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Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: 1 Corinthians
Book: 1 Corinthians
Chapter: 8

Overview:
The danger of having a high conceit of knowledge. (1-6) The
mischief of offending weak brethren. (7-13)

1-6 There is No proof of ignorance more common than conceit of
knowledge. Much may be known, when nothing is known to good
purpose. And those who think they know any thing, and grow vain
thereon, are the least likely to make good use of their
knowledge. Satan hurts some as much By tempting them to be proud
of mental powers, as others, By alluring to sensuality.
Knowledge which puffs up the possessor, and renders him
confident, is as dangerous as self-righteous pride, though what
he knows may be right. Without holy affections all human
knowledge is worthless. The heathens had gods of higher and
lower degree; gods many, and lords many; So called, but not such
in Truth. Christians know better. One God made all, and has
power over all. The one God, even the Father, signifies the
Godhead as the sole object of all religious Worship; and the
Lord Jesus Christ denotes the person of Emmanuel, God manifest
in the Flesh, One with the Father, and with us; the appointed
Mediator, and Lord of all; through whom we come to the Father,
and through whom the Father sends all blessings to us, By the
influence and working of the Holy Spirit. While we refuse all
Worship to the many who are called gods and lords, and to saints
and angels, let us try whether we really come to God By Faith in
Christ.

7-13 Eating one kind of Food, and abstaining from another, have
nothing in them to recommend a person to God. But the Apostle
cautions against putting a stumbling-block in the way of the
weak; lest they be made bold to eat what was offered to the
Idol, not as common Food, but as a Sacrifice, and thereby be
guilty of Idolatry. He who has the Spirit of Christ in him, will
Love those whom Christ loved So as to die for them. Injuries
done to Christians, are done to Christ; but most of all, the
entangling them in guilt: wounding their consciences, is
wounding him. We should be very tender of doing any thing that
may occasion stumbling to others, though it may be innocent in
itself. And if we must not endanger other men's souls, how much
should we take care not to destroy our own! Let Christians
beware of approaching the brink of evil, or the appearance of
it, though many do this in public matters, for which perhaps
they plead plausibly. Men cannot thus Sin against their
brethren, without offending Christ, and endangering their own
souls.