Thus far, Paul has dealt with the difference between perceived knowledge (i.e., knowledge that is devoid of God’s love) and actual knowledge (i.e., knowledge that evidences God’s love) in how we live in community. The former is not real or objective, the latter is the basis for all of creation.
Paul continues the theme of community, knowledge and real love here as it pertains to worship:
4 Therefore concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one.
Here, Paul deals with the fundamental issue of worship which is the object of worship. When people turn to worship what is false—idols, it prevents them from drinking in the real who is God alone.
Monotheism, not polytheism is true and believers coming out of worshipping “the gods” i.e., demons, need to be careful in how they view God’s nature and the man Chris Jesus as it pertains to foods. Paul continues:
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 are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.
Paul’s not relativizing the believers’ worship, nor is he conceding that “gods” exist, but he is referring to people’s belief systems (i.e., polytheism—the belief in many gods) based on perceived knowledge which plagued the Corinthians.
When Paul says, “yet for us…” he is not just stating that Christians hold to monotheism (the belief in only one God), but they do so, based on actual knowledge rather than perceived knowledge because of the God who is there.
The divinity of the Father is always assumed and here Paul ties in the wise Son calling him Lord (i.e., one of God’s names referring to His mastery over all creation and Him as the covenant initiator and keeper). Both Father and Son are the ground of everything, “by whom are all things and we exist for Him”.
Both Father and Son are the cause of all things and thus Christians “exist for Him” and “exist through Him” referring specifically to Jesus the savior.
As the ground of all reality, knowledge, worship and love we therefore adore this amazing God who in space time history revealed Himself through Messiah. Thus, to minimize and belittle His existence, power and kindness by worshipping what is false is the highest possible form of treason (i.e., betrayal at the highest level) in the universe. Sadly, we have all done it. Lord have mercy on us and teach us your ways. (SDG)