The Question about Food Offered to Idols
1Now, concerning what you wrote about food offered to idols.
It is true, of course, that “all of us have knowledge”, as they say. Such knowledge, however, puffs a person up with pride; but love builds up. 2Those who think they know something really don't know as they ought to know. 3But the person who loves God is known by him.
4So then, about eating the food offered to idols: we know that an idol stands for something that does not really exist; we know that there is only the one God. 5Even if there are so-called “gods”, whether in heaven or on earth, and even though there are many of these “gods” and “lords”, 6yet there is for us only one God, the Father, who is the Creator of all things and for whom we live; and there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things were created and through whom we live.
7But not everyone knows this truth. Some people have been so used to idols that to this day when they eat such food they still think of it as food that belongs to an idol; their conscience is weak, and they feel they are defiled by the food. 8Food, however, will not improve our relations with God; we shall not lose anything if we do not eat, nor shall we gain anything if we do eat.
9Be careful, however, not to let your freedom of action make those who are weak in the faith fall into sin. 10Suppose a person whose conscience is weak in this matter sees you, who have so-called “knowledge”, eating in the temple of an idol; will not this encourage him to eat food offered to idols? 11And so this weak person, your brother for whom Christ died, will perish because of your “knowledge”! 12And in this way you will be sinning against Christ by sinning against your Christian brothers and sisters and wounding their weak conscience. 13So then, if food makes my brother or sister sin, I will never eat meat again, so as not to make my brother or sister fall into sin.
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