1 Corinthians 8:1 (KJV)
Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.
1 Corinthians 8:13 (KJV)
Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.
The student of the Bible ought to bear in mind that the church in Corinth had stretched grace to the point of abuse.
- They knew that God is forgiving
- They knew that salvation is forever
- They knew that idols were nothing
- They therefore behaved presumptuously.
This chapter addresses that presumption of grace. The Apostle began by first acknowledging their understanding concerning things offered to idols. Truly they are nothing. Then he inserts a contrast; “knowledge puffeth up but charity edifieth.”
The chapter progresses along the line of that contrast until it arrives at the conclusion in verse thirteen. I think the chapter might be summarized by a single statement, “I can but I won’t. ” That, I believe, is a quality that Christians should strive to possess; the awareness that in Christ we are perfectly free coupled with a heart that places boundaries around us for the sake of others.
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1 Corinthians 8:13 I Can, But I Won’t
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