Apr 25, 2010

1 Corinthians 8:11 - William Tant

1Co 8:11. " Through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died."
It, appears, from the whole of the chapter whence this verse is taken, that though the persons to whom the apostle wrote at Corinth, were called by grace, yet so little was the knowledge some possessed of divine things,. that they had not learnt that " an idol is nothing in the world;- and from being constantly among those who worshipped idols, as well as from deeply rooted prejudice, instead of eating the meat offered to idols as not effected by this superstition, they eat it with much awe and dread, and so wounded their weak consciences. The apostle, however, refers to some who possessed knowledge enough to see the folly of idols and idolaters, and looked upon the meat offered to idols as no more than common food, and knew that eating the same made them " neither better nor worse. Therefore he exhorts the stronger brother not to wound the feelings of the weaker, by too bold an use of the liberty produced by this knowledge ; for, says he, " if any man," whose conscience is weak and knowledge small, "see thee, which hast knowledge, sit at meat in the idol's temple," whatever contempt may be felt by such an one for an idol, yet he offends his weaker brother, or the brother's weak conscience is wounded ; there fore the weaker brother loses those comforts, of, and tranquility of mind, he would otherwise have had; and so his peace and communion with the stronger brother perish. As to the weaker brother's life in and from Christ perishing, this is impossible, for says Christ, " my sheep shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hands ; my Father, which gave them me, is greater than all, and none can pluck them out of greater Father's hands." And it would be well fox the Lord's people at all times to bear in mind the apostle's words, " ye that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak ;" not only by spiritual communion, but by a cautious walk; for frequently babes in grace are staggered and distressed by the life of their elder brethren, when, at the same time, their elder brethren may not altogether be living in sin. The apostle in another place exhorts believers to abstain from "foolish talking and jesting, " as. being inconvenient, Eph. v. 4.; and in like manner in this place he says, seeing the distressing effects of eating meat in the manner referred to, " If meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no meat while the world standeth."

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