In his letter to the Christians at Corinth, Paul again addresses the question that arose in the early church about meat that had been offered to idols. This issue, like many others, arose as the Gospel went forward to the Gentiles, resulting in a church including members from strict Jewish Law backgrounds as well as members from pagan backgrounds.Image may contain: sky, mountain, cloud, nature and outdoorPaul started with the assertion that “we all have knowledge about this issue.” In his other letters, Paul explains this more fully. The giving of thanks to God cleanses the food; the meat itself is not intrinsically bad or wrong, and the strong believer was under no obligation to question the origins of meat that was sold in the marketplace in these pagan cities.

“But while knowledge makes us feel important,” Paul continues, “it is love that builds up the church.” 2 Corinthians 8:1 NLT

Once again, we look to Jesus as our example. His spiritual knowledge was the greatest there ever was or will ever be. He knew the deep mysteries of God’s Kingdom; He was head and shoulders above every one of His peers in His knowledge of every spiritual question, as His teachings and His interaction with the religious leaders of His day show so clearly.

Yet it was His Love which has built His church. His Love led Him to the cross, His sacrifice for the sins of all mankind, making Him the only foundation for the church of God and for the individual faith of every believer.

In the church, knowledge may make us feel more important than others; with knowledge may come more influence, a place of more authority or leadership in the church. But it is our love that will build up others; and as others are built up, the whole church is strengthened.

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