1 Corinthians 8

* The danger of having a high conceit of knowledge. (1-6) The

mischief of offending weak brethren. (7-13)

1-6 There is no proof of ignorance more common than conceit of

knowledge. Much may be known, when nothing is known to good

purpose. And those who think they know any thing, and grow vain

thereon, are the least likely to make good use of their

knowledge. Satan hurts some as much by tempting them to be proud

of mental powers, as others, by alluring to sensuality.

Knowledge which puffs up the possessor, and renders him

confident, is as dangerous as self-righteous pride, though what

he knows may be right. Without holy affections all human

knowledge is worthless. The heathens had gods of higher and

lower degree; gods many, and lords many; so called, but not such

in truth. Christians know better. One God made all, and has

power over all. The one God, even the Father, signifies the

Godhead as the sole object of all religious worship; and the

Lord Jesus Christ denotes the person of Emmanuel, God manifest

in the flesh, One with the Father, and with us; the appointed

Mediator, and Lord of all; through whom we come to the Father,

and through whom the Father sends all blessings to us, by the

influence and working of the Holy Spirit. While we refuse all

worship to the many who are called gods and lords, and to saints

and angels, let us try whether we really come to God by faith in

Christ.
7-13 Eating one kind of food, and abstaining from another, have

nothing in them to recommend a person to God. But the apostle

cautions against putting a stumbling-block in the way of the

weak; lest they be made bold to eat what was offered to the

idol, not as common food, but as a sacrifice, and thereby be

guilty of idolatry. He who has the Spirit of Christ in him, will

love those whom Christ loved so as to die for them. Injuries

done to Christians, are done to Christ; but most of all, the

entangling them in guilt: wounding their consciences, is

wounding him. We should be very tender of doing any thing that

may occasion stumbling to others, though it may be innocent in

itself. And if we must not endanger other men's souls, how much

should we take care not to destroy our own! Let Christians

beware of approaching the brink of evil, or the appearance of

it, though many do this in public matters, for which perhaps

they plead plausibly. Men cannot thus sin against their

brethren, without offending Christ, and endangering their own

souls.

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