Now as to things which have been sacrificed to idols. This is a subject which we already understand--because we all have knowledge of it. Knowledge, however, tends to make people conceited; it is love that builds us up.
If any one imagines that he already possesses any true knowledge, he has as yet attained to no knowledge of the kind to which he ought to have attained;
but if any one loves God, that man is known by God.
As to eating things which have been sacrificed to idols, we are fully aware that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no God but One.
For if so-called gods do exist, either in Heaven or on earth--and in fact there are many such gods and many such lords--
yet *we* have but one God, the Father, who is the source of all things and for whose service we exist, and but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom we and all things exist.
But all believers do not recognize these facts. Some, from force of habit in relation to the idol, even now eat idol sacrifices as such, and their consciences, being but weak, are polluted.
It is true that a particular kind of food will not bring us into God's presence; we are neither inferior to others if we abstain from it, nor superior to them if we eat it.
But take care lest this liberty of yours should prove a hindrance to the progress of weak believers.
For if any one were to see you, who know the real truth of this matter, reclining at table in an idol's temple, would not his conscience (supposing him to be a weak believer) be emboldened to eat the food which has been sacrificed to the idol?
Why, your knowledge becomes the ruin of the weak believer--your brother, for whom Christ died!
Moreover when you thus sin against the brethren and wound their weak consciences, you are, in reality, sinning against Christ.
Therefore if what I eat causes my brother to fall, never again to the end of my days will I touch any kind of animal food, for fear I should cause my brother to fall.