Liberty .. Become A Stumbling Block

1Corinthians 8:8-13 But meat commends us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak. For if any man see thee which has knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when you sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world stands, lest I make my brother to offend. 

‘Take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.’ Take heed that you do not attend such feasts to idols even though you are convinced that an idol is nothing. This liberty may cause another to stumble who still believes that idols are something very real. He does not have your knowledge so he will commit sin if he follows your example (8:9-13).

‘Weak’ [Greek: asthenes] without strength (Rom. 5:6) weak (Matt. 26:41; Mark 14:38; 1Cor. 1:27; 4:10; 8:7, 10; 9:22; 11:30; 2Cor. 10:10; Gal. 4:9; 1Thess. 5:14; 1Pet. 3:7); weakness (1Cor. 1:25; Heb. 7:18); feeble (1Cor. 12:22); impotent (Acts 4:9); and sick (Matt. 25:39, 43, 44; Luke 10:9; Acts 5:15-16). Here it means weak in the faith, not diseased, as in many other places.

‘Emboldened’ [Greek: oikodomeo] to build up, as in 1Corinthians 8:1. Such an example will build up the weak brother to follow the practice of the strong, whereas the act of liberty will cause his edifice to come tumbling down and he will perish (8:11).

‘Perish’ [Greek: apollumi] to destroy, perish, or be lost, as in Matthew 10:28; to kill (Matt. 2:13; 12:14); torment (Matt. 8:29; Mark 1:24); mar (Mark 2:22); lose (Matt. 10:6, 39, 42); be lost (John 17:12; 2Cor. 4:3); perish or die (Matt. 8:25); and to ruin (Matt. 9:17), but never to annihilate.

‘But when you sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.’ By causing a brother to be lost you sin against Christ and defeat the purpose of His sacrificial death.

‘Wound’ [Greek: tupto] to strike or smite the heart (8:12); to beat (Luke 12:45; 22:64; Acts 18:17; 21:32); and to smite (Matt. 24:49; 27:30; Mark 15:19; Luke 6:29; 18:13; 23:48; Acts 23:2-3). ‘Offend’ [Greek: skandalizo] to cast a snare before one so as to destroy him (8:13; Rom. 14:21; 2Cor. 11:29; Matt. 5:29-30; 18:6-9).

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