Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God. 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.” For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— 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.1 Corinthians 8:1-6
According to the New American Standard Bible, the last portion of the first verse above is translated as “knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies.”
How would you rate your knowledge of the Bible and how it relates directly to your life? As the verse above indicates, it is not so much about how much we know and more about how we love our brothers and sisters in Christ based on the knowledge.
The people in the church agreed that idols are of no more value than the materials used to create them, there was disagreement on eating food that is sacrificed to pagan idols. For some, it was no big deal and they boasted of their freedom to eat, but for others in the church, it was guilt by association.
The controversy of eating food sacrificed is foreign to us, but I think we can relate to the idea of considering others in the decisions we make – especially on choices that are not clearly defined in Scripture. We’ll talk more about some of those choices tomorrow, so for today just consider this thought – am I living with an attitude that chooses love over my personal freedom?