“Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.” 1 Corinthians 8:1b
We know from Paul’s other writings that he wasn’t opposed to knowledge. He appreciated good theology as much as the next person, but he was aware of its limitations. Knowledge is only part of God’s plan, it isn’t everything. If we make knowledge everything, it becomes dangerous because of how it puffs us up and potentially leads to destruction. Isn’t this what happened with the first sin in the garden? Rather than being content with their loving and peaceful relationship with God, Adam and Eve were deceived into thinking they could have even more if they ate the fruit and became like God themselves. As a result their unbroken fellowship with God was cut off and death entered the world.
If knowledge of the truth isn’t the final goal of our relationship with God, what is? Paul declares that while knowledge puffs up, love edifies. I greatly appreciate the word play Paul uses here. Basically he’s saying that while knowledge builds ourselves up, love builds others up. Love, not knowledge, is the answer. As Christians we are Christ followers, meaning we don’t merely want to know more information about Christ, rather we want to be more like Him. Our desire is that even though He no longer lives on the Earth, we want to represent Him and allow others to experience Him through us. Therefore, we should strive to live as He did, and He “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Join us on Sunday as we open 1 Corinthians 8 where we will be encouraged to not live for self gratification, but “For Edification”. This is the heart of Christianity because it is the heart of Christ. God bless you all and hope to see you there!