Knowledge Inflates With Pride. 1 Corinthians 8
In 1 Corinthians 8, Paul takes up the topic of watching out for our fellow Christians who have a weaker conscience than ours. He uses the example of eating food that was offered to idols. Offering food to idols or even to dead relatives is common in many parts of the world that practice animistic religions. This chapter fits easily into the cultures that still practice these things, but still, have value to all Christians.
“About food offered to idols: We know that “we all have knowledge.” Knowledge inflates with pride, but love builds up.”
1 Corinthians 8:1 HCSB
The problem of human knowledge is that as we grow in our understanding of the world and God, we can begin to be puffed up with pride. This pride that comes from knowledge causes some to deny God and be unable to see the folly of their minds. Knowledge doesn’t only cause unbelievers to become puffed up with pride, but can also have the same effect on believers.
The more we understand the Bible and our freedoms in Christ; we can think that we have become spiritually mature giants. Which can cause us to begin to think more highly of ourselves than we have a right to. This is why Paul says in chapter three that we are nothing, but God is everything. No matter how much knowledge we attain, we will still have limited knowledge of God. So we must remain humble no matter how much we know about any subject, and this is especially true about our knowledge of God.
The more that we know and understand God, His holiness, greatness, etc. The more we should be humble about who we are. We are nothing but created beings that failed because of sin. Since we have all failed through sin we should not become boastful about anything, except Jesus Christ, who has saved us and restored our relationship with God.
When we see something in our lives that is causing another believer to stumble into sin or doubt in their faith, we should be willing to stop that action or behavior. If our actions or behavior is causing them to stumble is rooted in freedom, then we for the betterment of our Christian family should stop it. As long as, we do not compromise the main tenants of our faith we can make adjustments in our behavior.
“Therefore, if food causes my brother to fall, I will never again eat meat, so that I won’t cause my brother to fall.” 1 Corinthians 8:13 HCSB ( https://www.bible.com/72/1co.8.13.hcsb )
Paul says that he would never eat meat again to preserve the faith of another. We should be willing to do the same. The problem is that some individuals try to use Christian freedom to say that some ungodly behaviors are permissible. They begin to support things like abortion and gay relationships saying that we are free from the law. They will also say that love is more important than theology because God is love. Yes, God is love, but that doesn’t mean we can do away with proper theology or allow things that are contrary to the teaching of the word of God.
The conclusion is that if somebody stumbles because you are eating meat, then stop eating meat. If somebody stumbles because you are lovingly standing firm on proper theology, then pray for them to repent and return to God.