.
  2. Food does not affect our lives one way or another. Vs 8
    1. We are no worse if we don’t eat such food
    2. We are no better if we do.
    3. These things (like the example of circumcision in the previous chapter) do not present us to God.  They are matters of indifference to Him.
  3. We can become a stumbling block Vs 9
    1. Freedom = authority.  Do not claim your authority on these matters so as to be a stumbling block to others.
  4. Eating in the temple Vs 10
    1. A person with superior knowledge is evidently eating meat in a pagan temple and it means nothing to him.  Another brother sees this and they have not made the disconnect between what is happening here and what pagans are doing.  This leads to a problem for the new believer.
  5. Our eating “destroys” another brother. Vs 11
    1. destroy = eternally lost, comes to sin
  6. Sinning against Christ Vs 12
    1. By sinning against another brother in this area, you are also sinning against Christ.
    2. Conscience again is “deep anguish”  so it is more than I just don’t like what you are doing.
  7. Paul gives up rights Vs 13
    1. Everything we do affect our relationships with each other and we need to grow in love with each other.
    2. We are not just giving up things that others don’t like, we need to be careful around those who will emulate what we are doing.
    3. We are not to minister to each other by law, knowledge, or freedom, but by love for each other.