1 With regard to food that has been offered to idols. Here, of course, 'we all possess knowledge'! Knowledge puffs up, love builds up. 2 Whoever imagines he has attained to some degree of knowledge, does not possess the true knowledge yet; 3 but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.
4 Well then, with regard to food that has been offered to idols, I am quite aware that 'there is no such thing as an idol in the world' and that 'there is only the one God.' 5 (So-called gods there may be, in heaven or on earth ??as indeed there are plenty of them, both gods and 'lords' ??6 but for us there is one God, the Father, from whom all comes, and for whom we exist; one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom all exists, and by whom we exist.)
7 But remember, it is not everyone who has this 'knowledge.' Some who have hitherto been accustomed to idols eat the food as food which has been really offered to an idol, and so their weaker conscience is contaminated. 8 Now mere food will not bring us any nearer to God; if we abstain we do not lose anything, and if we eat we do not gain anything. 9 But see that the exercise of your right does not prove any stumbling-block to the weak. 10 Suppose anyone sees you, a person of enlightened mind, reclining at meat inside an idol's temple; will that really 'fortify his weak conscience'? Will it not embolden him to violate his scruples of conscience by eating food that has been offered to idols? 11 He is ruined, this weak man, ruined by your 'enlightened mind,' this brother for whose sake Christ died! 12 By sinning against the brotherhood in this way and wounding their weaker consciences, you are sinning against Christ. 13 Therefore if food is any hindrance to my brother's welfare, sooner than injure him I will never eat flesh as long as I live, never!