Devotional – I Corinthians 8

Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up.

Many have understood this verse to mean that we don’t need to concern ourselves with theology, all we need is love, but is that what Paul is really teaching here. It would seem difficult to come to that conclusion when we consider the lengths that Paul goes to in his writings to make sure that his readers were well informed about what true doctrines Christians should believe. We also know that Paul would not have ignored such passages in the Old Testament like Proverbs 18:15 – An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge – or Hosea 4:6 – My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Paul even prays in Colossians that we might “increase in the knowledge of God” (1:10). So Paul is not pitting knowledge against love. No, what he is saying is that knowledge without love only serves to puff one up, to make one arrogant, to fill one with pride. On the other hand, love without knowledge is just as tragic. We should all seek to know God better, not through some mystical experience, but through his revealed Word which he gave to us so that we might grow in our knowledge of him, but as we increase in knowing God that knowledge should cause us to love God more and in turn it should cause us to love our neighbors more as well. So both knowledge and love must work together so that we all might grow to become more like Christ. So search the Scriptures, learn of God, his nature, his character, his grace and in love serve your neighbors it is then you will know what it really means to be a Christian.

 

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