1 Cor 8:1-2: “Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. 2 And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. 3 But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.”
We always like to be right, and there are times when we let our knowledge get in the way of the true essences of things. A controversy arose in the Corinthian church over food that was sacrificed to idols. Essentially one group said that a person should not eat food sacrificed to an idol. The other group said it was ok. Paul starts the correction not with an answer, but rather a rebuke about a persons pride and lack of humility.
Paul says, “We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.” Everybody has an opinion and rational for their argument. I would go even further to say that we can find scripture references to back up many of the disagreements we have. We as “Christians” can get so hung up on thinking that our opinion is the only one that we are willing to cause divisions among us because of these small controversies. (I am not speaking of the nature of Christ and the bedrock doctrine, which cannot be argued) However, there are little things that our pride cannot let go of and it causes tiny disagreements, which eventually drives wedges between the brethren. Paul rebuked the church for doing this. Paul wanted the church to speak those things only that were edifying and used to build up the body of Christ.
Paul said, “You have knowledge? Big deal we all have knowledge, instead of arguing with your brother or sister; edify them with love.” The exasperated Paul goes on to tell the people of Corinth that it was ok to eat the food that was sacrificed to idols, as long as it wouldn’t make a younger believer stumble. I would go on to say that we should also keep our knowledge to ourselves if it will cause a weak brother to stumble. There are so many things that we could exert our strength on instead of bickering with each other; Things such as encouragement, love, evangelizing, comforting, and concern should be the things on display before a weaker brother or sister.
Application – We need to check or motive behind our actions.
Challenge – Edify one another to display the love of God and to keep a weaker brother from stumbling.
Old Testament: psalm 132-135 New Testament I Cor. 8