1 Corinthians 10

  • 1Corinthians 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
  • 2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
  • 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
  • 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

They started out good. They were walking in their first love. They rejoiced and had joy in the Lord. They didn't know the name of Jesus as we know it but the Rock that followed them and protected them was Christ. The Christ whom the religious Pharisees later denied, was protecting them in the days of the wilderness.

  • 1Corinthians 10:5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

God cut off those that rebelled (God not man). If he didn't do that others would have followed their rebellion and no one would have been saved.

  • 1Corinthians 10:6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

When we read of the accounts of Israel in the Old Testament, we can learn from their mistakes and their successes. We can see that if we commit the same sin or have the same unbelief we too can suffer loss.

  • 1Corinthian 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

Lust, idolatry, greed, desire for comfort, fornication and complaining were present among them and is also a temptation to the church and any who choose to follow Christ. We need to daily seek the Lord to be strong against these things that Satan brings in to defile God's people. Satan desired to stop the gospel from even coming to us by defiling Israel. Israel was chosen as the one to bring salvation to the whole world. Satan has been out to destroy them from the beginning.

  • 1Corinthians 10:8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
  • 9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.

Unbelief is the biggest insult to Christ. God took care of them in the wilderness and every time they murmured when things went a little wrong, it was an insult to God. They forgot that God was with them and would care for them.

  • 1Corinthians 10:10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

This also is a temptation we face today. We must avoid murmuring and complaining. We must instead take our concerns to the Lord. Be slow to cause trouble and quick to pray.

  • 1Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
  • 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

It is possible to fall from grace or else this would not have been said by Paul. We don't have to fall but it is possible if we let a root of bitterness enter into our souls defiling us and we refuse to root it out by repentance.

  • 1Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

While it is possible to fall, it is possible to not fall. God will not allow us to be tempted above what we cannot withstand by faith in Him to overcome and not sin.

  • 1Corinthians 10:14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

While Idolatry can be having our affections on that which is trivial and that which is not centered in Jesus Christ, the use of images and icons is still around. We need to be careful not to change the meaning to fit our thinking in the culture we live in, but to warn against the actual use of literal idols. Evil spirits will accompany idolatry and fool us into thinking what we feel is God when its it not God's spirit at all. When the bible speaks of idols, it means actual images or statues. We have changed that to mean anything that gets between us and God and there is some truth in that but there is also a danger of substituting the new meaning of idolatry to the point where the actual use of images in worship seems innocent, a point of contact or just a symbol. God forbids it, so we should too. 

  • 1Corinthians 10:15 I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.
  • 16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
  • 17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.
  • 18 Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?

Paul is continuing the subject of whether to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit fornication. Idolatry would be spiritual fornication. We are to avoid both. Compromising our faith for anything can be idolatry but we need to remember to have nothing to do with real literal idols.

  • 1Corinthians 10:19 What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?
  • 20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.

To eat things sacrificed to idols is the same as acknowledging the sacrifice to devils. If our attitude is, "I'm saved by grace so it doesn't matter what I do, I'm covered," then what does that say about our relationship with God? If we know to do good and do it not, are we still saved by grace? Will our freedom in this save someone else who is watching our lives? What does it say to others when they see us do things the sinners do and partake in the same idolatry they partake in?

Christ has so much better things for us that the world cannot duplicate. Why do we even think of compromising the word of God by copying after the ones that live after the world and not after Christ. Paul shouldn't have even had to write this epistle to the Corinthians. They shouldn't have even considered fornication and idolatry to be acceptable as believers in Jesus Christ.

  • 1Corinthians 10:21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.

We can't serve God and the devil at the same time. We either hold to one or cleave to the other.

  • 1Corinthians 10:22 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?
  • 23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

We can do what we want but it does not edify or do the cause of Christ any good.

  • 1Corinthians 10:24 Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth.

Don't just live by our own wants and desires but live so that others will see a life full of the spirit of God and may cause them to desire to find the God that we are letting them see by the example we set.

  • 1Corinthians 10:25 Whatsoever is sold in the meat market, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:
  • 26 For the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof.
  • 27 If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.
  • 28 But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that showed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof:
  • 29 Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man's conscience?
  • 30 For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?
  • 31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

The sum of the whole chapter is do all for the glory of God. This is a good test my dad always taught me. If I was contemplating whether it was okay to do this or that, he would ask, "Does it glorify God?"

The answer would immediately come.

Do we desire to marry an unbeliever? We could ask, will it glorify God if the person never comes to Christ? Do we desire to go here and do this? Will it bring glory to God?

The way Satan will get us to compromise is that he will make the suggestion in our minds that we could use it as an opportunity to win someone to Christ. The thing is that very seldom will compromising what is right bring anyone to Christ. It usually works just the opposite. I heard of one who thought he could hang around the bars in hope of winning someone to Christ. He eventually got involved in the drinking, laying around with women and desires of the flesh himself. If God purposely spoke to someone to go to a bar to win a certain person to Christ, usually the wise thing would be to go two by twos as the apostles did. Two called by God for a purpose is a different thing altogether. To hang around a bar by oneself continually would open us up to temptation.

God gave us His Holy Spirit so that we can make the right decisions and walk in the spirit. We don't have to compromise our faith and go here and there. We can be led of the spirit.

  • 1Corinthians 10:32 Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:

If doing just one thing that will offend and cause just one person to lose their soul, it isn't worth it.

  • 1Corinthians 10:33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

This pleasing men he is speaking of is for the sake of not giving offense or doing things that will make their conscience weak. He is not talking of pleasing men by compromising the word of God or putting men above the Lord. In that case we must obey God rather than men.

1 Corinthians 11


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