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1 Corinthians 8

About food that people have offered to false gods

1 Now I want to answer your question about food that people have offered to false gods. We know that all of us know about many things. And when we know something, that can make us think wrongly about ourselves and about other people. It can make us think that we are more important than other people. But when we love other people, it helps to make them strong. 2 Nobody should think that they really know about something. Some people might think that. But those people do not know anything yet as well as they should know it. 3 But God knows every person who loves him.

4 So, I will speak about the food that people have offered to idols. I will speak about whether you should eat it. We know that an idol is not really a god at all. We know that there is only the one God. 5 Yes, people may have many false gods and many false lords. People do call other things gods, whether in heaven or on earth. 6 But for us there is only one God, who is the Father. All things come from him and we live for him. There is only one Lord, who is Jesus Christ. He made everything by his power. And he causes us to continue living by his power.

7 But some people do not understand these facts. Some people have worshipped false gods for many years. So now they cannot eat food that people have offered to an idol. They think that the food really belongs to that false god. So, they are doing something wrong if they eat that food. That is what they think. It makes them feel as if they are not clean. They cannot easily decide what is right or wrong. 8 But food does not bring us near to God. If we do not eat the food, that will not make us worse. If we do eat the food, it will not make us better.

9 But you must be very careful. You are free to do anything that is right. But some Christians are not so sure about what is right. So, you must not do anything that might cause them to do something wrong. 10 You may be eating food in a place where people worship false gods. Perhaps another Christian, who is not so sure about this, will see you. That Christian may think that you know more than they know. So then, they may think that they can eat that food too. They may think that it is right for them too. 11 Then you would destroy other Christians who are not so sure. What you know would be their guide. You must remember that Christ died on behalf of them too. 12 When other Christians do something wrong because of you, you do something wrong too. They are not sure what is right or wrong. So, when you hurt them like this, really you are hurting Christ. 13 I must not cause any other Christian, who is like a brother or a sister to me, to do anything wrong. So, I have decided this. I will never eat meat again, if my food causes another Christian to do anything wrong.