|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:7-13 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.
Verse 9. - Lest this liberty of yours become a stumbling block; rather, this power or right of yours. To lead any one to do that which he thinks to be wrong is to place a stone of stumbling in his way, even if we do not think the act to be wrong. For we make men worse if by our example we teach them to act in contradiction of their conscience. "Let your motto be forbearance, not privilege, and your watchword charity, not knowledge. Never flaunt your knowledge, seldom use your privilege" (Evans).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But take heed lest by any means,.... This is either a reply to the instance of such as argued in favour of eating things offered to idols; or a limitation and explanation of the apostle's own concession, that it made a man, with respect to the favour of God, neither better nor worse: yet care should be taken, lest
this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak; he owns they had a liberty, or a right, or power, as the word may be rendered, of eating, or not eating, as they pleased; but then they ought to be cautious, lest they should be the means of offending, or causing to offend, such who were weak in the faith, and had not that knowledge of Christian liberty they had: not the use of their power and liberty is here denied, but the abuse of it is guarded against; for though the action itself was indifferent, yet as it might be used, it might be sinful, being attended with very bad consequences, such as hereafter mentioned.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. this liberty of yours—the watchword for lax Corinthians. The very indifference of meats, which I concede, is the reason why ye should "take heed" not to tempt weak brethren to act against their conscience (which constitutes sin, Ro 14:22, 23).
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