1 I now want to reply to the matter of idolatrous sacrifices [which you wrote to me about]. We know that we all possess knowledge. [Note: This may be a statement posed to Paul by the Corinthians, who seemed quite preoccupied with "knowledge"]. Knowledge [only] makes people arrogant, while love builds them up [spiritually]. 2 If anyone thinks he knows something, he [really] does not know as much as he ought to. 3 But if anyone loves God, that person is known by God.
4 Now concerning [the matter of] eating foods [once] offered as sacrifices to idols, we know that an idol is [really] nothing in the world [at all], and that there is only one God. 5 For [even] if there were things called "gods," whether in heaven or on earth; [and even if] there were many "gods" and many "lords,"
6 yet there is [only] one God to us, [and He is] the Father, from whom all things have come, and for whom we live. And [there is only] one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom all things have come, and through whom we live.
7 However, not every person knows this [truth]. For some people have been so used to an idol all this time that they still think of the idol [as a reality] when eating food that has been sacrificed to it. And their weak conscience becomes polluted. [Note: These people cannot seem to shake off the idea that somehow the idol is real, so feel guilty of wrongdoing when eating food sacrificed to it]. 8 But [eating certain] foods will not improve our relationship to God; we are neither any worse off if we do not eat [certain things], nor are we any better off if we do eat them. 9 But pay attention [to this], so that somehow this liberty of yours [i.e., to eat whatever you want to] does not become an occasion over which weak people could fall [away from God]. 10 For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, who have [correct] knowledge [in this matter], eating in an idol's temple, will he not be encouraged to eat food sacrificed to idols? 11 So, this weak brother, for whose sake Christ died, becomes [spiritually] destroyed, [and all] because of your "knowledge" [i.e., you know that such eating is harmless, but your weak brother does not know this, so he is led into sin by your unloving example]. 12 And in this way, when you sin against the brothers by injuring their weak conscience, you are [actually] sinning against Christ. 13 Therefore, if [eating certain] foods causes my brother to fall away [from God], I will never eat meat again, so I do not cause my brother to fall away.