|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:23-33 There were cases wherein Christians might eat what had been offered to idols, without sin. Such as when the flesh was sold in the market as common food, for the priest to whom it had been given. But a Christian must not merely consider what is lawful, but what is expedient, and to edify others. Christianity by no means forbids the common offices of kindness, or allows uncourteous behaviour to any, however they may differ from us in religious sentiments or practices. But this is not to be understood of religious festivals, partaking in idolatrous worship. According to this advice of the apostle, Christians should take care not to use their liberty to the hurt of others, or to their own reproach. In eating and drinking, and in all we do, we should aim at the glory of God, at pleasing and honouring him. This is the great end of all religion, and directs us where express rules are wanting. A holy, peaceable, and benevolent spirit, will disarm the greatest enemies.
Verse 30. - For if I. The "for" should be omitted. There is no copula in the best manuscripts. By grace. The word may also mean "with thankfulness" (comp. Romans 14:6. "He that eateth, to the Lord he eateth, for he giveth God thanks;" 1 Timothy 4:3, "Meats which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving;" compare our phrase," saying grace"). Another view of these clauses interprets them to mean "You should refrain because, by net doing so, you give occasion to others to judge you" - a rule which has been compared with Romans 14:16, "Let not your good be evil spoken of." Whichever view be taken, it is clear that theoretically St. Paul sided with the views of the "strong," but sympathetically with those of the "weak." He pleaded for some concession to the scrupulosity of ever morbid consciences, he disapproved of a defiant, ostentatious, insulting liberalism. On the other hand, he discouraged the miserable micrology of a purblind and bigoted superstition, which exaggerated the importance of things external and indifferent. He desiderated more considerateness and self denial on the one side; and on the other, a more robust and instructed faith, he would always tolerate the scruples of the weak, but would not suffer either weakness or strength to develop itself into a vexatious tyranny.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For if I by grace be a partaker,.... Either of Christian liberty, through the grace of God; or of the creatures God has given men to eat of through his goodness, and which are enjoyed by the saints with thankfulness:
why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? that is, why should I expose myself to evil tongues, the blasphemies and reproaches of men, by eating things of this kind, under this circumstance, when there are so many creatures I can use without offence, and be thankful for? or why should my liberty be reproached through an imprudent use of it, for which I have the utmost reason to be thankful? wherefore upon the whole it is best to deny one's self in such a case, rather than risk one's character, the glory of God, and the honour of religion.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
30. For—The oldest manuscripts omit "For."
by grace—rather, "thankfully" [Alford].
I … be partaker—I partake of the food set before me.
evil spoken of—by him who does not use his liberty, but will eat nothing without scrupulosity and questioning whence the meat comes.
give thanks—which consecrates all the Christian's acts (Ro 14:6; 1Ti 4:3, 4).
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