In this passage, Paul explains how eating meat sacrificed to idols could be idolatrous, and commands the Corinthians to seek the salvation of everyone. He begins by commanding them to flee from idolatry. He begins his explanation of idolatry by implying that the drink of communion is a sharing in Christ’s blood, and that the breaking of the bread is a sharing in Christ’s body. Furthermore, a church is one body, as is evidenced by the fact that it shares of one bread in communion. In addition, he points to Israel, in which those who eat the sacrifices are sharers in the worship.
In verses 19 and 20, Paul implies that meat sacrificed to idols is nothing, and that idols are nothing. However, he does say that those who sacrifice the food are sacrificing to demons. Therefore, Paul tells the Corinthians that he does not want them to become partakers of demons. Furthermore, they cannot share both in demons and in the Lord. Then, Paul implies that they ought not to provoke the Lord to jealousy, and that they are not stronger than Him.
In verse 23, Paul says that all things are lawful for him to do, but not all things are beneficial, nor edifying. Furthermore, he commands the Corinthians to seek the good of their neighbors. The way that they can do this is by eating any meat that is sold without asking questions about it. However, if an unbeliever invites them to a meal, they are not to eat meat about which they have been told that it has been sacrificed to an idol. This is not for the believer’s sake, but for the unbeliever’s sake, and to avoid slander.
In verse 31, Paul concludes by commanding the Corinthians to do everything for the purpose of glorifying God. In addition, he commands them to avoid offending anyone, but rather to imitate him in trying to please everyone, so that they may be saved.