1 Corinthians 8* The danger of having a high conceit of knowledge. (1-6) Themischief of offending weak brethren. (7-13)1-6 There is no proof of ignorance more common than conceit ofknowledge. Much may be known, when nothing is known to goodpurpose. And those who think they know any thing, and grow vainthereon, are the least likely to make good use of theirknowledge. Satan hurts some as much by tempting them to be proudof mental powers, as others, by alluring to sensuality.Knowledge which puffs up the possessor, and renders himconfident, is as dangerous as self-righteous pride, though whathe knows may be right. Without holy affections all humanknowledge is worthless. The heathens had gods of higher andlower degree; gods many, and lords many; so called, but not suchin truth. Christians know better. One God made all, and haspower over all. The one God, even the Father, signifies theGodhead as the sole object of all religious worship; and theLord Jesus Christ denotes the person of Emmanuel, God manifestin the flesh, One with the Father, and with us; the appointedMediator, and Lord of all; through whom we come to the Father,and through whom the Father sends all blessings to us, by theinfluence and working of the Holy Spirit. While we refuse allworship to the many who are called gods and lords, and to saintsand angels, let us try whether we really come to God by faith inChrist. 7-13 Eating one kind of food, and abstaining from another, havenothing in them to recommend a person to God. But the apostlecautions against putting a stumbling-block in the way of theweak; lest they be made bold to eat what was offered to theidol, not as common food, but as a sacrifice, and thereby beguilty of idolatry. He who has the Spirit of Christ in him, willlove those whom Christ loved so as to die for them. Injuriesdone to Christians, are done to Christ; but most of all, theentangling them in guilt: wounding their consciences, iswounding him. We should be very tender of doing any thing thatmay occasion stumbling to others, though it may be innocent initself. And if we must not endanger other men's souls, how muchshould we take care not to destroy our own! Let Christiansbeware of approaching the brink of evil, or the appearance ofit, though many do this in public matters, for which perhapsthey plead plausibly. Men cannot thus sin against theirbrethren, without offending Christ, and endangering their ownsouls.
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