1Corinthians Chapter Ten


Paul is also the only apostle that uses this word ‘baptized’ in an extraordinary way when he talks about the experience that Israel had when they were led by Moses out of Egypt and into the wilderness. He compares the experience of Israel and their deliverer Moses to humanity, and our deliverer Jesus. This means that the whole Nation of Israel, about two million people, were included in the faith relationship with God that Moses had. They did not have a personal faith in God – they didn’t even know who he was -They just had to trust in Moses, and in time they would develop their own faith in God. It was the faith of Moses when he struck the Red Sea with his rod that rolled back the waters and made a way for them to miraculously escape the rule of Pharaoh in Egypt.

It was the faith of Moses in that cloud that guided them through the desert. Without Moses they would have stayed in Egypt as slaves forever, and even if they escaped they would have wandered aimlessly in the desert. Some of them came to have faith in God but the Bible tells us that God was disappointed with most of them because they had no faith. In verse 11 Paul tells us that all of these things were written to help us understand how to live our lives in a shared life of faith with Jesus.

Just as Israel was included in the faith life of Moses so to we are included in the faith life of Jesus. Just as some of the people of Israel chose to ‘un-immerse’ themselves from the faith life of Moses and suffered the consequences so we too can un-immerse ourselves from the faith life of Jesus and walk in our own ways and suffer consequences.

He tells the Corinthians that if they are sharing a life with Jesus and marking this by their communion services, then how can they possibly think of sharing their life with the emptiness of idols who promise power but don’t deliver. He also warns them that if Israel received the powerful spiritual benefits of their animal sacrifices, and if they, the Corinthians share the powerful spiritual benefits of communion, then they had better be careful not to partake of spiritual sacrifices that are offered to evil spirits, or they might share the spiritual consequences of that.

He finishes on a high note by telling them that they are free to eat any kind of meat they buy at the local butchers, but that if they eat that in front of a Christian who is afraid that it might have been offered to idols, then they should abstain from eating, simply out of love for that person, and so as not to offend their consciences. Vs. 31 sums it up well by saying:  So whether you eat or drink, or whatever else you do, make sure that people see God in your life in the way you do it.

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1. I Want you to know my friends about the fact that your forefathers walked beneath God’s cloud and passed through the Red Sea.

2. And they were all immersed into the experience of Moses in that cloud (that led them) and in that sea (that cut Egypt off from them)

3. And they all ate the same spiritual food

4. And they all drank the same spiritual drink, because they drank from that spiritual Rock that followed them. And that spiritual Rock was Christ.

5. But God did not approve of all of them as many of them were not able to endure the challenge of going through the wilderness.

6. Now everything that happened to them are

7. And don’t trust in images of false power as some of them did. It was written about them that they sat down to eat and to drink and they jumped up to play the fool.

8. And neither let us indulge in unlawful sexual activity as some of them did and in one day twenty three thousand died.

9. Don’t let us put Christ to the test as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents.

10. Don’t grumble with discontent as some of them did, and were destroyed by Satan.

11. All of these things happened to them as examples to us, and they have been written to put us in mind of what the Scriptures have to teach us in this time of the final outworkings of God’s plan.

12. So if you are overconfident about withstanding some area of temptation, be careful that you do not fall into that temptation.

13. You will not be tempted by anything different to them or to anyone else, and God is faithful and he won’t allow you to be tempted beyond anything that you are able to withstand. He will make sure that there is a way for you to escape that temptation, so that you will be able to handle it.

14. So my precious friends, stay out of the way of images that promise false power.

15. I believe I am speaking to people who have some wisdom about these things, so listen carefully to what I have to say.

16. Doesn’t the communion cup that we pray over and drink reverently represent our relationship with God through the blood of Jesus? And doesn’t the communion bread that we break represent our relationship together and with God as the body of Christ?

17. For even though many of us eat of that bread we are one body because we all partake of that one loaf of bread.

18. Think of the people of Israel and the way they were partakers of the sacrifices. Didn’t they all receive the powerful spiritual benefit of the sacrifices that were offered?

19. So what will I say about images that promise false power? Is there any real power in the offering of sacrifices to empty images of power?

20. But there are spiritual offerings that some unbelievers make that are offered to evil spiritual powers and not at all to God. Do you want to receive the spiritual consequences of having this kind of relationship with evil spirits?

21. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and have spiritual fellowship with him then go and drink the cup of evil spirits and have fellowship with them. You can’t be one in spiritual relationship with the body of Christ and have a spiritual relationship with demonic powers.

22. Are we trying to make God jealous? Do we have control over him?

23. I can say I am free from legalism because of God’s grace, but that does not mean that I can do any foolish thing I want.

I can have my liberty but if I use it selfishly I will be harming others and not helping them.

24. Don’t think only of what suits you, but think of what is best for others.

25. Eat whatever kind of meat you buy at the local butcher without questioning it and trust your conscience,

26. Because everything was created by God and belongs to God.

27. If an unbeliever asks you to dinner and you feel like going, then go and eat whatever is set before you, not quizzing them where it came from, but trusting your conscience

28. But if anyone there tells you that the food has been sacrificed to images of false power, then don’t eat it, for the sake of that person, and because of his conscience. The food is still part of God’s creation and everything still belongs to him.

28.But the conscience I am talking about here is his conscience, not yours. Why should your freedom be put in question by another man’s conscience?

30. Because if it because of God’s grace that I can eat the food, why should I be spoken of badly for something that I can give God thanks for?

31. So whether you eat or drink, or whatever else you do, make sue that people see God in your life in the way you do it.

32. Don’t cause this kind of offence to anyone, not the Jews nor unbelievers nor Christians.

33. I will seek to be approved of by all, not for my own sake, but for the sake of many others, that they may end up believing and being saved.

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