"THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS" Chapter Eight OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To see the relationship between knowledge and love 2) To understand how we might misuse the liberty we have in Christ 3) To realize the responsibility we have to our brethren who may be weak or lacking in knowledge SUMMARY In this chapter and the two to follow, Paul addresses the matter of Christians eating things that had been sacrificed to idols. Though in the tenth chapter he will conclude with specific warnings concerning this issue (10:18-33), he begins by arguing on the basis of the supremacy of love over knowledge (1-3). While concurring that some might have correct knowledge about God and idols, he points out that all might not, and it would be very easy by an abuse of "liberty" to cause those with weak consciences to stumble (4-10). Such would be a serious offense, even against Christ, prompting Paul to say how far he would go to avoid causing a brother to stumble (11-13). OUTLINE I. KNOWLEDGE, LOVE, AND EATING THINGS OFFERED TO IDOLS (1-6) A. THE SUPREMACY OF LOVE OVER KNOWLEDGE (1-3) 1. Knowledge puffs up, while love edifies (1) 2. Knowledge can lead one to think he knows more than he really does (2) 3. While he who loves God is known by Him (3) B. KNOWLEDGE IN RELATION TO THINGS OFFERED TO IDOLS (4-6) 1. Knowledge concurs that an idol is nothing, and that there is only one God and one Lord (4-6a) 2. For Christians that means the Father and Jesus Christ (6b) II. APPLYING LOVE TOWARD THOSE WHOSE CONSCIENCES ARE WEAK (7-13) A. NOT ALL HAVE CORRECT KNOWLEDGE, OR STRONG CONSCIENCES (7) 1. Some eat things that were offered to idols with consciousness of the idol (7a) 2. In so doing, they defile their weak consciences (7b) B. DO NOT LET THAT WHICH IS INCONSEQUENTIAL BECOME A STUMBLINGBLOCK (8-9) 1. Food or the lack of it does not effect our relationship with God (8) 2. But if we are not careful, our liberty concerning food can become a stumblingblock to others (9) C. ABUSE OF KNOWLEDGE AND LIBERTY CAN LEAD TO SIN AGAINST CHRIST! (10-12) 1. Through improper exercise of knowledge and liberty, our example might encourage others to violate their weak conscience (10) 2. Through improper exercise of knowledge and liberty, we may cause others to perish, which is a sin against Christ! (11-12) D. PAUL'S OWN APPLICATION (13) 1. If food makes his brother to stumble, he will never again eat meat (13a) 2. Lest he make his brother stumble (13b)
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER Move your mouse pointer underneath each question to see the answer.
1) List the main points of this chapter. 2) What is the danger of knowledge? (1) 3) What is the power of love? (1) 4) What attribute is important in regards to knowledge? (2) 5) How can one abuse their liberty in Christ? (9-11) 6) What happens if we sin against our brothers? (12) 7) How far should we be willing to go out of consideration for our brethren who are weak in faith? (13)