Pride in Knowledge
(8:1a)Paul begins by addressing the Corinthians' pride and sense of superiority regarding their "knowledge" (gnosis) of these matters of eating food in pagan temples.
"1b We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2 The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. 3 But the man who loves God is known by God." (8:1-3)
Knowledge is good, Paul is saying, but love is better. Knowledge "puffs up," causes an exaggerated idea of one's own status. Love, on the other hand, builds up or strengthens a person. These believers claimed to know something, but were missing out on the basics -- loving God and loving their fellow believers, especially those who had scruples about eating food in pagan temples, and who were struggling because these older Christians were participating in the things the new believers had been converted from!
An Idol Is No Kind of God (8:4-6)"4 So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many 'gods' and many 'lords'), 6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live." (8:4-6)
Paul agrees with these so-called "knowledgeable" believers that an idol has no real existence as a being. They are nothing. They are called gods by pagans, but are not, in fact, gods at all. Rather, he says, we have one God, our heavenly Father, and one Lord, Jesus Christ. Notice the functions ascribed to the Father and the Son according to the prepositions in verse 6:
God the Father
by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson