VII. Dealing with the Eating
of Things Sacrificed to Idols
A. An Inadvisable Eating
1. Not according to Love, Which Builds Up
1 Now concerning 1things sacrificed to aidols, we 2know that we all have 3bknowledge. 4Knowledge cpuffs up, but 4dlove 5ebuilds up.
2 If anyone athinks that he 1knows anything, he has bnot yet come to 1know as he ought to 1know;
3 But if anyone 1aloves God, this one is bknown by Him.
2. Idols Being Nothing
4 Therefore concerning the eating of things asacrificed to idols, we 1know that an bidol is cnothing in the world and that there is no God but done.
5 For even if there are so-called agods, either in heaven or on earth, even as there are many gods and many lords,
6 Yet to 1us there is 2aone God, the 3bFather, 4out from whom are call things, and we are 4unto Him; and 5done Lord, 6Jesus Christ, 4ethrough whom are all things, and we are 4through Him.
7 But athis knowledge is not in all men; but some, being accustomed to the idol until now, beat the food as an cidol sacrifice, and their 1dconscience, being weak, is 2defiled.
3. Food Not Commending Us to God
8 But afood will not commend us to God; neither if we do not eat are we lacking, nor if we eat do we 1abound.
4. Stumbling Weak Brothers
9 But beware lest somehow this 1right of yours become a astumbling block to the 2bweak ones.
10 For if anyone sees you who have aknowledge reclining at table in an bidol temple, will not his cconscience, if he is weak, be 1emboldened to eat the things dsacrificed to the idols?
11 For the one who is aweak is being 1bdestroyed by your cknowledge, the brother because of whom Christ ddied.
12 And sinning in this way against the brothers and 1wounding their weak aconscience, you sin against Christ.
13 Therefore if food 1astumbles my brother, I shall by no means eat 2meat forever, that I may not 1stumble my brother.
B. The Apostle's Vindication
1. His Qualifications
1 1Am I not 2afree? Am I not an 3bapostle? Have I not 4cseen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my 5dwork in the Lord?
2 If to others I am not an apostle, yet surely I am to 1you; for you in the Lord are the 2aseal of my bapostleship.
3 My defense to those who examine me is 1this.
4 1Do we not have a 2right to 3aeat and to drink?
5 Do we not have a right to take along a sister as a wife, aeven as the rest of the apostles and the bbrothers of the Lord and cCephas?
6 Or do only I and aBarnabas not have the bright not to work?
7 What soldier ever aserves by his own wages? Who bplants a cvineyard and does not dpartake of its fruit? Or who shepherds a flock and does not partake of the milk of the flock?
8 Am I speaking these things aaccording to man? Or does the law not also say these things?
9 For in the law of Moses it is written: a"You shall not muzzle the ox 1while it is treading out the grain.'' Is it for oxen that God cares?
10 Or does He say it altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written because the aplowman should plow in hope, and he who threshes, in hope of partaking.
11 If we have sown to you the aspiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap from you the fleshly things?
12 If others partake of this right over you, should not rather we? Yet we did anot use this right, but we 1bear all things that we may bnot cause any hindrance to the gospel of Christ.
13 Do you not know that those who labor on the 1sacred things aeat the things of the sacred temple, that those who attend to the altar have their portion with the altar?
14 So also the Lord directed those who announce the gospel to alive from the gospel.
15 But I myself have not used aany of these things; and I have not written these things that it may be so with me; for it is good for me 1rather to die 2than -- No one shall make my bboast void.
3. His Faithfulness
16 For if I preach the gospel, I have no boast, for anecessity is laid upon me; for woe to me if I do not preach the gospel.
17 If I do this of my own will, I have a 1areward; but if not of my own will, I am bentrusted with a 2cstewardship.
18 What then is my reward? That in preaching the gospel I may present the gospel awithout charge, so as bnot to use to the full my right in the gospel.
19 For though I am afree from 1all, I have benslaved myself to 1all that I might gain the more.
20 And to the Jews I became aas a Jew in order that I might bgain Jews; to those cunder law, as under law (though I myself am dnot under law), that I might gain those under law.
21 To those awithout law, bas without law (though I am not 1without law to God but 2within claw to Christ), that I might gain those without law.
22 To the weak I abecame weak that I might gain the weak. To all men I have 1become ball things that I might by all means csave some.
