SUMMARY.--Meat Offered in Idol Temples. Not Changed Because So Offered. But Not to Be Eaten Because of Weaker Brethren. Those Having Knowledge Must Act in Love.
7-9. There is not in every man that knowledge. While "we," the better informed, know better, still there were some in the church who had not entirely outgrown their former superstitions. They could not realize that an "idol was nothing." Meat that came from idol sacrifice was to them the meat of the idol. They could not eat it without their conscience being defiled. 9. Take heed lest . . . this liberty of yours, etc. The meat itself made one neither better nor worse ( verse 8 ), but if those who "had knowledge" ate it, it might prove a stumbling-block, the occasion of the fall of those who were not so well informed and were weaker.
10-13. For if any man see thee . . . sit at meat in the idol's temple. In the heathen temples, great banquets often followed the sacrifice. That a weaker Christian should see a stronger one, a leader, sitting at such a banquet, would lead him to believe that his brother was honoring the idol. The example would encourage idolatry. 11. Hence his knowledge, the knowledge that made him dare eat, because he knew an idol was nothing, might be the means of destroying the weak brother by leading him to idolatry. 12. But when ye so sin. To wound, injure, imperil the weak brethren, is a sin against Christ. It injures Christ's cause; besides, he denounces those who cause the weaker ones to stumble ( Matthew 18:6 Matthew 25:40 ). 13. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend. To stumble and fall. Love, in this case, would demand that the meat be given up. The principle applies to many things. Some Christians can, perhaps, go to the theater, or dance, or attend the fairs of our day, where the races are the great feature, or even drink wine or beer, without falling. Others cannot. Yet the example of the strong will lead the weak to engage in them, and hence that example will lead them to spiritual death. The Christian principle, the rule of love, is, "If eating meat, or going to the theater, or going to a ball, or attending the fair, or drinking wine or beer, causeth my brother to offend, I will not do these things while the world standeth."