Knowledge or Love?


Knowledge is valuable, but what counts is what you do with it. The foundation of Christian ethics is love.


Lord of love, help me to live as You did, giving myself freely for the sake of love.


1 Corinthians 8:1-13


What is an equivalent to this scenario in our day?

The phrase "now about" signals that Paul is addressing an issue raised by the church--in this case, the consumption of food sacrificed to idols. Should they or should they not eat such food? The church wants Paul's advice.

Those who advocate eating the sacrificial meat believe that they know better than those who connect the meat with idol worship (2,7). Their knowledge, as far as they are concerned, puts them in a superior position to these "weaker" Christians. Paul points out that their knowledge, while based on an appropriate view of God, is not governed by a healthy ethic. By eating meat at the temple feasts, some are effectively encouraging the "weaker" believers to join in the feasts, and thus to partake in idol worship.

Paul does not accept "knowledge" as justification for conduct that causes others to sin. He even calls such conduct sin against others. The "knowledgeable" Christians are choosing their rights over the needs of other people.

Knowledge is valuable, but what counts is what you do with it. The foundation of Christian ethics is love.


Consider how you are exercising your freedom. Is it motivated by love?


Father of light, fill me with Your Spirit and Your grace. I want to shine Your light to the world.

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