1 Corinthians chapter 10

Warnings from the Old Testament. Flee from idolatry. All things are permissible. Do all for the glory of God. [UPDATED]

 


 

WARNINGS FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT

 

VERSE 1. Now I would not have you ignorant, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;

our fathers. That is, the Old Testament people.

under the cloud. They lived in the presence of the pillar of fire and cloud, enjoying supernatural guidance and protection and favor.

 

VERSE 2. and were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

baptized into Moses. The Old Testament people were “baptized” by passing through the Red Sea.

 

VERSE 3. and all ate the same spiritual food;

spiritual food. The Old Testament people ate the supernatural bread from heaven:

Exodus 16:4. Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from the sky for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not.

 

VERSE 4. and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of a spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ.

spiritual drink. The Old Testament people drank from the rock in the desert:

Exodus 17:6. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb. You shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.” Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

the rock was Christ. Paul says the rock they drank from was Jesus Christ.

 

VERSE 5. However with most of them, God was not well pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

with most of them. The behavior of the majority was displeasing to God. In fact, except for Joshua and Caleb, everyone in an entire generation was disqualified for the prize. They died in the desert:

Numbers 14:29. Your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness; and all who were counted of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, who have complained against me,

Even Moses and Aaron were disqualified from the prize:

Numbers 20:12. The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you didn’t believe in me, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”

We should be careful that we ourselves are not disqualified:

1 Corinthians 9:27. but I beat my body and bring it into submission, lest by any means, after I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected.

 

VERSE 6. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

not lust after evil things. The battle is in our desires. Do we want forbidden things?

 

VERSE 7. Don’t be idolaters, as some of them were. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.”

 

VERSE 8. Let’s not commit sexual immorality, as some of them committed, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell.

commit sexual immorality. That is, “indulge in immorality” (NAB translation).

Paul is almost certainly referring to an incident in Numbers chapter 25, where Israelite joined in Canaanite fertility rites by having sex with Moabite prostitutes.

It was part of worshipping Baal Peor.

In the Old Testament, the Israelites often fell into the apostasy of worshipping Baal. In this case, 23,000 people died in one day. Read more »

 

VERSE 9. Let’s not test Christ, as some of them tested, and perished by the serpents.

 

VERSE 10. Don’t grumble, as some of them also grumbled, and perished by the destroyer.

Holman Christian Standard Bible: Nor should we complain as some of them did, and were killed by the destroyer.

Some people are always complaining. Or arguing. Those are destructive habits. They harm the individual. And the community. They need to STOP. Read more »

 

VERSE 11. Now all these things happened to them by way of example, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come.

 

VERSE 12. Therefore let him who thinks he stands be careful that he doesn’t fall.

thinks he stands. Peter boasted that he was standing firm. But within a few hours, he had utterly failed.

Matthew 26:35. Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you.” All of the disciples also said likewise.

 

VERSE 13. No temptation has taken you except what is common to man. God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able, but will with the temptation also make the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

NIV translation: No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

This verse is fantastic! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from First Corinthians.

not .. tempted above what you are able. God will not allow the circumstances of temptation to rise beyond your strength.

Sirach 13:2. Take not up a burden above your strength; And have no fellowship with one that is mightier and richer than yourself. What fellowship shall the earthen pot have with the kettle? This will strike, and that will be dashed in pieces.

1 Corinthians 10:13. No temptation has taken you except what is common to man. God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able, but will with the temptation also make the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Philippians 4:13. I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

 

FLEE FROM IDOLATRY

 

VERSE 14. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.

flee from idolatry. To flee is to run away from.

 

VERSE 15. I speak as to wise men. Judge what I say.

 

VERSE 16. The cup of blessing which we bless, isn’t it a sharing of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, isn’t it a sharing of the body of Christ?

The cup of blessing. This is almost certainly a reference to the cup used in the Lord’s Supper.

isn’t it a sharing of the blood of Christ. Paul says the wine is a sharing in the blood of Christ.

The bread which we break. This is almost certainly a reference to the “bread” consumed during the Lord’s Supper.

isn’t it a sharing of the body of Christ. Paul says the bread is a sharing in the body of Christ.

 

VERSE 17. Because there is one loaf of bread, we, who are many, are one body; for we all partake of the one loaf of bread.

 

VERSE 18. Consider Israel according to the flesh. Don’t those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar?

 

VERSE 19. What am I saying then? That a thing sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything?

 

VERSE 20. But I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God, and I don’t desire that you would have fellowship with demons.

they sacrifice to demons, and not to God. This is a strong statement. in essence, Paul sees any non-Christian deity as a demon.

fellowship with demons. Paul wants Christians to distance themselves from demonic involvement.

 

VERSE 21. You can’t both drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You can’t both partake of the table of the Lord and of the table of demons.

 

VERSE 22. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

 

ALL THINGS ARE PERMISSIBLE

 

VERSE 23. “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are profitable. “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things build up.

All things are lawful for me. For the Christian, all things are permissible:

1 Corinthians 6:12. “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are expedient. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be brought under the power of anything.

not all things build up. Even if something is permissible, it might not be beneficial.

 

VERSE 24. Let no one seek his own, but each one his neighbor’s good.

Let no one seek his own. We are to overcome self-centeredness.

each one his neighbor’s good. Instead of self-centeredness, we are to focus on other people.

 

VERSE 25. Whatever is sold in the butcher shop, eat, asking no question for the sake of conscience,

sold in the butcher shop. The issue at stake is whether we should buy food that has been sacrificed to idols.

asking no question. The solution is to not worry about it. Instead, just buy what you need.

 

VERSE 26. for “the earth is the Lord’s, and its fullness.”

 

VERSE 27. But if one of those who don’t believe invites you to a meal, and you are inclined to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no questions for the sake of conscience.

 

VERSE 28. But if anyone says to you, “This was offered to idols,” don’t eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for the sake of conscience. For “the earth is the Lord’s, with all its fullness.”

 

VERSE 29. Conscience, I say, not your own, but the other’s conscience. For why is my liberty judged by another conscience?

why is my liberty judged by another. Many Christians sit in judgment over others. They witness behaviors and condemn the person.

 

VERSE 30. If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced for something I give thanks for?

 

DO ALL FOR THE GLORY OF GOD

 

VERSE 31. Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

NIV translation: So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

This verse is fantastic! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from First Corinthians.

 

VERSE 32. Give no occasion for stumbling, whether to Jews, or to Greeks, or to the assembly of God;

 

VERSE 33. even as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of the many, that they may be saved.

 


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1 CORINTHIANS

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