Paul wants them to be Mindful of the weak brother or sister in Christ
1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Paul now shifts his entire focus of his letter and begins to write to them instructing them on how to be careful, cautious, and concerning with one another about things that are not sinful before God the Father, but things that may be harmful to the faith of a weaker sister or brother in Christ. Paul has already declared to them and to us our “liberty in Christ” as we documented again in the last study referencing his words in 1 Corinthians 6:12. Paul, even though he was a Jew, knew of the pagan rituals and practices of worship in the city of Corinth by many of the people who lived there and the believers in Christ in the Church of Corinth came out of such practices and many grew up in families where from an early age they were taught about these pagan rites and rituals. This is likewise how the sin of witchcraft is often times passed down from mother to daughter for many generations until our Lord Jesus Christ intervenes somewhere along the chain of lies from the devil and plucks out of that chain a link or soul that becomes His daughter and thus a new line of holy, righteous, pure, and true worship is passed down from generation to generation.
Many people in the city would worship what they called “Greek gods” as we documented in an earlier study one of the most prominent was the “goddess Aphrodite” known as the “sex god” but there were many “gods” worshipped in that culture and that city and some of the man-made temples where these false gods or deities would be worshipped required an offering or a sacrifice be made to the false god of animal meat. Paul with this in mind writes to them reaffirming to them that those “false gods” that they worshipped before they heard the gospel of Christ were all worthless and void of any power at all to bring about good or benefit to the lives of anyone who worshipped them and made sacrifices to them. Paul wants to reassure these believers and us today that despite the satanic or demonic influence behind all of those false gods that were being worshiped in the city of Corinth and still in many cities, towns, and villages all around the world today, that the Corinthian believers and we need only to rest in the truth of the One True God that has been revealed to us in our Lord, Master, and Savior Jesus Christ. Paul knew that during the era of the Jewish Patriarchs that it was considered a grievous sin for a Jew to eat any meat that a Gentile had offered up to a pagan idol in their worship and this is why the Jews had so many foods that were totally separate from what the Gentiles would consume and even today we find entire stores that sell only kosher food items or foods that conform to the Jewish dietary laws handed down to them by way of the law of Moses.
Paul knew that these Gentile Corinthians (who now became believers in our Lord Jesus Christ) knew nothing of the Jewish dietary laws, but they did know now that all of those false gods they used to worship were satanic or demonic. Those who were weak in their faith or still “babes in Christ” felt they would be defiled if they would partake of any meat that some of the remaining pagan Corinthians offered up to those demons and refused to go to some of the marketplaces in the city where they sold such meat. Paul is writing now to both the “weak in faith Corinthian believer” and the “mature in faith Corinthian believer”, to the weak Paul says this to reassure his or her heart in Christ, “For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him” (1 Corinthian 8:5-6) and to the mature Paul says this to stir them up to be mindful of every member of Christ Mystical Body even the not so seemingly important parts of the Body, “However not all men have this knowledge; but some, being accustomed to the idol until now, eat food as if it were sacrificed to an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. But food will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ” (1 Corinthians 8:7-12).
Finally, Paul concludes with where his heart is for every person in our Lord Jesus’ Mystical Body whether weak in the faith or mature in the faith and likewise where everyone who calls upon the Name of the Lord Jesus should be, for our liberty or freedom in Christ should never ever be a cause to lead another brother or sister in Christ into sin, therefore, Paul concludes with these words, “Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble” (1 Corinthians 8:13). The depth of this last statement Paul declares of himself can only be understood when we examine the detailed meaning of the English word stumble as it is translated by the Greek word skandalizo which is the word where we get our English word scandal from, this Greek word skandalizo means a cause of displeasure or sin; an occasion to fall (stumbling); an offence or something that offends; the act of tripping up someone. Paul so desires to fulfill the “law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2) in his life that he is willing to change or rearrange his entire dietary guidelines if that would be to the benefit, betterment, or building up of any of his brothers or sisters in Christ.
“There is no greater sin than to tempt weak or ignorant Christians to thoughts or acts which their ignorance or weakness cannot entertain or do without damage to their religion. There is much need for laying that truth to heart in these days. Both in the field of speculation and of conduct, Christians, who think that they know so much better than ignorant believers, need to be reminded of it.” Alexander MacLaren
“There are many things which, so far as we personally are concerned, we might feel free to do or permit, but which we must avoid if they threaten to hinder the practice or divert the course of some fellow-Christian.” F. B. Meyer
“If we as individuals truly love our Lord Jesus Christ it will be manifested in a desire and determination not to do or say anything that would cause one of our sisters or brothers to fall into sin, even what we might consider to be trivial or inconsequential.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…