Love Edifies

1 Corinthians 8:1 (ESV) Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up.

First I would like to comment that this chapter begins by addressing a question posed in the previous chapter. While subjects change behaviors and attitudes can be the same for other situations. This is not about foods offered up to idols. It is about our understanding truth and how we come to know the truth. This is a continuation of yesterday’s blog.

The love expressed in this verse is agape love, God’s perfect love. Since we know that Jesus Christ is truth and Jesus Christ is God’s perfect expression of love, then Jesus is the not only the example but also the source of agape love.

2 Corinthians 13:5 (ESV) Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

Since Christ is in us and His love abides faithful, then by faith we release that love thru obedience of faith. This builds us up in the same way you would exercise muscles. It builds up others as this agape love is received and is confirmed that it too dwells in each of us.

2 Corinthians 1:20 (ESV) For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.

Christ is God’s glory. Christ abides is us. Whenever one of us speaks truth, the truth in us cries out Amen, I agree. In this way we not only confirm truth, we build up each other in this fellowship of the body of Christ and bonds form between us.


1 Corinthians 8:2 (ESV) If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know.

1 Corinthians 8:2 (KJV) And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.

Comparing these two translations I am intrigued by the differences in knowledge sources. While you may accept that differences exist in two of them, the third is the consistent and true source.

Imagination vs thinking.

Imagination is creative wish fulfillment. You see things as you would like to have them appear. It has nothing to do with truth or reality. It is a satisfaction of self interest. You begin with what you want the end result to be and create a path back to the beginning of the thought in order to be the producer, screenwriter and director of your own fantasy.

Thinking is reasoning power. What is logical for you fits into your calculations. Anything that does not fit your analytical mind is set aside so as not to cause false conclusions. If it doesn’t fit, then it must not be evidence and reasoning requires evidence.

Hebrews 11:1 (ESV) Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Here is your third knowledge source, faith. Look carefully at the comparisons of what faith does for us and the demands of imagination and thinking. There is hope in imagination and faith satisfies that part of us. There is conviction and this satisfies the reasoning power that needs a right conclusion.

Faith brings us to a point of knowing which satisfies both our imagination and our reasoning skills.

The last sentence in 1 Corinthians 8:1 (ESV) reads like this; This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. The word knowledge contains air quotes. I am sure Paul did not use air quotes but it does go to the subject of how we obtain knowledge. Paul said love edifies.