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1 Corinthians 8 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 The question keeps coming up regarding meat that has been offered up to an idol: Should you attend meals where such meat is served, or not? We sometimes tend to think we know all we need to know to answer these kinds of questions - 1 Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.
2 but sometimes our humble hearts can help us more than our proud minds. 2 The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.
3 We never really know enough until we recognize that God alone knows it all. 3 But the man who loves God is known by God.
4 Some people say, quite rightly, that idols have no actual existence, that there's nothing to them, that there is no God other than our one God, 4 So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one.
5 that no matter how many of these so-called gods are named and worshiped they still don't add up to anything but a tall story. 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"),
6 They say - again, quite rightly - that there is only one God the Father, that everything comes from him, and that he wants us to live for him. Also, they say that there is only one Master - Jesus the Messiah - and that everything is for his sake, including us. Yes. It's true. 6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.
7 In strict logic, then, nothing happened to the meat when it was offered up to an idol. It's just like any other meat. I know that, and you know that. But knowing isn't everything. If it becomes everything, some people end up as know-it-alls who treat others as know-nothings. Real knowledge isn't that insensitive. We need to be sensitive to the fact that we're not all at the same level of understanding in this. Some of you have spent your entire lives eating "idol meat," and are sure that there's something bad in the meat that then becomes something bad inside of you. An imagination and conscience shaped under those conditions isn't going to change overnight. 7 But not everyone knows this. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat such food they think of it as having been sacrificed to an idol, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled.
8 But fortunately God doesn't grade us on our diet. We're neither commended when we clean our plate nor reprimanded when we just can't stomach it. 8 But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.
9 But God does care when you use your freedom carelessly in a way that leads a Christian still vulnerable to those old associations to be thrown off track. 9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.
10 For instance, say you flaunt your freedom by going to a banquet thrown in honor of idols, where the main course is meat sacrificed to idols. Isn't there great danger if someone still struggling over this issue, someone who looks up to you as knowledgeable and mature, sees you go into that banquet? The danger is that he will become terribly confused - maybe even to the point of getting mixed up himself in what his conscience tells him is wrong. 10 For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol's temple, won't he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols?
11 Christ gave up his life for that person. Wouldn't you at least be willing to give up going to dinner for him - because, as you say, it doesn't really make any difference? But it does make a difference if you hurt your friend terribly, risking his eternal ruin! 11 So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge.
12 When you hurt your friend, you hurt Christ. A free meal here and there isn't worth it at the cost of even one of these "weak ones." 12 When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.
13 So, never go to these idol-tainted meals if there's any chance it will trip up one of your brothers or sisters. 13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.