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I Corinthians Chp. 8

                                       I Corinthians

                                                   By Joyce Webb 2016

Chapter 8

Vs. 1-3 Paul talks about food, especially meat, that has been offered to idols. Some of the people felt that believers, Christians should not eat meat that had been offered to idols.

Paul says that some of the people felt that they knew what should be done and their ideas and thoughts were right and there should be no question about it.

Paul tells them that it is good to have knowledge and know what is right, but is is better to show love and not be too demanding in some things.

Vs. 4-6 Paul says We know that idols are just man made. They are not real living things.

Then Paul says this: “There is no other God but one.” This is an important sentence.

I have written a Teaching Lesson on this. There is only one God. I give many Bible verses that say this.

Paul says people may believe there are other gods, but in truth, there is only one true God.

Paul is saying that since we know and believe there is only one true God we do not need to fear idols.

(I want to take some time here to say something. Many of the people who worship idols know that the statue or image of the idol is man made.

They believe that when they go to worship the “image”, they call on the spirit the idol represents and it is this spirit that they pray to.

Any “spirit” that is not God, Jesus, Holy Spirit is an evil spirit. An evil spirit has some power. Some evil spirits have more power than others. No evil spirit has as much power as God----not any where near the power of God.

We do not need to fear the evil spirit. We do need to have respect for evil spirits and understand that they do have power and as a human we need to have God’s protection over us.

We need to be praying that the Holy Spirit will cover us and protect us.

I think a believer Christian should think carefully about going into temples of idols, or to go into places where idols are worshipped. I would think that you would need a very good reason to do so and not just curiosity. Why should we go into their territory? Why should we tempt the evil spirit to bother us?

That is their territory leave them alone. If evil spirits come into my territory I have the right as a child of God to tell them to leave me alone. I have the protection of the Holy Spirit to keep me safe from them.) 


Vs. 7 Paul says some people believe that if they eat meat offered to an idol that the meat is in some way cursed, not clean because of it being offered to an idol that is not the true God. So they do not want to eat it. They do not think a believer/ Christian should eat it.

Vs. 8 Paul says eating meat does not make us better before God and not eating meat does not make us better before God. (Eating meat or not eating meat does not make us better or worse before God.)

Vs. 9 But we should be careful that we do not do something that would make others sin or go against what they think is right.

We may feel free to do things and it is okay with God. But if we are with others who think that thing is wrong then out of Christian love we should not do that thing when we are with them.

It is not Christian love to do something you know will upset them especially something about their faith in God and doing something they feel is a sin.


Vs. 10, 11 Paul says If any man sees you eating meat in the idol’s temple then a person who thinks this is wrong but sees you there will copy you and he will eat of the meat but his conscience and spirit will bother him because he feels it is wrong.

So Paul is saying out of Christian love do not do this.

You will be responsible for encouraging them to do something they think is sin.

You should not do that.

Vs. 12 Doing that hurts that person’s spirit. They will feel guilt. They will feel they sinned against God.

Vs. 13 Paul says if he is with people who feel that eating meat is wrong he will not eat meat.

Paul says in another place in Corinthians that all things are lawful to him. I Cor. 6:12 But not all things are wise to do.

Paul seems to be saying that he could eat the meat even if it were offered to an idol first because to Paul that idol is nothing.

But Paul understands that not everyone feels that way. Many of the Gentiles grew up worshipping idols and to them is would be going back to old sinful ways to eat meat that had been offered to an idol.

So Paul says to the believers that feel free to eat the meat not to do it if it makes others eat it but feel guilty while they are doing it. This would not be showing Christian love. You would be encouraging them to go against their conscience.

(My thought this could be true of doing other things as well. If the people you are trying to teach or witness to feel a thing is wrong to do then respect them and do not do it especially when you are with them.)

In the book of Acts, the leaders of the new believers church sent out a letter to the Gentiles that were becoming Christians. Acts 25:13-29

In the letter the leaders wrote that they thought that the Gentiles should not eat meat offered to idols, not eat the blood in the meat or eat meat of an animal that had been strangled and not cut so the blood ran out and they should not do sexual sins.

The Old Testament law required that animals be killed in a way that let the blood run out. Because the “life” was in the blood. Leviticus 17:11-12

Even today the Jewish people who are careful about obeying the law eat only meat of an animal whose throat has been cut to let the blood run out. This is called Kosher meat. Usually the Rabbi, Jewish leader, is the one to see that this has been done before the meat has been named Kosher, or clean.


Now days with science we can tell all kinds of things about a person’s health by testing the blood. How true it is that the “life” is in the blood.


But as Lev. 17:11 says it is the blood the makes the atonement (payment, redemption) for the soul. In the Old Testament it was the blood of an animal sacrificed on an altar, later it was the blood of Jesus.


The leaders at the church in Jerusalem had agreed on those things they wrote in the letter.

It could be that the leaders saw the problem eating meat offered to idols would cause. So they told the new Christians not to do it.

Paul for himself does not seem to have a problem with eating the meat offered to an idol, but he agrees that if others think of it as a sin and wrong that a person should not do it out of Christian love for them.

For Paul it was not that the meat was “dirty” or “cursed”, but it was about hurting the spirit and conscience of others who felt it was wrong. And so, Paul would not eat meat offered to idols especially if he was with those who felt it was wrong.

We do not know if Paul ate meat offered to idols at other times. Maybe he never did.

But he was warning those who felt it was okay to be careful and not to hurt other people by eating the meat.






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