New International Reader's Version

1 Corinthians 8

Food Sacrificed to Statues of Gods

1Now I want to deal with food sacrificed to statues of gods. We know that “We all have knowledge.” But knowledge makes people proud, while love builds them up. Those who think they know something still don’t know as they should. But whoever loves God is known by God.

So then, here is what I say about eating food sacrificed to statues of gods. We know that “a god made by human hands is really nothing at all in the world.” We know that “there is only one God.” There may be so-called gods either in heaven or on earth. In fact, there are many “gods” and many “lords.” But for us there is only one God. He is the Father. All things came from him, and we live for him. And there is only one Lord. He is Jesus Christ. All things came because of him, and we live because of him.

But not everyone knows this. Some people still think that statues of gods are real gods. They might eat food sacrificed to statues of gods. When they do, they think of it as food sacrificed to real gods. And because those people have a weak sense of what is right and wrong, they feel guilty. But food doesn’t bring us close to God. We are no worse if we don’t eat. We are no better if we do eat.

But be careful how you use your rights. Be sure you don’t cause someone weaker than you to fall into sin. 10 Suppose you, with all your knowledge, are eating in a temple of one of those gods. And suppose someone who has a weak sense of what is right and wrong sees you. Won’t that person become bold and eat what is sacrificed to statues of gods? 11 If so, then your knowledge destroys that weak brother or sister for whom Christ died. 12 Suppose you sin against them in this way. Then you harm their weak sense of what is right and wrong. By doing this, you sin against Christ. 13 So suppose what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin. Then what should I do? I will never eat meat again. In that way, I will not cause them to fall.