1 Corinthians 10
-Paul offers some stern and serious warnings for purity unto God without any hint of idolatry. He emphasizes their oneness in Christ comparing it to the nation of Israel as they were under the cloud and passed through the sea as one unified congregation. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank of the same spiritual drink from the same spiritual Rock, which was Christ Jesus (looking forward to the Promise of Him, 1 Corinthians 10:3). This sets up his entire thought process with which he ends with the idea that “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).” The problem was that the Corinthians, like the children of Israel, were displeasing the LORD in their desire for doing evil and would incur the wrath of God if there was not a turning back to Him even though they were His beloved children. The summation is this, “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall (1 Corinthians 10:12).” Paul then assures them that what they are being tempted with is not beyond their ability to overcome through the power of His presence in their lives. God always provides a way of escape during temptation (or distress, trial, tribulation), that you may be able to endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13). *Application* This is a promise we will need to cling to often in our Christian walk. Though the journey is never easy as a saint, it is possible when we crucify our flesh as Jesus commanded, take up our cross daily, and follow Him (Matthew 10:38, Luke 9:23). What we find is joy in the offering and abundant life in Christ through His resurrection power and Spirit that indwells and controls us (John 10:10, Romans 15:13, 2 Corinthians 7:4).
-Paul makes sure he is explicit in his warning for them to flee from idolatry. The cup of blessing, which is in the union with Christ and His body, should exclude from participation with demons or demonic activity (1 Corinthians 10:14-21). Such a defiant attitude will provoke the LORD to jealousy out of His intense love for His children and He will act in His superior strength (1 Corinthians 10:22). *Application* Just as the Corinthians needed to heed the proper warning of the apostle, so should we. We find ourselves at times compromising with the world and its lusts, which can take us far from God and His good pleasure with us. We must not grieve or quench His Spirit by our attitudes, thoughts, words, and actions. Stay away from even the appearance (form, sight) of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22). In other words, run to God and away from Satan (1 Timothy 6:9-11, James 4:7).
-Paul now comes back to the point of being a good influence on your neighbor and not causing any offense or reason for stumbling, particularly in the area of meat which has been offered to idols which he had discussed in the previous two chapters (1 Corinthians 8 & 9). He gives some good practical advice for how to handle these situations for the purpose of helping unbelievers come to Christ with saving faith. *Application* We must always be careful not to cause offense, especially with our unbelieving friends. They, weather it is right or not, will hold us to certain standards of conduct as they become aware that we are believers in Jesus Christ and His Word. Our conduct around them is important because they are looking for hypocrisy and any chance to deny the faith that we know is so real and true. Notice the tests of conscience your unbelieving friends will put you through and respond with Paul’s Holy Spirit filled antidotes for proper Christian responses. Apply his principles to your own life situations and God will give you favor.
Verses to Memorize- 1 Corinthians 10:12-13, 31