23 And I do all things for the sake of the gospel that I may become a 1fellow apartaker of it.
24 Do you not know that those who 1run on a aracecourse all run, but one receives the 2bprize? cRun in this way, that you may 3lay hold.
25 And everyone who acontends exercises self-control in all things; they then, that they may receive a corruptible 1crown, but we, ban cincorruptible.
26 I therefore arun in this way, not as though without a clear aim; I box in this way, not as though beating the bair;
27 But I 1buffet my body and 2make it my slave, 3lest perhaps having 4preached to others, I myself may become 5adisapproved.
C. The Type of Israel
1. Baptized unto Moses
1 1For I do not want you to be 2aignorant, brothers, that 3all our fathers were under the 4bcloud, and all passed through the csea;
2 And all were 1abaptized 2unto Moses 3in the cloud and in the sea;
2. Eating the Same Spiritual Food
and Drinking the Same Spiritual Drink
3 And all ate the same 1spiritual afood,
4 And all drank the same 1spiritual adrink; for they drank of a 2spiritual rock which followed them, and the rock was Christ.
3. Most of Them Strewn Along
in the Wilderness
5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for they were 1astrewn along in the wilderness.
6 Now these things occurred as 1aexamples to 2us, that we should not be ones who lust after evil things, even as they also blusted.
7 Neither become 1aidolaters, as bsome of them did; as it is written, c"The people sat down to 1eat and drink, and stood up to dplay.''
8 Neither let us commit 1afornication, as some of them bcommitted fornication, and there 2fell in one day ctwenty-three thousand.
9 Neither let us 1atest Christ, as some of them btested Him and were destroyed by the cserpents.
10 Neither 1amurmur, just as some of them bmurmured and cperished by the 2destroyer.
11 Now these things 1happened to them as an aexample, and they were bwritten for our admonition, unto whom the 2ends of the ages 3have come.
12 1So then let him who athinks he bstands take heed lest he 2fall.
13 1No 2temptation has taken you except 3that which is common to man; and God is afaithful, who will not allow that you be 4btempted beyond what you are able, but will, with the 2temptation, also make the way out, that you may be able to cendure it.
D. Keeping the Lord's Table from Idolatry
1. The Fellowship of the Lord's Blood and Body
14 1Therefore, my beloved, flee from 2aidolatry.
15 I speak as to prudent men; you ajudge what I say.
16 The acup of blessing which we bbless, is it not the 1fellowship of the cblood of Christ? The dbread which we break, is it not the 1fellowship of the ebody of Christ?
17 Seeing that there is 1one bread, we who are many are aone Body; for we all 2partake of the one bread.
18 Look at Israel aaccording to the flesh. Are not those who beat the sacrifices those who 1have fellowship with the 2caltar?
2. The Separation of the Lord's Table
from the Demons' Table
19 What then am I saying? That what is asacrificed to an idol is anything? Or that an idol is anything?
20 No, but that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to 1ademons and not to God; and I do not want you to become 2bthose who have fellowship with demons.
21 You cannot 1drink the Lord's acup and the demons' cup; you cannot partake of the Lord's btable and of the cdemons' table.
22 Or do we 1aprovoke the Lord to bjealousy? Are we cstronger than He?
1. Building Up Others, Seeking Their Advantage
23 1aAll things are 2lawful, but not all things are 3profitable; all things are 2lawful, but not all things 4bbuild up.
24 Let no one aseek his own profit, but that of the other.
25 Everything sold in a 1meat market aeat, asking no questions for bconscience' sake;
26 For the aearth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof.
27 If any of the unbelievers invites you and you wish to go, aeat everything that is set before you, asking no question for bconscience' sake.
28 But if anyone says to you, This has been offered in sacrifice, do anot eat, for his sake who pointed it out and for bconscience' sake.
29 Conscience, I say, not your own, but the other's. For why is my afreedom judged by some other conscience?
30 If I 1partake with athankfulness, why am I spoken bevil of concerning that for which I give thanks?
2. To the Glory of God
31 1Therefore 2whether you aeat or drink, or bwhatever you do, do all to the cglory of God.
32 1Do not become a astumbling block, both to 2Jews and to Greeks and to the bchurch of God;
33 Even as 1I also aplease ball men in all things, not cseeking my own advantage but that of the many, that they may be dsaved.
3. Imitating the Apostle
1 1Be aimitators of 2me, as I also am bof Christ.